Sunday, June 30, 2013

Nostalgia - Daytona Beach Pier

At the Beach. . .

Retro designed buildings can survive if their heritage is protected. This usually requires renovating to an original look. What the storms don't destroy, we should preserve. Daytona's Pier is a peek at yesteryear when entertainment for adults and children wasn't that far apart.

Daytona Beach Pier and Boardwalk, by DG Hudson

This coral-colored building includes a gift shop, a restaurant and a long boardwalk that allows walking beneath and extends about 1000 feet into the surf. These images were taken in the morning, before the heat wave. The original wooden pier was built before the 20th Century, burned down in 1920, was rebuilt with a casino and reopened in 1925. The building at that time would have been of Victorian style. Several years ago, the entire pier was in need of an facelift, and the result has injected new life into this local favorite and a nostalgic memory for some past visitors. I was pleased to see the pier still standing when we visited on a family trip. As teens, we called it the 'Boardwalk'.

Daytona Beach Pier, Florida by DG Hudson

When the pier reopened in 2012, the anchoring restaurant Joe's Crab Shack was back. A busy place when we were there, with the enticing smell of fresh crab and other delicacies drawing those undecided 'looky-loos' inside for a taste.

The pier has suffered from the constant pounding of the Atlantic Ocean surf, fire and hurricanes, but it has endured since it was built in 1925. Some of the pilings of the pier were removed during the beach racing years, so cars could pass under the pier as part of the course. This was a photo opportunity spot for famous race car drivers who came to Daytona Beach to test their mettle. When they returned home, these drivers shared these photos worldwide, giving Daytona Beach an early international reputation.

This is a follow-up post to The Tide that Tugs-East Coast Florida.

Daytona Beach Pier and Boardwalk, by DG Hudson 

Do you have a memory of an interesting boardwalk or pier at the beach? What city or place? OR
What do you think is the most famous beach in North America? Or your favorite?

Please share in the comments, I'm listening. Hope your summer is living up to your expectations.  Thanks for stopping by.


References:,_Florida Wiki Pier Info


Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Tide that Tugs - East Coast Florida

In honor of the summer season, I'm posting beach photos taken in Florida on a past vacation. This east coast beachside town, with its salty Atlantic air and white sand beaches form part of my past. This is just a sampling of Florida's charm. Just remember, don't go in hurricane/tornado season.

Daytona Beach, Florida

A walk on the beach at dusk, with shadows encroaching on the dying sun.

Daytona Beach Shores, Florida, by DG Hudson

Daytona Beach is historically known for having a beach that motorized vehicles can drive on in restricted areas. This is called beach cruising and Daytona is one of the few beaches that allow this freedom. The hard packed sand made this city a mecca for motorsports. The old Daytona Beach Road Course hosted races for over 50 years and was replaced by the Daytona International Speedway in 1959. Daytona Beach is also headquarters for NASCAR and the Grand American Road Racing Association.


Retro Hotels and Pier, Daytona Beach, Fla. by DG Hudson

The Pier View

From the far end of the Daytona Beach Pier, the orange building on the right in the photo above, you can see the beach and some of the retro hotels. This was a choppy day, but the sky cleared with the wind. Some of the retro hotels in this photograph are no longer existing or need repairs. Storms in the area in the intervening years caused damage to the older buildings. That fact helps reinforce my belief that you should take photos when you can and freeze those moments for posterity.


The Modern end of Daytona Beach, from the Pier by DG Hudson

Daytona Beach, the modern end, taken from the Pier. This was a blustery day, but warm. Beautiful. At this end of the beach, you can find the Daytona Beach Bandshell, the Ocean Walk Shoppes, and the Pier. The Daytona International Speedway, a little further down the road, has tours or you can ride around the track with a professional driver. Costs available online.


St Augustine Beach, Florida

Located in northeast Florida, St. Augustine, founded in 1565 by Spain, is the oldest continuously occupied European-established settlement in the continental US. For two hundred years this was Spanish Florida. St. Augustine was first explored in 1513 by Spanish explorer and governor of Puerto Rico, Juan Ponce de Leon, who claimed it for Spain. Needless to say, the Europeans brought the usual disease and death to the local Indian tribes. For more information on the history, refer to the links below. Even Sir Francis Drake showed up here in 1586.

St. Augustine Beach, Fla. taken from the Pier, by DG Hudson

St. Augustine Beach, in Florida is a white sand, crystal shiny beach. There were no amenities to comment on when we were there. Except, there were bathrooms. No 'fun stuff' lining the beach as there is in Daytona. Bring your own supplies.

Castillo de San Marcos is also located in St. Augustine, a fort with walls made of compressed seashells, which gave its walls the ability to flex, rather than shatter or crumble.  Here's a link to my previous post on this fascinating fort. The photo below shows part of the fort cannon deck.

Castillo de San Marcos cannon, by DG Hudson

All photos taken by and property of DG Hudson.


Are any beaches in your summer plans? Do you love kicking back on the beach? What beaches are close to you, or if none, which beaches have YOU visited that stay in your memory?

Please share your comments, I'm always listening. Thanks for taking the time to stop by.

References:,_Florida Wiki on Daytona Beach, Florida,_Florida Wiki on St. Augustine, the town
DG's post on the fort at St. Augustine, the Castillo de San Marcos - Castillo de San Marcos, Fort at St. Augustine, Florida St Augustine Lighthouse and Museum, another site to visit.


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Photography - Lighting Effects

Lighting can create atmosphere, or highlight certain embellishments. The way an object in a photo is seen in relation to the light can affect the perception of the viewer.  The same subject undergoes a transformation with a change in the amount, direction or intensity of the light.

The Strand
in Key West, once a distinctive movie theatre. . .

The Strand, Key West, by DG Hudson

In this photo, we see an example of the retro theatres of the mid-twentieth century. In the daylight, architectural features dominate. In the evening, the signs and marquee highlight the night. Conversions can preserve interesting old buildings. The Strand was kept in good condition and revived for other uses. A conversion is preferable to destruction of landmark buildings.

In 1993, this building was used in the film Matinee, a comedy with John Goodman. At the time, it was no longer a movie theatre, but it LOOKED the part.


Tropic Cinema
also in Key West, Florida

The Tropic Cinema, Key West, Florida, by DG Hudson

This movie theatre is still showing movies, with a schedule of showtimes. For nostalgia buffs, or movie lovers, you can experience the intimate nature of a smaller theatre. In this photograph, the building's image pops out from the surrounding darkness as night settles.


The Hollow Tree
in Stanley Park, Vancouver

Bright sunlight causes stark shadows within this giant tree in Stanley Park, Vancouver. The Hollow Tree rates as one of the most popular photo spots since the horse and carriage days. It was damaged in a December 2006 windstorm and declared a safety hazard. In 2008, the tree was targeted for removal. Private donations saved The Hollow Tree and covered the cost of the tree realignment and stabilizing. The size of this tree and other 'Old Growth' stumps illustrate the primeval forests of the past. - Stanley Park site, general highlights.
For the Hollow Tree, see last part of the information.


The Eiffel Tower

as dusk turns into night,
the statuary reflects the golden glow. . .

Pont D'Iena, and Closeup Eiffel Tower, Paris, by DG Hudson

Looking upward from the bridge span of the stately Pont D'Iena, I see the color start as a glow on the girders of the Eiffel Tower.  This vision welcomed us after just returning from an early evening cruise of the Seine River. The rain had stopped, and we were waiting for the tour bus to take us back to the Marais. A light show always brightens the mood.



Chandelier at Versailles

This would most likely have held real candles and would have required a servant to maintain it. In one of the galleries at Versailles, this chandelier lights a small radius in a background of shadows. This photo was taken on a low-light setting as no flash was allowed.

Versailles Chandelier, by DG Hudson


Have you seen the effect of light in Rembrandt's painting? Do you consider light when taking photographs?  Do you use light and it's effects in your writing? Please share in the comments. Let me know if you use light to get special effects. Thanks for dropping by.