Osceola County

Sapphire Inn

“Where you have friends you should not go to inns.”
— George Eliot

I’ve walked past this place a dozen times on various photo walks, but never before had the chair been in place and the light seemed so interesting. I’m not sure how long The Sapphire Inn has operated in downtown Kissimmee, but from the looks of the place, it’s been around a while. They don’t have a web page, but I do know they have cable — at least in unit 8.

"Sapphire Inn", Nikon D800, ISO 320, f/5.0 at 1/1000 sec., 50mm

“Sapphire Inn”, Nikon D800, ISO 320, f/5.0 at 1/1000 sec., 50mm
Click on the image to view it at a larger size.

=^,,^=
Photographing people, places, pets and ponderings.

Booking family, personal, business and pet portrait sittings throughout Central Florida.

Advertisements

The Laughing Place

There is a spot in Kissimmee that sits hidden just feet from Highway 192, the main road through town. It is a place that has somehow beat the odds against the so-called progress resulting from having Walt Disney World in your back yard. It is fortunate to have kept most of its pristine natural beauty. It was a favorite spot to bring my camera as a teenager back in the 70’s; in fact, I won a 1st-place ribbon in my first photography contest in high school with an infrared photo taken here. At some point, I started referring to this as my “laughing place”. Of course, I took that name from Joel Chandler Harris’ “Uncle Remus” story with the same title. In the story, Br’er Rabbit explains that his laughing place is where he goes when he wants to forget his troubles. I’ve killed many hours forgetting my troubles in the shadows of this cypress swamp, watching leaves drift silently by on the mirrored surface of its black waters. Back then, as now, I would often find myself wishing I could somehow just hop aboard one of those leaves and let the slowly moving current quietly pull me away to wherever it wants me to go.

"The Laughing Place" [Click the image to enlarge/reduce its size.] Nikon D800, ISO 640, f/11 at 1/100 sec., 16mm

“The Laughing Place” [Click the image to enlarge/reduce its size.] Nikon D800, ISO 640, f/11 at 1/100 sec., 16mm
Purchase this print here.

=^,,^=
Photographing people, places, pets and ponderings.

Booking family, individual, business and pet portrait sittings for 2014.

Let’s Get Socially Engaged

Follow me on Instagram at @earlharrisphoto, where I am posting photos (and a bunch of kitty pics!) captured and edited on my iPhone. #herekittykitty #instagramcats

Tweeting from @earlharrisphoto

Facebookery happens at earlharrisphoto

Out of the Alley

Despite response to my prior post having been absurdly underwhelming, I am going to forge ahead — if but for my own amusement. Today’s image is not my typical style; it has been heavily processed, obscured and texturized. It’s another that’s been sitting in the queue, caught during one of my many walks downtown shooting the “Faces of Kissimmee” project. What do you think?

If you like the image, please share this post and let others know I’m here. ❤

"Out of the Alley" [Click on image to enlarge/reduce its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/6.7 at 1/20 sec., 85 mm

“Out of the Alley” [Click on image to enlarge/reduce its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/6.7 at 1/20 sec., 85 mm

=^,,^=

Warning Among the Weeds

I came upon this while on a walk one hot, humid afternoon. Simple. Insignificant. Aged by neglect. A warning message is lost among the weeds.

"Weeds" [Click on image to enlarge/reduce its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/8 at 1/90 sec., 85 mm

“Warning Among the Weeds” [Click on image to enlarge/reduce its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/8 at 1/90 sec., 85 mm

=^,,^=


Adorama PHOTOBOOKS make great gifts!

Beautiful Inflation

Continuing the hot air balloon theme from the prior post, this photo is another one captured very early on the morning of June 1st at the Kissimmee Blue Skies and Silver Spurs Rodeo Festival. The balloons were being inflated as the rising sun cast warm, golden rays against the overcast grey sky. The two onlookers, standing in the shadow of the balloon, became simple silhouettes.

"Balloon Blaze" [Click on image to enlarge/reduce its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 500, f/9.5 at 1/500 sec., 34 mm

“Beautiful Inflation” [Click on image to enlarge/reduce its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 500, f/9.5 at 1/500 sec., 34 mm

I NEED YOUR VOTE.

Please click the button on the right edge of this page to cast a vote in the 2013 PHOTOBLOG AWARDS. There’s nothing to fill out, no gimmicks or requests for your email address – just a simple click on the button and you’re done. THANK YOU for your support!

=^,,^=

Enjoy HUGE savings on Genuine Epson Photo Paper and other items from Amazon.com
314qKlfq3jL

Fabric and Fire

“For over 200 years we’ve been providing a service at the expense of those providing the service.”
— Alan Brunacini, Phoenix FD

“I Shutter at the Thought!” honors the 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots who lost their lives over the weekend battling the terrible wildfires burning outside Yarnell, Arizona.

Last month, the good folks at Experience Kissimmee invited me out on a media pass to attend the annual Kissimmee Blue Skies and Silver Spurs Rodeo Festival, which took place May 31 — June 2nd. Although strong winds kept the balloons from launching — and thus spoiled my opportunity to fulfill a bucket list item, it was great fun to see them being inflated and have the chance to get up close to a lot of spectacular balloons and speak with crew members, camera in hand.

This square-cropped and substantially post-processed image below has become one of my favorites from that weekend. I like its rich and vibrant colors and the way the flames are almost swallowed up and overpowered by that vibrancy. I find myself studying its shadows, shapes, lines and patterns.

"Balloon Blaze" [Click on image to enlarge/reduce its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 500, f/22 at 1/90 sec., 22 mm

“Fabric and Fire” [Click on image to enlarge/reduce its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 500, f/22 at 1/90 sec., 22 mm

=^,,^=

I NEED YOUR VOTE!
If you enjoy “I Shutter at the Thought!”, please click the button on the right edge of this page to cast a vote in the 2013 PHOTOBLOG AWARDS. There’s nothing to fill out, no gimmicks or requests for your email address – just a simple click does it. Thank you for your support!

Find HUGE savings on Genuine Epson Photo Paper and other items from Amazon.com
314qKlfq3jL

Street Portraiture: Faces of Kissimmee, #35

We moved back to Kissimmee last September after spending nearly 10 years in Salt Lake City. Driving out of our new Kissimmee neighborhood one day, I noticed an individual standing in his front yard. Although I only saw the back of his head, there was a twinge of recognition. I started paying attention as I would pass that house on my trips in and out of the neighborhood, in hopes of seeing him again and getting a look at his face. I saw him a couple more times, but in neither instance did I see his face. Still, I had  a growing sense of certainty that the man I was catching glimpses of had been a favorite coworker during the many years I spent working for Disney in Information Technology. I hadn’t seen nor heard from Tom since I left Disney 15 years ago.

Then finally, as I was heading out one afternoon to work on this project, I got a clear look at him. Pulling the car over to the curb, I got out and called his name. There was a brief look of puzzlement upon his face as he looked at me. That expression turned to disbelief as he spoke, turning my name into a question. It was a fun and somewhat comical reunion; one in which it never occurred to me to grab my camera from the car.

Recently, as I was returning from a downtown photo shoot, I again found Tom in his front yard. This time, he was hard at work on a house painting project I would never want any part of. Thinking it would be merciful to get him away from his miserable chore, I pulled the car over to the curb once again. I didn’t get out this time. Instead, I called him over to the car, raised my D800 and shot him.

“Tom”, Nikon D800, ISO 1250, f/16 at 1/320 sec., 85 mm

Wow. Tom’s the 35th “face” in the on-going Faces of Kissimmee series! Over the time I’ve been dedicating my blog posts to this project, I’ve shot a lot of other photos – some of which I’d like to start sharing. I typically capture 2 or 3 of these street portraits per outing, because there are many days I don’t get the opportunity to go downtown to take photographs. Thus, I’ve been thinking to intersperse the Faces of Kissimmee posts with some other photographs just to break things up a bit and return to more regularly-spaced posting intervals. So, if you are really enjoying following this series as much as I’m enjoying doing it, don’t fret. I’m not abandoning the series; if it were a doughnut, I’d just be adding sprinkles. And you can always filter and view all images in the series using the “Faces of Kissimmee” tag.

=^,,^=

Street Portraiture: Faces of Kissimmee, #34

Clarita is a nail technician who has worked for many years out of the space she occupies downtown at 205 Broadway, in the back of Butterfly Impressions Gifts. You may recall that Terry, the owner of that gift shop, was the subject of Faces of Kissimmee, #31.  When I approached Clarita asking to take her photo, she was in the midst of massaging a woman’s feet – part of a pedicure in progress. I was a bit tickled when she asked what I wanted her to do for the photo, but only because she was already doing it.

I learned Clarita has done my mother’s manicures for over 10 years and has built a loyal following of customers. I liked that she was so comfortable in front of the camera; so easily able to forget I was there and go about her work.

Thanks for the photo, Clarita.

 

“Clarita” [Click on image to enlarge/reduce its size.] Nikon D800, ISO 2500, f/4.0 at 1/200 sec., 85 mm

Street Portraiture: Faces of Kissimmee, #33

Ryan was sitting on the street bench at the south-most end of Broadway, just outside of Jammers Music Center. He had his earphones in. If you were stretching to incorporate a bad joke in your dialog, you might say he was jammin’ to some music outside of Jammers Music. But I’d never stoop to bad jokes here…

I could see as I first approached him that behind Ryan’s glasses, his eyes were closed. Though he opened his eyes as I drew closer, I walked past without disturbing him. Upon reaching the end of the block, I turned around, then passed him a second time without saying a word. I often liken that little voice in my head to the GPS in my car, warning that I’ve made a grave error by ignoring its directives as it announces in a barely tolerant tone, “Recalculating!” Except the GPS in my head isn’t so nice: there would be no recalculating. It commanded me to stop, turn around and take the photo that was right there waiting to be taken. I finally opened my mouth and introduced myself…

I know I’ve said it here before: some days when I’m in search of street portraits, I find it can be difficult to ask the question the first time. You just have to push through it and do it anyway.

As a side note, I am very pleased with the quality and low noise of this high-ISO capture on the Nikon D800. You can see from the shutter speed that the high ISO wasn’t required, but as I’m still getting to know this camera, I’m still asking and playing with lots of “what if….?” scenarios.

“Ryan” [Click on image to enlarge/reduce its size.] Nikon D800, ISO 2500, f/3.2 at 1/8000 sec., 85 mm

=^,,^=

Street Portraiture: Faces of Kissimmee, #32

211 Broadway is the home of L’oveMARvelous Art Gallery 211. I walked through the gallery for the first time last week and was impressed by the broad collection of artistic works and the variety of genres it spanned. I first spotted Lex – “…as in Lex Luthor”, he clarified upon our introduction – as he sat at a small table in front of the gallery at work on an airbrush project. When I asked if I could photograph him, he insisted that the person I should photograph was Lamarr. Lex explained that Lamarr’s gallery had really been a blessing to local artists and he stepped inside, returning a moment later with Lamar at his side.

Lamar & Lex [Click on image to enlarge/reduce its size.] Nikon D800, ISO 6340, f/7.1 at 1/200 sec., 85 mm

Lamarr & Lex [Click on image to enlarge/reduce its size.] Nikon D800, ISO 6340, f/7.1 at 1/200 sec., 85 mm

The friendship and level of respect that runs between these two men was quite palpable. Lamarr was more interested in examining what Lex had on his bench than he was in the guy with the camera. I liked that, and clicked the shutter in hopes the resulting image would accurately convey the intensity of Lamarr’s examination of Lex’s work.

Lamar [Click on image to enlarge/reduce its size.] Nikon D800, ISO 640, f/4.0 at 1/320 sec., 85 mm

Lamarr [Click on image to enlarge/reduce its size.] Nikon D800, ISO 640, f/4.0 at 1/320 sec., 85 mm

Lex appealed to my cat fanatic side by the mere fact that the airbrush piece he was working on was a beautiful tiger. You can see some examples of his talent – including a pretty incredible Spiderman chopper – on his website, www.lexnfx.com. Lex does custom work out of his local airbrush shop.

Lex [Click on image to enlarge/reduce its size.] Nikon D800, ISO 640, f/6.3 at 1/200 sec., 85 mm

Lex [Click on image to enlarge/reduce its size.] Nikon D800, ISO 640, f/6.3 at 1/200 sec., 85 mm

Not a bad outcome from a chance street encounter: 3 photos and introductions to 2 really great, friendly people. My gratitude goes out to both of them.

Be sure to visit L’oveMARvelous Art Gallery 211 the next time you’re downtown.

=^,,^=