Winter in Florida – photographic changes of season…

The winter header seems strange returning from 70-80° Florida weather – 0ur second home …

Sunshine Skyway bridge & mangrove islands. Bob Grytten Image, Nikon D300, 170mm focal length, Aperture Priority, F/5.6, 1/25th sec.,matrix metering, EV-.7, on tripod
Sunrise, Sunshine Skyway Bridge & mangrove islands. Bob Grytten Image, Nikon D300, 170mm focal length, Aperture Priority, F/5.6, 1/25th sec.,matrix metering, EV-.7, on tripod.

On this images – the first upon arriving that December morning – the mangrove Island is placed to the left to balance the spires of the bridge. Some of the lights are still lit and traffic from Pinellas to Manatee County is just visible. As the sun begins to rise this scene will be changing so, this post will record some of natures show and color changes.

It’s a bit after 6AM. I head out to Ft. DeSoto park, for lack of another destination. It’s dark. I have no clue what I will find but I won’t find anything unless I go.

By the time I make my turn off Gulf Boulevard in St. Pete Beach, there’s a hint of sky color. Ft. DeSoto has bridges, condos, docks and marinas before getting to the park area and open natural settings. It’s also a sanctuary of bird life. The second bridge takes 50¢ and the sky becomes visible with a good view of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. Mauve Color coats the sky.

Parking just at the base, inside the gate of the Group Camping, I grab tripod, belt with camera and utility pouch, the 80-200 f/2.8 bag and parka. Light is always changing —  could have been here a half hr ago.

Before long the sun peeks over the horizon…

SkyWay Bridge #2


On this image I made many exposures, mostly to get one with a bird placed in the most effective position. Settings were a little different primarily because there is more light available. Also I’m using a different body – the Nikon D90. On one body I have the Nikkor 80 -200mm f/2.8 which does some things better – like hand holding when shooting birds, because it’s a faster lens with remarkable auto focus. The other body has an 18-200mm lens which allows for angles wider that 80mm.

Settings on this image are 200mm focal length, f/6.3, 1/400 sec, 0EV. I think the bird is a Brown Pelican; but a seagull would have worked as well.

Our next shot captures the amazing range of golden reflections in the clouds and water …

Sunrise, Dec, Sunshine Skyway Bridge, Bob Grytten Image
Sunrise, Dec, Sunshine Skyway Bridge, Bob Grytten Image

Including the bird provides another piece of information that helps the viewer feel or sense the place. About the only things left out are the sounds of the wildlife and the feel of the early morning air.

Who was it that said, “an image is effective when it provides a feeling or emotion.” I’ll second that.

For more images and Photography Tips go to and

Bob says, Thanks!
Bob says, Thanks!

Comments welcome. also come to the mountains of Western North Carolina for great photography opportunities and we are always interested in working with others on a hands-on field experience. contact us directly at or find rates on the workshop page of the Lens Lugger World website

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.