Orlando, Florida – Cypress Gardens (Infrared)

From the quiet Cypress Gardens located in Orlando a shot from one of the botanical gardens. I have not been in FLA for a bit and have heard that Legoland has taken over the property of Cypress Gardens and has kept some of the gardens in place? When I went a few years back there was only a few people visiting the park and it was nice to have had a chance to see it!

Here is some history from the web: Cypress Gardens was one of Central Florida’s original tourist attractions, opening in 1936. This makes it a contemporary of Gatorland, another popular attraction that predates the arrival of the Disney Empire, having opened in 1949.

The original attraction at Cypress Gardens was the namesake botanical gardens, including a sprawling banyan tree. Over time, other attractions were added, like strolling Southern Belles in period costumes and a water ski show on adjacent Lake Eloise. Water skiing often overshadowed the gardens as a point of interest, and many world records in the sport were broken at Cypress Gardens over the years.

Cypress Gardens became a popular spot for filming movies and television specials in the 1950s and 1960s, with Esther Williams starting in several of them. Johnny Carson also appeared in a special at the park, and it was visiting by such celebrities as Elvis Presley.

The arrival of the Disney theme parks hurt Cypress Gardens, which is located about an hour away from Downtown Orlando, in a more far-flung spot called Winter Haven. It changed hands several times, starting in the 1980s, and attempted to reinvent itself as more of a traditional theme park, with roller coasters and other rides, eventually adding a small water park as well.

Competition increase as other Orlando theme parks like SeaWorld Orlando, Universal Studios Florida, and Islands of Adventure kept people from leaving the immediate Orlando area. The struggling theme park, now rechristened as Cypress Gardens Adventure Park, suffered a further blow when three hurricanes struck the region in 2004.

There were sporadic park closures over the year, culminating in a final closure in September, 2009.

Spicewood, Texas – Krause Springs (HDR)

From the beautiful Krause Springs in Spicewood, TX.  The photo above was taken riverside with some great HDR subjects…Cypress trees.   Here is some info from the web:

Krause Springs, 34 miles west of Austin in Spicewood, is possibly the most beautiful swimming hole in the state. Situated on a bluff overlooking Cypress Creek, Krause Springs is actually two swimming holes in one. As the rolling ranch land begins its rapid descent to the creek and Lake Travis, the Krause home sits at a high point with the parking lot. At the next level below the house is the spring-fed swimming pool and below that is the creek, lined with towering cypress trees and a waterfall coming over a cliff covered with ferns.

Elton and Jane Krause bought the property in the 1950s from an aunt. Every year, Elton, his sons, and hired help find more improvements to add to the privately owned park. They did all of the landscaping that makes the area look like a tropical oasis and built all of the rock picnic benches. They used to have wooden picnic tables, but after every weekend the tables would be clustered together and they would have to spread them all out again. Elton retired to operate the park full-time in 1994. The site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was probably used by Native Americans for centuries before white settlers arrived. There are 32 springs throughout the campground, which made it perfect for the original Native American residents and now benefits latter-day campers and swimmers. Two springs feed the 70′ by 20′ swimming pool at a rate of 70 gallons a minute at a temperature of about 70 degrees. The springs have never slowed down, even during severe drought.

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 18-200 f/3.5-5.6
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 27.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  HDR 5 exposures (+2 to -2)
  • Aperture:  f/16
  • Gear:  Tripod
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Photomatix, Viveza, Color Efex Pro
  • Orlando, FL – Cypress Gardens (Infrared)

    Cypress IR B&W

    NIKON D70S (Modified by LifePixel), Nikon 18-70, Silver Efex Pro

    Infrared photos are second in overall (HDR is 1st) views on my website Talke Photography.  I see this photographic style growing everyday!  I have posted many times…I truly enjoy having the option to take an IR photograph now that I have my modified Nikon D70S.  I have received many emails as well on the details of IR.  Hopefully by the years end my plan is to post a tutorial on how I produce my IR shots.  It is very easy!  I’ll start working on it in November.  So hopefully before the years end it will be up!  Maybe it will open many new eyes up to IR photography!

    Trees are great subjects for IR….many people look at such a photo and think its a winter scene!  You know you have done well processing when this occurs.   Please feel free to contact me anytime if you have any questions on IR photos!  Enjoy!

    Orlando, Florida – Cypress Trees HDR

    Cypress Trees - HDR

    NIKON D300, Nikon 18-200 VR, HDR in Photomatix

    This picture of the Cypress Trees is from Cypress Gardens park in Orlando.  As I am going through my pictures…maybe it was not a bad choice to check this park out.  A few nice pictures from here….thanks to these Cypress Trees.   On this one I used my tripod and a shutter release with 5 exposures.  When I post processed it in Photomatix I turned up the strength and it gave the Cypress trees some life!   The detail in the base of the trees makes them look almost spooky.    After I completed this picture all I could think about is the March of the Ents from Lord of the Rings (for those who have seen that movie you may know what I mean). 

    Here is a little info on cypress tress I found on the net – The bald cypress has a pyramidal shape similar to other conifers, with a broad buttressed base. It reaches up to 100 feet in height in its native environment, but rarely more than 70 feet in culture. In wet situations it develops ‘cypress knees’: curious growths which rise out of the ground or water and are believed to help the tree breathe in swampy conditions. The short green needles turn brown and drop off in the fall. Its bark is fibrous and an attractive reddish brown. The small, rounded cones are of little decorative effect.

    I think Cypress trees go up high on my list to photograph.   I’ll see if I can find more in FLA one day!   Then I will be “swamped” with pictures!

    Orlando, Florida – Cypress Gardens (Infrared)

    Cypress Gardens

    NIKON D70S, (Modified IR by LifePixel), Photoshop

    During my trip to Orlando, I aslo had a little time to explore Cypress Gardens.  It about 30 mins from the theme parks.  This used to be a theme park in its day.  But now its just a garden.  Its a little sad to drive through the theme park with rides/roller coasters/shops all empty.  Like a ghost town.  I did not know what to expect.  It was ok.  Quiet.  But I did like seeing the Cypress trees.  You can walk through the garden in about 1 hour.  Admission was $13.00.   Its more like a tropical trail.   I did get a few ok pictures.  I was on the lake shore and took this shot.  Looked nice in IR.   I gave it the bluish/gray tint via working with hues.     I have to still go through my pics…I may have a nice HDR from here?  There is one shot at the park that is used for postcards from Florida for many years.  If it comes out ok as and HDR…I’ll post it.   I’d skip this place, but if your up for checking it out…dont expect much.  I would have like to stop and take an HDR of the old empty roller coasters, but your tram doesnt stop there.