Surprise at Lover’s Key

Looking for some new landscape locations in southwest Florida, I resolved to rise and shine before dawn on Sunday and head out Bonita Beach Road toward Lover’s Key State Park. Alas, the sun rose at 7:13 am, but the gates did not open until 8 am.  I was hoping to catch the colorful pre-dawn sky and early bird activity, but instead I got a nice long hike along the beach, starting at 8 on the north end of the island. It was just me and the fishermen for a couple miles.

Finally, I came across some dead trees by the water’s edge. I dug my Nikon 14mm wide angle lens out of my backpack and found some interesting compositions. I have been reading Visual Flow, an e-book about the components of dynamic compositions in paintings and photographs by landscape photographer Ian Plant. As I composed my images, I was looking for strong diagonal lines in the trees and the shadows. I also watched the role of the surf and clicked the shutter when the surf played a dynamic role in the frame. The wood and the water play point/counterpoint in each image. (The wood directs the eye in one direction, and the surf moves in another, yet the two forces support one another in the image.)

Lover's Key. Warm and cool scene.
Lover’s Key. Warm and cool scene.
Lover's Key: tree roots
Lover’s Key: tree roots
Lover's Key: dynamic nature
Lover’s Key: dynamic nature

Sunday morning on Lover’s Key: I didn’t shoot what I came for — the sunrise sky or sea birds, but I found some new subjects along the shore line and explored elements of composition. This hike gave me a feeling of being alone in nature and witnessing its ongoing evolution.  I enjoyed the solitude and the exquisite details of the location: the movement of the water, the shells in the sand, the texture of the decaying wood, and the story they reveal.



Author: cathykellyphotography

Independent photographer based in Pittsburgh PA and Naples FL. Nature, landscape and portrait photography. Portfolio includes international work in USA, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Email to review work in your area of interest. Nature portfolio includes flowers and wildlife. Prints and digital files for sale. See website: