The Big Oak of Thomasville, Georgia

The historic Big Oak in Thomasville, Georgia dwarfs two people standing underneath its 164 feet of canopy.

The historic Big Oak in Thomasville, Georgia dwarfs two people standing underneath its 164 feet of canopy.
Nikon D7100/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/200s, f/8, ISO 100, EV +0.3, 11mm focal length.

The Big Oak of Thomasville, Georgia has some impressive statistics. It is over 330 years old with branches which spread out over 164 feet. The Live Oak (Quercus virginiana) is 68 feet tall with a trunk 26 feet in circumference. When it was registered with the Live Oak Society back in 1936, the tree’s girth was 21 and a half feet.

The sprawling canopy of branches of the Big Oak is helped along with support cables to keep the branches from touching the ground.

The sprawling canopy of branches of the Big Oak is helped along with support cables to keep the branches from touching the ground.
Nikon D7100/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/125s, f/8, ISO 500, EV +0.7, 11mm focal point.

Inside the Big Oak’s sprawling canopy of branches is like being among an octopus’ tentacles as they weave upward and outward from the trunk. As tempting as the tree is, no climbing is allowed. The people of Thomasville want the Big Oak to continue to grow for a long time to come.

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View 353: St. Marks Lighthouse

St. Marks Lighthouse at sunset in the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge near St. Marks, Florida.

St. Marks Lighthouse at sunset in the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge near St. Marks, Florida.
Nikon D7100/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/6s, f/16, ISO 100, EV 0, 11mm Focal Length, tripod.

So, while many of my upstate New Yorkers are in the middle of snow and extreme wind chills, I have been spending time in Florida. While the weather has not been seasonal weather wise, each day has been sunny and 50 degrees warmer than back home.

Yesterday, I spent the day touring the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge on the northern Gulf coast of Florida. I saw alligators warming in the Sun, ospreys hunting over water pools, pelicans gliding over Gulf waters and northern visitors keeping out of the cold.

As the Sun moved closer to the horizon, I photographed the St Marks Lighthouse and got the itch, the itch to share it with you all here.

 

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Focus on Epcot Photowalk

Bet you can not guess who is going to Walt Disney World next month. :) Then, again, I bet you can.

Focus on Epcot Photowalk

Focus on Epcot Photowalk

While there, I have planned an All Ears Photowalk called Focus on Epcot.  The focus (pun intended) will be on these three photographic subjects:

Hyperfocal Distance or Hyperfocus

Selective Focus

Using a Circular Polarizing Filter

The Photowalk will be held on Monday, February 9, 2015, from 9:30AM to 11:30AM. Meeting location will be outside the Nikon Camera Center in Epcot. The location is across from Spaceship Earth on the right side as you walk in from the Future World entrance. While you may attend by just showing up, if you think you will be at the photowalk, use the Contact form to notify me or sign up here: Focus on Epcot Facebook Event

Before the Photowalk, I will be posting blogs about each of the items to be covered right here. The subjects may be new to many of you and a good review for my frequent guests.

Note, you do not need a polarizing filter but one will be demonstrated along with a special tip.

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New York Frozen

Taughannock Falls State Park near Ithaca, New York on a cold January day.

Taughannock Falls State Park near Ithaca, New York on a cold January day in 2013.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length, Intensify Pro

I was asked recently to share My Special Place and explain why. This is what I said:

Off all the special places I love to spend time at and photograph, Taughannock Falls State Park near Ithaca, New York has become my most favorite.  The stunning natural beauty and the forces which created it always give me pause.  It is a place I travel to when I am in need of inspiration or peace anytime of the year.

This week’s weather in my area reminded me of a similar time back in 2013 at My Special Place.

Do you have a special place?  If you do, share in the comments below or maybe write your own blog post and share it with me.

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View 352: Disney in Motion

Starting out 2015 with a couple of my favorite photos from my two trips to Walt Disney World last year. Not surprisingly to some of you, they both involve capturing motion in a still image.

This first one I was not sure I could pull it off. For the details, follow this link for my post on the All Ears Picture This! blog.

Riding the Astro Obiter in Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida

Riding the Astro Obiter in Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/10s, f/22, ISO 200, EV 0, 24mm Focal Length.

This next one I was more confident I would get the image I was going for. Again, click this All Ears Picture This! blog post link for the gritty details.

Long exposure of the Main Street Electrical Parade on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida

Long exposure of the Main Street Electrical Parade on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 180s, f/22, ISO 200, EV 0, 24mm focal length, 3-stop Neutral Density filter.

While I am not specifically posting goals this year, I do want to work towards getting more variety on this blog. Still, there will be a good deal of sports photography but I will definitely get more travel, landscape, people and other kinds on the blog this year. Hope you all had a Happy New Year!  Here’s to a great 2015!

 

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