Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Reach For The Sky

Outside of my hotel in Tampa there is a giant sculpture of arms and hands reaching for the sky (or maybe the moon in this case) with the appendages fashioned in sweeping, curving brushed steel. We're right across from the Tampa airport and maybe the artist wanted a piece of art intended to welcome fliers into town. These arms stretch at least 70-feet high and folks in the window seats can't help but see the artwork in the moments before they land. Almost as if the hands are applauding a safe landing.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Getting Ready

The start of the game is still a few minutes away and it's a good thing Jason Werth of the Phillies has the extra time to prepare. His pre-game ritual includes getting his legs ready by taking giant steps with an elastic band around his shins. The late afternoon light was perfect and really brings out the colors of Werth's Philadelphia uniform.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Behind The Scenes

You've seen countless magazine photos with a model leaping through the air in front of the camera at any number of sunny beaches around the world. Here's what those sorts of pictures look like while being made. This was her 15th or 16th leap because the previous photos weren't just right. Being a model is hard work and having a good attitude about such things as countless takes to get the shot right is a key to success for the ones who get hired consistently.

Fireworks Night In Tampa

I never get tired of seeing fireworks and the weekly show at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida was another good performance. Taking pictures of fireworks isn't easy and if you've shot a lot of the sky blasts then you look to add something to the composition. So I braced my camera to get a steady view of the roof and freeze of the stadium while capturing the fireworks being launched from beyond center-field.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Ibis

This is one of the many birds you might encounter in Florida. It's a Snowy White Ibis. I wanted it to do something besides just stand on one leg in the shallow water near my hotel. After waiting a few minutes, the bird began to pick in and around its feathers and I got my "action" shot.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Setting Sun

I found a beach less than a mile from my Tampa hotel and when I arrived, the sun was setting. I used my zoom lens to make the sun appear giant on the horizon as it sank in the west. The beach is hard to miss because it's located on the backside of a business park. But it has a small pier and a volleyball pit and just enough shoreline for me to get my running in.

Monday, March 22, 2010

When It All Comes Together

This was at the the end of my day at St Pete Beach in Florida. The sun had just come out - the lady in the stripped hoodie was walking back from where she's come from and the bird on the right flew into the scene at just the perfect time. And, of course, the star of the show; the famous Don Ce Sar Hotel dominates the frame in all its pinkness. The former spring training home for New York Yankees' players when they trained in St Petersburg, "The Don" opened to the rich and famous in 1928.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Blue Angels

An off day in the baseball home schedule in Tampa gave me the chance to photograph the famous Blue Angels during Tampa Navy Week. These F/A-18 Hornets zipped through the skies in and around MacDill Air Force Base.

This maneuver was very popular with the group of people I was standing with on a residential road near the base. They come down in close formation then separate in different directions as they speed toward the earth.

Since we were not on the grounds when they took off, we thought we were out of luck - maybe they wouldn't fly over our position. But after a late start, the Hornets flew all over the sky and we were not disappointed.

These jets reach speeds of up to 700 mile per hour and they go as "slow" as 120 mph during the show. The Blue Angels are named after a New York nightclub.

Cast A Giant Shadow

With Daylight Saving Time back with us until November, I wanted to take advantage of the setting sun - casting a nice golden light - as it related to creating interesting shadow patterns on the baseball field in the early stages of a game. Here, the Yankees' Nick Swisher has to stare into the sun while at first base. This light didn't last long and I'm glad I was ready for it.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Happy Landing!

It's always fun to watch skydive teams at work. This Navy jumper is headed to a landing at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida prior to a game in spring training. It was a windy day, but just before sunset, the winds eased enough to allow the skydivers to take to the air to perform their precision maneuvers. The Navy's Blue Angels jet crew is in town this weekend and I hope to get some shots for future blog posts.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Rough Day On The Water

While running at St Pete Beach in Florida, I got this shot of a boat fire in the Gulf of Mexico. I first thought it was an oil drilling platform that was on fire because there was so much smoke. The one person on board escaped unhurt. The boat was toast. And the few people on the beach at the time seemed occupied by other matters and not the trouble at sea.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Inside Lighting

Whenever I go out to eat I look for interesting lighting fixtures or designs. This one caught my eye at a restaurant in Tampa, Florida called the Kona Grill. These panels of blue light are located in the bar area. I like the color blue and find it's a part of the interior design of many eateries.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Great Sky In The Afternoon

After a mostly cloudy morning, the early afternoon brought clearing and an interesting cloud formation over George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida during the game between the Yankees and Pirates. I admit to enhancing the scene with a Photoshop technique that called for the use of a filter called high pass. But the clouds were really there, I just brought out the contrast between the sky, ground and clouds in post-production.

The Warm-Up Wait

It's spring training and in any given game - especially early in the schedule - many pitchers are used because their arms are just rounding into shape and they are not to be abused. So here's the Yankees' Amaury Sanit getting ready to pitch - in the middle of an inning - and his teammates seem to be enthralled with his delivery. And you can be certain they are counting each of his allotted eight throws before the game can resume.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Time To Cruise

I really pushed my little camera to its limits to get this shot. A Carnival Cruise Line ship - possibly headed for Mexico - is making a pass under the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in Tampa Bay. I was a long way off and cropped deeply into the image to eliminate lots of bland sky and water. I took a similar cruise in 1998 and it's amazing how close the top of the ship comes to the bottom deck of the bridge as it passes under the roadway.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Yum - It's Oscars Time

You are looking at Salmon Oscars - on a thin crust topped by some of the finest caviar money can buy. Or in this case, the best the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences can afford. This creation - by Oscars' chef Wolfgang Puck - will be served (as it is every year) at the annual Governor's Ball following the Academy Awards. Looks really good ... and good for you as well - just packed with heart-healthy omega-3's.

Landing Zone

Here in Tampa I'm right next to the airport so I can watch planes land all day. Since the setting sun against the clouds gave me a great backdrop, I thought a big jet in the right place would look great.

When I was a kid - growing up in Los Angeles - the family would - from time to time - travel to Los Angeles International Airport on a Sunday afternoon. We'd park on a road at the end of the runway and we'd watch the jets land. Many other families did the same thing. Vendors sold peanut brittle. It was a nice family experience.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Moonrise Over Tampa Bay

You've seen one moonrise ... you've seen them all. Or at least it seems that way sometimes. I waited for something - a plane or a bird or a boat- to pass by the moon as it came up when it was low on the horizon, but nothing happen. So I changed my thought process and looked for some other type of foreground interest. And the familiar 25 cents-a-look viewer helped create an interesting image as I looked east from The Pier in downtown St Petersburg, Florida.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Shadow Game

New York Yankees' players take their normal game-watching position on the dugout railing during the first game of the Grapefruit League season in chilly Tampa, Florida. A lot of guys - and their shadows - are always present for the opening contest. The roster trimming starts in a few days.

On The Lookout For Food

These pelicans are doing what they do best - hunt for fish. The one in the background has spotted dinner in the waters off the St Petersburg, Florida pier and is in the middle of a beak-first dive into the water. The other bird is scanning the scene for his own meal.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Baseball Season Is Coming Into Focus

Spring Training is underway at Major League Baseball camps in Arizona and here in Florida.
Games begin this week and teams will get a clearer picture of their prospects for the upcoming 162-game regular season that begins in early April. Yankees' slugger Alex Rodriguez is purposely fuzzy- so as not to give away any of his hitting secrets - at the Yankees' Tampa, Florida training complex.