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Monday, August 24, 2015

6 Tips for How to Photograph the Florida Keys Sunset

Photo by Claudia Miller
No visit to the Florida Keys would be complete without the perfect photo of the sun setting on the Gulf of Mexico. There are a number of resorts, marinas and parks throughout the islands that provide access to unobstructed water views. Check out these tips from local photography pros, Stephen Frink and Bob Care, to capture frame-worthy sunsets.
Be prepared. Learn your camera before leaving home. Read the manual, and play with the different settings. Review what type of equipment you might need, including a tripod and extra batteries.

Find out what time the sun sets, and get there early. You’ll want to scope out the best angles and vantage points. Once the sun begins to go down, it happens quickly. Also, there is a magical range of colors in the sky 30 minutes before and after the sun dips below the horizon.

Take advantage of cloudy days. Don’t think that just because it’s cloudy you won’t get a fantastic shot. In fact, the reflections on the clouds can create the more dramatic moments. No two sunsets are the same with a myriad of colors.

Include compositional elements. Try to include the reflections on the water, as well as tiki huts, boats, palm trees or birds to create interesting silhouettes. Produce a frame between you, the sun and your added subject. Learn the “rule of thirds” in image composition, a guideline that advises placing these elements off center.

Try different focal lengths. A telephoto lens will render a large ball of sun. A wide angle will have a smaller sun element, but will capture more of the sky and seascape.

Experiment with people. Unless you want a dark silhouette, use a flash and fill flash everyone in the foreground. Your subjects can be offset to produce a full frame including the sun. Or instead of facing into the sun with the person in front of you, let the light spill over your shoulder and front light them with the warm, appealing glow.

Originally published on

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Gates Opens Boutique Hotel in Key West

The Gates — a new boutique hotel at the entrance to Key West — pairs chic design with a laid-back vibe. Through partnerships with local businesses, artists, designers and tastemakers, they’ve captured the unique character and heritage of the island. ...Read more.