Our next outing will be at Eureka Spring Conservation Park at 10 AM, Saturday, April 23, 2022. This is one of the small county parks that helped me get through the last two years. It is a very, Florida piece of land, that was donated to the county some years ago.
It is located off of Hwy 301 and I-4 in Hillsborough County not far from the Florida State Fair Grounds at 6400 Eureka Springs Rd, Tampa, FL 33610. See the Google Map below.
What to Shoot
This park has some nice gardens, a greenhouse, waterways with water lilies (which don’t bloom until mid-day so the reason for the 10 AM meetup time), a nice boardwalk through a typical Florida forest/wetland, a covered bridge, gazebo, and visitor center with restrooms and a classroom!
You can shoot macro, flower close-ups and this is a great place for infrared and a wide-angle lens as there are some old oaks trees with resurrection ferns growing on them. Spring is the best time for infrared as all those new green leaves will be extra white!
The waterlilies are not close so a longer macro lens (100mm or more) is best.
What Else to Bring
Bring a hat, bug spray, sunscreen (although most of the park is pretty shady), and something to drink (it will be getting warmer). There is a single picnic table next to and through the Visitor Center so we will meet there. There is a $2.00 fee per vehicle/driver and $1.00 for each additional person in the vehicle unless you have a Hillsborough County Parks annual pass.
For about 15 minutes I will be talking about the park and letting you know where everything is and then we will foray out to see what we can find! If you arrive late, please text me and I will let you know where we are. We should be done in about 2 hours or so.
Since we are not having meetings in person, this is the next best thing….to me even better because we are getting to do some photography while we get to spend some time together!
Our next in-person outing will be Saturday, February 26th at 8AM at the amazing Circle B Bar Reserve in Polk County. (Google Map Below)
Please join us as we explore the trails along the waterways of Circle B. This county water management area/education center is one of the premier birding locations in Florida. There are a number of species of birds that can be found here all year round but at this time of the year, the migratory birds are coming through so you never know what you will see.
There is also other non-bird wildlife such as alligators (Circle B is too famous for its gators), otters, bobcats, rabbits, insects, snakes, turtles, lizards, and who knows what else. There are a lot of people as well!
What to Expect (Maybe)
So, normally, there is a lot of walking but you can find a likely spot not too far from the parking lot and take a seat and see what comes your way OR walk the various trails to see what you can find. I usually do a combination of both. I am much more inclined to stop and take in everything these days. I have often stopped for a landscape shot, a common bird doing a behavior, or to just rehydrate and suddenly some unusual critter comes by or appears out of the water or does something spectacular! I try to always be ready to shoot one of my cameras. Oh yes, I carry 2 cameras, one with the 200-500mm lens and the other with a wide-angle lens. Sometimes that wide-angle is on my infrared converted camera.
Landscapes are possible here with my favorites being made when there are clouds in the sky.
Disclaimer: Since we are dealing with unknown weather and very unpredictable critters we cannot guarantee anything except a fun time with your fellow TBCC members, a little Circle B-oriented education, and MAYBE some awesome images!
What to Bring
I would recommend that you bring your longest lens and a teleconverter to get even more reach. Also, bring a wide-angle lens for landscape shots. If you have one of the zoom lenses that go from 28-300mm or more, that will work! If you just want to “see” the critters, bring a pair of binoculars.
Put on some sunblock, wear a hat, bring some water and bug spray in case it is warmer that morning. Bring a lightweight stool or chair if you want to stay at one spot. If it rains, we will wait it out and take a shorter walk.
Getting the Most Out of the Outing
While you are walking through Circle B, please be mindful and try to take in as much as you can. I usually visit this place by myself so I can be totally in the moment, not thinking about anything else but looking for something interesting to make an image of. We don’t have epic landscapes here but you can still approach what we do using the ideas and principles that Colleen Miniuk and some of our other presenters have enlightened us with.
The (Tentative) Schedule
Drive to the parking lots that are adjacent to the Education Center. We will meet at the pavilion near the PortaPotties at the edge of the center back parking lot at 8 AM. We will spend a few minutes talking about Circle B and reviewing what we will be doing. We will be spending a couple of hours as a group on this outing. If you want to stay longer or come earlier you are certainly welcome to do that!
Let’s Do This!
I hope to see many of you at this outing! We have to fit in as many outdoor outings as we can before it gets too hot and buggy!
Mark your calendars for our 2022 PhotoCamp on February 4-6.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE READ THIS ENTIRE POST FOR ALL THE IMPORTANT DETAILS.
For those who have not experienced PhotoCamp, this is an opportunity to share a weekend with fellow photographs while camping at one of Florida’s state parks. This year we will be camping at the Rainbow Springs State Park’s campground, which is located along the Rainbow River, at a separate location, a few miles from the main headspring and day-use area.
We have reserved 5 adjacent campsites so the number of campers will be limited. BUT if you don’t make it on the list of campers, you can drive up for just the day on Saturday.
If you are camping, you can arrive Friday evening and stay until Sunday morning. The campsite restrictions are as follows: 2 vehicles, 2 tents, and 8 people per site. The sites will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.
Each campsite has water, electricity, a picnic table, and a fire ring. The parking lot (where extra vehicles and the Saturday only folks can park) and bathrooms are very close to the campsites. Since there are a limited number of tents, a limited number of vehicles, and a limited number of people allowed per site it is important that you fill out the form below accurately so that our organizers can calculate the logistics as the event fills up. The reserved campsites have been paid for by TBCC.
Amenities include a campground store, showers and restrooms, and laundry. There is access to the river from the campground to fish, swim or paddle.
Check-in time on Friday is: 4-6 PM
Hang out with your fellow early arriving photographers.
We have several activities planned for attendees. This is the currently planned itinerary, however, be aware that any of it is subject to change at any time up until and during the event.
Since the day-use park is separate from the campgrounds, everyone needs to drive to and arrive at the main gate to the day-use area (map below) no later than 7:45am on Saturday morning, earlier is better. This park has a limit on the number of daily admissions. Starting at 8 AM, once the parking lot fills up, they close the gate. No others are allowed in. So we must arrive early and consolidate into as few vehicles as possible.
There is a $2 per person admission fee for the day-use area unless you have an annual FL State Park Pass.
Saturday morning, there will be a photo hike in the area surrounding the headsprings at Rainbow Springs. The trails, many of which are paved, go from the entrance down along the Rainbow River and up the paths that wind through the park that used to be the old Rainbow Springs tourist attraction. There are gardens and waterfalls, as well as views of the Rainbow River to photograph. See some images below.
When we return to the campgrounds, TBCC will host a lunch for attendees at the campsites. All food and drinks for lunch will be provided by the club. Donations of snacks and/or additional drinks will be appreciated, however. Please bring your own food if you have special dietary needs. Also, all food must be packed away in cars as the raccoons are very active.
After lunch, there will be time for campers to set up their camping gear on the campsite if you only arrived that morning.
There is a launch area at the campgrounds onto the river so you can spend some time on the river kayaking or canoeing.
In the afternoon, we will have a short photography presentation by Robert.
Around sunset, everyone will gather at our central campfire for a potluck dinner. Everyone who is staying for dinner should bring a food item to share with the group. TBCC will provide paper plates, cups, and plastic utensils for the pot luck dinner. There will be options to cook food on the fire or on camp stoves.
After dinner, any interested attendees can join in some night photography, provided that clouds don’t interfere. For the remainder of the evening, we will enjoy time at the campfire as late as anyone wants to stay up.
Check out time on Sunday is: 10 AM
PLEASE COMPLETE THE RESERVATION FORM AT THIS LINK BEFORE JANUARY 25TH:
On behalf of your TBCC Board of Directors, you are cordially invited tothe TBCC Annual Awards and Holiday Party that will be held on Sunday, December 12th, at Phillippe Park in Safety Harbor.
PLEASE READ THE ENTIRE POST!
The fun gets started at 1 PM in Pavilion #8 and will go until about 4 PM.
There are many big picnic tables in the pavilion, but you are welcome to bring your own chairs if you prefer. The club will supply grills, hand sanitizer, ice, plates, cups, silverware, and napkins. There are some electrical outlets. Please bring extension cords, if needed.
We are counting on all of you to bring all that wonderful food and drink that TBCC is famous for!
The food/drink signup form is below.
We will have our end-of-year awards ceremony for those who qualified in our monthly competitions.
Don’t forget our “pushpin” story display! Since we are not actually using “pushpins” in our outdoor venue, please bring one photo that is at least 8X10 (so everyone can see it). It should be on a piece of foam core or matted for rigidity while hanging from our photo lineup! This is not a competition but a chance for you to get up and tell everyone the story behind your image. So keep that in mind when making your image choice. Please only bring an image we have not seen before.
In addition, we have added a Silent Auction to our party events. This auction will help us raise some additional funds that we need to continue to bring in the internationally known photography educators that we have been fortunate to have for the last 2 years.
If you have any photography-related items (equipment, books, prints, etc.) you would like to donate, please contact Leslie Williams or me. You can get them to us prior to Dec 12th or let us know what you are bringing on Dec 12th and we will reserve a spot.
Whether you donate an item or not, we hope you will bid on an item or items in the silent auction.
Be sure to get your free ticket when you arrive for our annual raffle.
Please join us for an afternoon of fun, food, fellowship, and photo sharing!
Mark your calendar for our next photo outing on October 16th at 10 AM until Noonish!
THIS IS JUST IN TIME TO CREATE YOUR IMAGES FOR OUR NOVEMBER COMPETITION ASSIGNMENT! (Autos/Trucks/Motorcycles – see assignment list for details) we will be shooting at the Tampa Bay Auto Museum in Pinellas Park, FL.
PLEASE READ ENTIRE POST.
Museum Information from Wikipedia
The Tampa Bay Automobile Museum, displays historic automobiles from the 20th century. All of the vehicles displayed are from the collection of Alain Cerf, a French entrepreneur.
The collection is focused on cars which demonstrate special creativity and imagination in their history and engineering. This includes rare early front-wheel drive cars, Tatra rear engine cars, rear-engine Mercedes-Benz, Citroën cars, the only surviving car by French engineer Émile Claveau, and a unique working full-scale replica of the first self-propelled mechanical vehicle, the fardier of Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot.
Tampa Bay Auto Museum -3301 Gateway Centre Blvd, Pinellas Park, FL 33782
We will meet in the parking lot of the museum, Saturday, October 16th, prior to 9:45 AM. I need to collect the admission fee from each attendee in order to pay for everyone before entering. If we have 12 or more attendees, the admission is $8 each. If less than 12 attendees, then admission is $12 each or $10 for seniors(62+). Please bring correct change.
IF YOU ARRIVE AFTER WE HAVE ALREADY GONE INSIDE AS A GROUP at 10 AM, YOU WILL HAVE TO PAY THE FULL APPROPRIATE ADMISSION FEE.
The museum requires that you wear a mask for the full time you are inside so be sure to bring a mask! And please, maintain social distancing.
The facility is fairly large so there is plenty of room and many autos to photograph. Be sure to bring your tripod as it is a bit dark inside so you will need slower shutter speeds in some instances.
You should bring a wide-angle lens and a close-up/macro lens, at the very least. Besides the cars themselves, there are a lot of interesting and photogenic details to shoot.
This museum is friendly to photographers so please be very careful around these valuable autos. You can carefully move the metal signs in front of many of the autos, if necessary, but be sure to return them carefully to the same spot. We do not want to be the group that causes them to no longer allow photography!
I hope to see you October 16th, as this will be our last planned in-person outing until our Annual Holiday Party and Awards celebration on Dec 12th (more details later this year).