A couple of days into the vacation, I finally get the energy to get up before dawn and shoot. Remember that goal list? Time to get to work on it.
Using the Photographer’s Ephemeris, I figured sunrise was a good time to capture the old Goodland Bridge. Goodland is a small town just to the east of Marco Island. There is a concrete causeway over the channel now, but the remains of the old wooden bridge structure are still viewable from one shore. I arrive a half hour before dawn.
Only to find heavy cloud cover and low tide – a good time to shoot the old structure because more of it shows – but a bad time because the bugs love low tide. Since I’m from the north and I’m in warm Florida, I’m only wearing shorts and a tee shirt and didn’t think to bring bug spray. There are a limited number of mornings before we have to go home, so I make the best of it.
I planned on an HDR, so I set the 5D Mark II on the tripod with the 17-40L mounted and connect the Promote Remote controller. Firing off a few images, I set the base exposure while swatting mosquitos. There are no other people around, it’s very still, and I start to notice the bird life around me…a great blue stalking it’s prey, a pelican that lands on my subject – the old bridge – to watch what I’m doing, a white ibis tiptoeing through the shallows…
It is still quite gray and dull looking out, but the sun is trying to peak out from the clouds. I jog back to the rental car, grab the 7D and slap the 70-300L on it. Of course, I’m still slapping bugs who are leaving splotches of blood on my legs, shirt, and – oh no! – gear. Back on the beach, I fire off another set of five bracketed exposures on the 5D2, then pick up a shell and toss it out in the water, attracting the attention of that pelican and the ibis.
At that moment, the sun finally shows itself, the breeze freshens ushering the mosquitos away, and some golden light rains down. So now I multitask – shoot more bracketed shots with one hand, spin and grab the 7D hanging from my neck, zoom in on the ibis and release the shutter. Back to the 5D2, more brackets, 7D back in hands, capture the pelican. And so it goes…working those goals…
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