Any Florida Recommendations?
I am somewhat emarassed to admit that I have lived here in Florida for several years and I have run out of interesting places to shoot! Other than the usual city shots of Miami Beach and Tampa (and the occasional park, zoo, or fishing village at sunset), I really can't find anything here inspiring. There are no mountains that I know of and the very few places with nice scenary are found either on private property or in some tourist trap place like Disney. And no, the Everglades swamp has absolutely no appeal. It is devoid of color, extremely flat and virtually monochrome (color is either dull forest green or old log brown, including alligators and birds). Any suggestions?
Take a look at this:
Redland Riot Map
I live in Redland which is the agricultural area outside the Everglades Park southwest of Homestead (horse country). If you like flowers, we have the largest amount of orchid nurseries in the country. I usually buy an orchid a month just to photograph. R.F. Orchids is an interesting place to visit.
Try taking a trot out the panhandle - there are supposed to be some very photogenic old towns out Pensacola way.
If you're looking for color, try going down to Key West, and photographing the townsfolk, or getting into underwater photography and going after the fish in the Keys.
Last edited by TheFlyingCamera; 05-04-2006 at 03:52 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: added info
The Bok tower and the surrounding gardens near Lake Wales, are very photogenic. The gardens are a bird santuary. Plan to time your visit to include the daily carillon concert.
There is the old spanish fort near St Augustine and the old spanish colonial town which are also good.
Fort DeSoto in Sarasota.
The Ringling mansion in Bradenton.
The town of Micanopy and its cemetary.
The town of Cedar Creek.
The Gamble Mansion to which Jefferson Davis fled after the war.
The old Florida cracker house in Cross Creek owned by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings where she wrote her most famous novel "The Yearling". At the local resturant you can try fried 'gator tail, cooter and other Florida delicacies.
The Suwanee and Santa Fe rivers near Gainesville. The fact that the Santa Fe goes underground for some miles inspired Coleridge to write the poem Xanadu.
In general north and west central Florida have much more of interest than south Florida.
Touristy I know, but how about the rocket park at KSC? I've yet to escape there without using at least a couple of rolls of film...!
The destination is important, but so is the journey
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Originally Posted by Gerald Koch
Fort DeSoto is in St Pete, not Sarasota. It was ranked as the best beach in America.
I grew up in the bay area. Downtown St Pete is cool. Check out the yacht club. How about the docks in Tampa. Fishing piers are full of lively characters.
Wow! Thanks for the tips, I had no idea there were so many other options! I was also considering shooting lighthouses around Florida as well. Some of the locations mentioned above are near coastal areas, so I might shoot a few lighthouses while checking these places out. Thanks again!
Florida's flatness offers an American west type of wide open space. You have, at certain times of day, spectacular clouds, which like mountains, become a wonderful backdrop for the work you can do by the sea or in the wetlands. I think the marshland, with it's myriad meaneandering streams and the great variety of tidal levels, is rich grist as well. With all the development in the state, there is a rich source of architectural interest in the rapidly disappearing old decaying buildings that speak of another time. Grab those before they're gone. Or...if your not looking for scenic material, there's the opportunity to photograph the lifestyle of the place in whatever way appeals to you. It's one colorful state...I think you have a lot to choose from.
Oh...I forgot to add...there's tabby, the fascinating indigineous building material of the 19th century which is manifested in lots of historic structures. And there's the equally interesting coquina beaches that have some amazing formations in the area around Marineland and further south. Try some of those with golden hour light and ocean side clouds. Yikes...I want to jump in the car and get down there even as I write this. (My wife is a native of Jacksonville so there's the extra incentive of visiting the family, the cronies, and the museums and galleries I like so much). Get busy!!!!!
I'm not sure where you are located, but if you drive down US1, there are still some neat places left from the big tourist boom. Lots of vestiges of a more optimistic time floating around right off the road. Many are disappearing fast, being replaced by McMansions, but there is plenty to work with.
The big list above is great, I've shot at most of those places and found a lot of material to work with. The Alligator farms are good during breeding season (just ending) if you shoot any color film. I've got some good shots of nesting egrets from just a few feet away - they nest just off the boardwalks so you get to be right there without scaring them off.
Let's see, there is DeLeon Springs sugar mill, a couple of other sugar mill ruins in East Central Florida (Yulee and Bullow Plantation), um, St. Augustine is pretty rich in subject matter, and so are some of the old forts along the East Coast. I'm not overly familiar with the West coast, but I'm certain there is good stuff there. I found the State Parks system to be quite useful - it has won numerous National awards for excellence, and for good reason.
I'm sure that as soon as I post I'll come up with more, but for now that about covers it.
Oh, wait! For flowers there are about 4 or 5 gardens (Leu Garden, Washington Oaks, Marie Selby, and a few others) scattered over the state. Just search for 'Florida Gardens' and you should be able to get directions.
Ok, that's it for now. Be sure to post anything interesting you find for the rest of us!
Some Florida photographers find Florida a colorful state ( see Sean Dowie's website for ideas/examples). For B&W, Clyde Butcher's work shows the Florida ecosystem (water, land & air/clouds) as a photogenic subject matter. Up here in the North, we have some varying terrain as well as historical subjects. It certainly isn't the photogenic West; but a little searching will uncover some interesting images.
van Huyck Photo
"Progress is only a direction, and it's often the wrong direction"