Mike, my roommate Karli and her boyfriend Jack took a day trip to the Keys with no real destination in mind. I’ve noticed I’m developing a tendency to overplan things, so letting go and leaving an entire day open to exploring was an unexpected release.
It was rainy, my favorite shooting weather. Colors are richer, the sky is texturized with every shade of grey (reference noted, not intended) and whatever I’m photographing has this soft, creamy light that I adore.
We woke up early on a Sunday and began at a bird sanctuary on Key Largo. This sleepy screech owl’s eyelids slowly and continuously pulled open and drooped again, a cycle I’m all too familiar with after two years working the night shift – so I felt for him and left him alone after a few photos. A few of the pelicans started waddling after us – which was hilarious, until a lot of them seemed to get the same idea. A ranger told us they were totally harmless, subduing my mini Alfred Hitchcock flashback, and they loved the camera. Mike and I were convinced they started posing and waiting for the shutter.
We finished our fun with the birds, found a little diner with some necessary key lime pie and the bonus of an old powder blue Chevy parked out front. Our next plan was to find a small beach, but we drove past an abandoned restaurant and had to poke around a bit (shocker). We couldn’t find a way in, but it led us to a nearby abandoned auto repair shop. Picking up cues from the angry-looking cat guarding its water bowl out back and the refreshing scent of urine in the air, some part of it was definitely inhabited. We made sure to not stay long enough to meet the tenant.
We finally made it out to Anne’s Beach on Islamorada, and got to play around in the water a little before it began to rain too hard for the camera equipment to tolerate.
Nothing clears the mind like spending a rainy day exploring places you’ve never been.