Miss Lone Star’s Crew Contracted Florida Key’s Disease!

Florida Keys Disease is real!

Florida Keys Disease is real!

We heard about Key’s Disease from several people since we arrived.  It is a general term that refers to many different things going wrong or attributes that one contracts after moving to the Florida Keys.  We were first warned by a boat broker who said a boat can get the disease after being moved here from fresh water.  Apparently, there are a lot of boats that get moved down here because it is the mecca of boating.  The owners don’t use them anymore.  These vessels fall into disrepair and get eaten up by the salt water while the owners goof off, drink beer and go diving.  Don’t let your boat get Keys Disease.

A dog can get Key’s Disease by misbehaving and not obeying commands because she doesn’t get the exploring time that she craves.  Onyx first started her bout with the illness by trying to make every dog on the dock love her.  She knocked Diesel the dog on our first night by playing too rough and she has made most of the small dogs run in fear of her from her smiling face. Continue reading

Let the Ordinary Inspire You

Although your location might change your passion for photography doesn’t have to. I find that at the beginning of a new travel adventure or before an unusual outing, I am bubbling over with anticipation in hopes of creating new and exciting art through my lens. Though often times after I have settled back into my ordinary life, I put my camera down and start to lose track of all of the beautiful details in my own day to-day life.  I started out years ago as a portrait photographer, which for me meant that most of my images were created in a very controlled environment (my studio), now as I transition into travel and landscape, I find myself having to wait for the moment rather than create it.Miss Lone star travels

So today I decided that I would just carry my camera around all day and just wait and see what moved me, after all this is what I do when I’m traveling. This image above was taken of our son Blake sitting on the floor by the front door. The light  coming through the glass, and I asked him to “smile for Mommy” and what he did instead was much better.

Mulberry Tree Miss Lone Star TravelsWe took a thirty minute walk and I snapped about 15 frames.Reaching to the sky miss lone starFor all of the images shown, I used the Canon 100mm f/2.8 MACRO
Dandy lion miss lone star travels

 

10 Bucket List Visits For our Caribbean Travel

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Join our once in a lifetime Caribbean travel adventure!

I have had a bucket that existed only in my head since I was a kid regarding my eventual retirement in the Caribbean.  It has steadily increased over the years and I am pleased to announce that I will be checking off these 10 visits as soon as possible.  We will be underway in 4 months and we will let the ocean be our guide.  It is our pleasure to have a Caribbean Travel Blog!

1 Visit Cuba

Coming in at #1 is a long visit to Cuba.  Recently, the United States relaxed sanctions and travel restrictions for normal people wishing to visit Cuba.  I was going to spring for an education trip at the expense of thousands of my dollars before the president kindly eased the restrictions to include individuals who which to travel for any reason.  We will reach Havana, Cuba on our boat and it will be the first stop after we depart from Ft. Lauderdale.  US Airlines have no flights at this time but travelers can board foreign airplanes headed to Cuba from the United States, such as Air Canada.  US visitors can also travel to Cuba from The Bahamas or Mexico without breaking any rules.  Personally, i can’t wait to get that Cuba stamp on my passport.

2 Scuba Dive in Cuba
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Imagine the scuba opportunities in Cuba!

I am an avid diver and of course I would want to dive on the pristine reefs that Cuba has to offer.  I have many european friends that have reported back to me over the years and they were impressed.  I am happy that Cuba hasn’t ruined most of its reefs and the tourist industry is not as big as some if its island neighbors.  I will be diving to catch many lobsters and I hear that they are bigger in Cuba.  Diving from our boat will make planning my dive trips easy! Continue reading

Photography in St. Croix

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Walking around in Christiansted St. Croix and enjoying the old buildings.

Camera Miss Lone Star TravelsBelieve it or not, it took a long time to take this picture.  Please notice the rooster at the corner of the frame.  He was elusive but he had to be in the picture.  We were coming from doing a little shopping and life seemed to slow down.  We strolled down this old street and I could picture how it was to walk on this same street hundreds of years ago.  It was an “ah ha” moment, indeed. I loved Christiansted Harbor and the old town although it wasn’t packed with tourists or filled shops.  It was quiet and there was enough to entertain us as we walked along.  We ate at a local place for lunch and we were content.  The light was coming through the tight street at an interesting angle.  There were vines and moss growing on the old walls.  The proud rooster patrolled his territory.  I hope he would of this picture.

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Captain of the Miss Lone Star

5 ways to get the most out of hands on learning

Look and please touch, gearing up for home schooling at the Austin Aquarium.  Hands on learning is the only way to fly as far as I’m concerned. There is nothing like looking at a dolphin in a text-book and knowing for sure that they’re skin feels just like a canned olive. Although there weren’t any dolphins here at the Austin Aquarium there were so many other things  that you are encouraged to touch and even hold.Hands On

Budgie

(This technique is called selective color. The reason I chose e to use this style is because inside of the aquarium the lighting is very poor for tack sharp images, then caused me to choose to use a high ISO, which then produced a grainer image. In my opinion these types of indoor images look great as a black and white BUT without the color of the bird the image loses some context.. So there you have it, the method behind the madness)

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The Best Time To Take Pictures

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Sometimes it takes a long, long time to get the right pictures!

My wife is a professional photographer and she has always said that the best light is at sunrise or when the sun is going down.  At first, I disputed this fact in my mind because I had always got what I thought were good pictures throughout the day.  Our trip to St. Croix taught me that I was definitely wrong about my thoughts on light.  We spent this afternoon stalking the perfect photos as the sun went down.  This was the first time I really saw all of the opportunities for amazing pictures as the sun went down.

A photographer has to be dedicated to pack all of the gear required, first of all.  You have to scout out great locations and then find interesting settings, second.  The camera settings have to be perfect and the focal point has right on.  Then it’s time to take pictures!  Repeat. Repeat.  Repeat.

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Life on a Deserted Beach

Deserted Beach Coconut with Benchmade Knife

Coconuts taste great when you are on a deserted beach and running out of water!

We wandered to a deserted beach in a turtle preserve on St. Croix for this picture.  Our rental Jeep took us all around the 27×8 mile island this day and we entered the park through what looked like a swamp.  We hiked towards the ocean but we couldn’t see a thing.  I carried all of my snorkel gear hoping for a nice reef but we found the roughest surf with the cloudiest water.  Sadly, there would be no skin diving for me.  We hiked down the beach which was so secluded, it was a great place for a murder.

There was nobody in sight, as far as our eyes could see.  I decided to look around and found some sort of old buried metal deep in the sand.  I was disappointed to find that the treasure had already been taken after I did my best to dig it up.  I spotted a lone coconut tree in the distance and I was happy to find a few nuts hanging from it.  I climbed it and hacked off the nut pictured.  Aubrey seemed surprised that I brought a snack back to her while she was sun bathing.  The breeze was warm and strong out of the south.  I was worried about getting a sunburn on my white body at the time.  I used my favorite Benchmade knife to hack off the top of the nut and it was delicious to eat and drink.

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St. Croix Long Exposure Photography

A view from Protestant Cay in Christiansted Harbor, St. Croix, USVI

A view from Protestant Cay in Christiansted Harbor, St. Croix, USVI

I love Aubrey’s eye for photography.  She shot this image as we were headed to dinner one night in Christiansted, St. Croix, USVI.  She used time lapse photography when taking this photo.  This particular image was taken with a tripod and a twenty second exposure.  There was a little movement on the dock and the boats because of the ocean.  This effect causes the blur that is apparent because of the twenty seconds of exposure during the photo.  It was shot with a special wide angle lens through her Canon 5D Mark III camera body.