Linda Grashoff's Photography Adventures

From the Archives of 2007—3

March 7, 2021

The Romancing Reality post of February 7 included two abstract photographs taken in Florida in 2007. This post includes a few more abstracts, some wildlife photographs, and at the end, a still life. Some transitions between photographs are obscure; some are frankly forced; and one might even be seen as gruesome. As you may be able to tell, I had fun sequencing these photos. The task was also useful in creating a somewhat coherent collection. If a photo wouldn’t fit in no matter how I contorted my thinking, out it went. This post started with 31 photographs. Ten simply would not shoehorn themselves into the array. So you are left with a more manageable group of 21 photos to peruse.

1 A historic building on Anna Maria Island was closed to the public on the day I visited. Looking through one window at another offered the unexpected photographic advantages of reflections and distortions.

2 Before I became seduced by photography I never thought grass could be so interesting. This bunch was in the Myakka River State Park.

3 This grass was in Sarasota’s South Lido Park.

  4 This clump of grass was growing up against a metal-clad building south of town.

5 Superficially, a palm frond might not resemble a blade of grass but a palm tree has more in common genetically with grass than with, say, an oak tree. Palms and grassses—along with sedges, grains, bamboos, corn, rice, lilies, orchids, and many other flowering plants—are monocots. Oaks, elms, maples, and sycamores, among many other trees, are dicots. What are monocots and dicots? The USDA gives a simple explanation.

6 I see the palm frond in the previous photograph as flowing down the picture plane. A Myakka River tributary flows across property then owned by my friend Jean.

7 Keeping with the water theme of #6 (yes, I’m pushing it), here is a detail of an old boat hull in Cortez, Florida.

8 Here’s a detail of another old boat hull in Cortez.

9 Many Cortez residents make their living fishing and by catching crabs with traps like these.

10 And these.

11 These fiddler crabs in South Lido Park are only a few inches—or less—across. I don’t think humans catch them, but I have seen egret or Great Blue Heron footprints in their territory.

12 Apparently, gulls eat crabs.

13 Gulls have interesting feet.

14 So do egrets.

15 What look like knees on this Great Egret—I learned this morning from my friend Lynda—are really ankles. Lynda shared a photograph of a Great Blue Heron in a pose that made him look as if he were bending his knees backwards. (See #16, used with Lynda’s permission.) Lynda explains: “Great Blue Herons are digitigrades, as are all wading birds, cats, dogs, and hyenas. It means they walk on their toes, rather than put their flat foot to the ground while walking.” The bird’s knees are “tucked up right by its body facing the same direction that human knees do,” says Lynda.

16 Lynda photographed this Great Blue Heron at Quick Point Preserve, in Sarasota.

17 The Snowy Egret has yellow feet.

18 Bird Watcher’s Digest says that while fishing in shallow water their yellow feet “may serve to catch the eye of fish and other creatures, drawing them closer or stalling them so the egret can strike.”

19 Most photographers are interested in more than the feet.

20 The Great Blue Heron in South Lido Park was probably hoping to find a meal in this temporary lagoon.

21 Back in Cortez: fishing nets.

18 responses

  1. Fine set, Linda. Nr’s 8,9 and 10 are fav. Nr8 looks like a part of cylinder. I personally always try to ‘flatten’ it, by using an opposite gradient filter on both sides in LR, because the ’rounding’ refers to more of the cylinder outside the frame; while a flat image is more an autonomic abstract… I don’t mean that you should flatten it; but I’m curious if you ‘recognize the problem’… In 9 and 10 I like that it are sort of line-drawings. Have a nice Sunday!

    Liked by 1 person

    March 7, 2021 at 4:56 AM

    • Harrie, thank you for telling me about the gradient filter. My use of LR is pretty pedestrian. I’d heard of the gradient filter but never used it. . . .The crab traps appealed to me precisely because of what you say: with certain framing they have a similar appeal to that of line drawings.


      March 7, 2021 at 8:41 PM

  2. Good pictures, Linda, and I don’t think anything here gruesome. Having been a birder, very much enjoyed the feet! And gulls are opportunists, they’ll eat anything given the chance. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    March 7, 2021 at 4:57 AM

    • Thanks, Adrian. I can see why the birder in you found nothing gruesome in the gull with the crab in its beak. Maybe it’s the crab in me that makes me shudder. So glad you like the feet! They absolutely fascinate me.

      Liked by 1 person

      March 7, 2021 at 8:41 PM

  3. Another fab set of images Linda – perfectly arranged and educational too. What more could I ask for 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    March 7, 2021 at 5:21 AM

    • Glad to have given you all you ask for, Alastair. 😉 I’m especially pleased that you found the arrangement of photographs “perfect.” I felt like I was going out on a limb but was having too much fun not to. As for the education, I learn these things as I’m putting the blog together, so it’s educational for me, too.

      Liked by 1 person

      March 7, 2021 at 8:42 PM

  4. The opening picture seems a world within a world. In #17 and #18 you’re footloose and fancy free. I see the appeal to you of the colors in #7 and #8.

    Liked by 1 person

    March 7, 2021 at 6:19 AM

    • Once again I put my favorite photograph first. It’s so complex, with reflections of reflections. I remember chimping that shot on the spot and being disappointed that the greenery was so prominent. I tried various things to lessen its impact. Nothing worked, so I just gave it an “oh, well,” and went on to photograph other things in the area. The downloaded image changed my feelings, and the photo has grown on me over the years. Thanks for writing, Steve.


      March 7, 2021 at 8:42 PM

      • Not familiar with your use of chimping, I went searching and found the following in Urban Dictionary: “To review an image on the LCD screen of a digital camera after taking a photograph. In common usage among press photographers. The act was dubbed chimping after photographers were caught making monkey-like noises when they reviewed a good shot in their cameras.”

        Liked by 1 person

        March 8, 2021 at 7:36 AM

        • Chimping is looked down upon by some photographers, but I was happy to read in Wikipedia that Stephen Johnson, author of Stephen Johnson on Digital Photography, writes: “The implied pejorative [in the term ‘chimping’] is shocking to me. If there’s any one thing that is revolutionary in the advance of photography represented by this digital age, it is the ability to inspect your work. Ignore such ridicule, and use the tools to their fullest.” I almost always chimp to see if I have filled out the histogram and don’t have blown highlights. I don’t check my composition nearly as often, sometimes to my later disappointment.

          Liked by 1 person

          March 8, 2021 at 2:27 PM

  5. The post reminds me of how much I miss visiting someplace like this. Beautiful photographs.
    I especially like the first one with the reflections.

    Liked by 1 person

    March 7, 2021 at 8:50 AM

    • Thank you, Clare. See my reply to Steve Schwartzman about the first photo. When I look at my photos of Florida, I become eager for a return visit. Maybe next winter.


      March 7, 2021 at 8:43 PM

  6. I really enjoyed those grass images, Linda!


    March 7, 2021 at 7:41 PM

  7. What fun! I love the first photo and know just what you were doing, because I’ve done it myself. More than once, peering through the windows of historic buildings has proven to be very interesting. I second your comment to Clare – scrolling through these, I’m eager to see Florida again. Some day! The progression of grasses #3, 4, and 5 is great. #5 reminds me of some really fine photos you made in the past of dead palm leaves. (Nice botany lesson!). I get the vertical, downward motion connection between #5 & #6. The hull works with the water for me because they’re both essentially abstract color studies. And beautiful ones at that. From boat hull closeups to birds’ feet – it’s Lindavision! And I love it. I can imagine a nice crop from the crab traps – maybe somewhere in the upper right – simplified, and playing wall texture against trap texture. Excellent transitions from traps to crabs on the beach to crabs in the beak, etc. Love it! Oh yes, gulls eat crabs! Somewhere I have a funny photo of a gull with a really big one. That youngster didn’t get much out of the little crab, did he? Good lesson on toe-walking, too. 🙂 I have never seen a heron do that though! Weird! The Snowy feet are gorgeous in the sun- I miss seeing them! Love the drape of those fishing nets. Thank you for this rompingly wonderful post, Linda. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    March 15, 2021 at 12:04 PM

    • Thank you, Lynn. I’m especially happy that you got the transitions and that you liked them. I was a little embarrassed to be doing them in a corny kind of way, but the fun I was having outweighed my hesitations. When or if I ever get back to Cortez, I’ll try some crab-trap photos closer in. By then surely my new camera will have been shipped, and with the much larger sensor a close crop will work, too. . . . I never saw a heron do that either.


      March 16, 2021 at 8:02 AM

  8. Although I’ve always had this idea that I’d love to be a waterbird of some kind, because then I would get to both swim AND fly, I’ve never thought that much about their feet. It’s been wonderful to get to see some feet up close, and the shots are beautiful in themselves. As always, nature is a great designer, and has everything planned in detail, like yellow feet to attract small fish, how clever! No feature is there without a good reason.


    March 29, 2021 at 4:23 AM

    • Thanks. I’m so glad you like those feet photographs, Gunilla. The yellow feet of the Snowy Egret are my favorites, but I never thought about their function until researching for this blog post.

      Liked by 1 person

      March 29, 2021 at 1:44 PM

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