Monthly Archives: June 2012

South Beach Ocean Drive at Night, 1995

This photo comes from a walk on the beach, the camera steadied by placing it on top of one of those sheet-metal equipment boxes the chaise-lounge concessionaires use. This was only about three years after Hurricane Andrew and the dunes hadn’t been built up the way they are now; there was a clear view of Ocean Drive with its Deco and neon.

Technically this isn’t a very good image, particularly as compared to the photos I make now, but I love the way it looks. As this is one of my more frequently stolen images it would appear that other people agree.

Technical Details: Olympus Stylus Zoom film P&S camera with drugstore-brand (Agfa?) color print film.

The South Beach hotel and entertainment district at night in December 1995. This view from the beach is now blocked by palm trees and restored sand dunes. (Jonathan Gewirtz)

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Eco Pond

Memorial Day offered light afternoon traffic and thus an easy opportunity to catch the sunset in Everglades National Park. The weather looked promising for photography so I drove down, arrived in good time and decided to go all the way to Flamingo at the park’s southern tip. It was almost deserted. I couldn’t find a route to the main beach, and not wanting to miss the sunset fell back on Eco Pond (so named because it was created to hold effluent from Flamingo’s showcase wastewater treatment plant). The pond appeared full, a small beach provided a good vantage, once the alligator left, and the storm-filled sky was full of lovely clouds and color. I made bracketed exposures until the color faded, then hurried back to my car to escape the insects (I had to blow across the front of my camera lens during longer exposures to keep the deer flies off).

Many people avoid the Everglades during Summer and miss great photo opportunities. This is when the skies are most dramatic and the vegetation lush. The tradeoffs are rain, humidity and bugs. You can deal with the bugs by wearing layers of clothing (jeans, thick socks, two or three shirts), putting a net over your head and covering exposed skin with deet. The biting flies are not entirely deterred, and I am experimenting with permethrin applied to the outer clothing layer. In conditions of low wind, exiting your car without a head covering is like leaving the airlock in the movie 2001 — everything seems OK for a few moments and then the bugs find you and you realize why there is nobody else around. But with some preparation you can be comfortable enough, and I think the results are worth the hassles.

Technical Details: Two-image composite, images exposed a couple of stops apart and manually blended in Photoshop. Canon 17-40mm lens @23mm on 5D MkII camera.

The colorful red skies of a rainy-season sunset reflect off the surface of Eco Pond in the Flamingo section of Everglades National Park, Florida. (©2012 Jonathan Gewirtz/jonathangewirtz.com)

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Stormy Sunrise In the Everglades

This photo was taken in late May from one of the elevated boardwalks on the Anhinga Trail in Everglades National Park. The sun was rising off to the right, and you can see a hint of warm sunlight here, both on the far right side of the image and reflected from the low white clouds in the left background. I was fortunate to see such a complex, dramatic sky at sunrise, but dramatic skies are one of the fruits (the others being humidity and mosquitoes) of South Florida summers.

Technical details: This photo is a composite of two images taken a few seconds apart. One image was exposed for the sky; the other, about two stops brighter, was exposed for the darker foreground. Manually blended in Photoshop. Canon 17-40mm lens @20mm on 5D MkII camera.

Morning rain showers pass over a lily-covered pond on the Anhinga Trail in Taylor Slough, Everglades National Park, Florida. (© 2012 Jonathan Gewirtz / jonathan@gewirtz.net)

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Old Cadillac, Miami Beach

Walking around Miami Beach, waiting for my car to be fixed. Saw this old Sedan de Ville, maybe a 1960, black — probably not a young person’s car, back in the day. It fits well in the cultural ambiance of South Beach circa 2012.

Technical details: Single exposure processed as HDR in Photomatix software. Canon 35L lens on 5D MkII camera.

A black Cadillac Sedan de Ville from around 1960 on Collins Avenue in Miami Beach, Florida. (©2012 Jonathan Gewirtz)

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