Photo Of The Day: Ortona Lock And Dam

July 11, 2013 Photography  No comments

I’ve been on a quest for quite some time now to find locations close to me for shooting sunset.  Mainly spots I could keep ‘in my back pocket’ should I start to see the sky lighting up for sunset and can quickly head out there in less than a half hour.  Since I’m in a very rural area in the middle of the state it’s harder to find places where you have a nice view of the horizon (unless I travel around 70 miles west to the beach, which I’ve done but my goal is to find local spots).  Two nights ago I decided to try to shoot sunset at Ortona Lock And Dam, which is located in between Clewiston, Florida and Labelle, Florida.  I quickly realized that although I was able to set up and get into a spot where I had a view of where the sun was going to set, I couldn’t get as close as I wanted to the dam and also get any drama that would happen in they sky.  I didn’t have much time so I decided to shoot it from fairly far back to make sure I got mostly sky and see what happened.

Here’s my result, which I’m not really thrilled with….but with what I had to work with, I think it came out ok.

Ortona Lock And Dam

Here’s a little info on the Ortona Locks:

Located on the Okeechobee Waterway. Stretching out from both directions, the waterway extends to the Gulf of Mexico using the Caloosahatchee River and to the Atlantic Ocean using the St. Lucie Canal. Covering 152 miles, the waterway serves as both a commercial and recreational link with several overnight-docking facilities along the way. The Corps constructed and currently manages five locks along the Waterway. Ortona Lock and Dam were constructed in 1937 for navigation purposes.


Another area I have literally down the street from my house is the sugarcane fields.  You aren’t really allowed in there, but there’s small walk throughs around the gates where you can get in, but your vehicle can’t.  I had been seeing this big John Deere tractor sitting in the field for a few days and thought…what the heck.  We were on our way home on July 4th (wanted to get home to be with the dog who is very afraid of fireworks in case any neighbors let some off)..and I decided to stop and go into the field and shoot the tractor….


Deere's Day Off

There wasn’t much for a sunset that night so I sat facing north to shoot the tractor….I kind of liked the skies, but again…not really all that thrilled with the image itself.

I’ve also been hoping to get some lightning this summer. I figured when I see a storm rolling in I could just run outside my front door and shoot it. We had a big thunderhead move in late last month and I thought this was going to be a good one. Although very dramatic, it took a while for the lightning to start and when it did…it started to rain. I was halfway down my driveway (as you can see in the picture, it’s a LONG driveway) and had to run back into the house with my gear and miss the lightning.

Storm Front


Shooting landscapes and learning how to do it correctly is tough, but I’m enjoying learning.

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