The Lightner Museum in St. Augustine, Florida
For me, one of the best times of the day to shoot is not day at all, it’s night. Everything takes on a different look at night, and with photography techniques and today’s software we are able to make photos really come to life. This of course applies mostly to urban scenes such as the Lightner Museum pictured above. It also helps to have a scene where there are different colour temperature lights, such as the cool daylight balanced lights illuminating the building, and the warmer tungsten balanced lights on the trees and hedges. While this would still make an interesting photo in daylight, I really liked the way they set up all the nice Christmas decorative lights , so I made a point of returning after dark to get my shots.
The Lightner Museum is a museum of antiquities that resides in the former Alcazar Hotel building in Saint Augustine, Florida. It was constructed in 1887 in the Spanish Renaissance style and faces the Ponce de León Hotel across the street, which is now part of Flagler College. These two buildings are noted for the fact that they are two of the earliest examples of poured concrete buildings in the world. The architects, John Merven Carrère and Thomas Hastings, later went on to build the US Senate building and the New York City Public Library. Originally the hotel was built to cater to wealthy patrons, and featured a steam room, massage parlour, gymnasium, sulfur baths and the world’s largest indoor swimming pool. The museum is located on three floors of the building and it is now listed on the US National Register of Historic Places.
It was uncharacteristically cold in Florida this December, in fact the bad weather and snow seemed to follow me everywhere I went on my month long road trip. It snowed so fiercely as soon as I crossed the border in to the US from Canada, that I couldn’t see more than 3 meters ahead. That made for some scary driving through the Syracuse area, but as quickly as the snowstorm began, the blue sky reappeared as if someone flipped a switch. That was a bit of foreshadowing for the rest of the trip’s weather. It snowed in Washington DC, snowed in Atlanta, was below freezing in Florida, but warmed up a tiny bit in Savannah and Charleston to my delight. Then on my way out of Charlotte, the arctic air mass that had been stalking me all this time, found me once more. En route to New York City, the snow began again, and my first night in NYC was spent looking out the window of my room as a blanket of white descended upon the Big Apple. While I bitch about the snow and cold here at home in Canada, I think it looked quite cool in Washington and I had never seen New York City after a snowfall. That was pretty special, but I’m glad that spring has arrived in Montreal, and that I can finally leave my window open for more than 15 seconds. Next winter I think I’ll go to Bora Bora, let’s see the snow try to follow me there!
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