My Photography Hobby
I became interested in photography about 30 years ago. I got my first camera. It was one of those cameras that required you to take the film to a store to get developed. One time, I forgot about the film in the camera and I never knew what photos I had taken. The store I used was Eckerd’s. That’s a blast from the past. I’m not sure if anyone on here has ever heard of them. They went out of business a long time ago.
When I first started, I only took photos of the inside of my apartment. Not very exciting, I know. Then I got my first digital camera. It was a Fuji FinePix 2300. It was just a point-and-shoot. No more having to take the film anywhere because there was no film to worry about. I could easily bring them up on my computer.
I took photos around the house again. I went to a few airshows and took photos. Lots of stuff to take photos of there. Besides the planes, the local police and fire departments had their cars and equipment there. I went to parades during the Fourth of July and Veteran’s Day.
Fast forward to 2005. I was finally able to buy a good camera. I wanted a camera that could zoom in on subjects. I decided on the Panasonic DMC-FZ20. It had the capability to zoom into 432 mm.
My main focus was shooting photos of squirrels, birds, and military aircraft. My lawn always had small birds like cardinals, mourning doves, blue jays, and other birds. I like to take landscapes too. We had some flowers near the front door. I would take macro shots of the flowers, getting the camera lens as close to the flower as possible.
The military aircraft I shot came from living on the flight path of the planes taking off, landing, and doing touch-and-goes at Patrick Air Force Base (now named Patrick Space Force Base). The base is home to C-130s and HH-60 Helicopters belonging to the 920th Rescue Wing. I took photos of those planes and other aircraft that visited the base.
Here are a bunch of photographs. I’ll explain under each one.
When I lived down in Melbourne, Florida (20 min drive south), I used to go to Wickham Park all the time. This is a nice walking park with pavilions. They have all kinds of events going on there. They have a swimming lake, a fishing lake, dog park, large pavilions with picnic tables, sand volleyball courts, horseshoes, and camping. There are horse barns and an area where they can perform with seating. Lots of people, me included, drive around to see what is going on. There are always walkers. It’s a huge park at 391 acres. There is also a community center with gymnasium and a senior center with crafts and classes.
Here are some ducks near one of the picnic tables. I have a funny story about these ducks. Some years ago, my Mother and I stopped at the park to relax. Going to the park relieves a lot of stress. You are out in nature and it’s just peaceful. You never know what you might see. We were walking down near the front pond. All of the sudden, out of nowhere, it started to rain. I was taking photos. And when I mean rain, I mean it started pouring. As we were running toward the car, a few of these ducks starting running toward us. I don’t know why they were doing that. I said to her, “Great! We’re being chased by ducks.” As soon as I hopped into the car, they stopped right next to the door. I was laughing the whole way. I can see it now, “Man chased by ducks makes it safely to car”.
When these ducks are near the shoreline of the water, they like to sit on the bank. You can walk about 3 to 4 feet from them and they won’t move.
In one of the ponds, they have a lot of turtles. This turtle came up at the right time for me to snap his photo. There is a small boardwalk that goes over the water on this pond. One time, there were over 40 turtles near the boardwalk. I think they thought we had food for them. They kept poking their noses and mouths out of the water. It was a sight to see. I could have stayed there all day. We stayed and watched them for 20 minutes.
This is a C-17 visiting from McChord Air Force Base in Washington State. It might be tricky for you to see but there is a green stripe with wording on the tail. This signifies that it is from McChord. I have magazines that tell me what all of the tail numbers and codes are and what base they come from. They usually bring in equipment and supplies. A helicopter can fit inside one of these planes.
Up above, you’ll see one of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds doing a maneuver over my house. They were so loud as they passed overhead. Their engines roaring. It made the hair on your neck stand up. They were practicing for the airshow. I didn’t get to go to the airshow but I had my own in the front yard. On the day of the airshow, multiple planes flew over the house. When the Thunderbirds arrived earlier in the week, all seven planes flew over the house. The noise was horrendous. It was fun!
Here is the same squirrel from the first photo above. He was always on the fence that surrounded my screened-in patio. I was about 6 to 7 feet away. I zoomed in and got this up-close photo. He had his food and left by hopping up onto the roof and running away.
Here are 3 herons who walked through the neighborhood on a regular basis. One year, there was a mother, father, and two babies. That same year, one of the baby herons started not showing up. I don’t know what happened but they might have come across a predator or a car. Cars are one of their worst nightmares. The birds are always walking across busy roadways causing people to have to wait while they slowly walk across.
This is a mosaic art piece that was constructed by someone at the entrance to the Eau Gallie Pier. The old pier was small and was eventually destroyed by a tropical storm or hurricane. A new fishing pier was constructed. I have fished on both piers multiple times.
There are so many photographs I could have posted, so I guess I’ll be talking about this more often.
I want to thank Holly from Release and Gather. After talking about my hobby again, she wanted to see some photos.
Until next time, happy reading.
Some very nice shots there, Matthew. Keep it up! I like taking pictures, but don't really have "the eye" for it. Still fun, though :)
Enjoyed your photos, Matt, and I do remember Eckerd's! It was a drug store chain that was bought and sold several times, eventually becoming Rite Aid.