Saint Augustine Florida is one of my favorite places to photograph. A few years ago, I spent a long Thanksgiving weekend there and it was an apex of my work for a long time. Stayed at the Pirate Haus Inn which is smack-dab in the middle of the historic district and a block away from Matanzas Bay. Highly recommended if you want a real immersive travel experience as opposed to a cookie-cutter hotel room by the way. If you're savvy enough to stay there, tell Conrad I said hello.
Starting early the first morning, I took my Ricoh GXR camera (meaning I was traveling light) and a small assortment of lenses straight to the seashore to see the sunrise over Matanzas bay.
A minute later, I created one of my favorite shots, the world famous (at least if you're in to bridge architecture) Bridge of Lions.
Turned 180 degrees and set my camera to photograph the sun shining down on Cathedral Place.
Walked along the bay on Avenida Menendez to photograph the historic architecture on the waterfront.
Of course, there is an ulterior motive to taking this way first thing in the morning. There's lots of talk on the internet about what gear photographers use for their craft. The most important part of any photography kit to me will always be a hot cup of coffee. The Crucial Coffee Cafe has the best.
Photographer Refueling Station
As the sun rose, I took to the narrow streets reminiscent of a historic place in Europe to photograph street performers whether they were there to attract attention for a dining establishment...
...or just out hanging with their best friend to make a few bucks.
Then I headed for the shade in the hallowed halls of Flagler college.
Flagler College is another place I could spend an entire weekend photographing. Henry Flagler knew how to create beautiful architecture.
Went across the street to the Flagler museum and sat cross legged on the floor with a few kids to take in a demonstration of some amazing music boxes.
Not my best work, but such good memories of being in air conditioning.
Henry Flagler was the man who invented Florida. Not the theme parks part, but establishing it as the east coast's vacation destination. The Flagler Museum is in what used to be one of his hotel buildings and, as such, the building is as much a showcase of the museum as the beautiful items it contains.
Saint Augustine is old. It is America's oldest continuously occupied city. It boasts America's oldest house, America's oldest schoolhouse, and one of America's coolest looking forts that has flown under four flags.
First the Spanish built it in 1672. Then the British, the Spanish again, the United States, the Confederacy, and finally, the United States again following the Civil War.
It is made of a stone indigenous to the area called Coquina.
The fort has never been taken by force. The rich history surrounding this fort spins tales that fill over a dozen books. She is one of my favorite subjects to photograph and I continue to try to capture the weight and length of her history. Castillo de San Marcos seems to stand vigil over Saint Augustine even to this day.
The sun setting does not mean the day need be over for photographing Saint Augustine. Traveling a few blocks inland, I find one of Henry Flagler's greatest architectural achievements.
The Memorial Presbyterian Church is an architectural marvel. It is dedicated to Henry Flagler's daughter who died quite young. I try to capture the solemnity of his monument.
And zoom in closer to create a photograph of a small part of the elaborate architectural detail.
Three days passed far too quickly. I had barely scratched the surface of all I wanted to photograph in America's oldest city. But I'll be back to photograph more and, of course, there is more of Florida to explore. You're invited to join me right here on the Real Florida Photo Blog.