Downtown 2

Threw the camera into the car last night as the day darkened into night and headed off downtown Tampa again. Last weekend’s fiasco was still fresh in my mind, so I would be lying if I said there wasn’t a little bit of fear in the pit of my stomach as I returned to the scene of such a miserable moment.

But I was determined to try the blue-hour, long exposure shots regardless. That was my original intent last week before the evening fell apart.

The skies themselves were absolutely not cooperating, with thick, heavy cloud all over the bay area. So the blue aspect wasn’t very likely to oblige.

The blue hour, by the way, is that hour immediately after sunset when photographers get to play with the camera just a little and extract some remaining tinges of blue from the sky before it turns to black.

So, from the outset I knew that the clouds were definitely muting part of the effect I was looking for. But that was OK. It was important that I get back in the saddle, so to speak, and put a better memory around a downtown visit.

I found the spot I felt would give me the best vantage point for some light trails and while of course downtown traffic is somewhat minimal these days, I still got a few I was happy with.

They are here at the end of the blog and I think my favorite is the very last one. Anyway, hope you enjoy!

Taking these type of shots by hand is definitely not the way to go. They most definitely should be tripod mounted because of the long exposure. But I wanted to get down close to the puddle (for reflections) and the tripod was keeping me too high above it.

So there I was kneeling in a puddle, hands resting in the water, trying to get some shots as traffic rolled by. Oh the lengths we go to when we are doing something we enjoy!

I just hope none of the people who saw me cracking eggs in the rain the other evening were driving by. They don’t need any further evidence.

I even tore the front of my shoe in one of my efforts to crouch lower. So, by the time I was heading back to the car with my wet jeans and broken shoe, I must have looked a pitiful sight.

But regardless of how I looked, I was genuinely happy.

Whether the pictures came out or not was secondary because the real enjoyment was in the trying. I was lost in my own happy spot, oblivious to the traffic or the passers-by, untroubled by wet knees and hands, unbothered by the clouds.

The world may have been turning, but I didn’t notice. For almost an hour, my world stood still.

There were no thoughts of work-stresses, personal issues, pandemic worries. The world was completely shut out.

And as I drove home last night, that was the thought that played out in my head.

The importance of being able to find our happy place.

We all need a happy place. It is the place where serenity takes over and your world is a beautiful place.

We can sometimes be so busy in life that we forget we even have such a place. But, when we do that, we do ourselves a disservice.

So if it’s been a while, why not go to your happy place this week?

Finding time for our happy place is an essential part of soul-rejuvenation. Your best soul-mate is your inner-self and you will find them there, waiting for you. Smiling.

We don’t all have the same happy place. If we did, my puddle would have been awfully crowded last night.

Yours might be in a good book, resting your head in your partner’s lap, or standing in a river, waiting for the fish to bite.

It doesn’t matter where you physically are, because the real happy place is inside your head. You take it with you everywhere you go and it is just waiting for you to open the door and let it out for a while.

This is why they say that true happiness comes from within. And it is why relying on others for your happiness is a shallow puddle. One without depth or reflection.

So, go on … get your knees wet this week.

… just a thought!