St. Petersburg, Florida is an awesome community that has art as a part of it. The new Dali Museum has been packed every weekend, the museum of fine arts is very large and the Chihuly exhibit makes St. Petersburg so unique.
One of my favorite local artists in St. Petersburg is one named Hunter Payne. His art style has changed a good amount during the last four years, but one thing has not, and that is his passion and drive for art.
Hunter cares so much about art that he has made major sacrifices to dedicate every thing he possibly can to art. Last year, Hunter decided to pursue one of his many dreams with art. The project is titled “Lets Draw Underwater” which is Hunter going to the Florida Keys and snorkel in the ocean while drawing whatever he sees down there.
The first challenge was to get funding for his project. He tried out a website called Kickstarter, which is a site that allows people to post projects and dreams which then allows for the public to fund the ones they like. Hunter set a goal of $1,000 and ended up getting $1,292 which was more than enough for the materials and boat to take Hunter out.
Hunter went out to the keys to the open water two times and drew over 200 drawings while snorkeling. He went along with his close friend, Reuben Pressman, who assisted him by filming Hunter for his documentary by using a GoPro.
The launch of the “Lets Draw Underwater” expo was on January 27, 2012 at Studio 620 in Downtown St. Petersburg. Hundreds of art appreciators gathered to see the inspiring documentary, ponder about the art, drink chocolate milk and most of all be happy.
The overwhelming emotion of happiness spread to every single human being that night at Studio 620 because we all witnessed someone write down a goal and worked to his full ability that he could. A dream was accomplished, and we had the honor of seeing it documented and shared.
Hunter received several hugs, congratulations, visits from old friends and teachers because of his talents, love, dedication, uniqueness and most of all, because of him. People left the night with a smile, inspiration or a piece of art. There was something special about that night, something supernatural than any other expo. This was the birth of Hunter Payne in St. Petersburg, and we can’t wait to see what other dreams he will accomplish.
Hunter made Studio 620 into a feel that we were walking around underwater. The paintings were hung from the walls on fishing hooks. The walls were painted blue and had waves on top and there was actual sand pushed along the sides of the wall to give it a realistic effect and vibe.
I really enjoyed taking pictures at the event. The lighting was really neat and I don’t like using flash that much. I sacrifice the flash so I can get more colors to work with. These shots have a pretty low f-stop and about a 1/10 shutter speed for most of them. There is still a lot more that I need to learn in shooting photography at night or low lighting, so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
To see the documentary and the drawings, please read and see all about it here at HunterMadeIt.
This is a shoot of the Bayboro Bay from the Vinoy Park in downtown St. Petersburg for the annual Sunrise 5K Walk/Run. I took this shot in the morning starting at around 5:30 a.m. It is easy to build a passion for photography in St. Petersburg because the city makes it easy on us. This city is so photogenic that a photographer can just make a quick spin and shoot something amazing here. After living here for about four years, I have noticed that the potential in all the pictures to do in St. Petersburg are endless.
The best part about shooting an event, that requires getting out into the city early in the morning, is the amount of unique colors and light that you can work with. Since the sun comes up on the bay and sets at the beach, the amount of colors that a photographer can work with ranges from each end of the city.
I was sent to shoot this event on behalf of my internship with Rothwell Marketing Concepts. My internship has been mainly based on going to events and taking pictures for the company. We were working with one of our clients, Chik Fil-A, which is one of the main sponsors of the event.
The day was long, but I really did enjoy taking pictures and walking around to experience the event. The weather was perfect and the participants in the race were from all different age ranges. There were also a lot of leadership figures attending including the Mayor of St. Petersburg, Bill Foster.
There was a lot of sunlight and I had to use a very fast shutter just to get the sky to be blue. But after seeing some of the shots that I took, you might see where my area of improvement should have been in. Always be sure to check your pictures while you are taking them.
This first shot would have been much better if I would have shot it with a higher f-stop, but I kind of liked the effect that came out. The colors came out white, but detailed, instead of yellow.
I really enjoyed taking pictures of people running and walking during the sunrise. The angle of the light seems to have a much different effect compared to a sunset, especially in St. Petersburg. During a sunset in St. Petersburg, you have to be next to a beach and the colors are much warmer with strength in red. Here’s a shot with a slightly higher f-stop. See what I am talking about?
Something really unique about our Mayor is his calmness and how much pride I see in him for our city. I just took this shot because I love his pose of just waiting during his introduction. He was not standing on the stage or right next to the steps, but instead he blended in so well with the community.
I really like this shot I took of this girl who wrapped a blanket around her after she ran. But I do see the improvements I need to make here. This shot needed a much faster shutter and higher f-stop. I do like the pose of the girl and her expression, but I see what needed to been done to make this shot much better.
Blogging about my previous shoots are making me a better photographer so I can understand what I did wrong or right so I can keep in mind for the next shot.
All photos and writing by Danny McDonald
As my first post, I would like to show off a little bit about how amazing it is to live in Florida, especially during the end of December. My family and I are renting out a beach house, enjoying the sun and pool daily with the relaxing sounds of the waves every five seconds. Here is a shot of our view from the balcony. I have decided I want to live on the beach eventually. I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a very Happy New Year!