“Pic Of Peace” – May 9th, 2020

Today’s ‘Pic Of Peace’ is a shot I grabbed several years back at a place in Kissimmee, FL just outside of Walt Disney World called Old Town. This place used to have carnival type rides – like this old fashioned carousel. The light was just right for this photo illuminating the wooden horse’s head and mane. Ahhh the old days 😜.

Peace y’all 👍😎.
Mike T.

“Pic Of Peace” – May 8th, 2020

Today’s ‘pic of peace’ is a pretty old one. Not just the pictures itself (I shot this around 2001 +/-). But the content is old as well. For you ‘young-ins’, this was a form of advertising used back in the 50’s – 60’s and maybe even before. I remember riding down country roads up in New England and seeing stuff like this along the roadside. This particular shot I captured while traveling to Marceline, MO. I think the sepia coloration I added in post production really lends itself to bringing out the old time beauty of it all.

Peace, Y’all 🙂

Welcome (Or Welcome Back)! Updates & Changes Abound Here 😁

Howdy Neighbor!

Lots of new updates and additions to my site – most regarding the sale and distribution of my work(s), Time to take all matters into my own hands versus dealing with unnecessary and over the top rules and guidelines etc… of other commercial sites. Some, not all. Hence, this site has become and will further evolve into a nice, friendly ‘One Stop Shop’. But it’ll also remain and advance as my blog, my communications with all you good people.

For now, check out my new ‘Stickers’ section. This whole project is something I’ve been putting together for a year or more. Though the thought of creating stickers has been a fun idea rolling around in the back of my brain for an even longer time now. With the present state of the world and the pandemic ‘stay at home‘ orders here in Florida, I’ve been fortunate enough to give the sticker biz (and everything else herein) a real push forward. Loving getting to work from home actually 👍😁.

Anyhoo – check it all out by clicking on the tabs at the top left.

Thanks for stoppin’ by neighbor. Peace And stay safe y’all – Mike T.

Peace – Mike T.

Red Moon / Lunar Eclipse

So yah, I know there’ll be lots of photos online and elsewhere of the red moon / super moon / giant moon / lunar eclipse etc… etc… 😜. But I thought I’d throw my capture of this natural wondrous beauty in the mix. ‘Twas a bit chilly even for Florida while I was shooting this at about 1:00AM on Monday morning, January 21st, 2019 – around 38 degrees and quire windy! And on top of that, this moon was straight up above tonight. Hence, my neck now needs adjusting by my trusty chiropractor. OK, I’ll stop whining now. This WAS lots of fun. I need to get back out there and do more good stuff like this.

Peace – Mike T

Glass Half Full Or Half Empty?

As 2018 comes to a finish, some will be glad to see it go, some sad. What does this picture represent or mean to you – beginning of a new year or end of the present one? In other words, does this picture herein that I captured a few weeks ago represent sunset or sunrise? Just a rhetorical question to ask of yourself. Regardless of your answer, HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY!

A Bit Of Peaceful Nature

deer, nature, wildlife, lake louisa state park, florida, bambi, doe, forest, woods,

Yah, I know: It’s BEEN FOREVER since I’ve posted here. Just got lots of stuff going on and keeping me busy. No real excuses. Anyhoo – moving along.

nature, sunset, florida, rain, thunderstorm, lake louisa state park, wildlife

I took a ride through my favorite ‘oasis’ in Central Florida – Lake Louisa State Park. This was a great, lucky day. Managed to get these two shots of wildlife plus a sunset just after several rainy thunderstorms. Added note – I love e the way the light was hitting the vegetation in the foreground yet almost black immediately thereafter until the orange sunset emerges in the background! And this was all natural lighting by the way. No after effects etc…

wildlife, alligator, gator, lake louisa state park,

The old expression about a picture being worth a thousand words – well, nothing else needs saying here I don’t believe. You  can add your own captions (in your head) if you so desire ;).

Peace – Mike T.

Thank You ….

bok tower gardens, bok tower, florida, historic sites, lake wales florida

Greetings All,

Just wanted to post some quick ‘bloggage’ thanking everyone that came out to see my Photo Art Exhibit, “Florida Backroads,” at Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, FL. The exhibit was a wonderful success. After just about 3 months, It came to a close last week on April 26th, 2018. I’m quite pleased (and proud) to say that more than a half dozen photo art pieces sold and over 3/4 of the photo merchandise at the Bok Tower Gardens Gift Shop sold as well. Not bad at all for a ‘first time in’ for this photographer. I must also thank the fantastic staff members at Bok Tower Gardens. They were so helpful and instrumental in making it a success from setup to tear down and everything in between!!! You guys and gals ROCK!

If there’s anyone reading this post that visited Bok Tower Gardens while my exhibit was taking place and was, or is still interested in acquiring one or more pieces (either framed display pieces or just matted & backed), please contact me: MikeThomasImagery@Gmail.com and I’ll be more than happy to help you out. As I say, quite a bit sold but there’s still some good stuff remaining (and more on top of that which was not on display at Bok (only so much space on the wall there, ya’ know? 😉 )).

Thanks one more time everyone!!!

Peace – Mike T.

Dirt Roads

dirt roads, paul harvey, the rest of the story, good day, backroadsWhile I was out shooting more photos for my ongoing Florida Backroads projects, I came upon this dirt road slightly off the beaten path. As I set my cameras to take various angles, lighting variations and more, this story suddenly popped into my head I’d read – actually heard YEARS ago from the late great Paul Harvey. I loved Mr. Harvey’s daily news show and was so saddened when he passed on. Just in case there might be some ‘youngins’ out there who’ve never heard of Paul Harvey, first off, my sympathies. But Paul Harvey was best known for his off the cuff and almost odd news stories of the day. At the end of each broadcast, he would tell some story about someone or something that you wouldn’t know what he was actually talking about until the very end of the story. Then he would finish with his signature phrase, “…And now you know THE REST OF THE STORY…”

Below is a copy and paste of one of my favorite stories I ever heard from Paul Harvey. It’s called (as if you haven’t figured out already), “Dirt Roads.” Please read through it and it might just change your way of thinking or perhaps make you remember the way things were in days gone by.

=====================================

Dirt Roads

What’s mainly wrong with society today is that too many
Dirt Roads have been paved.  There’s not a problem in
America today, crime, drugs, education, divorce, delinquency
that wouldn’t be remedied, if we just had more Dirt Roads,
because Dirt Roads give character.

People that live at the end of Dirt Roads learn early on that
life is a bumpy ride.  That it can jar you right down to your
teeth sometimes, but it’s worth it, if at the end is home…
a loving spouse, happy kids and a dog.

We wouldn’t have near the trouble with our educational system
if our kids got their exercise walking a Dirt Road with other kids, from whom they learn how to get along.

There was less crime in our streets before they were paved.
Criminals didn’t walk two dusty miles to rob or rape, if they
knew they’d be welcomed by 5 barking dogs and a double
barrel shotgun.  And there were no drive by shootings.

Our values were better when our roads were worse!
People did not worship their cars more than their kids, and
motorists were more courteous, they didn’t tailgate by riding
the bumper or the guy in front would choke you with dust and
bust your windshield with rocks.

Dirt Roads taught patience. Dirt Roads were environmentally friendly, you didn’t hop in
your car for a quart of milk – you walked to the barn for your milk.

For your mail, you walked to the mail box.  What if it rained and
the Dirt Road got washed out?   That was the best part, then you
stayed home and had some family time, roasted marshmallows and popped popcorn and pony road on Daddy’s shoulders and learned how to make  prettier quilts than anybody.

At the end of Dirt Roads, you soon learned that bad words tasted
like soap. Most paved roads lead to trouble, Dirt Roads more likely lead to a fishing creek or a swimming hole.

At the end of a Dirt Road, the only time we even locked our car
was in August, because if we didn’t some neighbor would fill it with too much zucchini.

At the end of a Dirt Road, there was always extra springtime
income, from when city dudes would get stuck, you’d have to
hitch up a team and pull them out.  Usually you got a dollar…
always you got a new friend…at the end of a Dirt Road.

Paul Harvey

====================================

And now you know …. ‘The Rest Of The Story‘.

“Good Day” ;). Thanks for stoppin’ by neighbor!

Mike T.

A Night Under The Stars

Ever wonder how much ‘activity’ is going on all around us – In particular, above us? Well, Saturday night (02-24-18) I went to an event at Lake Louisa State Park here in Central Florida. By and large, it was a fun, educational astronomy event presented as a family happening. While the facilitators were very good and informative, I went with the soul intention of capturing some astro-photography as Lake Louisa State Park provides a minimal light pollution environment – one of the few areas in Central Florida capable of this.

star trails, astronomy, sky, night sky, lake louisa state park, florida, disney

The first photo (above) was pretty much a single, long exposure shot conveying or portraying a pretty, peaceful and fairly clear night sky with a fair amount of stars up there. As beautiful as that shot is, the one below depicts what’s really going on overhead during this event.

The picture below – taken at the exact same location as the first photo above – is what’s known as a ‘star trails’ shot. If you don’t know what a ‘star trails’ shot is, let me explain. In short, I set my camera to capture time lapse photos over a span (in this instance) of about an hour and fifteen minutes. Each of the 250 shots i captured had an exposure time of 15 seconds. Now as we all know, the earth is constantly rotating. The fact the camera had the shutter opened for fifteen seconds per shots times 250 shots, what happens is the camera a actually picks up the earth’s rotation while shooting pictures of the stars. The stars don’t move in these shots, but the earth does. The end result is the stars look like they’re streaking across the night time sky but in reality, the camera is picking up the earth moving against the stationary stars. Once all the photos are loaded into the computer, I use specific software to ‘morph’ all the 250 shots into one single shot. This one single shot is what you’re looking at below. Make sense? I hope so :).

star trails, astronomy, sky, night sky, lake louisa state park, florida, disney

Oh and by the way, what might look like a colored sort of trails going against the grain or opposite direction of the majority of the star trails in the final photo is / are actually airplanes, helicopters or maybe even a shooting star passing by. And the blurry coloration in the lower right corner of the photo are a few of the attendees of the event.

So next time you’re out enjoying the beauty and peace of a clear night sky, this ‘star trails’ photo show what’s really going on all around you and over your head.

Peace – Mike T

Florida Backroads: A Return Visit To Micanopy

For those that know me pretty well or possibly have been reading this blog for several years now, you’re probably aware of one of my favorite places to visit off the beaten path in Florida – a little town called Micanopy, FL (population 576 +/-).

florida, micanopy, doc hollywood, cross creek, gainesville, general store

Micanopy lies just southeast of Gainesville. But that’s being a little vague. I’ve written a few blog posts over the years about Micanopy. I even created & produced a documentary type video slideshow about Micanopy and an equally interesting and historical small town called Cross Creek, FL a few years ago.

As you can see, included herein this blog post are just a few pictures – all new imagery – that I managed to capture as the sun was starting to go down yesterday (Thursday, February 23rd, 2018).

micanopy, florida, backroads, church, small town usa

This little town reminds me somewhat of where I hail from up in New England – New Hampshire to be exact. Only thing this town doesn’t have are mountains and snow. What the town DOES have are several antique shops. For me, the one pictured right below is the most unique, quaint and old fashioned of them all!

florida, micanopy, gainesville, backroads, antiques, antique store

If ever there was a place in Florida that I would consider retiring to (IF I ever retire that is), it would be this beautiful hidden treasure with all it’s charm called Micanopy, FL.

micanopy, florida, horse & buggy, antiques, backroads

Thanks for stoppin’ by neighbor.

Peace – Mike T.

 

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). 😉

Peace – Mike T.