Capturing Steinhatchee for VisitFlorida

There are two things I particularly love about photography, maybe about life: people and nature. Some photographers might say it’s watching that perfectly captured image unfold or capturing a moment in time – and those are fantastic, no doubt about it. But what has always made photography special to me is the people factor and the ability to tame nature.

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Steinhatchee Falls is a great place to picnic, fish, or enjoy a quiet moment watching the river cascade over the falls. The three-foot waterfall is formed by a limerock outcropping in the river which extends north of the falls and, historically, served as a crossing point for Native Americans and settlers in the 1800’s.

First, people – I found it in news, meeting and talking to folks every day and being a part of the daily news cycle. And I find it today, with my clients, my subjects, and those I get to interact with daily.

And of course, nature – my passion. Days out on and near water, waiting quietly for the subject, over which I have no control, watching for the break in the water, the breath of the manatee, or the pastel colors of a sunrise or sunset reflected as if on a canvas.

Steinhatchee, Fl. 5/27/15 and 5/28/15. Near the mouth of the Steinhatchee River where it empties into the Gulf, boats are docked as the sun sets behind them. Photos in and around Steinhatchee, Fl. Steinhatchee is a Gulf coastal town in the southern part of Taylor County. Steinhatchee is about 20 miles north of Cross City, Fl. It is known as a quiet fishing and get away location that also includes hiking trails, kayaking and bicycling. Fishing charters run year round and during scallop season as well. Photo by Bill Serne

Near the mouth of the Steinhatchee River where it empties into the Gulf, boats are docked as the sun sets behind them.

So it was a good fit when I did my first freelance job with VisitFlorida, the state official tourism vessel and website. I got to meld my love of nature with my love of people.

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Larry Rowland cleans fish for customers and charter boat captains. He sits on the dock at the River Haven Marina waiting for the charter boats to come in.

One of my recent assignments was a two-day photo shoot in Steinhatchee, Florida. My main contact there was charter captain Jim Henley, a local entrepreneur, fishing and scalloping guide. He took me under his wing; showing me around, introducing me to the locals and after seeing and hearing from me on what kind of photos I was looking for, sending me on my way to be creative.

Steinhatchee, Fl. 5/27/15 and 5/28/15.  Fishing guide and charter captain Jim  Henley exclaims, " what a great day" as he returns back to Steinhatchee from a day on the water. He charters his boat for fishing, scalloping and sightseeing ( Captain Jim Charters ) and is part of the Y Knot Fish charter captain group. Photos in and around Steinhatchee, Fl. Steinhatchee is a Gulf coastal town in the southern part of Taylor County. Steinhatchee is about 20 miles north of Cross City, Fl. It is known as a quiet fishing and get away location that also includes hiking trails, kayaking and bicycling. Fishing charters run year round and during scallop season as well. Photo by Bill Serne

Fishing guide and charter captain Jim Henley exclaims, ” what a great day” as he returns back to Steinhatchee from a day on the water. He charters his boat for fishing, scalloping and sightseeing (Captain Jim Charters) and is part of the Y Knot Fish charter captain group.

Henley is the kind of person I’d have worked with when I was in news, and the kind of person I enjoy working with as a professional photographer today.  I’m smiling as I write this, remembering him bonding during a lunch break with Shirley Watson, owner of the Mayo Café in Mayo, FL.

Steinhatchee, Fl. 5/27/15 and 5/28/15. At Fiddlers Restaurant, hosts Jim and Joyce Hunt present the Silver Platter. If you bring cleaned fish or scallops from your day on the water, they will prepare it for $10.99 grilled or broiled. Included are one side, a salad and hush puppies. Photos in and around Steinhatchee, Fl. Steinhatchee is a Gulf coastal town in the southern part of Taylor County. Steinhatchee is about 20 miles north of Cross City, Fl. It is known as a quiet fishing and get away location that also includes hiking trails, kayaking and bicycling. Fishing charters run year round and during scallop season as well. Photo by Bill Serne

At Fiddlers Restaurant, hosts Jim and Joyce Hunt present the Silver Platter. If you bring cleaned fish or scallops from your day on the water, they will prepare it for $10.99 grilled or broiled. Included are one side, a salad and hush puppies.

Belinda Travis owner of the Mayo Cafe  and Jim Henley pose at the front counter.

Belinda Travis owner of the Mayo Cafe and Jim Henley pose at the front counter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or how he lead the way with me in tow to the waterfalls in Steinhatchee Falls Park. This is a wonderful waterfall with a fishing lagoon above where folks fish in the shade of the oak hammocks and scrubby flat woods. A bonus that day was seeing the ruts of settlers wagon wheels etched in the limestone above the falls and just at the edge of my vision.  During all these excursions Henley was watching me and giving me that “I told you so” look.

boat with trees

Above the Steinhatchee Falls, two fishermen try their luck surrounded by oak hammocks and scrubby flatwoods.

traps

The docks behind the Ellison Fish House, the only commercial fish house in Steinhatchee. The reddish traps on the left are for Blue Crabs and the ones on the rights are for Stone Crabs.

My background in news and my passion for nature photography makes this the perfect kind of shoot.

Thank you VisitFlorida and Kevin McGeever.

This entry was posted in back story, Bill's favorites, Event photography, nature photography, timeless.

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