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A Photographer's Paradise

Larry Mingledorff
Larry Mingledorff

One of my first photography adventures was a visit to the Flagler Beach Pier. As I drove down A1A and the pier became visible from several miles away I began to contemplate the best shot. Little did I know there was not a best shot but endless shots. I started with a wide angle shot from a dock on A1A. Next I parked in front of the pier and walked onto the beach. I sat on the beach under the pier and watched the waves crash against the wooden structure. I began to capture the action of the waves as I sat alone with a few sea gulls checking me out as an easy food source. Next, I moved to the top and began to stroll along the length of the beautiful wooden structure. My attention drifted from the various birds landing on the railing---sea gulls, pelicans, and others---to the local fishermen (women and children) enjoying the beauty of the ocean below and hoping for a challenge on their hook. All great photo opportunities and then, a bonus. Several surfers were bobbing in the water below, straddled on their boards waiting for the perfect wave. I hurried along the railing to enhance my position. As if on cue, a young surfer catches a wave just below me. I captured his entire ride from a perfect angle. I wandered to the end of the pier and mingled among the dedicated fishermen, listening to the stories and asking about the various types of fish and other creatures pulled from the waves below. More photo opportunities. The unobstructed view of the ocean from the end of the pier was beautiful. I was mesmerized by the color, movement, and vastness of the ocean. I was however, breaking a photography rule---do not forget to look behind you. I turned to follow the path of a large pelican and was captured by the beauty of the shoreline from the end of the pier--- surfers in the water, small children playing at the water’s edge, adults relaxing in the sun, and others walking along the beach. One trip to one site with endless photography opportunities. I made a mental note to check the weather and return before sunrise to capture the ultimate pier picture when the morning sun peers above the horizon and illuminates the pier and its surrounding beauty.