Florida has many unique ecosystems that are highly dependent on rainfall. Slight changes in elevation create totally different environments. Forests cover almost half of Florida’s total land area, more than 16 million acres. The areas represented here include pine flatwoods, palm and oak hammocks, hardwood hammocks, and cypress swamps. Unfortunately, Florida’s wilderness areas are rapidly vanishing due to development . It’s not unusual for me to hike for miles, exploring the landscape, seeking beautiful wilderness areas that remain unseen by the average Floridian or tourist . I usually carry between 15 to 20 pounds of equipment consisting of film and digital cameras, light meters, tripods and a step ladder (for an expanded view of the foreground). This is not for the faint of heart, for it is not unusual to encounter electrical storms, warm temperatures with high humidity, stinging insects, poisonous snakes and alligators. Photographing the forest in Florida is also very difficult due to the harsh lighting conditions. The forest tends to produce deep shadows and strong highlights. I’ve been known to set up a scene and wait for long periods of time for the perfect combination of the time of day, clouds to diffuse the light of the sun and a calm wind. Most of the images in this gallery were photographed with Mamiya professional medium format cameras and will withstand a great deal of enlargement while holding detail.
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