On one of the mornings I was out doing a shoot of the Estero Bay and the Estero River for Visitestero.com we ran into an Estero Bay Budies board member who happened to have a butterfly garden. She asked if we wanted to see it and maybe get some photos and I was all for it. It was one of the coolest things! She had all kinds of plants and flowers that different butterflies like. There were about ten to fifteen flying around and she told us that ther is normally more haha.
One of the coolest things she showed us was this chrysalis that was hanging off of a wooden stick. There was this whole mesh container in her garage with a few different chrysalis and caterpillars but this one must have gotten out and decided to change into a butterfly on the stick. It was awesome because you could pick up the stick and get a really close look.
This orange caterpillar was my favorite because it looks super scary. It has these back spiky looking things all over it that just look terrifying but it really is completely harmless haha! Very cool experience!
Last week I headed back to Koreshan Park to do a photoshoot. My friend Sammie volunteered to model for me. (Thanks Sammie!) While at Koreshan Park with photography class the week before I saw a couple places I wanted to take photos at but I never got the chance to have the model pose at those spots before I had to run and go to work. Also I wanted to practice some of the things I had learned on the trip with photo class that guest speaker Mike Owen taught us.
I wanted to practice working with a model and posing a model because it is actually way harder than it sounds. You have an idea in your head how you want them to move and how you want the shot to look but it can be hard to explain to the model what you are thinking. Practice makes perfect though…The more you get out there and actually shoot photos and work on things like learning how to pose models the easier it all becomes.
I really need to invest in getting some reflectors. When I was at Koreshan with photo class we were using them a lot to create even lighting or to block the sun a bit because it was really bright out. It was the same situation when Sammie and I went last week. It was super bright and finding even lighting was a bit of a challenge.
It was a really fun day and it was a painless photoshoot. Sammie did a great job modeling and she was super easy to work with. It was funny because as soon as I started posing her for each shot it was like she figured out what I was going for and before I finished telling her how I wanted her to pose, she would pose the way I wanted and say “You mean like this?” haha I don’t know if she realized it but I did and I found it pretty comical.
It was a good day and a great shoot. I hadn’t seen Sammie for a while before we did the shoot and it was nice to catch up a bit and hang out while we got the photos. Hope everyone likes the photos as much as I do!
My girlfriend Laura’s Mom and Grandma came for a quick visit last Sunday and we all took a trip to the Naples Botanical Garden. I was pretty excited because I have been wanting to go for a while I just never got around to it. I heard from more than a few people that it was a great place to explore and get some really cool photos. I was more than impressed when I got there, it was like photographer heaven! I am not that big on plants or flowers…I couldn’t tell you a single name of any of them. However I love taking pictures of them. There are so many different shapes, colors, patterns, and sizes when it comes to plants so they make for really awesome subject matter. Naples Botanical Garden has lots of variety too. I had no idea I could be so interested in plants. I saw plants That I didn’t even know existed all with crazy shapes and colors.
This is a type of bromeliad (don’t ask me which one you’re lucky I know it’s a bromeliad) and it was my favorite plant that we saw that day. The colors are so bright and vibrant. It reminded me of a plant that you would find growing in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. I think I will rename it the Cotton Candy Plant haha!
I liked this plant a lot because it is red and red is my favorite color. This plant reminds me of the lava lamp I used to have because its leaves look like red blobs. I wanted one so bad when I was a little kid and when I finally got one I was super excited because it was red and had red lava! So just another cool plant that is a bit different than you would expect.
They have a butterfly enclosure with I would say about 20 or so different butterflies and all of the plants that each one likes. Once again I have no clue about butterflies but I love taking pictures of them because of all the different colors and shapes they come in. I might not know the names of butterflies but I know which ones I have seen before and there where tons of butterflies I never saw before in the enclosure. I spent a lot of time in there chasing around a bunch of butterflies to try and get a shot.
All of the butterflies seemed to cooperate besides the one in the photo above. It just wouldn’t land anywhere to give me the opportunity to snap a photo of it. The first time I was in the enclosure I didn’t even get a shot of it. We wound up going all around through the different gardens and then before leaving I went back to the enclosure with the mission of getting a photo of this one before we left. I just really liked how bright and blue it was so I wanted to get a shot of it. Finally it settled down for just a few seconds and I was able to get the shot. The butterfly wound up landing on a really cool patterned plant which I think adds a bit more to the photo than if it was just on normal looking leaf or flower.
My favorite photo from the trip to the botanical garden is of this yellow grasshopper. I would have completely missed it too if it wasn’t for Laura’s Mom (thanks Mrs. Metzler!!) I wound up walking right past it but Mrs. Metzler spotted it hanging out on the leaf. It is kind of funny, it looks like it is lounging on the leaf because it was on its abdomen and its back legs were hanging off. He hung around for quite a bit and allowed me enough time to take a really good photo of him before he jumped away.
I had a great time at the Naples Botanical Garden and I want to go back soon. It was a beautiful place with hundreds and hundreds of photo opportunities. I suggest everyone go check it out if you want to see some really cool plants and flowers that you probably will not ever see elsewhere.
I recently had the opportunity to work with some really great people, for a little over a month now, shooting photos of Estero, Florida and surrounding areas for an upcoming website for the city. (more on that in a future blog post) This post is about one of the places we visited to shoot photos for the website.
This is the Florida State Champion Fiscus Mysorensis or the Mysore Fig Tree. It resides on the corner of Sandy Lane and Broadway Avenue. The Mysore Fig Tree was planted 117 years ago in 1896. It was brought over from Mysore India to the United States. At the time it was a custom to plant unusual plants or trees to mark property lines which is why the tree is on the corner of the lot.
The tree really is massive and it can be hard to tell how big it really is just by looking at photos. The tree is over 93 feet tall, its branches spread out more than 130 feet, and its circumference is about 40 feet. One of the coolest things about the monstrous fig tree is its roots which have grown up to 6 feet above the ground and spread out in all directions for 10 to 20 sometimes even 30 feet.
Now here is one of the most interesting parts. If you go visit the Mysore Fig Tree you will find that the property owners who maintain the tree have created a small shop where you can buy nic nacs having to do with the tree and even buy some awesome home made jelly that is made with the figs from the tree. If you visit you can try a taste of the jelly for free. I encourage you to try it..it was delicious. All of the proceeds from the shop go to maintaining the massive tree which is almost a full time job.
If you are in the Ft Myers, Estero area you should drop by and see it for yourself!