Take a good look. We’ve all seen this before, though we rarely recognize it when so plainly put. A choice. Pure and simple. Left or right, up or down, job or college… right or wrong. Each and every day of our lives is filled with choices. Some so little we barely notice, and yet subconsciously do. And some so large and frightening that we freeze in our tracks, and do nothing. But choose we must, and choose we will. So, choose wisely.
While walking our local 1/4 mile path, I noticed this majestic tree that somehow loss a significant part of itself. Obviously, the fallen limb has died away, without the care, love and nourishment of the trunk itself. To get deep, for a moment, it can be said that without the close connection to family and friends, a small part of us “dies away” when we too are forced to break away.
It hit me like an explosion. An explosion of color! I was in Publix for milk, lemonade and bananas. I picked a bunch of bananas and grabbed one of those thin plastic fruit bags for transport. With bananas in one hand and the still closed bag in the other, I was one hand short, so I placed my yellow bananas atop a group of green bananas. Immediately, I saw The Picture! Just as immediately, I whipped out my Galaxy S5 and snapped a quick photo. Yes! Spontaneous Photography was born!
Here’s how I created the term, in four words: Just Take the Shot! Simply put, when something interesting, creative and/or thought provoking grabs your attention, just take the shot! Before it gets away, you over think it or Life intrudes. You see, an image in Spontaneous Photography can be purely beautiful, even if no one really sees it… but You!
Ybor City. Classic. Historic. Beautiful. I never thought there would be a city that I would love as much, or more, than New York City, but then comes historic Ybor City. With its old world flavor and charm, it is the perfect visual candy after an over dose of gleaming glass and chrome towers. Cobble stone streets and crosswalks, sidewalk cafes and a fully functional trolley car transit system! Yes, Ybor is the place to be. And I am blessed and honored to have my photography studio right in the heart of it!
The Gateway to another time and place… Historic Ybor City! It may not be very large as in square mileage, but it is huge in character and personality. In fact, it is officially listed as a neighborhood (located just northeast of downtown Tampa), and designated as a National Historic Landmark District. And in 2008, the American Planning Association was so taken by Ybor’s busy 7th Avenue, which is the main commercial thoroughfare, that it recognized it as “One of the 10 Great Streets in America!”
I love the trolley cars, though I have to admit, I have yet to ride one. With their distinctive sound and “old movie” appeal, some people actually ride the trolley as a ride, with no real place to go.
The stylish but modern Muvico Theater. As much as Ybor City holds fast to its Old World ways and looks, there must be places and activities that speak to a broader audience. Also in the area is a game room, for young and old, alike.
The Italian Club. Tampa’s first Italian-American Society was organized April 4, 1894, with 116 Italian and eight Spanish immigrants. It started its monthly meetings on the first Sunday of every month, at 10:30am, even though organized religion may have preferred otherwise, and that schedule continues today.
No Ybor City photo set would be complete without the world famous Columbia Restaurant! Founded in 1905 by Cuban immigrant Casimiro Hernandez, Sr., the Columbia Restaurant is Florida’s oldest restaurant℠, and the largest Spanish restaurant in the world.
Rich in history, culture and food. When visiting Tampa, one must visit Ybor City, to dine at the Columbia if for no other reason. Who else shares my opinion? In 2010, Nation’s Restaurant News crowned the Columbia as a “Top 50 All-American Icon!”
Cigars are even more of a staple in Ybor City than the wonderful food, and King Corona is a long standing cigar bar and restaurant that serves as a daily meeting place for many residents and workers.
Right above the King Corona is the Ybor Art Colony. It is cooperative of artist, painters, sculptors and photographers, me being one. I am proud to call Florida my home and Ybor City my business location. And with the support and connections of other creative individuals in the Colony, I feel more energized than ever in my craft!
To view the entire Ybor City gallery, please visit this link: Ybor City Historic District
Take one creative person, photographer in this case. Add one creative subject, hobby model in this case. And stir. Results may vary…
My muse, Alisha, texted me today (yesterday actually, being 1:35am now), out of the blue with these words:
“We need to get on this level as far as editing and me posing,” along with a link showing wonderful examples. This young lady never ceases to surprise, delight and inspire!
A perfect muse does a perfect job for an imperfect artist:
1) She always requires better than your best, expanding your talents. When you move a step up, she moves two steps away. Catch me if you can, she smiles!
2) She includes herself in the growing process. Never one to let your mortal skills outshine her angelic gifts, she always wants to be that “extra 10 pounds” on your creative bar, making you work for her presence. No pain, no gain.
3) She is usually the first to say “Let’s try something better, bolder or more daring.” As your creative spark plug, she won’t let your creativity idle too long, and won’t waste her time waiting on you to speak up. She is ready to shift into gear whether you’re buckled in or not. Hold on, here comes a curve.
Alisha is all that and more; I could write a book. And last week, she suggested just that, requesting that I write one about her. Obviously, my muse covers both my photography and my writing. Score one for me!