Byron Capo Photography: Blog https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog en-us (C) Byron Capo Photography (Byron Capo Photography) Tue, 16 Feb 2021 21:48:00 GMT Tue, 16 Feb 2021 21:48:00 GMT https://www.byroncapophotography.com/img/s/v-12/u926745794-o18037175-50.jpg Byron Capo Photography: Blog https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog 120 120 2021 Rolex 24 https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2021/2/2021-rolex-24 DSC04752DSC04752

Another year at the races!  This trip made my 6th adventure into the world of motorsports and without belaboring the Covid Cliche it was different.  For starters I didn't take nearly as many pictures, thus the wordy blog to follow.

I went with one camera and one lens.  A mirrorless Sony a6400 and a Zeiss 24-70 f4.  Not the typical combination found around the race scene.  In fact, it paled in comparison to the beefy Nikon D6's or Canon 1D Mark something's, with 20" lenses being hauled around by vested staffers.  However, I went with an  objective to photograph our inner enclave and you don't need $10k in glass to accomplish that.  But truth be told, my Lightroom archives are bulging with more race car photos than I care to admit.  Our group was a subject I had never focused on in the past.  Primarily because there was always so much more going on around us than within us.  And while I'm being honest, my wife would kill me if I spent $10k on a lens.  End of Blog!

Which leads me to epiphany #1.  As a photographer I am easily bored.  Once I have shot and figured out a subject, it tends to loose its enticement.

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I'll have to admit that I went somewhat depressed and with a bit of trepidation.  Current restrictions banned us from many of the more fun and interesting things to do.  Never-the-less, we had a great weekend, beautiful weather and lots of fun.  There was no standing in line, room at the fences to spectate and no rain made a happy campsite.

Epiphany #2:  Life doesn't always have to revolve around photography.  Hanging out with my friends was time well spent.  And if you spend enough time with them you're bound to learn something new.

Case in point:

Directly behind our camper is a neon lit ferris wheel.  We never ride the thing.  Probably because we watch them erect it every year and ... enough said.  Early Saturday afternoon, one of our buddies jokingly exclaimed that we should all take a ride (quite frankly we were running out of things to do) and you can't get any more socially distanced than on a Ferris wheel....right?  So later that night and after many drinks, it was Wheel of Fortune!  Unbeknownst to us, our buddy is/was deathly afraid of heights.  But that wasn't stopping us.  In fact, I bought his ticket and scolded him for wasting my money if he backed out (I mean, he brought it up in the first place.. right?)  For a moment I felt bad that I had egged him on about going, but two seconds later and we were purposefully stopped at the top and his "Kung Fu" death grip on the center pole was not going well for that fresh coat of paint.  After six spins of the wheel he was bankrupt, and needed another drink.  Quite frankly I think he had forgotten about it, until I showed him pictures the next morning.  I bet that's the last time he starts drinking with a ferris wheel in the vicinity.

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Epiphany #3:  Just because you have camera in hand, doesn't make you ready to take the shot.  An acutely captured shot either takes planning or remarkably quick skills to see, adjust and click.  Planning takes time and the later take practice.....and lots of it.  One shot I begrudgingly missed was my buddies expression when the wheel stopped.

If you peruse my galleries, you will see that I have photographed one particular friend many times.  This year I gave him some space and called upon the other two to do their part.  Surprising, they "took up the flag" and ran with it. The eastern end of the infield was forbidden to all camping, which created a wide expanse of unused ground.  The stage was set;  a closed concession stand and some gruff male modeling.  Watch-out Barbazon! The unobstructed view also allowed me to capture the entire grandstand in one shot.  It was tight with a 24mm (~35 mm cropped sensor), but just squeezed it in with room for a brilliant afternoon star.

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Without overplaying the paparazzi role, I was able to garnish (no pun intended) a few other grab shots.  "Celery is the second most important ingredient in a Bloody Mary", "No one is immune from the "constant online office"", "There is an Elvis fan in every crowd" and "Just because your staying in a $15,000 RV doesn't mean you can't show up in your $300,000 Lambo.

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Epiphany #4:  Writing a blog is not easy.  Do I write a story around the pictures I took, or do I take pictures of a preconceived story in my head?  Or is it just a compromise of both, hoping that it ends up being an interesting read.

If you have never been to this race, the most important task is finding the best place to watch it.  Sometimes you're lazy and just plop a chair and strain your eyes through chain-link fence, there's also the cold aluminum stands and then you have the creative geniuses.  In fact, turns three through four was the best placement for an unobstructed 180 degree view of exotic race cars screaming past you at 200 mph.

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With retrospect, our whole Daytona weekend was a blur.  But one thing was crystal clear, while the prayer was prayed and the National Athem was sung, everyone, and I mean everyone, stopped, took off their hats and stood with respect.  Another shot I wish I was prepared to capture.

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(Byron Capo Photography) 24hr camping cars Daytona friends photography race Rolex track https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2021/2/2021-rolex-24 Tue, 16 Feb 2021 21:48:18 GMT
Fish Eating Creek https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2020/11/fish-eating-creek Fish Eating Creek 1Fish Eating Creek 1

On a recent business trip south, I had the opportunity to reconnoiter a small waterway and swamp just West of Lake Okeechobee.  Fish Eating Creek Nature Preserve is a small park/campground that is nestled between the bends of its namesake.  I had seen online imagery of the creek and really wanted to capture a few frames.  

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It was a quiet day in the off season, so not many people, leaving me as the lone target for the local mosquitoes population.  Oh, and it was hot!  The main nature trail had overgrown and was impassible, so I was relegated to walk the river bank looking for shots and looking out for gators.  Almost as many gators as there were mosquitoes.  Nevertheless, I managed to capture several images before a cloud front cast its shadow upon my surroundings.  (On a side note, I took a break to practice my baby gator "grunts"; and must say I still have the ability to rouse a mother gator.). The images you see were taken using both a digital infrared and Chamonix 4x5 film cameras.

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While deep in the swamp, time almost stops.  It's quiet.  You can hear the splash of a fish, a distant osprey cry and the snap of a twig from an animal walking nearby.  The water moves very slow but steady.  And when the clouds cover you, if you wait long enough you might capture a rare ray of sunlight that spotlights a cypress stand.  I can imagine my surroundings hadn't changed in 500 years and despite the buzzing about my head, life was calm and peaceful.
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On the way there, I spent the night in Clewiston, FL (on the Southeast bank of Lake Okeechobee).  While road access to the Lake had been closed to the public I managed to find a canal with a small fishing fleet.  You can't go on a photo excursion without taking pictures of boats.  Somewhere, it's a written rule.  These two images were captured on two and a quarter inch Ilford FP4+ film.  I am always amazed at the different styles and construction of boats used to catch fish.  While I'm not an archeologist, anthropologist or naval architect, I am convinced that regional and cultural difference have as much to do with boat design, as do the fish you are trying to catch.

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By The Way...Don't let the name fool you!  The only thing eating in that creek were the mosquitoes!

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(Byron Capo Photography) boats clewiston creek film fish eating creek Florida infrared photography swamp https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2020/11/fish-eating-creek Sat, 14 Nov 2020 16:46:13 GMT
Tranquility https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2018/9/tranquility In the early mornings, with the right light and fog, our salt marshes can reveal a sense of tranquility.  More than 10 years ago I captured this image on film and it is still one of my favorites.  Unfortunately, due to the past few storms, this scene no longer exists.  Captured with a Bronica SQB and 80 mm lens.

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(Byron Capo Photography) and black fog marsh photography river water white https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2018/9/tranquility Wed, 05 Sep 2018 19:46:36 GMT
Sebastian Harbour Sunset https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2018/7/sebastian-harbour-sunset DSC_2076-sebastian harbor boats sunset-20120216DSC_2076-sebastian harbor boats sunset-20120216

A beautiful sunset mid summer.

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(Byron Capo Photography) augustine boat saint shrimp sunset https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2018/7/sebastian-harbour-sunset Fri, 13 Jul 2018 04:24:11 GMT
My first award with Infrared https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2018/6/my-first-award-with-infrared I recently was honored to receive an honorable mention in the St. Augustine Art Assocation's Honors Show.  This show is a collection of works presented by past artist that have won an award within one of the associations competitions.  So this would be considered the Best of the Best.  The work I entered is an Infrared Print of a farm in Georgia that my wife and I passed by on the way to the mountains.  The lighting was perfect (for IR) and the clouds were spectacular.  The art association gallery is open Tuesday - Sunday and this exhibit will be on display until July 31st.

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(Byron Capo Photography) and black farm infrared photography white https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2018/6/my-first-award-with-infrared Thu, 28 Jun 2018 17:11:59 GMT
The Race (Another Lap) https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2018/6/rolex-24-hour MORE THAN A RACE

Well, I went and did it again!  Another lap at the Rolex 24.  Most of you will immediately realize that it has since passed by several months.  No excuses for the delay other than the weekend sending me into thee weeks of pneumonia and an empty bank account.  Thus the need to work my butt off to catch up.

This year I went to the race with a different mind set.  Instead of taking the same old pics of cars going around the track, I really wanted to focus on capturing the feeling of the participants, the spectators and the overall atmosphere.

It helped a lot that we stayed in a camper instead of a tent and our site was center ring for the entire circus. For four days our typical routine was to get up, eat breakfast (or drink a beer), grab a seat, wave to the Continental Tire girls across the way and watch the scene unfold.  Then it was off to watch some racing (with beers in hand),  back to the camper to grill some dogs, more beer and prep for the evening race. SpectatorsThis shot took 10 tries before I was able to capture a 120 mph car in the center frame. _DSC4666_DSC4666

Although I haven't been to many races, as you can imagine, it brings together a variety of personalities and socio-economic statuses.  This race, in particular, has such a range of attendees, it, at times, appeared like a modern day "Beverly Hill Billies."  It wasn't uncommon to have three guys sharing a two man tent and a single lawn chair, right next to a 5 million dollar motor home with their Porsche and/or Farreri parked out front.  Personally, I thought it was absolutely fantastic.  But the best part of it all was that everyone was there for one purpose.  The Race.  Everyone got along and had a great time together. Camping in Comfort!Some might think its hilarious that these guys have a big screen TV within their campsite broadcasting the race while it happens right in front of them only a few feet away. Typical Racing!

 

 

The drivers

Before the start of the main race, officials, open the track (along the pits and just beneath the start/finish line), to spectators.  There was a parade of the top cars and all the drivers and their cars were there to converse, sign autographs and just hang-out.  This was so cool.  We were even allowed to walk up on the track and sign our names on the checkered start/finish line.  Even the drivers were getting into it.  (Reminder to self.  Never forget a Sharpie, cause a pencil just doesn't work on asphalt.)   Driver Inspiration As the race wore on, particularly in the early morning hours, you could see the stress and fatigue was gaining on drivers and crew.  One of my shots in particular was of a young driver that had just been relieved around 8 am.  Dirty and sweaty with race gear still on, he was "back-pit" hanging out with friends.  He looked up just as I was shooting and managed to give me a smile, but you could see the tired in his eyes.  The pressure to perform must be monumental.  (I have since learned that most of the drivers have to pay, NOT get paid, to get into these driving positions.  Must be love!) PressureResults from the monumental toll a race can inflict on a young driver trying to make their way in this sport.

 

 

The Cars

Not much change in this department. The cars are just as sexy and exciting as ever.  Oh, and did I mention FAST!  Holy Cow, either they are getting faster or I'm getting slower.  And it doesn't matter if they are 100+ mph on the asphalt or three feet off the ground in the garage, you just want to climb in one and experience the rocket ship. 

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THE RACE

Even though I was trying my hand at photojournalism, I frequently would take a break to shoot the race.  Practicing my "panning".  I still have a long way to go, but happy with some of the results.  This year I took a ladder, it helped.  But I still would have rather been on the other side of the fence.  I did have an opportunity to strike up a conversation or two with several of the pro's on the other side.  Shoot a thousand pics a day, cull through them, pic out the best, submit and restart. Rain or shine, night or day.  Interesting job!

 

RS1 Racing Team

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(Byron Capo Photography) 24 automotive cars drivers fast photography race rolex https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2018/6/rolex-24-hour Thu, 28 Jun 2018 17:01:07 GMT
ALTERNATIVE VISION https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2017/11/alternative-vision DSC_3303-EditDSC_3303-Edit

"As with all creative arts, the artist needs to evolve and their sense and understanding grow." 

For the past year I have been working on ALTERNATIVE VISION, an endeavor to relive my past with Infrared Film.  It has been a blessing to kindle the spirit, and re-learn an old yet new craft. DSC_3482DSC_3482

 

For those of you that have not heard of Infrared, it is a series of light wavelengths that are invisible to the human eye.  The process by which we capture this invisible light has changed since the days of film, bearing way to the digital realm.  But learning to visualize and capture in this invisible world still necessitates specific skill sets, plus in my case the added capacity to relinquish the photo naturalist and embrace the surreal jungle.

 

Commonly labeled as “false color”, infrared processing requires the artist to make specific decisions that can have vastly different outcomes.  While some images are destined for a particular perspective, others are left to migrate through numerous creative paths.  Alternate Vision allows the scene to convey an unreal yet very serene perception. 

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A huge departure from my norm, this journey has evolved from early struggles to a personal challenge to learn and create, however, it still follows my pursuit of creating distinctive art.

You can click on any picture to go directly to the gallery.  Check back frequently as I will be constantly adding new images.

Byron

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(Byron Capo Photography) infrared photography landscape photography photography https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2017/11/alternative-vision Thu, 09 Nov 2017 01:28:32 GMT
The Great Smoky Mountains - Day 6 https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2016/11/the-great-smoky-mountains---day-6 I could go on and on about this day, but simply put it was one of the most beautiful hikes we were on.  We were enveloped in changing leaves during a 2 mile hike on Flat Creek Trail up the side of Balsam Mountain.  In several places the mountainside appeared to be in flames.

Hope you enjoy.

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(Byron Capo Photography) https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2016/11/the-great-smoky-mountains---day-6 Tue, 01 Nov 2016 12:41:38 GMT
Great Smoky Mountains Day 4 https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2016/10/great-smoky-mountains-day-4 Todays adventure took us into the Nantahala National Forest and a visit to the Nantahala Outdoor Center for an afternoon of zip-lining.  What a great time!  The only thing bad about the day was that it had to end.  

Our Zip trip took us around beautiful mountain sides and over deep gorges.  Their MegaZip covered 1200' at 350' above the ground.  Breath-taking! All photos taken with a Nikon Coolpix ruggedized/waterproof camera.

Above, as you can see, we were high above the tree line.  Most of the trees you see are about 60' high.

We were suspended by a 1/2" steel cable and used a special car with bearings and wheels to roll down the cable.

Below is the Mega Zip.  Our jump off point is located in the "slight V" of the mountain ridge at the top of the frame.

Although not fully changed, the foliage was still stunning but hard to fully appreciate when you screaming 55 mph down a 1/2" thread and flying higher than the birds!  

But as our twisted guide Ryan announced at our onset, "you never have to worry about falling, however, the sudden stop should be a huge concern"!

A video of Amy zipping is on my Facebook page.  A must do activity that i highly recommend.

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(Byron Capo Photography) adventure forest mountains nantahala photography zip lining https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2016/10/great-smoky-mountains-day-4 Sun, 30 Oct 2016 23:49:23 GMT
Great Smoky Mountains Day 3 https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2016/10/smoky-mountains-day-3

Todays adventure to Cades Cove was spectacular, at least it would have been if it weren't for all the traffic.  For those of you who haven't ever or its been a long time driving in the mountains, most of the roads are two lanes.  And when the traffic is bad, the traffic is bad.  Three hours there, three hours to view the park and three hours home.  We spent more time driving this day then it took us to get up here.  Nevertheless, the scenery was spectacular.   We only saw three deer, four crow and one owl that flew over the sunroof.  Not many animals, but the number of tourist made up for it.   I figure that in the three hours it took us to drive the park about 500 cars were in front of us and behind us.  And it was a Tuesday.  But as we always say, it's the adventure that makes the fun.  At least try telling that to my white knuckled wife as I drive home down steep mountain roads with hair pin turns in the pitch black night.  At least I had my photography and it didn't help that I was wanting to stop and take pictures every 10 min.  Overall, its a beautiful place to visit and a beautiful drive to get there.  Just plan for unexpected delays.

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(Byron Capo Photography) hikes landscape mountains nature photography https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2016/10/smoky-mountains-day-3 Sat, 29 Oct 2016 14:43:20 GMT
Great Smoky Mountains Day 2 https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2016/10/great-smoky-mountains-day-2 First full day in the mountains.  I have a mission; Waterfalls!  Unfortunately for me it hasn't rained here in a while so the river flows are down, but we are here to have a great time and I'm at the very least going to get a good hike out of it.

 

 

I thought it would be easy to capture the running water.  What I wasn't prepared for was getting to the falls at the right time to capture the right light.  Light angle can be very important.  I think I will try again later in the week.  Soho and Mingo Falls.

In the pursuit we drove the southern part of Blue Ridge Pkwy.  The leaves are in the middle of turning and the elk are grazing along the side of the road.  Amy and I found a beautiful grassy field to lay a blanket and have a picnic.  The sun is shinning it's 70 with a cool breeze blowing through the trees.  Leaves are falling everywhere.  And it's getting better everyday!

Went for a short (1 hr) trek up a mountainside trail.  Heart rate at 145.  Time to slow down!

 

 

Not taking as many pictures as I had expected.  Really enjoying the scenery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looks like another great day in the Smoky's!  Tomorrow we are off to Cades Cove!

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(Byron Capo Photography) hiking landscapes mountains photography smoky waterfalls https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2016/10/great-smoky-mountains-day-2 Thu, 27 Oct 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Great Smoky Mountains Day 1 https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2016/10/great-smoke-mountains-day-1 Well we have arrived.  My first trip to the mountains since i was a small boy.  The air is cool, the trees are ablaze and my butt is sore from driving.  (haha)  Glad to have made it and setting into a cozy cabin in the woods in a small community called Whitter (just south of Cherokee).  Couldn't resist getting unpacked and out to shoot a bit before it got dark.  The back roads here were scattered with both small farms and large ranches all nestled into the hill sides.  Here are a few of what I was able to capture.

Several of the farms had horses and they would graze right up to the edge of the road.  Great sunset light to work with. 

One large field still had a corn looking plant, maybe millet?  Standing tall!

The horses and stables (below) is my favorite.  They seemed so eager to work with me.  Almost as if they had been photographed before.  Gave the image a touch of the past with a cyan tone and a bit of grain.

Has started out to be a great trip and have only been here 2 1/2 hours.  Looking forward to tomorrow.  (Comments are always welcome!).

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(Byron Capo Photography) farm gills great horses landscapes mountains ranch smoky https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2016/10/great-smoke-mountains-day-1 Thu, 27 Oct 2016 01:35:31 GMT
Jax Zoo https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2016/9/jax-zoo A VISIT TO THE JACKSONVILLE ZOO!

_DSC9069_DSC9069 The other day I was invited to a very good friends Birthday Party at the Jacksonville Zoo.  Although it was hot and humid, we had a lot of fun and I got the opportunity to shoot some wildlife (Photography Season is Open,  haha).  Animals are unpredictable and most of you know I don't like to shoot moving subjects. However, after struggling through the screens, wires and barricades I was able to capture a few images.  Definitely need more practice.  Hope you enjoy and a Very Happy Birthday to Tracy!.  Thanks for the invite and may all your birthdays be as much fun.

 

_DSC9073_DSC9073 _DSC9076_DSC9076 _DSC9097_DSC9097 _DSC9104_DSC9104 _DSC9138_DSC9138 _DSC9145_DSC9145 _DSC9155_DSC9155 _DSC9167_DSC9167 _DSC9179_DSC9179 _DSC9187_DSC9187 _DSC9219_DSC9219 _DSC9221_DSC9221 _DSC9222_DSC9222 _DSC9226_DSC9226 _DSC9241_DSC9241 _DSC9243-Edit-Edit_DSC9243-Edit-Edit _DSC9252_DSC9252 _DSC9256_DSC9256 I think the Tigers were my favorite, but this is one instance I am happy the fencing was up.  You could feel them sizing you up for the kill!

 

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(Byron Capo Photography) animals birds giraffes gorillas jacksonville lions monkeys photography tigers zoo https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2016/9/jax-zoo Wed, 21 Sep 2016 17:41:19 GMT
Princess Place https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2016/6/princess-place _DSC1019 princess place2013-Edit_DSC1019 princess place2013-Edit

Join me this First Friday, July 1st at Aviles Gallery, downtown St. Augustine. Several new pieces.

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(Byron Capo Photography) photography landscape princess place black and white https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2016/6/princess-place Wed, 29 Jun 2016 03:20:07 GMT
Holiday Gifts of Art https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2015/11/holiday-gifts-of-art _DSC1953_DSC1953

Art itself is only surpassed by the gift of giving it. Art is timeless and tasteful. During these Holidays when thinking of your family and friends, think Art. Custom sizes and framing options available.  Email or message me for custom pricing.  If you would like to see some of my work in person, please visit me at The Aviles Gallery for first Friday Art Walk 12/04.

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(Byron Capo Photography) Art first Friday gift holiday https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2015/11/holiday-gifts-of-art Sat, 28 Nov 2015 10:37:15 GMT
The Santa Maria Restaurant in fog. https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2015/11/the-santa-maria-restaurant-in-fog _DSC0216  Foggy Boats140301_DSC0216 Foggy Boats140301

Clouded in heavy morning fog, this historic restaurant has stood the test of time. It brings back fond memories of my childhood feeding the fish my cracker crumbs.

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(Byron Capo Photography) st. Augustine fog water https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2015/11/the-santa-maria-restaurant-in-fog Mon, 16 Nov 2015 12:57:52 GMT
Freedom Sunset https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2015/11/freedom-sunset 20140509sacc schooner freedom-_DSC435820140509sacc schooner freedom-_DSC4358

And another day comes to a close.

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(Byron Capo Photography) augustine freedom Saint Schooner sunset https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2015/11/freedom-sunset Sat, 14 Nov 2015 12:56:53 GMT
Spinning Yarn https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2015/11/spinning-yarn

A couple of years ago I was able to capture this lady demonstrating how to make yarn. Although I have been scolded for cropping her head, I really wanted the viewer to focus on her hands. They tell volumes of history.

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(Byron Capo Photography) minorcan menorca yarn Saint Augustine https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2015/11/spinning-yarn Mon, 09 Nov 2015 11:26:39 GMT
Tosohatchee Pine Stand https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2015/11/tosohatchee-pine-stand Tosohatchee Pine StandTosohatchee Pine StandStanding like sentinels over their ground, the pines must be "God-Like" to the creatures below.

Standing like sentinels over their ground, the pines must be "God-Like" to the creatures below.

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(Byron Capo Photography) woods pine swamp photography https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2015/11/tosohatchee-pine-stand Sun, 08 Nov 2015 05:59:19 GMT
The Race https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2015/2/the-race

Recently I had the opportunity to experience my first Daytona Rolex 24 Hour Race.  The event is a proving ground for some of the worlds most expensive race cars.  And surprisingly to me it was a melting pot for both the rich and poor to rub elbows and celebrate this test of endurance.  

Overall it was a great weekend!  But from a photographic sense, it was challenging.  I had never shot a race before and as with most new assignments, what you expect to achieve isn't always what you actually capture.  The cars were fast, deceptively fast.  Plus, all the fences were over 6' and well, I'm not.  So what was a short, newbie race photog to do?  Turn over a trash can and mimic the pros.  You see, the skill of photographing a race wasn't so much in getting the right exposure or composition.  It was in capturing a fast car in sharp detail while still making it look like it was going fast.  And with that epiphany came the art of "panning".  As with most new techniques, panning takes practice.  Lots of practice.  

The length of the race provided for a variety of shots (still, action, day, night, literal and artistic).  As many of you could guess, I gravitated toward the artistic and especially loved the night-scapes.  At night the cars came alive!  Track lights, head lights and multi-colored LED's created an energetic ambiance.

So what was life like at my first race.  Well, lets see!  I shared an experience with 10 billion people and camped with a thousand.  Luckily for me they had 12 port-a-potties and 4 showers (Woohoo!)  It was always loud, VERY LOUD!!!  Even at 3am it was loud.  Earplugs are a must.  I even slept with mine.

Surprisingly, my apprehension to camping outside the track was abated upon meeting a few of our neighbors (as you could guess, a tent doesn't make for secure camera equipment storage.)  For many, it was all about the race (come hell or high-water).  For others it was all about the party, (24 hour, non-stop party).  But for most of us it was about having a good time and enjoying a few days with good friends at an adrenaline charged event.  There's something about the smell of high octane fuel and the throaty roar of a supercharged race car that gets your blood boiling.  And if they don't the alcohol will at least keep you on the lead lap.

We had some wind and rain.  The nights were cold and damp.  The walks were long and my feet and legs were always tired.  But as a photographer finding a new vantage point made the treks worthwhile.  As the oldest guy in the group I probably complained the most, but the younger, more energetic kept me going.  And even-though my compadres weren't photographers they were always on the lookout for me and a photo-op. I know it was probably a "kill-joy" for them to be constantly having to stop and wait but their enthusiasm for me to get a good shot was encouraging.  And for that, I thank them.

At many times, I just had to put the camera down and enjoy the scenery and there was lots of scenery.  Hot cars and fast women (whoops, got that backwards honey!)  Fast cars and hot women! (now that sounds better, right?)  As a photographer it was hard to make your mind up what to shoot.  As an editor I could kick myself for holding down the shutter button for to many times.

Side by side were Porsches and Pontiacs, Ferraris and Fords, Vets and Vanquishes.  It didn't matter if your gears were foreign or domestic, everyone bleed oil and alcohol for a few days.  

It was an experience I'll never forget.  And I can't wait to get another crack at the photography.
PS:  Next years plans include:  Heated RV in the infield with a press pass.  You can check out all my race photos on my website at www.byroncapophotography.com.  And if there is a particular brand your looking for just let me know.  I shot them all.  At least I think.

 

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(Byron Capo Photography) automotive car daytona fast race racing track https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2015/2/the-race Tue, 17 Feb 2015 03:44:28 GMT
Cracker Day https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2014/10/cracker-day I recently attended the St. Johns County Cattleman's Association's 55th Annual Cracker Day.  Memories came alive, since it had been 30+ years since my last visit.  There were many flashbacks to the sights, sounds and aromas that filled the cool morning air.

Cracker Day is so named for the historic cowboys of Florida that used whips to round up cattle in the dense underbrush and swamps.  (At least that's one interpretation.)  Throughout the day you could hear the "miniature sonic booms" as young men practiced their skills at "Cracking the Whip".  They even contested their ability to pop balloons at some distance.   I assume because their were no cows around. 20141017 Cracker Day 2014_DSC097520141017 Cracker Day 2014_DSC0975 20141017 Cracker Day 2014_DSC113120141017 Cracker Day 2014_DSC1131

I'll have to admit I was a bit apprehensive, even intimidated, by the thought of photographing an unfamiliar subject.  Most of you know, I know boats and the such, however, horses not so much.  I have only ridden a couple of times and never even tried to photograph a horse before.  But I'm always up for a challenge.

My first though upon arriving was, "Wow, there are a lot of trucks and trailers here."  But I guess you just can't fit a horse in the back seat of a hybrid.  Oh well, there goes the "antique, ranch-style" backgrounds I was hoping for.  Trailers were of every shape, size and color, however, they all had one thing in common.  There were no covered wagons here.  MTV "Cribs" would have been proud of these mobile equine condos.  They also doubled as the buffet table as feed bags hung ready to serve.

20141017 Cracker Day 2014_DSC109120141017 Cracker Day 2014_DSC1091 Most of the riders were young ladies warming up their horses in and around their portable stables, some out on the dirt track.  A few were grooming and others for a more mod touch were painting horse tails.  A couple of tack trailers were set-up to provide for those last minute needs.  Used saddles, readied for use captured my eye. 20141017 Cracker Day 2014_DSC096320141017 Cracker Day 2014_DSC0963

The horse arena was an open air covered structure.  The dirt was freshly tilled and ready for running.  Poles were in place, timer set.  Before I realized it came a rider out of nowhere racing to the other end of the course.  A hard hairpin turn and a curvy restart weaving back through the poles. Twice around and a sprint to the finish.  I bet the parent holding the lead line was quite tired after guiding the pony and child rider through the obstacles at a blistering 50 sec pace while running in boots.  That's dedication, dad!

20141017 Cracker Day 2014_DSC099920141017 Cracker Day 2014_DSC0999 First were the poles, then the barrels followed by an exciting game of "Pick-UP" where a rider grabs a parter from the ground while in full stride, swings them up onto the horse and races to the finish line.  One word, Insane!  From children to adults they all gave their competitive best.  Seeing the excitement in their eyes made the shot.  They looked happy to be right where they were, even if it wasn't first place.

20141017 Cracker Day 2014_DSC119120141017 Cracker Day 2014_DSC1191 I'm sorry I couldn't stay for the whole day, but was thrilled to have experienced another great time with the St. Augustine Camera Club and a few new friends and their horses.  The country music, BBQ and funnel cakes made it perfect.

The lighting scenario for photography was less than desirable, but I managed to get a few good shots.  Handling the background highlights against the shadows of the subjects while trying to capture something moving at 20 mph was tricky.  I resorted to flash on a few shots but was more concerned that it would upset the horses.  I really relied on the higher ISO capabilities of my Nikon cropped dslr coupled to a fast glass 70-200 2.8.  

20141017 Cracker Day 2014_DSC120720141017 Cracker Day 2014_DSC1207 I learned three important things to carry forward.   20141017 Cracker Day 2014_DSC115020141017 Cracker Day 2014_DSC1150

1.  Watch the ground in front of you while you walk, stop, then look for the shot.  Always in that order.  

2.  The art comes from anticipating a horses moves.  With practice will come improvement.

3.  Five hours at this years Cracker Day will never make me a rodeo aficionado, but it was lots of fun and an event worth preserving for the youth of our generation.

Looking forward to next year,

Byron

 

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(Byron Capo Photography) https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2014/10/cracker-day Sun, 19 Oct 2014 21:26:52 GMT
GRILLS GALORE https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2014/5/grills-galore Well, its been some time since my last post.  No excuses, just busy!  My last "soapbox" was all about boats, and if you know me, it's a big "box".  Lately I have found something new to photograph, GRILLS! (and better for my marriage that the "I" and "R" are reversed, haha!)

_DSC2803  NSB Fire StationFebruary 02, 2014-Edit_DSC2803 NSB Fire StationFebruary 02, 2014-Edit

I'm not particular about model or age.  I love the lines, curves and details.  In fact, I have to admit that I understand as much about cars as I do taxes.  But their sculpted shapes just screamed to be photographed.  However, instead of focusing on the entire automobile, I have decided to target their iconic "front ends".

My first foray into this endeavor was a very old fire truck I found in New Syrmna Beach.  After the first shutter release I fell in love.  Since, I have  pushed the envelope on creative exposure and post production filters.  

The older cars seem to have more emphasis on the grill work than newer models.  A good example of that is this old Ford.  The amount of time it must have taken to assemble this complex anatomy.  

_DSC2999  antique cars140215-Edit_DSC2999 antique cars140215-Edit

The more I study them the more I appreciate the artist that had to craft probably the most recognizable if not prolific piece of a motorcar's puzzle. 

For most followers, brands and vintages are distinguished by instantaneous sight alone.  And what is the first thing you see when a car comes your way, the grill.  "Identity by design."

_DSC3001  antique cars140215-Edit-2_DSC3001 antique cars140215-Edit-2

Throughout the years grills have changed.  From detailed, to bold, to soft and curvy to simple.  And it's amazing how the grill personifies an owner.  i.e.: There's a grill to fit every personality.

_DSC2808  NSB Fire StationFebruary 02, 2014-Edit_DSC2808 NSB Fire StationFebruary 02, 2014-Edit

A good example of this observation is this Imperial.  It bellows a bold, "in 

your face", attitude.  The fat chrome against a gloss black backdrop evokes the sounds of "hound-dogs" and "heroins".  Times may have changed, but rest assured a beautiful car WILL rest on the laurels of it grill.

You are welcome to examine several other "Grills" I taken at https://www.byroncapophotography.com/p37064916
.  Since this gallery is a work in progress, I would appreciate your referral.

If you know of someone that would like to have the "bow-end" of their unique automobile photographed I would love the challenge of adding it to my collection.  Suggestions are welcome!  Please, no Pintos!

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(Byron Capo Photography) automobile automotive car parts cars chrome grill https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2014/5/grills-galore Sat, 03 May 2014 19:52:59 GMT
I Love Boats! https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2013/12/i-love-boats As you can tell from the extensive list of boat related photos, I Love Boats!  They are one of my passions in life.  I was born and raised around them, commissioned my first boat at age 7 (a number 3 wash-tub), my first professional career was with a major boat manufacturer, I am also a SAMS marine surveyor (for those of you that don't know, kind of like a home inspector for boats), I am a marine welder, I am a licensed USCG captain and I own a boat (two if you count the canoe.  Sold the wash-tub years ago.)

To me, graceful hull lines against a watery backdrop can be a thing of beauty.  Even individual "pieces and parts" of boats can be alluring; a cleat, rope, the bow, a wooden mast.

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Man has always had a fascination with boats.  Probably because they provided an avenue for adventure and exploration.  This past summer the "El Galeon" visited St. Augustine.  My father and I had the opportunity to tour this magnificent reproduction of a 16th century "tall ship".  The amount of craftsmanship was unbelievable.  The joinery, rigging and lighting was superb.   Our course dad and I couldn't resist poking past the typical tourist novelties and really looking at how it was made.  We made friends with the crew, and after much ballyhoo about our self-proclaimed expertise we got a good look at the engine room (not typical for a 16th century ship).  Here horsepower was measured with man-made "iron horses" and not from the sweat of rowing arms.

_DSC2339el galleon20130526_DSC2339el galleon20130526

With boating comes its environment.  Ever changing, it can alter the appearance of a subject from day-to-day.  As an example, this foggy morning of a bow just wouldn't have been the same in sunny daylight.  The stillness and serenity of the moment captured a sense of loneliness and isolation.  And for those with a knowledge of boating, simply put "old vs. new".  Of course that's just my opinion, but since it's my photography I can say whatever I want.  Draw your own conclusions.  

Bow in FogBow in FogIt was foggy. Very Foggy! But for just a moment it cleared to reveal boat across the river. Was it real or just a marine dream?
-- I love the color of fog!

As always, "Hope you enjoy this gallery".http://www.byroncapophotography.com/p475529993

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(Byron Capo Photography) boats byron capo el galeon marine photography ships https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2013/12/i-love-boats Sun, 08 Dec 2013 18:51:00 GMT
The View Through A Historic Window https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2013/6/the-view-through-a-window For many of us the window is the most important part of a plane (outside of the engines and wings).  I asked myself the simple question, Why?  It would appear to me that human nature is always on the "look-out".  We have the need to see what's on the other side.  Maybe it's the altitude as we look down or the closeness to clouds that spurs our desires.

For pilots (and indirectly the rest of us) windows are important.  They are the eyes of the plane.  They must be strong and withstand the elements, not to mention anything else humans may shoot at it.  

 

Not to long ago these old military plane were permanently taken from the field in which they laid as unrecognized icons for the better part of my life. I was fortunate to capture a few images before their departing.  

 

Sometimes I strive to create a window through my photography.  In this particular case, a window into the past.  "A look at what has been looked through before."

 

How does the old saying go?  "If those windows could talk!"

I wish one of the pilots that flew one of these plans could see these photos.  Reminded about old times and past recollections they might be inclined to share them with us.  So, if you know somebody that knows somebody....... 

 

 

 

Although these planes laid in deteriorating conditions I found the exposed inner workings fascinating.  Such details as the number of window rivets illustrates the fortitude upon which these "look-outs" were constructed.

Another poignant aspect for several of these planes is that you can still see the remainder of some of their "Call Numbers".  And as my good friend Kizzy pointed out "You can still read the ""Rescue"" decal".  Is it a sign of the plane calling out.  I guess we will never know.

 

(A special thanks to my friend Kizzy.  She encouraged me to take these photos. And to her I am greatly appreciative.)

 

As with the camera lens, a window affords us the opportunity to see our world in a very different way.  I hope you enjoy these photos of some forgotten relics.  I would love to hear your thoughts and stories.

You can visit the "Boats, Cars, Planes and Trains" gallery on my website to see more of these images.  www.byroncapophotography.com

 

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(Byron Capo Photography) aviation military navy old planes photography planes rescue Saint Augustine St. Augustine windows https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2013/6/the-view-through-a-window Sun, 30 Jun 2013 15:49:56 GMT
The Menorcan Festival https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2013/5/the-menorcan-festival

For most of you that live in St. Augustine, you have probably heard about the Menorcans (Minorcans).  But if you haven't, here's a very, very brief history lesson.

Many years ago (later 1700's) my ancestors came from Menorca (Minorca - a small group of islands off the Southeast coast of Spain) to make a new life for themselves in the new world.  They (along with a number of other families) started an Indigo plantation in New Syrmna, FL as indentured servants.  Unfortunately things didn't work out (to say the least).  Facing starvation they walked to the St. Augustine fort and settled there creating our nation's oldest, continuously inhabitaed European city.  Though the years Menorcans have carried-on, while preserving a rich culture.

In more recent years local Menorcans have celebrated their heritage through a yearly festival.  Here we get together to taste traditional foods (Shrimp Pilaf, Chowder and Datil Peppers), listen to music, observe various trades/crafts and catch up with family and friends.

One such trades among many women of the period was to spin yarn.  At this years festival were several woman demonstrating this lost art.  For me it was very interesting to watch.  Seemingly second nature, these women carried on conversations amongst themselves as well with onlookers without missing a beat (or spin). 

This close-up not only demonstrates the dexterity and nimbleness of "time-wise" fingers, but capturing it in black and white helped to define the details of her hands and the spinning wheel.  Slowing the shutter down gave the outer wheel slight action.

 

 

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(Byron Capo Photography) chowder dancer festival flamenco menorcan minorcan pilaf sewing spanish spinning weaving yarn https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2013/5/the-menorcan-festival Sun, 19 May 2013 13:34:16 GMT
A Mother's Day Tribute https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2013/5/a-mothers-day-tribute In honor of all mothers around the world, both human and crockadillian alike I present this photograph I took a number of years ago.  Captured in the Black Point Wildlife Preserve at Cape Canaveral, this mother gator is watching over her babies.  Aptly named, if you look closely you will count 13 young alligators cleverly disguised.

A few are still hiding at the edge of the nest while others have ventured out into the water.  And the obvious few basking on their mothers back.

I cannot think of a more protective mother than the American Alligator.  That's probably why this is not one of my best shots.   Considering the fact that I stumbled upon this happy family within fifteen feet of their lair you can understand why I would have been shaking in my shoes.  Alligator mothers tend to have an "ask questions later" attitude.

I still marvel at the fact that this photograph was taken about a mile from one of the worlds most technologically advanced endeavors, Cape Kennedy and our nations space program.

Often I wonder how many made a life of their own, and if this mother received a card or flowers on Mothers Day?

Baker's Dozen

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(Byron Capo Photography) alligator babies black canaveral cape hatchlings kennedy mother point swamp wildlife https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2013/5/a-mothers-day-tribute Mon, 13 May 2013 02:09:01 GMT
A National Treasure https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2013/5/a-national-treasure It's not very often that we find a treasure in our everyday lives.  So when it presents itself, you better be ready to capture it.

I found our National Treasure (an American Bald Eagle) last week out for some early morning hunting in Moultrie Creek It was a bleak overcast morning, but it didn't deter the Eagle (or the half dozen or so black birds that were pestering him or her, not sure how to tell the difference).  This bird was fast.  Within a matter of seconds it swooped down from a tree above me and snagged this enormous trout.  It was a picture perfect moment.  I would have never guessed it was going to happen.

I'm not positive but I think this is one of the pair that nest toward the mouth of the creek in a tall pine.

Moultrie Creek Eagle

Unfortunately, the light was very low, so I was having to shoot at a high ISO and slower than usual shutter speed all while zoomed out to 200mm.  Most of the shots didn't come out, but I'm happy this one did.  This was my first bird/action photograph.

 

(PS:  I wouldn't have been able to capture this moment if I didn't have my camera with me.  Always carry your camera.  Never know when it will find you a treasure!)

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(Byron Capo Photography) Bald Eagle american bald eagle bird bird of prey creek eagle moultrie saint augustine https://www.byroncapophotography.com/blog/2013/5/a-national-treasure Sat, 04 May 2013 00:23:40 GMT