A Coke And A Smile – – – In The Woods

coke, cocal cola, soft drinks, things go better with coke, a smile and a coke, woods, forrest, nature

So yah, at this juncture, there is absolutely no point to this picture. Well, actually there WAS a point. But that point has since passed and it’s too long a story & not worth getting into here. I just loved this shot too much to let it sit forever and do nothing on my external archive drive. It somehow looks like (and I know this is an unrealistic statement) an old fashioned wooden Coke machine dispensing a bottle of the beverage.

No one else owns any rights to this picture except little old me. Hence, I thought I’d share it with y’all :).

“… Things Go Better With Coke…”

Peace – Mike T.

Melbourne Beach, FL – Long Exposure Shots – And A New Project Coming

florida, beaches, melbourne beach florida, long exposure shot, nd filter, neutral density filter, oceanOne of my favorite types of pictures in photography are long exposure shots. At night (when it’s nice and dark), it’s easy to create long exposure pictures. But during the day in the sunlight, it’s much more of a challenge – especially in the wide open of big beach with bright sun and little or no clouds. In order to make these type of photos happen, you need something to make what the camera sees appear darker. The best way to do this is with a Neutral Density Filter (ND Filter) in front of the lens. I created this particular picture using a 10 stop ND filter, ISO of 200, aperture of F-8 and using the Bulb setting to vary the shutter speed – in this case, the timing / shutter speed ended up being a 10 second exposure.

This is only one picture from a brand new project coming very soon (stay tuned, please). πŸ˜‰

Peace – Mike T.

Bok Tower Meet & Greet Complete (WOW – that all rhymes!)

Greetings!

florid, nature, wildlife, backroads, bok tower gardens, lake wales florida, airplane, airplane the movie, steve mccrosky, lloyd vridges

So here’s a quick funny story before I get to the real purpose of this blog post. If y’all have ever seen the old cult classic movie comedy, “Airplane,” then this will make perfect sense and you’ll be able to relate. There’s one quick scene in that movie where air traffic controller Steve McCrosky (Lloyd Bridges) stops and while still standing, leans on his desk with a cigarette in his mouth. As the camera pans and zooms out a bit, you see a picture on the wall. In that picture / portrait is an EXACT duplication of Steve McCrosky leaning on his desk smoking a cigarette. Well – – – – – what I did today was 100% coincidence and not planned. I happened to wear the same yellow outdoorsman shirt with a black t-shirt underneath as the one in the picture of me on the wall (and that I use here on this website and everywhere else as my profile picture). When I noticed this and after I stopped laughing, I had one of the Bok Tower Managers take my picture in front of my picture LOL :). That’s what the picture herein is all about. Hope you find as much humor in it all as I did today!

Now for the news :). Just a quick update on the meet & greet today at Bok Tower Gardens. I got to meet loads of very nice, great people who appreciate the arts and coincidently, had very kind words to say about my work. A HUGE thank you to anyone and everyone that came out for this event today.

Additionally, along with my hanging art pieces ‘on the wall’, the gift shop at Bok Tower Gardens is now carrying various versions, sizes and formats of my photo art. Prices are slightly lower due to the fact that the pieces in the gift shop are matted w/ backing versus the matted, backed and framed style on the walls.

Anyhoo – – – just wanted to let you loyal blog readers how it went today and let y’all know about the additional merchandise in the Bok Tower Gift Shop.

Peace – Mike T.

A Video Slideshow Of Some Of My Photo Art Exhibit At Bok Tower Gardens

Greetings!

So I’ve had several inquiries as to what type of work or theme I have on display at the photo art exhibit at Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, FL. I figured the best way was to put together and produce a short (about 2 minutes) video slide show of what’s hanging on the walls as well as what they (Bok Tower folk) are going to be carrying in their gift shop. Soooooo – here it is :). Also FYI / reminder – yours truly will be there at Bok Tower Gardens tomorrow (Wednesday January 24th, 2018 from 2:00PM to 4:00PM for a “Meet The Artist” type thing. If you’re in the area and have some time, by all means come say Hi :).

Peace – Mike T.

Mike Thomas’ “Florida Backroads” Exhibit Now Live At Bok Tower Gardens

 

After little sleep, loading in of all the frames and other art pieces in the unusually freezing Florida temps (32 degrees) this early morning (“O’Dark Thirty” lol), my photo art exhibit, “Florida Backroads” is now officially open at Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, FL. The exhibit runs through April 26th, 2018.

bok tower gardens, florida, lake wales, national historic landmark, florida backroads

All pieces on display are also available for purchase as well. Prices range from $85.00 to $110.00 per piece and include frame, matting w/backing and of course the image printed on archival fine art paper. Sizes range from 14″ X 18″ (frame and matte) / 11″ X 14″ print; 16″ X 20″ (frame and matte) / 11″ X 14″ print; 18″ X 24″ (frame and matte) / 12″ X 18″ print. Bok has also requested my work to be available in their get shop as well. FYI – the gift shop pieces will be offered in smaller sizes and unframed (matted & backed only) and will therefore sell at a slightly lower price (prices TBD). The aforementioned merchandise art will be coming to the gift shop within the next week to ten days.

“Look Ma’, I’m In Print!”

OK, so much for the sales pitch (for now… LOL). If you’ve never been to Bok Tower Gardens, you really need to go there – especially if you’re looking for a peaceful, tranquil, 250 acre environment with the tower itself (known as “The Singing Tower”) chiming out over the grounds as the musician in the tower loft plays an old fashioned Carillon.

Click anyone of the Bok Tower Gardens links within this blog post for a full description and history of Bok Tower Gardens. And by the way, Bok Tower Gardens is on the National Registry of Historic Landmarks. Just can’t say enough good things about the place!

Hopefully I’ll see you there. Bok has me doing a ‘Meet & Greet’ on January 24th from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM. I’ll keep you updated as the event progresses. Y’all also might wanna check my Instagram AccountΒ (www.instagram.com/mikethomasimagery/) as well as I tend to post quick / short updates there.

Peace – Mike T.

My Photo Art Exhibit Opens Tomorrow – Friday January 19th, 2018!

florida, nature, wilderness, forest, florida backroads, sunset, state park, national forest, national park, everglades
(One Of The Many Shots In My “Florida Backroads” Exhibit)

So, yah – I’m pretty excited about my first photo art exhibit of 2018 opening tomorrow was Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, Florida. But to be honest, all the last minute ‘stuff’ is taking its toll right now. I pretty much forgot about all that last minute ‘stuff’ ;). But it’s still all fun and so cool.

For those that don’t know or haven’t seen my blog post (or Facebook / Instagram prior to this), my traveling art exhibit show I’ve been doing on and off now for about 2 years is getting a post by the good folks at Bok Tower Gardens. I entered into an agreement in about May 2017 to have a showing of my photography featuring all the natural b beauty of Florida. This show or exhibit is a never ending project. But it’s taken me about 4-5 years to go out and capture what I consider enough GOOD imagery to properly represent what I’m attempting to bring to the folks that appreciate – and those that perhaps do NOT appreciate and respect what was here in Florida long before growth, theme parks and more.

Anyhoo – if you’re looking for a little different, peaceful, tranquil escape, please consider visiting Bok Tower Gardens, and of course, check out my exhibit ;).

Please click any of the highlighted links to Bok Tower Gardens for more detailed information about this National Historic Treasure!

PEACE – Mike T.

Mike Thomas’ “Florida Backroads” Photo Art Exhibit Coming To Bok Tower Gardens!

 

Greetings Everyone!

First off, hope y’all had great Holidays! Also hope everyone is making their way through these frigid and snowy conditions on the east coast (and elsewhere, but I’m on the east coast and experiencing Florida’s version of a cold snap).

OK, let me get right to it. If you’ve read my blog over the last several years, you know I’ve visited Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, Florida many times. I LOVE this place for many reasons but mainly because of its serenity, beauty, peacefulness, attachment to nature, the size (250 acres) and of course, the 205 foot ‘Singing Tower’ itself (click the Bok Tower GardensΒ link here or below for in depth details on the ‘singing tower’, the surrounding gardens and more). You can also find some wildlife, tons of butterflies fluttering all around you (and these offerings are all truly wild and not in a sanctuary or similar). Best of all, Bok Tower Gardens is on the National Historic Landmark Registry Listing – meaning it’ll be there for a long, LONG time!

Above and beyond all the aforementioned, Bok Tower Gardens offers to their Guests an art exhibit that runs pretty much year round. The artists / exhibits are switched out every few months or so. I saw this exhibit section for the first time at their Welcome Center dating back about 5-6 years and have always thought how I’d love to have my work on display there since it fit the theme (nature, wildlife, Florida). Well guess what? I was offered the opportunity last spring to be the featured artist for one of these exhibits! (YAY! WOO HOO! lol :))

My exhibit entitled, “Florida Backroads,”will begin its run on January 19th, 2018 and finish on April 26th, 2018. All items on display will also be for sale (FYI – any items purchased will remain on display until March 26th, 2018 … at which time the buyers will then receive their photographic art pieces).

In addition to the exhibit, Bok Tower Gardens has me doing a ‘Meet The Artist’ type welcome on January 24th, 2018 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Refreshments will be served during those times and of course yours truly will be in attendance to casually chat and answer questions about my work as well as photography.

Hope anyone and everyone can make it to Bok Tower Gardens between January 24th and April 26th, 2018. Again, the display is inside The Bok Tower Welcome Center. The exhibit itself is free. However, admission to the massive grounds and gardens is required. Below, please find the address and web site link for Bok Tower Gardens:

Bok Tower Gardens,Β 1151 Tower Blvd,Β Lake Wales, Florida 33853 –Β 863 676 1408

I’ll update this blog with more information as the opening date draws nearer. I’l also post additional updates as the exhibit progresses.

Thanks for stoppin’ by neighbor!

Mike T.

Monument Of States

wwii, ww ii, world war ii, pearl harbor, monument of states, kissimmee, fl, disney world

 

Today being December 7th, 2017, the date marks the 76th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. I wanted to post about something – anything – different but related directly to ‘that day in infamy‘. I remembered doing another photo shoot in the downtown historic area of Kissimmee, FL, a town that borders The Walt Disney World Resort, just to give geographical reference. The monument or this post has nothing to do with Disney. Anyway, while doing the shoot I mentioned, I recalled seeing a very unusual monument in this section of town called, “The Monument Of The States.”

Upon further research regarding this unusual monument, I discovered that this structure was the brain child of Dr.Charles Bressler-Pettis. Dr. Bressler-Pettis’ idea was to have every one of the United States send a rock significant to the respective state to him. He would then use these rocks within the construction of The Monument Of States. The reason behind it all was to create or display a symbol of patriotic unity in the early, dark days of World War II just after Pearl Harbor was attacked. Dr. Bressler-Pettis sent out a letter to each of the governors of every state requesting a rock from each respective state. The response to his request was phenomenal and unanimous. All 48 states (at that time) complied and became a major part & contributor of this project.

If you look closely at some of the pictures herein, you’ll see what I mean. Each little section is labeled or named and has a rock (or something similar) within it. Over time, more rocks and placards were added to the monument. You’ll see offerings from Canada, Africa and more in the monument (and in a few of the photos).

The Monument Of States was created in 1942. Here it is 76 years later and it’s still standing! As a side note, the monument did have a facelift of sorts in 2001 making it look even better and due to incidents at around that time frame, have even more significance.

If should ever want to go see this thing in person, the address is 300 East Monument Ave, Kissimmee, FL. It technically resides in Lakefront Park at the aforementioned address.

To all who perished and to all who survived this day in 1941, you’ll never be forgotten by this photographer / writer!

Pray for peace everyone! Thanks for stopping by! And most important, thank you to every U.S. Military Person who is or has protected all of us from harms way. God Bless All Of You and your families!

Mike T.

Florida Backroads: A Cloudy Sunset & Turtles

Yep, you read the title correctly :). I ventured out today (Friday August 11th, 2017) in the late afternoon. Just one of those ‘have to get outside’ days. Well, silly me overlooked the fact it was Friday afternoon / evening. The traffic was terrific! So I puttered along until I was getting close to one of my favorite spots, “Lake Louisa State Park.” I know – I shoot there a lot. But there’s just SO MUCH in the park and always something new. Today, as I was driving towards Dixie Lake (one of the 5 lakes within the park), I looked to my left and saw a few of the local residents puttering along at a much slower pace than I was. I immediately exclaimed, “DUDE!” (have to be a Finding Nemo fan to get that one LOL). I stopped, got out of the car and captured the two pics of these two turtles pictured herein. “Radical, shawe!” πŸ˜‰

When I got to Dixie Lake, I walked down the pier to the waters’ edge. There I found a non typical Florida sunset as you see in this shot below. The contrast and dynamics the huge clouds created made for a pretty nice and different shot. Enjoy!

Peace – Mike T.

Florida Backroads: A Horse Is A Horse, Of Course, Of Course

horse, mr.ed, florida, pasture, water, dip, pool, equestrian, farm

There are times when I have some preconceived notion of capturing some unique, funny or just different type of shot. I head out looking for it often times – actually, MOST times never come across it. Then there are days I throw the camera in the car, head out for a joy ride, perhaps pick up a Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks coffee and just drive down some old country road – – –Β and come across “Mr. Ed” taking a dip on a hot Florida afternoon :). This poor guy was just too hot in that Florida sun but managed to find some relief.

My parting words – especially to any aspiring photographers: Get in the car, put it in drive and just GO! Ya’ never know what you’re gonna find.

Peace – Mike T.

Florida Backroads: Flagler Beach / Ponce Inlet Lighthouse

beach, ocean, atlantic ocean, florida, flagler beach, armband beach, dayton beach, ponce inlet, lighthouse

There’s a 30 mile stretch of scenic coastline on the east coast of Florida between Daytona, Ormond and Flagler Beaches. I’d never set foot on it before and I thought it might make a nice Sunday, go shootin’ & explorin’ kinda drive. Truthfully, the scenic portion of this venture was in fact pretty. But in keeping with theme of ‘Florida Backroads’, it just wan’t ‘backroad-zee’ enough. But I did manage to find a few places to click off a picture or 20. They pretty much speak for themselves. But just to be absolutely clear,

the light house shots are that of Ponce Inlet Light, located at the southern most tip of Daytona Beach. This time around I shot with a hefty telephoto zoom versus my usual wide angle. Kinda neat to see those folks up there that climbed this lighthouse (the tallest one in Florida by the way).

I’ve climbed this thing in the past. But it was pretty crowded being a weekend day and I figured I didn’t wanna invest that much time that day. Oh yah, and I probably would’ve needed an oxygen bottle at the end of it all, too LOL :).

The “Flagler Beach” water tower, well, speaks for itself. But with the green vegetative foreground and the nice blue sky, I thought it’d probably make an OK shot. And the beach shot – – – well – – – the only problem with taking almost any beach shot is that they all look the same for the most part: sand, water, sky. Granted, beautiful and relaxing. But from a photographers stand point, difficult to make each shot look that mush different. But I still liked the look and feel of it. I love the feeling any ocean shot brings!

Thanks for stoppin’ by.

Peace – Mike T.

Florida Backroads: My Friend & Author Rebekah Lyn

So if you’ve read this blog at all, you know one of – if not my biggest passion – is the natural beauty and lesser known roads of Florida. Fairly soon, there’ll be lots more coming about all that but that’s another blog post for another time. THIS article has to do with one of my best, long time friends, Rebekah Lyn. Rebekah is an author with 4 or 5 books to her credit thus far. Of late, she’s been working on another new one. Release date has not been confirmed at this point.

Recently, I had the honor to be asked to shoot the cover photo for this new book. The shoot itself went great, albeit, it got VERY hot very quickly. But we were all only out in the blazing Florida summer sun for about 2 hours. Well, I certainly don’t wanna give anything away about the new book – including the actual final contenders for the cover picture. However, while I was out there with Rebekah, I managed to click off this ‘generic’ shot in an area near the Space Coast. Hence, part of the reason for this blog post.

The location I was shooting that day was near Kennedy Space Center on the east coast of Florida. The combination of that, plus shooting for Rebekah’s new book reminded of one of her recent books I really enjoyed, “Jessie.” So here’s the shameless plug for my friend & author Rebekah Lyn ;), check out the particular ebook I just made mention of by clicking the link to Amazon below.

Thanks for stoppin’ by,

Peace – Mike T