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.