Phillippi Creek Estates – Sarasota, Florida

It’s nice to see something new. I was teaching a photography class in Sarasota, Florida and we were trying to find someplace different to practice what we learned. After having visited most of Sarasota’s popular places, it can be difficult to find a new place that will inspire. As we were throwing around ideas, one person said, “How about Phillippi Creek Estate?”. This sparked some interest. I had never been there, but passed it hundreds of times.

The day came and we were off to the location. There was only one problem, rain. This was in April so it was the start of the raining season. I’m all for sticking it out and see what happens. However, when managing a class of folks, they need to know whether to come to the location or go to the classroom. I said let’s give it a go and see what happens. Of course when everyone showed up, that is when the rain was blowing sideways. We all headed back to the cars and waited it out. Have you ever seen that face that one gets if they cut someone off in traffic? I think I was getting that face as like you dumb idiot we are wasting our time. As with Florida weather, give it five minutes and all will be well again. Sure enough, the rain stopped and there was blue sky again!

Since I had not been to this place before, I like to keep some options open. I had my Nikon 70-300 mounted on the camera, but I always like to keep my Nikon 50mm f/1.4 in my pocket just in case. I started walking around to see what I could find. The estate was there of course, but it was closed. However, there is another building on the property with a water tank next to it. Since I appreciate old structures, this was right up my alley.

Spencer Pullen photographed doorknob at Phillippi Creek Estate in Sarasota, Florida.Anyone Home? – Spencer Pullen © 2016 All Rights Reserved

Sometimes the subject as a whole may not be the most interesting. As I looked around the home, I saw this old doorknob. This reminded me of my grandparents home in Pennsylvania. It was already black and white so it was a slam dunk.

Spencer Pullen photographed squirrel at Phillippi Creek Estate in Sarasota, Florida.Have Any Nuts? – Spencer Pullen © 2016 All Rights Reserved

As I wandered the property, this little guy was looking all around, trying to figure out where he buried his nuts. He came within five feet of me and asked if I took them. Didn’t have any nuts for him, but he posed for me.

Spencer Pullen photographed water tower at Phillippi Creek Estate in Sarasota, Florida.Water Tank – Spencer Pullen © 2016 All Rights Reserved

I was really taken up with the water tank that was next to the house. It was old and looked original. Over the years they may have swapped out the spigot for a less leaky one.

Spencer Pullen photographed flower at Phillippi Creek Estate in Sarasota, Florida.Flower Drops – Spencer Pullen © 2016 All Rights Reserved

One of the advantages of being there in the rain was that all of the flowers in the gardens had water drops on them. I got as close as I could with the zoom lens, basically using it as a macro lens. When shooting this close, it’s a great idea to close down your f-stop a bit to ensure that everything will be in focus. As you can see the petals are in focus, however the stem just below it, is quite blurry. When I shoot with my macro lens, I usually have to shoot between f/22 and f/45 to get what I want in focus.

It turned out to be a great day. Sometimes all we have to do is weather the storm. No matter where one goes, there is always something to photograph. If you have never been to Phillippi Creek Estate, it’s a nice area to walk around. I think they have a farmer’s market there and I believe the estate is open on Wednesdays. I would check on that, since they had winter hours and summer hours and we were in-between!

Until next time…

Keep Your Glass Clean


  1. Sounds like a nice place to visit. Your photos are great as always. Loving the black and white ones.

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