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Earlier this week, some friends came into town and I took them on the boat to the backside of Caledesi Island, where we anchored and took a brief walk among the Florida pines. It was blissful peace, just a few minutes away from the tourists. Known for having one of the best beaches in the nation, this protected island is more than just “fun in the sun”. It’s a pristine natural environment, where you can really see Florida as it was — before the endless nauseating high rises, golf courses and cheap motels.

Our creative director, Robert LaFollette, and I both share this appreciation for nature, and he’s been driving throughout the state, taking pictures. I’ve posted plenty of them on this blog, and I just posted to my Flickr account some pictures of the Hillsborough River State Park.

Now, another photographer who captures old Florida is John Moran, who was recently commissioned by the state to create a calendar of native Florida.

Check out this stunning photograph of Mill Pond Spring at the Ichetucknee river:

(You can download this image as a desktop background here.)

How did John do this?

Lots of preparation, and lots of strobe lights. All at once, the strobes hit and he caught this priceless moment.


You can read about his preparation here.

Old Florida is disappearing fast, from business and civic interests that are, for the most part, at odds with the goals of maintaining the old beauty of the place. I appreciate these talented photographers who are capturing images of the backwoods and byways for future generations.

Alex Eckelberry