Friday, September 23, 2011

PHOTOGRAPHING OUR ROAD TRIP TO KEY WEST (Part One)



We planned a longer trip to Key West after we had visited the Keys on a day trip a few months ago. I wrote about it and we decided that we wanted to spend more time in the Keys. (you can read about that trip here http://jpweddingphotograpy.blogspot.com/2011/06/from-revere-beach-to-florida-keys.html

We went down for a few nights last week and really enjoyed it, although being new to Florida, we didn't realize that September  would still be so humid!! It was about a six hour car ride from our house but then, throw in lunch and stopping along the way to enjoy the scenery, it became more like eight hours! 

Key West is an island in the straits of Florida and is the home to the southernmost point in the Continental United States. The island is about 90 miles from Cuba. Key West is also a city and encompasses the island of Key West and is a seaport destination for many passenger cruise ships.

Cayo Hueso is the original Spanish name for the island and literally means 'bone key'. It is said that the island is littered with the remains (bones) of prior native inhabitants, who used the island as a communal graveyard!!! I want to report that the only bones we saw were the ones left in our platter of chicken wings that we ate with a cold adult beverage.


Legend has it that Ernest Hemingway wrote A Farewell to Arms living above a showroom of a Key West Ford dealership while waiting delivery of a Ford roadster purchased by the uncle of his wife, Pauline in 1928. He was introduced to deep sea fishing in Key West and among the small group that he fished with was Joe Russell. Russell was reportedly the model for Freddy in his novel, To Have and Have Not. Portions of the original manuscript were found at Joe's Bar after his death. 

The group had nicknames for each other and Hemingway wound up with 'Papa'. During his time in the Keys, he also wrote Death in The Afternoon, For Whom The Bell Tolls and The Snows of Kilimanjaro. He used the depression era in Key West as the setting for To Have and Have Not, his only novel set in the United States. His presence is still felt in Key West and we found this bust of the writer in the Key West Historical Memorial Sculpture Garden located in Mallory Square.

Tennessee Williams first became a regular visitor to Key West in 1941 and is said to have written the first draft of Streetcar Named Desire while staying there in 1947! The Academy Award winning film version of his play, 'The Rose Tattoo' was shot on the island in 1956. The Tennessee Williams Theater is located in the Keys.
The city was also the winter White House for President Harry S. Truman.

As we started getting closer to Key West, the seascapes grew more beautiful, although I have to admit that most of the seascapes in the the Keys are stunning. The Keys, being a series of islands, are connected by bridges. In some places the bridges that you travel on are only within a few feet of the original bridges, now in decay and not used. This is one of those bridges not used but shows a great memory of days past.





I just love seascapes and on the Keys you see plenty of them. I also really like seeing a tree in the ocean. If it's right next to the ocean that's good. But if it's actually in the ocean, it just tugs at me and I can spend a lot of time photographing it. As we were driving, we came upon a familiar spot. We had photographed this area on our last trip and it was in the Kokomo post.


When we parked, the first thing we noticed was the difference in the tide from the last time; high tide this trip, low tide the last trip. This is why you always go back to an area you enjoyed photographing. Things change especially the light and in this case, the tides. It makes for a completely different image.




As we drove on we came to more little 'beaches' with trees near the ocean.


 For me, it's even better if they're in the ocean.





When we arrived at Key West we first saw the historical area. This was and still remains a little seaport town with older small hotels and restaurants mixed with souvenir shops. We really enjoyed our few days in Key West and are planning a return trip, just not until the winter!!








Part two of our trip will be about the street entertainers and other people we saw in Mallory Square. It will be part of Jim Mcintosh's Magnificent Monday. 

29 comments:

Nelieta said...

Interesting place Jim! I love the clouds and how you have put emphasis on that- stunning! I could do with a cold adult beverage right now :)

AJ said...

Wow, what illustrious company this place has kept! I'd wanna go to this place. I just might be inspired, as Hemingway and Tennessee Williams were, and come up with my obra maestra. :))

sparklemezen said...

I love the black and white photographs... especially of the alone tree in the middle of the sea!

Martha J. M. Orlando said...

Wow! I have never seen trees in the ocean before! Once again, your photos of the seascapes are breathtaking and you have certainly made me want to visit Key West as I have never been. Looking forward to more photos on Monday!
Blessings!

Rachel Hoyt said...

Oh wow. Just breathtaking! I could have spent days there taking photos... DAYS, not hours. :)

Colleen said...

Fascinating history and simply stunning pictures. It looks like the sort of place I dream of living in.:)

cjpwisdomandlife.com said...

Oh, Jim:
Please don't do this! You're making me miss Key West SOOOOO SOOOOO much. Was there twice in 2006.

KW Quickly became my MOST FAVORITE place EVER! Could be VERY happy there!

Made some friends who I still talk too. Would LOVE to go back.

Since you shared, let me share my pics:
http://www.cjpphotos.com/g/key_west
--
Chris

Alfandi said...

nice gorgeous weather with blue skies..all reflected in the pics..

Jan said...

What stunning photos you have posted. I love them all, I so admire your talent. Your choices of things to capture is awesome. I love the tree in the water and The old truck. thank you for sharing your adventures.

Mari Sterling Wilbur said...

I've always wanted to visit the Keys. I love how you've shown a photo in color and then b&w - very interesting! Your commentary brings us right along with you on your trip.

I've added your blog button to my blog. I messed mine up and can't figure out how to get the code to copy and paste into a gadget box. When I add the code as either HTML or text all that shows is my photo and no code to copy. Any help would be appreciated :D mariwilbur@gmail.com

Bongo said...

My most favorite in any part of Florida is the water and the clouds.. I think the clouds are magnificent....As always....XOXOXOXO

melissa said...

Oh, Jim, I enjoyed your post as if you've taken me there with you and Phyllis... I love being part of your story rather than being a mere spectator of your images. To be honest, I like the colored ones more than the B & Ws...

You've enriched me with Key West's fascinating stuffs...Oh, all those famous people spending time there. It must be extraordinary and breathtaking. I read Chris' comment and it filled me with so much wonder :)...

I like the magnified colored view of the bridge... it looks historical.

I remember those couple from your other post. I have yet to draw something from that post.

Your images of the tree and the poles were truly fascinating. The colors are so bright and warm.What a wonderful road trip you had on a sunny day :)

The seascapes are truly magnificent!

I love this and am eager for MM for your next post :)

Jim said...

Very artistic interpretations of otherwise just ordinary scenes of a tree in water and a few piles sticking up as most would see them. But you created art with getting the right composition, and then using different effects.

Debra said...

Thanks for sharing this tidbit of literary info on Hemmingway and Tennessee Williams, Jim. But was the humidity worth it? Lol! Of course it was ;-)
And, wow! Have you captured some sights here or what?!

Mani said...

Jimmy i loved those B/W pichass bud...awesome....Take me away Take me away wer I cn hv such beautiful sight...loved it jim!!

vaisakhi said...

simply breath takin....wen i visit florida this place is surely gonna be one of my priority visit....blue sky lonely trees....loved all the pics....sply the black and white one..:)

alejandro guzman said...

gorgeous as always mate

Dangerous Linda said...

Thank you for this lovely and educational post! LOVE the photos!!

I will pass this on to friends who just moved to Florida ;-)

Bongo said...

You have a gift waiting for you at:

http://bongoisme.blogspot.com/2011/09/liebster-blog-love-award.html#axzz1YpCQbUuo

As always...XOXOXOXO

Absurd Traveler said...

wow, great photos. I love Hemmingway and Williams but had no idea they spent time there.

Leah Griffith said...

Jim, those photographs were glorious! They have convinced me to go to Key West, and perhaps I'll become so inspired that I'll write a great literary piece;)
Well done Mr. J. I love your eye.

JIM said...

Nelieta and Bongo the skies in Florida are usually interesting and most times beautiful it just seems natural to highlight them in my photography. Thank you for appreciating that I do

Jim

JIM said...

hey AJ it is interesting that two highly respected writers would find inspiration in this small seaport town..there isa kind of mystical feeling down there

JIM said...

Martha I really love that part of the landscape down there, something lyrical about a lone tree standing in the ocean!!!

JIM said...

Thank You Sparklemezen and Mari I really do enjoy B&W even with all the vibrant colors down here

Tameka said...

I love pictures of clouds and the ones you captured are so gorgeous. The tree in the water is majestic. I can save on plane fare through these posts Jim. Lovely!

http://lyricfire.typepad.com/lyric-fire/2011/09/lyric-fire-who-am-i-soul-inner-viewing.html

sheril benedict said...

Your a grt photographer Jim ..hats off

Rimly said...

What breathtaking pictures Jim. I loved the ones with that tree submerged n water

lakwatsera de primera said...

Awesome scenery! Nothing really beats a road trip along the coast. Now, I feel like having another adventure on the road again :)