Sunday, July 25, 2010

Highlands Hammock for a Shoot

My friend, Sam, and I took a trek to Highlands Hammock State park near Sebring Saturday morning to take some photos with our Nikons. I drove the three hours up from Miami, and Sam the three hours down from Gainesville, meeting at the McDonalds near the park turn-off about 9:15AM. A major purpose for the meet was for Sam to get me off the "automatic" setting on my D40 and into the sort of shooting that Sam has been learning for the past several years. So at the McDonalds we spent 30 minutes or so with Sam giving me a short introduction, and then off we went to the park.

It is a familiar place to our family, and they will recognize the Cypress Swamp trail, which is my favorite among some gorgeous walks at that park. It is a loop, mostly via catwalk, through a very wet part of the park, at first very dense, but then opening up to a beautiful pond-like space (actually where "Billy Bowlegs Creek" flows through). The loop curves around that space, and I have taken shots from three sides, south to north first, then NW to SE, looking toward the center, and finally north to south.

All the shots were taken, with Sam's encouragement and instruction, with the "Mode dial" set on "M," for manual. Finally, I think, I "got" it: aperture, shutter speed, exposure, and the over-arching idea that it is all about the light.

Not that the photos are remarkable takes, but the views are old friends after 30 years of visits.

UPDATE: Charles, who commented on the post, has his own website (see his profile) and posted a video on his visit to HH in June. Thanks again for stopping by, Charles.


mary said...

Nice! The forests in Murchison Falls NP in western Uganda reminded me of Highlands Hammock, except with lots more tsetse flies and baboons. You and Sam should meet up here next time.

Can't wait to see you and see more of your pics!

Charles Rinehart said...

My first visit here was around June. I shot video and photos. You are correct. It is all about the light. The Cypress swamp was spectacular. Your photos are excellent. You live right up the road from my favorite Florida State Park, Bahia Honda in Big Pine Key. Take care.

Paul Stokes said...

Hi, Charles: Thanks for dropping by and for those kind comments about the photos. Of course I went to your profile - and was impressed! All the best.