featured miami iLHP

Saying Goodbye To South Florida

After just over a month in South Florida, my time having fun in the sun is finally coming to an end. I was excited to leave the brutally frigid Toronto winter and embrace the warm, tropical Miami air. I had my usual list compiled of all the places I wanted to shoot as I always do before I venture anywhere. However, my list doesn’t usually get fulfilled for one reason or another due to unforeseen circumstances. I often take for granted the amount of time I have to complete my wish-list.

In Miami I was fortunate to have stayed in a condo situated 48 stories up in the downtown area (as I mentioned in a previous article) which was facing due west and perfect for capturing sunsets. Every evening that I was at my temporary abode, I would patiently watch the sky hoping to capture something spectacular through my lens.

miami south florida-2
Downtown Miami | 1 sec at f/9, ISO 100 shot on Canon 70D |

It is always fascinating to see how different the sky could look depending on the weather and cloud coverage on any particular evening. As well as, how rapidly the colors of the sky can change so dramatically with each passing moment. I cannot help but continuously click my shutter only to have to later go through a myriad of images that look relatively similar to one another in the end.

miami south florida
Downtown Miami | 1/60 at f/8, ISO 100 shot on Sony A7 |

I brought both my Canon 70D and Sony A7 on this trip not knowing at which specific moment what camera would be the lucky one chosen for the specific task.

miami south florida-3
SLS Hotel South Beach Miami | 1/15 sec at f/2.2, ISO 320 shot on iPhone 6 |

The oceanfront is congested with hotels all along the coast with each new one trying to out trend the other. The architecture has mostly remained the same throughout the years to maintain the art deco vibe Miami is best known for. The insides have been completely gutted and the hotel grounds have the allure of a mini paradise. I could write a whole series of articles capturing spectacular hotels around the Miami area but doing so would probably have taken me my whole time there to complete.

With Key West a short distance of 150 miles, I decided to take a drive down and visit the Southern Most Point in the USA. I had traveled there several years ago and none of my former pictures were worth taking a second look at. Along the drive down you follow a long seven mile bridge where you are suspended above the ocean. On one side is the Atlantic and on the other the Gulf of Mexico.

key west rooster
One of the many roosters roaming Key West | 1/80 sec at f/400, ISO Shot with Sony A7 |

The further you head south the more you forget you are in America. It easily has a Caribbean feel and much more relaxed vibe than anywhere I have ever been in the US. The whole island is only a mere several miles wide and easy to walk everywhere. The heat can be stifling but it’s a good excuse to stop into little local joints to grab a bite to eat and a refreshing cocktail.

Pelican hovering over the Southernmost Point of the Continental USA | Key West, Florida | 1/250 sec at f/11, ISO 100 Shot on Sony A7 |

I don’t want to get into much detail since our very own iLHP editor Christian wrote an article, Amazing Locations: Key West, Florida. I headed to the usual touritsy spots like Ernest Hemingway’s dwelling and the Southern Most Point in the Continental USA. As soon as you grace the streets it is likely you will hear a cock-a-doodle-doodling echoing from one of the many roosters. The sunsets are breathtaking and a must for me to capture.  As I featured in last week’s article, How To Shoot Timelapse Photography.  

sailboat sunset-2
Key West Sunset | 10 sec at f/11, ISO 125 shot on Sony A7 |

Once the sunsets below the horizon everyone vacates the shore line and heads to one of the many local eateries. Sitting down to sip another drink and eating some of the freshest seafood I’ve ever had was the perfect way to bring in the night.

southernmost point USA
SouthernMost Point Continental USA | Key West, Florida | Shot on Sony A7 |

However after spending two nights in such a small vicinity with not much to do, I was ready to head back to the city of Miami.

Much of my list of places to shoot wasn’t fulfilled because of the difficulty I had with the lack of clarity due to the humidity in my photos. The closer I shot to something, the sharper the image became. But I had grand ideas and high hopes of shooting the colorfully lit skyline from several different locations. I found out that  it is better to obtain these images once the air is a little crisper and and the heat isn’t so stifling.

miami south florida-4
Marina at Bayside | Miami, Florida | 8 sec at f/8, ISO 100 Shot on Sony A7 |

I had to look for new locations and improvise since most weren’t attainable at the time of my visit. There are many beautiful places to shoot but unfortunately I discovered most while driving and was not able to stop anywhere to snap a quick photo.

Sometimes its nice to just put your camera down, look around and appreciate your surroundings.

Next stop Tampa!

Until next time,


Don’t forget to check out my Instagram, Facebook and Flickr and gallery!