Over the past long weekend, I took a little road trip once again to Key West. For one, it’s a relaxing journey, except for the maddening stretch of highways ranging from the Downtown Miami core to the southern reaches of Miami-Dade County. But after that, it’s relatively smooth sailing…
Ostensibly I went down to Key West to meet up with some friends, but I also packed my kit, fully well knowing I would stop along the way or on the way back to capture and document some scenes along the Overseas Highway. It’s such a varied journey that one could spent a month traveling down that highway and still not capture everything.
Also, I needed an excuse to try out my new acquisition, the Canon 16-35 2.8 L MK II wide-angle lens. Sidebar, those who know me, know that I had the MK I version of that lens. However, after many many years of faithful service, it developed a fault in the autofocus mechanism. I sent it in to Canon for repair. After a few weeks, Canon regretfully informed me that the spare parts for this were no longer in existence, but for the price of the repair (since I already paid for the work), they would gladly send me a brand-spanking new MK II version of the lens. Christmas in May, as it were. Thank you Canon!
So, with new lens in tow, I set off southward. Now, I was running a little late, so I actually did not capture anything worth mentioning until the day after. I spent the night with some Miami friends just having a few laughs over some drinks and taking in the Key West atmosphere. I really have to figure out how to get a place down there.
However, the day after I did the “tourist” thing and walked around Duval St and the Southernmost Beach area shooting some random scenics, and then as the day wore on, I decided to head north. Eventually I ended up at Bahia Honda Bridge, on the Spanish Harbor Key side, facing north. Some of my fans may remember this piece from my last journey to that location:
Now, this image was taken long after the sun set, in the evening, with the moon rising. The composition is ethereal and almost mystical in it’s quality. One take on a common scene.
This time around, when I pulled up to the old pier supporting the on ramp to the disused bridge, it was the late afternoon, and a fairly heavy storm was on it’s way in. I climbed up through the concrete ruins and captured this.
Now, compositionally, the images are roughly the same, with the old span and new in the same relative positions, but this time I had daylight on my side, as well as the remains of a brilliant blue sky. There is more texture and definition to this image, making the same location into a different scene entirely. By the way, this image is available for purchase as a print in a variety of finishes and mounting options. Use code ‘AKZVVD’ to knock 25 percent off your final purchase price at checkout.
That being said, each image stands on it’s own, lending themselves to different modes of presentation with ease. Sometimes it’s worth revisiting a location on multiple occasions at different times of the day, just to get a different perspective on something familiar.
Also, I had an opportunity to explore the other ruins scattered around Spanish Harbor Key, including this interesting disused bunker:
At night, this would have been a fairly dangerous exercise, as the ground is very rough and uneven, and scattered with the twisted steel and concrete remains of structures from the last century.
And yes, I intended on visiting my “favorite” bridge crossing in Islamorada, but the weather did not cooperate. The journey home was a torrential downpour that slowed traffic to a crawl. No matter, I captured my images, which led to a curbing of my Type A road rage in slow traffic.
Revisiting old locations is definitely worth the effort. You never know what you may capture. I may give the Jensen location a visit sometime soon, perhaps around sunset.