Week 35 – #45 Statutes or Statues

45 Statues

45 Statues - 3

45 Statues - 2


While on our trip to Tampa, with Diane and Sue, we stopped by the University of Tampa.  This is also known as the Henry Plant Museum.  the Tampa Bay Hotel is not only a stunning example of Moorish and Turkish architecture, it also served as the headquarters for the United State Army’s invasion of Cuba during the Spanish-American War.  The above statue was in the main hall and the one below is from the gardens.

the following is from the Henry Plant Hotel website – http://plantmuseum.com/henry-plant-museum/plant-hotel-1891

Henry Plant was a railroad magnate and he built a railroad to Tampa in 1884, which was described as the sand swamps. The railroad was the center of the city’s economy and when no one would back building a hotel of the magnitude that Henry wanted, he built it himself.  He built a beautiful hotel, the Tampa Bay Hotel, which opened in 1891.  It cost $2,500,000 to build and another $500,000 to furnish.  It was advertised as fireproof due to the steel and concrete construction. There were 511 rooms, and all the rooms had electricity and telephones and most had private baths. It also had two of the first elevators in Florida.

Guests reveled in this atmosphere of heady opulence, surrounded by exotic furnishings, porcelains, Venetian-style mirrors, and sculptures handpicked in Europe by Mr. and Mrs. Plant. The décor was a collection demonstrating such exquisite taste that one writer described it as “a jewel casket into which has been gathered an infinite number of gems.”

Open from December to April throughout the 1890s, the Hotel was a lively place with magnificent balls, tea parties, and organized hunts during the winter social season. Guests enjoyed an array of diversions, including wild game hunting, fresh and salt-water fishing, sailing, rowing, and canoeing. Bicycles and carriages were at their disposal. Rickshaws were available for tours of the property or an afternoon ride to see and be seen. The Hotel also boasted a golf course, tennis and shuffleboard courts, billiards, croquet, and even a racetrack.  The Music Room hosted grand balls and orchestra concerts during the week.  The Tampa Bay Casino, Tampa’s earliest performance hall, seated 2,000 people and billed national and international performers such as Nellie Melba, Sarah Bernhardt, John Philip Sousa, and Anna Pavlova. The Casino also served as a spa with a heated indoor swimming pool located below the removable floor boards to reveal a relaxing oasis.

The Grand Salon, or parlor, was place of inspiration filled with European statues and Venetian-style mirrors. William Drysdale commented that, “gentlemen of the pen who can write a column or two about a snow-capped mountain peak and go into ten-page ecstasies over a sunrise should stand in the middle of the Tampa Bay Hotel parlor and let their immaculate English flow unrestrained.”

A sweeping veranda on the east side of the Hotel afforded guests with a tranquil setting from which to enjoy the view of the Hotel’s extensive gardens.  Following a formal eight-course dinner of fine wine and haute cuisine in the Dining Room, guests could stroll along the serpentine walks that wove through an exotic landscape of tropical flora and garden statuary.  The Flower House, filled with rare plants from all parts of the world, was one of three charming conservatories on the grounds.

With its splendid Moorish architecture, opulent furnishings, and spectacular tropical gardens, the Tampa Bay Hotel attracted a host of celebrated guests, from Teddy Roosevelt, Sarah Bernhardt, and even Babe Ruth.

Since 1933, the Tampa Bay Hotel has been home to the Henry B. Plant Museum and The University of Tampa, when it was given to the state with a right to use for 100 years at $1 a year.  The building, renamed Plant Hall, is a National Historic Landmark.


Week 34 – #6 Bridge

6 Bridge

I have been planning on doing the Tampa River walk bridges for this theme for a long time.  Each time I planned on driving up, I found an excuse, too cold, too windy, too many people.  I am good at coming up with a reason. But, Diane and Sue wanted to do some night photography up in Tampa and asked me along.  I suggested a couple of spots for us to go and though this spot was supposed to be for sunset, we got distracted at another location.  I didn’t want us to miss this, so we swung by Davis Island to get this angle on a couple of the lit bridges beneath the Tampa skyline.  They are supposed to change color every so many minutes, but I think with St Patrick’s Day being only a few days before, they were left on green.  It works for me as an accent to the yellow lights.

So this is a long exposure – iso 100, 15 sec, f 11, Auto white balance, spot metering.  I then took another of my images that was taken with the same settings but at EV +1. I layered them in photoshop and selected the buildings in a layer mask as they were brighter but I wanted the darkness from the other for the two lights from the Sykes building  going up in the sky.

Week 33 – #15 Graveyard

15 GraveyardThere is a small town just south of Gainesville, FL called Micanopy (mick-ah-No-pee  – which I have been mispronouncing Mi-can-o-pee) , was  named for the Seminole Chief Micanopy (1780-1849).  This sleepy little town has huge oak trees dripping with Spanish moss shading the old homes and streets.  The streets are narrow and some are dirt, but the glorious azaleas blooms in front of a number of the homes providing the splash of color to liven it up.

Old records show that Hernando DeSoto found an early Timucua Indian village in in 1539 and Pennsylvania botanist William Bartram visited a Cuscowilla village here in 1774.  The town was founded after Spain relinquished Florida to the territories in 1821, it is the oldest inland town in Florida, having been included in the land grant by the King of Spain in 1817.  It started originally as an Indian trading post.  There is a lot of history here regarding how the town was destroyed and rebuilt and its involvement in the Seminole Wars.  It was also home to the descendants of black runaway slaves. and not wanting to do a history lesson, so I will stop there.
I drove through the cemetery which was filled with azaleas (huge plants) that unfortunately had lots of the blooms damaged by the freeze we had recently along with newer blooms that were nearing the end of their time as well.  (Have to remember to trek up there in late Feb – or before a freeze is coming to see this all in bloom.)

I hope my capture leaves you with the impression of the grandness of the oaks and the splash of color from the azaleas in the midst of the old tombstones.

Week 32 – #A2 Circles

A2 Circles-2

and here with Topaz Impressions – Georgia O’Keefe I –

A2 CirclesCircles within Circles.   You can decide which one you prefer – everyone has different tastes.

This is a little bit of shot through glass, patterns, light painting, and circles, which is the theme I am selecting for this image.

I started with a jar of Perles Decorative which is a polymer that you use to support flowers and they contain water to help hydrate.   Then add a colorful material behind a couple of rows of these.  Using the settings of Iso 200, f20 (for depth), 8 seconds on a 200 lens with a macro filter.  This gives the closeness, and hit the perles with a colored light, in my case I used a little blue and red.  This results in the first image.  Take that into Topaz to finalize it if you like the Monet or O’Keefe impression applied.