December in Northeast Florida is worth the price of admission. Checking the weather in Indiana, where I grew up, it’s going to be miserable. Not bad today, with thunderstorms and a high in the mid 50’s … but a high no better than 38 by Tuesday, with a mix of rain and snow. When you consider these pictures were taken yesterday, and today’s weather is forecast to be just a bit better, well, you can see why I’d rather be here. Meanwhile, this picture of The Magic Beach Motel is so old Florida that I just couldn’t resist it. Pastel pinks and blues, flamingos, and a blow-up Santa in sunglasses. Now, I don’t want a blow up Santa in MY yard, but if you’re going to be kitchy, go big or go home.
While Andie was at the shower, I went over to Vilano Beach to shoot some pictures. I wasn’t very optimistic about what kind of results I’d get without an autofocus lens and a damaged dominant eye. That continues to improve, by the way. But I was able to adjust the diopter setting on the camera to accommodate my uncorrected left eye, and managed to get some nice shots. As always, a few previews are here, but you can see the entire set on Flickr.
I do love these closeup shots of birds, which are easier with the 300 mm telephoto. It was a challenge to focus the camera yesterday, and I guessed a lot. But even at that, I was able to come up with some pretty decent shots.
With the shortest day of the year just 21 days away, and the horror that is Eastern Standard Time, it gets dark early this time of the year. We were sitting at a pub/restaurant in St. Augustine at 6:30, talking about how it felt like it was 9:30. But across the way was the historic Castillo de San Marco, and the darker it got, the more interesting it became. I didn’t have a tripod with me, but I managed to find some flat, steady surfaces to hold the camera and get some nice time exposures. I’d like to go back with a tripod and do a little bit better composition than putting the camera on it’s bag on the seawall, but the effects are pretty cool. I love on this shot how the different floodlights give different colors to the opposing walls. I’ll definitely go back with the tripod and compose this shot so that I’m happy with it.
Meanwhile, it’s Christmas in St. Augustine. They hang a few lights, and this only scratches the surface. Again, I’ve got more on Flickr in the “Christmas 07” set.