Three Important Reasons to Hire a Photography Guide – 14.5 hours in paradise with Tampa Bay Photography Tours
Earth shadow and belt of venus before sunrise…enchanting tropical forests…birds and animals in the wild…silky smooth rivers…sunset by the ocean…vibrant cityscapes after dark…14.5 hours in paradise with Tampa Bay Photography.
The first most important reason to hire a photography guide is to find the best locations for your photoshoot.
When you’re not familiar with an area, a local photography guide will get you to the best locations for your photoshoots. On this occasion, Eddie and I were with Kathi, owner of Tampa Bay Photography Tours. She picked us up at MacDill AFB an hour before sunrise and drove us to some of the best locations for photoshoots.
The first place we went was Ballast Point Park just a few blocks away. Eddie and I always visit Ballast Point when we’re in Tampa because it offers a stunnning view of the city of Tampa from across the water. With Kathi, we found that Ballast Point also offers one of the best photoshoots.
It’s especially beautiful just before sunrise, when the earth’s shadow and Belt of Venus is behind the city.
From Ballast Point, we drove to Circle B Bar Reserve, where paths there lead to magical and enchanting tropical forests.
Along the path, we’d hear a noise behind us and look back to see animals foraging in the grass.
As we continued, vast open water opened up on one side of the path. There, we saw numerous birds on the lookout for breakfast. It was not surprising to see this many tropical birds in a Florida reserve. It was surprising that it made no difference to them that we were standing just a few feet away as they pursued their morning tasks.
The cormorant worked with the fish a while before finally swallowing it.
Then, we’d hear a noise, turn and the grey heron would have moved closer. Surely he was stalking prey but seemed to be following us with interest.
The other side of the path opened to a vast enchanting forest. There, cypress trees are standing in pools of deep green water and dripping with moss.
The birds added haunting mystery and intrigue. It’s the kind of scene that leads to great fairy tales, legend, and lore.
Some spots opened to the rays of the sun, creating a magical scene.
Kathi said that the beauty becomes even more stunning the farther you go. But, it was time for us to turn back.
As we reluctantly started to turn around, we saw a large crane crossing the path in the distance.
There’s no doubt that I’ll return to Circle B Bar Reserve in the future. It’s a place to simply walk, a place to relish and to ponder the beauty of nature.
Our next stop was Hillsborough River State Park. There, we climbed down a bank to get close to the river. We wanted to capture special images of the water.
The second most important reason to hire a photography guide is to learn new techniques.
There’s incredible beauty within the boundaries of Hillsborough State Park, Kathi explained, and many locations for a photoshoot. But for these shots we want to poisition ourselves at the water’s edge to capture the effect of water flow. Water flow is a term that describes a silky smooth look and combined with other elements in this scene, adds a sense of mystery and awe.
At this point, we were half way into our 14.5 hours in paradise. After a quick bite to eat at Chick-fil-A, we headed to Redington Beach to capture the sunset. Kathi wanted to us to use the intriguing rock formations there in our composition.
Learning more about composition is the third important reason to hire a photography guide.
It was after dark as we headed to the Tampa Riverwalk. And there, lit up in a dazzling winter display, we completed our tour with Kathi.
The Moorish minarets of the University of Tampa are in the background of these.
About Kathi at Tampa Bay Photography Tours
Kathi has lived in the Tampa area for 33 years and knows the best spots for photoshoots. With Kathi, you’re sure to capture the best landscapes, cityscapes, birds and animals, and where to position yourself for the best sunrise and sunset. We couldn’t have been more pleased with the outcome of spending 14.5 hours in paradise with Kathi. See more at Tampa Bay Photography Tours.
Eddie captured beautiful images of Kathi and me as we worked. Then, before departing, we got a selfie with her.
Eddie, Marie, and Kathi
During all of these photoshoots, I was using a Sony a7III with Lens FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM and Eddie was using his iPhone 7.
For more images of this photography tour, go to Gallery, Tampa, Florida.
For more stories about working with photography guides, go to:
“At some point in life the world’s beauty becomes enough. You don’t need to photography, paint, or even remember it. It is enough.” –Tony Morrison
Getting out to enjoy nature doesn’t always have to be about photography or earbuds streaming a favorite book or music from an iPhone. But, it not that easy, especially now with little time to read books and such great picture with our iPhones.
After spending 14.5 hours in paradise with Kathi at Tampa Bay Photography Tours, I’ve decided that now, as I travel for a story, I’ll plan enough time to do some things twice. The walk at Circle B Bar Reserve was so astonishingly beautiful that it deserves a slow walk just for the sake of walking. I felt like Alice after slipping through the hole of the White Rabbit. But, I’d slipped into my own Wonderland. Now, seeing my pictures I know that I was not dreaming. It is truly a Wonderland!
The land at Circle B Bar Reserve (1,267 acres on the northwest shore of Lake Hancock) was once a cattle ranch. Kudos to the folks at the Polk County Environmental Lands Program and the District. Their forward thinking efforts to protect the floodplain of Lake Hancock and restore the Banana Creek marsh system has resulted a paradise for wildlife and humans and protection from severe weather.
President Biden is making decisions that protect our National Monuments and begins the process of rejoining the 2015 Paris climate agreement. He picked the first Native American as head of the Interior Department. Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) vows to “be fierce for all of us, our planet, and all of our protected land. He vowed to review two national monuments that were downsized under the Trump administration, one considered sacred lands by the Native Americans. The two areas include the Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments.
With desertification creating disaster in “hotspots” around the world in such places as Somalia and Somaliland, it’s vital for security that we protect our natural environments.
By the way, if you’re interested in a good read about the Florida’s history of cattle ranching, download a copy of the best-selling novel Land Remembered by Patrick D. Smith. It’s a rags to riches story of three generations that make their fortune cattle farming in the Florida wilderness.