At some point during this busy spring season, Sarasota Daily Photo marked its 5th anniversary. How has the time escaped?! It seems every year I write that I wish I had more time to spend on the blog. And, that remains true. Although we're not publishing as frequently as we would like, the editor-in-chief (and the entire staff) is still committed to showcasing scenes from the Sarasota area and staying in touch with our many City Daily Photo friends around the world. As you may know, the SDP editor-in-chief rarely signs off on flower posts, but this hibiscus (spotted in downtown Sarasota this past weekend) was just too stunning to leave on the editing floor…especially for this special occasion.
May 1, 2015
Nothing says 'revolution' like the Gadsden flag. The image of a coiled rattlesnake and the text "Don't Tread on Me' dates back to 1775, just before the beginning of the American Revolution. As many as 24 years earlier, Ben Franklin drew a sketch of a rattlesnake divided into pieces in what's believed to be the first editorial cartoon in an American newspaper. The rattlesnake image resonated with colonists. Rattlesnakes (apparently) are only native to America. They will warn with their rattle if someone infringes on their territory, and only strike if provoked. The phrase 'Don't Tread on Me' came to represent the colonists' unity against tyranny and England, and their fight for individual liberty and freedom.
The Gadsden flag is named for Col. Christopher Gadsden of South Carolina. He was one of three members of a committee which created the Marines (with a grand total of four ships). Col. Gadsden, it's widely thought, presented the Navy's commander-in-chief with this flag, believing it was important for him to have something distinctive and personal flying on his ship.
I recalled seeing this scene in Sarasota recently…retraced my steps…and voila -- a theme day photo! In my mind, I recalled just the Gadsden flag. But, I was quite happy to see the American flag there too. To me, these two flags side by side truly symbolize 'revolution'.
If you'd like to see other interpretations of this month's theme day, revolution, click here. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's submissions. This was a challenging theme day!
April 26, 2015
As promised, we're back in Sarasota! This was a recent sunset right in the urban core at Bird Key Park on Sarasota Bay. As I've mentioned before, many times the best part of a sunset is after the sun goes down. What do you think? The pastels stretching across the sky and the bay that evening were amazing. I'm starting to contemplate the next Theme Day -- Revolution -- thanks to a reminder from Jack at Naples and Hartford in Season via the City Daily Photo Facebook page. This is going to be a challenging Theme Day! (Fingers crossed I can make it.) Hope everyone is having a great weekend.
April 21, 2015
One of the very cool things about the Miami Open is that you never know who you'll see wandering the grounds. (More on that in a moment.) I was hoofing up the outside stairwell at the stadium court when I happened to glance down where players are transported to and from the tournament. I spotted a very tall guy with a tennis bag and knew instantly it was American tennis player John Isner. Big John, as he's called, (he's 6'10") was spotted immediately by this young fan. Looking at this photo, I can imagine his little voice: 'Hey, mister! Can I have your autograph?' Well…well. What would Big John do with seemingly no one around watching? After finishing a hot, tiring match earlier that day, would he give the kid the big blowoff so he could jump in his ride and rest? Or, would he pause for an autograph? Big John has a reputation for being a nice guy, so I was curious to see what he would do.
Not only did Big John sign an autograph, he posed for pictures. Brilliant! Makes me like him that much more. Ranked in the top 20, Isner has been a rising star for awhile and I'm anxiously awaiting his big breakthrough.
This was the first tournament in awhile that I didn't encounter any players when I was actually roaming the grounds. In previous years, I've spotted Rafa, Ana Ivanovic -- and somehow, Venus snuck within feet behind me one time and I realized it after it was too late. But, my all-time favorite encounter was one of my very first.
I spotted this guy (when no one was around) and I couldn't believe it! Roger Federer heading to a practice court. It was 2006, he was ranked #1 in the world (amazingly, he's currently #2) and I just had a point and shoot. And, boy, did I point and shoot! What a fun, unexpected encounter! This was before Roger won the French Open (to complete his personal slam), before he was married, and before he was the father of not one but two sets of twins. And, I thought he had accomplished a lot at the time I took this photo! That concludes our visit to the Miami Open this year. Back to Sarasota soon!
April 20, 2015
One of the great aspects of the Miami Open is the close proximity between spectators and players. This was a match between Alexandr Dolgopolov (who we met yesterday) and Spanish player Tommy Robredo on Court #1. This is an intimate court, and, as you can see, fans are pretty darn close to the action.
Tommy Robredo has been on the professional tennis circuit for 17 years (believe it or not) and currently is ranked #20 on the tour. He's one of those guys who seems to play consistently (when he's healthy) but that big breakthrough has been elusive. Nine years ago, he peaked in the top 10. Robredo ended up losing this match in three sets to Dolgo. Bad for Robredo but good for Dolgo, who, as I mentioned yesterday, is trying to claw his way back to being considered a rising star.
April 19, 2015
Alexandr Dolgopolov is one of those players that I try to see whenever I'm at a tournament. (Check out my encounter with him last year here.) His serve is a bit unorthodox, but he makes it work, and the combo is fun to watch. Unfortunately, he lacks consistency. One set he'll play incredible…the next, it's as though he's mentally checked out. As a spectator, it makes for some interesting viewing. I first started watching Dolgo in 2011 when the SDP Junior Editor noticed him and predicted he was a rising star. Sure enough, by 2013, he broke into the top 15 on the ATP tour. I'm not sure whether he's had some injuries, but his ranking has dropped into the 70s. He's still young and has lots of tennis to play -- and possibly have that big breakthrough, which I would be really excited to see.
April 18, 2015
This photo really epitomizes Spanish player David Ferrer. Currently ranked #7 on the ATP tour, he plays hard and is intense. Always. It's a great combination for a tennis fan! Tennis commentator Brad Gilbert refers to Ferrer as "Little Beast", since he's just 5'9" and prowls the court with the ferocity of…well…a beast. This was the first time I saw Ferrer play in person and he was lots of fun to watch. Incredible player. Believe it or not, he's 33 years old -- which, more or less, is considered geriatric in the tennis world. But, he's maintaining the intensity and sharpness..and keeping pace with the young guns. Go Little Beast!