Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Mahogany Tree

We decided to beat the wind and woke up before the sun came up to 'high-tale' it out to the Mahogany Hammock Boardwalk. Normally, dawn is a very quiet time until the sun cracks the horizon, then the change in temperature creates wind.

Clyde needed complete stillness in order to photograph the tree. The hammock is dark to begin with and so even in day light it requires a long exposure, but during the day there is wind, so he can't photograph because the movement causes things to be out of focus. Getting up early means an even longer exposure, but at least everything would be still and in focus.

We also figured we'd beat any visitor to the boardwalk...this is a vacation location...surely no one would be walking on the boardwalk before dawn! Oh...the reason we needed to have no one walking on the boardwalk is because it causes the boardwalk to move, which moves the camera, and everything is out of focus...ahhhh, the pleasure of photographing with a large format camera!

The morning was clean smelling and pure...don't know how else to describe the early dawn in the wilderness...just very peaceful. We managed to get the camera set up and just as Clyde was about to take his first picture he felt the boardwalk moving. "Some one is coming," he said. I couldn't believe it! Who would be out here at this time of the morning?

And then, rounding the bend came David Anderson with Sara. David is the executive director of Florida Audubon, and that answered my question. Only a birder would wake up as early as the birds! And, only a birder would be out and about looking for birds at that early morning hour!

We talked for awhile about all kinds of environmental subjects and then David and Sara took off in search of more birds. As soon as the movement of the boardwalk stopped, Clyde continued photographing the tree.

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