Back in July 2013, I started this blogpost but never published it. Here is the story, published now in October 2016:
After a number of 1 and 2 week long adventures through Florida, a relaxing one day trip was in order to Anclote Key State Park, a boat-only accessible island 3 miles outside of Tarpon Springs. I left the house with my friend Eric at a very late 8:00AM, instead of my usual 3:00AM. Arriving a few hours later in Tarpon Springs, I looked across the bay at a beautiful light quality and storms that were beginning to form.
The paddle over was smooth enough, arriving to beaches where some boaters had begun to set up a tanning shop on the sand bars. I focused on shooting some driftwood on the beaches, which weren’t as interesting as other islands I had visited weeks before. The summer Florida sun was getting more and more brutal, and the beer cooler was getting empty. The metal lighthouse across the island was clearly the most interesting subject around, but the sky was harsh and uninteresting, and I generally only shoot natural subjects.
The high water formed some shallow tidal creeks across the island, providing an opportunity to walk further in with all my gear. My jaw dropped; a gorgeous thunderhead has formed neatly around the lighthouse. The light was too harsh for color, but perfect for black and white film. I swapped a film back loaded with Kodak TMAX 100 on my Horseman SW612, and frantically installed my 90mm Rodenstock Lens and a red filter. A red filter with a little underexposure gives clouds a graphic like contrast. I used an f-stop around f/38 to get the foreground grass in focus.
The day-trip was already a success; but there was no time to celebrate. The thunderhead was quickly looking alot meaner, forming a lightning shelf cloud from a close distance. Time to go! I fired up the small engine I bring with my kayak for these situations, but another thunderhead was forming across the bay for my return trip. About 30 minutes later, I arrived to a very windy kayak launch. About 3 minutes after packing my gear back into the truck, it started raining.
Another great memory kayaking out in Florida waters.