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Blowing Rocks Preserve, Florida

This Article Features Photo Zoom
Port Lavaca, Texas

Blowing Rocks Preserve is a spectacular sanctuary located on Jupiter Island, Florida, between the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian River Lagoon. The preserve features several coastal ecotones, transition areas between ecosystems, including maritime hammocks, mangrove wetlands and beach dunes. A ledge of surf-carved, petrified marine sediment, dating to the Pleistocene era and referred to as Anastasia limestone, is the main attraction. During high tide and storms, seas break against the rocks and force plumes of saltwater up to 50 feet skyward, an impressive sight for which the preserve was named. Blowing Rocks offers plentiful snorkeling, walking and fishing opportunities, as well. The abundance of wildlife, including manatees and numerous birds indigenous to the region, attract local birders and tourists alike.

South Florida is a tropical climate, with fall and winter temperatures ranging from 65º to 75º F. Visitors can expect beautiful days and comfortable nights while visiting the Sunshine State during winter months. In summer, bring rain gear as even calm and clear skies can turn cloudy and bring tropical storms. Despite the occasional storm, Florida’s summer months bring an abundant amount of sunshine and calm, warmer tropical waters for everyone to enjoy.

Port Lavaca, Texas

Photo Experience
Florida has numerous opportunities for still-photography enthusiasts. Its sunrises and sunsets are second to none, and any photographer can easily capture the beautiful red, blue and magenta pastel colors as they streak across the sky in the warm tropical air. For the more daring, Florida has rightfully earned its reputation as the lightning capital of the United States. Summer months can provide electrifying photography opportunities as lightning arcs and bends wildly across the sky while cumulus clouds rapidly form to accent the horizon.

From previous experience, I’ve found that the use of a wide-angle zoom (12-24mm on digital) provides ideal results when shooting oceanic landscapes. In doing so, it distorts and emphasizes the size of foreground elements and enhances the power of the ocean. When shooting at dawn, the use of a tripod is an absolute must, and familiarity with filtering and image bracketing provides optimal results for maintaining shadows and highlights in your exposures.

Best Times
The diverse climate, wildlife and landscape provide opportunities for nearly every type of modern photography year-round. Spring and summer months bring the return of longer nights and majestic evening skies with backdrops over calm, warm waters. Tropical storms will bring new photography opportunities and prevent others. The winter months in Florida often bring relief from the heat and let photographers explore Florida’s extensive birding population and relax with peaceful walks along one of the state’s many beaches. You simply can’t go wrong in Florida, and the results easily will be seen in your photography as well.

Contact: Blowing Rocks Preserve, (561) 744-6668.

manfrottoEssential Gear…
For many outdoor shooters, a ballhead is the ultimate tripod accessory. Loosen one knob, and you have full control over all axes of movement. The Gitzo GH2780QR Ballhead features a spring-assisted double lock, a hollow sphere “bubble ball” and an excellent strength-to-weight ratio. Contact: Bogen Imaging,