Week #18 – A Monthly Photo Contest (September)

 

“What?! A photo contest as a topic?” you say. “I thought you were submitting all your fantastic photographs to contests and magazines every week because they’re so awesome!”

Well, thank you! But no. I have never entered any of my photography in a contest (unless SmartWool’s Strip To Your SmartWool campaign counts…).

First of all, it’s a lot of work sometimes! For example, I plan on submitting these photos to the photo contest put on by Florida State Parks. There is a winner each month, and the 12 winning photographs compete for the annual prize. There are a series of steps to enter your photos into this contest, as well as eligibility stipulations. I’ll be getting to sort out all of that later this weekend. Yippee!

 

This week, I went kayaking on the beautiful Silver River, part of Silver River State Park in Ocala, FL.
In case you care, it is a 10-mile out and back up to the head springs, which puts you right in the midst of Ocala’s most famous amusement park, Silver Springs. (If you go, don’t disembark here, btw – it’s not allowed.)

 

The paddle itself is quite pleasant even with a subpar kayak and paddle. The river runs at a pretty quick pace at the narrow, beginning section (maybe 3-5 mph) before widening out further towards the springs. It took me about 4 hours to go the five miles to the head springs. However, I stopped frequently to take photographic opportunities, eat cocoa almonds, and otherwise stare at things absentmindedly.

 

It took another 2 hours to go back downstream. Again, there was a lot of dawdling involved.

 

This is the first time I took my Canon Rebel out on the water – eek!! Double zip lock bagged it for launch and disembarking. Otherwise, it was on my neck with one of the zip locks plopped on top so I didn’t splash it with my paddle water. This worked surprisingly well!

 

I wish I had my XP10 with me to take some underwater photos of the springs, blue holes, and all the crazy fish that were swarming me. Alas! It is less than functioning at the moment and may need repair or replacement 😦

Oh, right. This is supposed to be a photography blog. So, I’m glad that I got these six good photos out of the several dozen that I took.
The fungi – There is nothing I don’t love about this photo.
The spider – It’s amazing the extra stuff you get to see when you’re busy photographing botanicals.
The flower (pickerel rush) – Oh, look! A botanical! Love the green and purple together here.
The anhinga – I wish this bird was doing what these birds normally do – spread out their wings to dry. Would’ve looked extra cool with the dead limbs. Still, I love that the sky is perfectly exposed. (Really, I have such a hard time with the sky…)
The other flower – This one has extra interest because of the spontaneous butterfly component. However, it is not as sharp as I’d like it to be. A little on the soft side. Definitely not tack sharp. But how do you get tack sharp from a kayak?
The alligator – Probably the coolest photo I took. Great focus; cool subject; EXCELLENT texture. Problem? This is not exactly the most novel way to photograph an alligator. Eh. Oh well!

I’m able to submit them all per the contest rules, so I shall!

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