Joseph Heil

2017 52 Week Photo Challenge


Week 15, #16 Favorite Holiday

It was hard for me to chose between Thanksgiving and Christmas as my favorite holiday.

Thanksgiving is less harried, a time to catch-up with friends and family and enjoy a great meal.  While during Christmas (which to me, is the Holiday Season, that time between Thanksgiving and Christmas) many people are overly stressed getting ready for the big day.  However, during the Holiday Season the world seems a little more at peace.



Week 14, #7 Blue Hour — Lake Maggiore

20170502_0708 Blue Hour

Blue Hour, that magical time between sunset and night when the sky changes from warm tones to cool tones.  The sun is below the horizon but its blue wave length’s of light are being reflected from the atmosphere back to earth, while the yellow and red light pass through the atmosphere and out into space (you learn these things when you photograph sunsets).

Having grown up on the East Coast, coupled with living in the Midwest for almost 20 years,  I never paid much attention to sunsets.  That is until I moved to the Gulf Coast of Florida, which has to be one of the top locations in the world to see stunning sunsets.

I captured this particular Blue Hour at Lake Maggiore, one of St Pete’s photography gems that Beth Reynolds shared with me, it was about 20 minutes after sunset.  It was very peaceful and quiet as the sun slipped below the horizon, and it suddenly felt chilly as the day ended.


Week 13, #32 Panorama, Mural at Hideaway Cafe


Shine Jose Mertz Wall Mural Panorama Final

I wanted to try a panorama on something other than a landscape. Why not a piece of urban art?  The third annual St Petersburg Shine Mural Festival was in October and 14 new murals were created.

There are a wide variety murals–some colorful, some intricate, some playful and some with a message. The one I selected to photograph was painted by Jose Mertz.  It was hard to pick just one, but I found myself drawn into this mural by all the different components the artists chose to include–a man, a frog, an octopus, a torch, a fish and a dragon (though not sure I got them all).  This panorama consists of 5 handheld photos stitched together using Photoshop.

The actual festival may be over but you can still check out the murals.  The link below contains information about the artists and a map of all the murals.

From Shine’s website:
“Bringing more than 35 new murals to our City of the Arts since its inception, the SHINE St. Petersburg Mural Festival returns for its third year October 5th – 14th, 2017, showcasing vibrant special events and inspiring public murals by a diverse group of artists from around the world.

The festival, which received widespread media accolades, is a non-profit public art project built in partnership between local artists and community members. SHINE illuminates the power of art in public spaces by revitalizing areas, inspiring dialogue, and uniting the St. Petersburg community.”




Week 12, #24 I Found This—Yellow and Orange Canna

I found Cannas growing behind the garage when I bought my house in 2015. They looked more than a little peaked the first two years—only getting 12 inches tall and never blooming.

I wanted to dig them up and toss them into the trash bin but Danny had another idea.

He relocated them about 2 feet … into full sun. They loved it, growing over 8 feet tall and multiplying like rabbits. Now there’s a small stand of Cannas in the backyard. As they say in real estate, location is everything!

The Canna I photographed, is the last bloom of the season…I barely caught it in time for its close-up.


Week 11, #6 Back Lit

Man with Dog at Sunrise, Vinoy ParkMan Walking Dog at Sunset 20170728_D60_4563 crop3

I’ve always been an early riser (the older I get, the earlier gets 😜). Morning is my favorite part of the day and it’s when I’m most productive. I pop out of bed bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, eager to tackle the day.

This particular morning I decided to take Danny down to Vinoy Park to see the sunrise and to do some photography.

This sunrise was particularly beautiful!


Week 10, #A4 Texture

Textures of FallFall Textures 190537 without corn husk on gourd cropped

I lived in the northern half of the country for almost 50 years (Maryland, D.C., Cleveland and St. Louis) and fall was never one of  my favorite times of year. While I appreciated the burst of fall colors and textures, cool weather foods and the change of clothing,  I always felt a little sad.  The promise of summer was over and the harshness of winter was coming.

In Florida, the beginning of fall doesn’t bring fall foliage,  the serving of hot stews, much of a change in wardrobe (except my beloved hoodies) or sadness . However, it does bring temperatures dropping to tolerable levels and a resumption of outdoor activities.  By October the temperature cools down to an average high of 84 (yippie!!)

As if on cue, the weather started to cool down October 1. Unfortunately, there’s no accompanying fall textures to see…so I photographed one of Danny’s creations.