After a long string of art festivals in late February 2012, I decided to take a break and scout several areas in the Ocala National Forest, carrying a water bottle, my Mamiy 7ii, and a couple rolls of film. One of my stops was at Silver Glen, located in Marion County, which has one of my favorite springs to stop for a relaxing swim. Juniper Springs has always been my favorite place in Ocala to photograph and kayak, with its majestic river run, historical sites, and twisting boardwalks. Alexander has a less interactive feel, but is perhaps easier to sit in the sun and relax.
This time, though, I was here to walk the trails and see the rest of the park.
Arriving at Lake George
Walking through the riverine swamp and pine flatwoods was a short, splendid journey. After entering the area along Lake George, I realized at how low the water level had become. Low water levels, however, make it easy to walk into the lake itself, and capture interesting subjects. So I kicked off my shoes and carefully walked through the squishy lake bottom.
I photographed this lonely palm tree while walking along the lake shore. Most of my work focuses on texture on detail, whereas this image involves form and simplicity. Some photographs are meant to be printed, and this is one of them. The soft whites have long subtle tones that can only be seen in an enlargement. Sometimes during a scouting trip, I manage to create an image for exhibition, which always feels great. If the light is good, the light is good. The bright, hazy sky created an interesting use of negative space.
My hike back was pleasant, with cool spring air and a gentle backlighting breaking between the trees. While my focus has been on shooting water since last December (2011), my original love of landscape photography began with shooting the woodlands and swamps of South Florida. The Florida wilderness provides unlimited compositions of lines and texture, also with a trail or field to give the viewer a sense of walking into scene.
Later in April and May, I’ll be returning back to shoot the springs at sunset with slide film, as well as kayaking Lake George to get more black and white photographs. For now, enjoy the remaining photos below.