Landscapes

Florida Photography & Beach Artwork: 6 Places to Photograph in Florida

6 Locations to Consider When Photographing in Florida

Over the last couple of years, I called sunny Florida ‘home’. As I became more familiar with the ocean and the Florida way of life (#saltlife), I started exploring as much of the state as I could through my camera lens. With the ever-changing weather, constant sunshine and beautiful landscape, Florida is a treasure chest of eye candy!

As a photographer’s paradise, there is almost always a beautiful sunrise or sunset and the weather is always pushing the norms providing texture in the skies. Getting started, I leveraged Google Earth quite a bit to plan my shooting locations. Below are a few of the wonderful locations that I had the chance to explore and photograph while I was in Florida.

If you’re ever in the area, check out the states tourist website for tips/ideas of what to do / where to go. It’s a great resource to begin planning your trip. If you’re looking for more specific locations, feel free to reach out to me here.

Everglades:

Crocodile - Everglades, Florida

Crocodile - Everglades, Florida

Pass-a-Grille:

Walkway to beach - Pass-a-Grille, FL

Walkway to beach - Pass-a-Grille, FL

St. Petersburg:

Sail Away  - St. Petersburg, FL

Sail Away - St. Petersburg, FL

Tampa:

Tampa  at Night

Tampa at Night

Fort Lauderdale:

Lifeguard  - Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Lifeguard - Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Key West:

Key West  - Key West, Florida

Key West - Key West, Florida

 
 

 

12 Hours in Hong Kong, China - Four Places to Photograph Around the City

Hong Kong is a photographer’s playground! There’s so much to photograph, from wildlife to architecture, beautiful ocean shots to skylines. Throw in street markets and historical cultural buildings and you could spend years photographing this city.

But if you’re like me, a tourist passing through, unfortunately you don’t have the luxury of time to explore every angle. So here’s a list of a few areas that I stopped at to photograph. This is not an all-inclusive list but highlights some of the treasures in Hong Kong that can’t be found elsewhere.

 
Sai Wan Swimming Shed in Hong-Kong-Stairs-by-Mary Parkhill of Marys-Mark-Photography.jpg

To get to this location, it can be tricky. I did not have a car (driving in Hong Kong was too intimidating to me) so after chatting with the hotel concierge and showing the taxi driver the address, I was dropped off in what felt like the middle of nowhere… somewhere along a steep grade. Using Google Maps, I found the opening to the staircase which plummeted down the side of the mountain.

Pro Tips:

  • Take bug spray: There are tiny bugs that bite as you get closer to the water. I wasn’t prepared and spent precious time slapping away the bugs. The locals didn’t seem to be bothered by them too much.

  • Be Prepared to Stand in Line: Thanks to social media, there are hundreds of people who want to take selfies on the pier. In an orderly fashion, people line-up so that everyone has a turn to take their photo on the pier. As you can see in my photo, there’s no one in it as I wanted a landscape image. Even if you don’t want anyone in your shot, be prepared to stand in line.

 
Yick Fat Building Yick Cheong Building by Mary Parkhill Hong-Kong-Photograph-by-Mary-Parkhill-of-Mary's-Mark-Photography.jpg

I haven’t seen movie ‘Transformers - Age of Extinction’ but apparently this building is in it. For this photography location, make sure to put the address in Google maps - reaching the inside of the building’s courtyard (which is where this photograph was taken) is not the easiest to get to. Once you’re at the street address location, you will need to turn and walk into what looks like a hallway with a couple of shops inside (I think one shop was a meat butcher). Walk past the shops a bit and you will eventually find yourself inside of the courtyard.

Pro Tips:

  • Spend time getting various angles: While the attraction of the Yick Building is the view / angle looking up, don’t overlook the currently-lived-in apartment porches with sheets hanging to dry, kids toys and plants that add to the texture of your image.

  • Concrete Block: There’s a concrete block towards the one end of the courtyard. If you are looking for a selfie spot, jump on top of the concrete block and angle the camera outward/upward. This will provide a decent angle.

  • Stairs: At the other end of the courtyard (opposite the concrete block), there is a set of stairs that allows you to photograph from below ‘ground’ level. Consider taking a few photos from a lower angle.

 

To save on time, take a taxi to the top of Victoria Peak (you can walk and/or take a tram but be prepared for quite a hike and potential rain showers depending on which season you’re traveling). At the top, there’s a walking path and a building that offers a couple of restaurants, shops and of course, the incredible view overlooking Hong Kong. There is a nominal fee to go to the very top but it’s well worth it. You will take about 4+ escalators to the top of the viewing pier so make sure you budget enough travel time especially if you’re trying to capture the sunset.

Pro Tips:

  • There are 2 levels of platforms at the top: While the highest platform is only 5 or 6 steps above the lower platform, consider photographing from it. Make sure to take a couple of lenses so you can exercise depth of field, distance, and various light conditions.

  • Wildlife: Yes - the purpose of getting to Victoria Peak is to capture the Hong Kong skyline; however, be on a watch out for beautiful, soaring birds that are high above the city line.

 
Yellow-Umbrella-Chun-Yeung-Street-Wet-Market-Hong-Kong-by-Mary-Parkhill-of-Marys-Mark-Photography.jpg

Be prepared for interesting aromas that fill this street market. There are several seafood and meat stalls as well as vegetables, toys and clothing stalls. This unique blend of merchandise makes for incredibly textured photographs but mixed with warm seasonal rains, the photographing conditions can be somewhat tough.

Pro Tips:

  • Street Car: There’s a working street car that runs down the center of the market. In addition to your safety (e.g. don’t get run over), the street car divides the craziness of the market and offers a wonderful focus point.

  • Umbrella: It often rains in Hong Kong so make sure you take an umbrella (or purchase one from the market).


 

In this article:

  1. Sai Wan Swimming Shed

  2. Yick Cheong Building

  3. Victoria Peak

  4. hun Yeung Street Wet Market

 

Artwork as an Investment: Things to Think About When Purchasing Artwork

Artwork is an investment. Like any other investment that you make, you want to make sure you are thinking about various aspects that might influence your decision. While everyone’s evaluation criteria is different for selecting their artwork, here is a quick list of items to consider before making a purchase. This list is based on the questions that I receive from clients as they work through the process of selecting their pieces and displaying them.

  • Placement: Is the artwork placement permanent or is there a chance you will move the artwork to different places in your house or summer house?

  • Longevity: How long are you thinking of displaying this artwork? Would you like to pass it down to your children or are you looking to change out your pieces as the seasons rotate?

  • Artwork Weight: How sturdy are your walls and how secure is your artwork mounting? Some acrylics and frames can be heavy (especially the larger pieces). If applicable, consider purchasing a lighter canvas or photo print for less sturdy walls.

  • Budget: Sometimes people ask me how much $$ they should spend on artwork (in comparison to other items in their monthly budget). This depends on the person, their desired lifestyle, income, etc. I encourage you to spend only what you feel comfortable with. Please note that many small businesses and artists are willing to work with you to find the right price. If you really like a piece, do not hesitate to contact the artist to discuss.

Have questions about investing in a Mary’s Mark piece of artwork? Feel free to reach out to us here and we’ll be happy to answer any questions that you have.

Photographing Oceanscapes in Florida

I have always found that when you visit or move to a new city or town, it becomes a piece of who you are. You tend to look at things differently and certain foods or scents can flood your brain with beautiful memories of the people you meet along the way.

My husband and I lived in St. Petersburg, Florida for about 2.5 incredible years! One of our favorite parts of this area was the natural beauty that seemed to be surrounding us at all times. From the pretty parks to the incredible fishing piers and the wonderful wildlife that called this place home - we loved every piece.

Now whenever we visit, each sunset reminds me of how incredible Florida is. Here are a few photographs of the Florida sunset that I captured on my last trip through Florida.

What Florida photographs have you captured lately? Feel free to share them here in the comment section or send me your @Instagram handle. I’d love to check out your work!

Beautiful Ocean Sunset

Beautiful Ocean Sunset

Ocean blanket greeting the beach with a fishing pier in the background

Ocean blanket greeting the beach with a fishing pier in the background

Sea turtle heading to the ocean

Sea turtle heading to the ocean

Photographing Southeast Alaska: Wildlife, Glaciers and Landscapes

Orca Photograph taken in Southeast Alaska

Orca Photograph taken in Southeast Alaska

Over the last few years, I have been fortunate enough to travel through Southeast Alaska and set eyes on beautiful vistas! The air always has a refreshing crisp to it and the scenery is grand and powerful. It’s one place in the world that feels raw and untouched. If you’ve ever cruised through Alaska or have had the opportunity to travel there, you know what I mean. If you haven’t, hopefully my photographs below will help show you what I mean.

One thing that I love about Alaska is that it is ever-changing. The environment changes rapidly under the extended summer sun and the wildlife is constantly moving. It’s exciting to see a whale fluke, an eagle in a tree or a bear scrambling up a stream for a salmon. However, as a photographer, it can also be extremely challenging.

Often times, you get one shot (no pun intended). As fast as you see a whale fluke breech the water line, it disappears below the surface. A seal that was once laying on a chunk of ice is now just a tiny head bobbing above the water. A beautiful mountain range disappears under a thick cloud of fog. For all of these reasons and more, Alaska can be a tough place to photograph but if you are up for the challenge, you will have an adventure of a lifetime.

Interested in recommendations of where to photograph during your Alaskan vacation? Send me a message here and I’ll send you a few tips and locations! Happy photographing!

 
Whale Fluke, Alaska

Whale Fluke, Alaska

 
Mature Bald Eagle sitting in a tree

Mature Bald Eagle sitting in a tree

Orca breeching in Alaska

Orca breeching in Alaska

Crab Pot Buoy

Crab Pot Buoy

Alaska Forest & Fog

Alaska Forest & Fog

Snow capped Mountains in Alaska

Snow capped Mountains in Alaska

Glacier

Glacier

Capturing Beautiful Lighthouses in Maine

Capturing Beautiful Lighthouses in Maine

I traveled up the coastline of Maine starting in Portland and ending in Acadia National Park in an effort to capture the ‘Essence of Autumn’. I’ve been intrigued by Maine’s lighthouses and the natural beauty of the rugged coastline for awhile. Add in the beautiful colors that Fall brings and I could not have imagined more stunning scenery.

Portland, Maine   I arrived in Portland during a ‘Nor-Easter’ which included high winds, ferocious waves, and a lot of rain. Mother Nature’s intense backdrop provided a unique photography opportunity to capture the lighthouse.

Portland, Maine

I arrived in Portland during a ‘Nor-Easter’ which included high winds, ferocious waves, and a lot of rain. Mother Nature’s intense backdrop provided a unique photography opportunity to capture the lighthouse.

Portland, Maine   The following morning, the sun greeted us for about 3 seconds. Just enough time to capture the light peaking through the clouds. Temperatures were frigid but at least the rain held off.

Portland, Maine

The following morning, the sun greeted us for about 3 seconds. Just enough time to capture the light peaking through the clouds. Temperatures were frigid but at least the rain held off.

Rockland, Maine   I continued up the coastline of Maine and stopped in Rockland. Right before sunrise, I scrambled over the ocean rocks to catch the lighthouse’s reflection. The crashing of the nearby waves kept me on my toes the entire time I was shooting.

Rockland, Maine

I continued up the coastline of Maine and stopped in Rockland. Right before sunrise, I scrambled over the ocean rocks to catch the lighthouse’s reflection. The crashing of the nearby waves kept me on my toes the entire time I was shooting.

Acadia National Park, Maine   What this photograph does not capture are the jagged rocks and boulders between the end of the footpath and where I took this photograph. It was quite the adventure getting to this location but I think capturing this angle of the lighthouse was well worth it.

Acadia National Park, Maine

What this photograph does not capture are the jagged rocks and boulders between the end of the footpath and where I took this photograph. It was quite the adventure getting to this location but I think capturing this angle of the lighthouse was well worth it.

A Few More…

Here are a few more photographs from trekking along the coast of Maine. There’s so much to see and do - it’s a location worth a thousand visits!