One of the great perks of living where I do is that I’m only about 30 minutes away from the place where all of the billionaires live. You would think that you would see all kinds of fancy imported sports cars running around. Actually it’s just the reverse, most of the time I see golf carts. I guess when everything in town is so close to your home, who needs big oil? Oh, by the way, this is where the Bush’s come to stay when they want to “get away” or at least one of their properties. Also, very recently I was invited to view the home that Bob Vila had built for himself on the island. I hope to return and take some photos for the blog in the near future.

A few months ago, I was the leader of Scott Kelby’s “Worldwide Photo Walk” at Boca Grande. Check out the post  called: 2012 Worldwide Photowalk Photos – Boca Grande, Florida to see some of the photos. We had a great group of folks who showed up and took some amazing photographs. When one leads an event like this, there is always something to do and make sure all goes according to plan. So my attention was not on the camera, but on the folks who signed up to make sure they were happy.

I called a few friends and asked if they would be interested in going back to the island to take photos. This time I could take more time and see what else I could get. First, we had lunch at one of the local restaurants and discussed where we would like to go. We decided to walk around downtown and see what kind of trouble we could get in. Armed with a camera and tripod, we set off.

 boca grande_lady of mercy bellOur Lady of Mercy – Bell – Spencer Pullen © 2013 All Rights Reserved

This was our first stop, the Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church. This has some really nice Spanish looking architecture. It was the early part of the afternoon so this meant that I was dealing with some harsh light. The side of the church is white and I wanted to keep the texture as well as get the detail that was in the bell. I lucked out, as there are palm trees that line the walkway to the front door, so I was able to use these as a “frame within a frame”. I set the camera up for bracketing and fired away.

 boca grande_catholic church interiorOur Lady of Mercy – Interior – Spencer Pullen © 2013 All Rights Reserved

This is a beautiful church. There was so much detail I wasn’t sure where to start. I placed the camera in one of the opposing corners to try and grab as much as possible. Again, this was a high dynamic scene so I bracketed my frames. I’m not a big fan of tone mapping, so I prefer to “fuse” my photos together. This gives me the most natural looking result. A few quick tweaks in Photoshop and we are off to the races.

 boca grande_apartment doorLucky Number 7 – Spencer Pullen © 2013 All Rights Reserved

As we were making our way around town, I noticed apartments that had some really interesting patterns and lines. Most everything on this island is painted white and the light was still not quite there yet. Same as the above, this was bracketed and merged in the computer.

 boca grande_lampWe’ll Leave The Light On For You – Spencer Pullen © 2013 All Rights Reserved

I’m not sure if Tom Bodett lives here or not, but the light was on for when the homeowner got home. This photo drove me a little crazy, as it looks crooked. After spending awhile with it, come to find out, it’s the lamp that crooked!

boca grande_linda oneill Shoe Washin’ – Spencer Pullen © 2013 All Rights Reserved

I had been walking around all day with a shoot through umbrella in my back pocket and a Nikon flash strapped to by belt. I was getting antsy and wanted to shoot something with flash for a change. I found this unsuspecting person in a park and she allowed me to take her photo. I told her that I should hang on to her camera in case she fell into the deep fountain. As you can see from the photo, what ever she was drinking in the brown paper bag had seemed to take effect as she is tipping into the fountain. I heard of tipping into the fountain with coins, but this is ridiculous! Before she fell all of the way in, I pulled out my umbrella and put my flash behind it and took a photo.

 boca grande_gail arnoldExcuse Me, Do You Have Any Candy? – Spencer Pullen © 2013 All Rights Reserved

Well it wasn’t long and another person showed up looking for candy. I was fresh out, but I told her to have a seat and I would go see if I could locate some. She made this great pose and I snapped it before she realized that I had been lying about the candy thing the whole time. Strange thing is that all of these people who are washing their sneakers and looking for candy in the park are Nikon users. I decided it was time to start looking for donuts. Like any good overweight person’s nose, I was like Pooh Bear and followed the scent to some fresh donuts at the local bakery. I too have a Nikon, so I can’t tell you if this works with Canon or not!

 boca grande_medathodist churchMethodist Church Stairway – Spencer Pullen © 2013 All Rights Reserved

On my way back to town, this railing grabbed my attention as it lead my eye to the wood doors. The light was getting better, but I still bracketed this scene.

 boca grande_repair signDoes This Really Need A Title? – Spencer Pullen © 2013 All Rights Reserved

Most of you who know me or have read this blog before know I’m not wrapped to tight. Something about this sign told me that I had to photograph it. I mean, how many signs have you ever seen that say, “Repairs in the rear”? I went in the “rear” to see what surprise might have been waiting for folks like me. Come to find out, it was a place to get your bicycle fixed since they are quite popular along with the golf carts on the island.

It was a fun and successful trip. If you are ever in Southwest Florida, Boca Grande is worth visiting. There is a historic lighthouse at the end of the island that is a popular attraction to photograph. Also, there are endless shells that are on the beach for your choosing. I like “shelling” here, as they aren’t all beat up and picked over by a million of tourists walking by.

Take your camera and tour your town and you just never know what you might run into. Like people washing their clothes and asking for a candy fix. Most of all, don’t take yourself or your photography too seriously. This is supposed to be fun, enjoyable and most of all, make some new friends to go shooting with.

Until next time…

Keep Your Glass Clean


  1. Very pretty shots. Wish I could be joining you on your fun trips. Keep up the good work and by all means, send me more.

  2. That was great.Love reading about your adventures and being part of them.

  3. Great Photos. Boca Grande is a great place for photos.
    Dave Kern

  4. i guess it’s time to wash the other foot………keep having fun mims
    LOVE YOU!!!!!

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