Florida in Monochrome, or, Why I’m a Strange Soul Who Gets Overwhelmed by Too Much Prettiness

For the past seven days, I soaked up all the summer I could in southern Florida.

I showed up hungry for sunlight, searing heat, green.  And I have to say, Florida delivered:  As the car shot toward the Keys on long white bridges spanning the water,  the Sunshine State rolled itself out like a green-and-blue carpet, sparkling and shamelessly beautiful.

Gulls knifed through blue air.

Sunsets melted to shades of mango and grapefruit sorbet.

Water lapped crystal-blue along the shoreline.

Meanwhile, I kept aiming my camera at that loveliness, trying and trying to capture it.  And over and over again, I failed.

Gradually, I began to understand that it was all just too much for my eyes, my sensitive soul — too much beauty, too much color, too much light.  I wandered around dazed and stunned, caught in sensory overload.

So halfway through the trip, I shut my eyes and opened them again.  And I began to see Florida in quiet monochrome … in careful, small angles.

That was the first time I felt I could see it truthfully.

Here are a few of my favorite shots.  I hope they stand as proof that small, quiet things can be just as stunning as crashing surf or a tropical sunset, if you know how to look:


Rope on the Dock – Ramrod Key


Old Church in High Contrast – Key West


Lily Pads – Hemingway House, Key West


Jumbled Boats – Key West


Still Lonely on the Strip – Key West


Pond – Hemingway House, Key West


Vanishing Point – Miramar


Pathway and Palms – Miramar


Restoration in Progress – Key West


Mirror on a Tree – Hemingway House, Key West


  1. I’ve never thought of it like that before; it’s not at all impossible that some of us feel the whole of it with such intensity, that a photo will rarely capture it all for us. And so we zoom in for little bites of awesome intimacy at a time!
    I love the little bites that drew you in!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ahhh! Now I see what you mean about your B & W images. You have that eye for the fine details. Love that first image of the rope. It’s stunning (to me).

    I suspect we both have that same sensitivity to the detail around us. We see the swirl and texture in the rope (whereas others might see the boatyard as a whole).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed. I’ve been that way from the beginning (if it ever interests you, I once tried to puzzle out my own bizarre approach to learning photography here- http://wp.me/p5efeV-26 – & I really do think our aesthetic choices are so heavily influenced by what’s going on with our hearts from moment to moment). Thank you for stopping by! I’m flattered. I always love your work. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Actually, I’m flattered you like my photos so much. I’ve been in a bit of a slump for 7-8 months, plagued by foot/hip pain and totally uninspired with my B & W blog. Short walks in the city are proving easier than longer walks in the nearby Botanic Gardens.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yout black and whites just feel “honest” to me (versus surreal, which B&W does well, but I love the way peeling the color off something allows us to see the shape and form more clearly, as if it’s comfortably undressed. I think this is particularly true for human faces, which reveal a LOT in monochrome). I also appreciate your subject matter & the way you approach it. I don’t live in a “real” city at the moment, & I forget how interesting it can be to see a wide range of humanity interacting and bumping into each other. I think you manage to capture quite a few fascinating little human moments. 🙂


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