Thursday, March 31, 2011

Opening Day in the Bronx

The game time temp was 40 degrees and it got colder and wetter as the game went along, but the Yankees beat the Tigers 6-3 to open the 2011 baseball season. Check out my pre-season (RE: last week in Tampa) baseball segment with the talented Ryan Ruocco.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Mirror Image?

Whenever I'm St Petersburg, Florida I try to get over to Pass-A-Grille beach to get a shot of the Don Ce Sar Hotel. And - as always - I strive to dress up the scene with people, birds and much to my surprise - a really good sand castle that looks as if it could have been a classic hotel in its day. Thanks to the long zoom lens on my camera all the major elements of the scene are compressed into a tight composition. The sand castle and the hotel are actually about a mile apart.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Butterfly and The Birds

It's not every day that I can get a good shot of a Monarch butterfly, but this was my day. It's one of two butterflies that were flitting around the garden where I was walking. Neither stayed in one place very long, but when this one took a brief rest, I was ready. As for the second shot, it looks like the gull is swooping down on the white duck - like it was a possible meal to be taken back to the nest. But it really is a case of the bird flying into the frame just as I was taking a picture of the ducks and suddenly the photo - to the uninformed - takes on an ominous tone.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Ibis And The Fly

These two very different subjects were kind enough to hold still for their portraits. The fly landed on a table setting of yellow flowers during lunch at Whole Foods. I was able to get several shots as I kept getting closer and closer without the fly batting an eye. The ibis was on a wall outside of Whole Foods. Its white feathers and curved probing beak stood out nicely from the background of pond water and Lilly pads.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Sunshine Bridge: Far Away And Up Close

The Florida Sunshine Bridge is a favorite subject of mine. When I lived in St Petersburg several years ago I traveled across the span many times. It's officially a cable stayed-bridge and replaced a bridge that was knocked apart by a ship. The far away version (top photo) was taken from a rest stop. The close up was taken out my car window at about 80 mph.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

"Super" Full Moon

I went hunting for a full moon tonight - the first of its kind in a while - and I ended up with the moon and a church spire and an emergency runway light at Tampa International Airport to add a different twist. This is the closest the moon has been to earth in 18 years. The rare occurance is called a "Super" moon. As such the moon appears 14% larger and 30% brighter than other full moons. Since the moon is photographed often - a MATURE SUBJECT is what we call such popular targets - it was up to me to find something different and hopefully interesting to place in front of it to make the shots standout.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Double Dip

The setting sun gives the Tampa Bay Rays' Manny Ramirez a larger than life shadow as he prepared for a game against the Yankees in Tampa. Ramirez is in his first season with the Rays after a rocky 2010 season with the Dodgers and White Sox. Meanwhile in downtown Tampa the UCLA Bruins scored a two point win over Michigan State in a second round NCAA tournament game at the St Pete Times Forum. UCLA's Reeves Nelson (L) attempts a shot over a Spartan defender on the same floor where the Bruins will play the University of Florida Saturday for the right to advance in the tournament.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Rare Sights

A gull with the moon on its head and a man walking his cat. That's a combo you won't find very often. The bird-moon shot was simply a case of me lining up the duo at just the right spot and the plus was the gull calling out to its buddies at the moment I pressed the shutter button. As for the man and the cat ... he and his wife who are visiting Florida from West Virginia decided to walk their cats near the break water across from a fishing pier. They said they started harnessing the leash to the cats when they were kittens and that the animals are comfortable being walked with it on.

Overhead Art

I'm a big fan of restaurant lighting fixtures and this photo is the latest in an series on the topic. While having a birthday dinner with friends at Tampa's Kona Grill, I had to get a shot of the giant yellow parasol-like lights that seem to float throughout the space.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Backyard Wildlife

I'd like to say I traveled to the Florida Everglades to get this shot of a snowy egret who is relaxing by the water. But, in fact, I made this picture in the heart of Tampa at a pond behind the supermarket where I was shopping. What elevates this picture about the norm is that I walked around until I found an element to give the photo a unique quality. That wavey black line in the water is actually the reflection of a telephone pole that was bent out of shape by movement of the surface of the water.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Day At The Races

If you're looking for action and colorful scenes it's hard to beat taking photographs at the race track. Here is a series of pictures I made at Tampa Bay Downs in Oldsmar, Florida. Finding great vantage points from which to get shots is fairly easy at a smaller track like TBD. On this day many upsets occurred resulting in close finishes. The #4 horse in the second photo was able to nose out the horse on the rail. Wyomia beat Devilish Lady to pay $15.20 to its backers. I was not one of them. The jockey in the last picture - wearing braces - looks like he's about 15 years old. The horse in picture three seems to know how to pose for a portrait.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Where's The Fire?

Here is another entry in my intermittent series on fire hydrants. This one is found on the campus of the University of Tampa in downtown Florida. Had it just been painted all yellow I probably would have passed it up. But the blue cap attracted me to it. However it still needed something to make it stand out. So I got lower and was able to see a frame of flowers and trees that helped elevate the image beyond the ordinary.

Monday, March 7, 2011

All In A Row

This is the result of a good guess on my part - I had just one shot - and great work by the umpire (Dan Iassogna) and the Yankess' third base coach (Rob Thompson #59) who are both in perfect position to do their respective jobs. Thompson is properly directing the base runner, Curtis Granderson, to slide into the base since Granderson's back was to where the throw was coming from (right field.) The ump, Iassogna, is right over the shoulder of the Phillies' Placido Polanco who was late with his tag on Granderson who shows - by the way - perfect sliding form. So many guys are diving head first (including at home plate as well!) that the art of the proper foot first slide is becoming a lost skill at the Major League level.

A Bug, Two Birds, A Flower And A Smoker

If you take your time and walk around with a camera, you'll discover a lot of things. That's what I did on a breezy day in Tampa, Florida and I came up with a nice variety of images. The guy below was taking a smoking break while holding up the colorful south wall of the Tampa Museum of Art. The other pictures are a dragonfly at a pond on the University of Tampa campus, a flower from that same pond and a couple of gulls taking in the sights.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Tight Fit

This Carnival cruise ship is heading out to sea by traversing Tampa Bay in Florida and sailing under the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. From this photo it looks like the ship is barely able to fit under the span. And you're right. Check out the video from the top deck as the vessel cruises the underside of the bridge.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Shadow Knows

Matt Downs of the Astros (L) and Eduardo Nunez of the Yankees need only to look at the shadow cast by umpire Mark Wegner to know the outcome of an attempted pick-off throw to first base. Wegner is signaling "safe!" This was a lucky shot that I didn't notice until several hours after the game. It pays sometimes to shoot first and ask questions later. You never know what you might get.