Thursday, January 15, 2009

Ybor City

Hear the weather forecast a dozen or more times a morning as I do since all my traffic reports for WTSP immediately follow the weather segment and I'm bound to remember some of it.

That's why at noon I was taking pictures under the layer of clouds that our weather guy said would help keep freezing weather at bay for another day in the Ybor City neighborhood of Tampa.

By the way, by "freezing" I mean actual bring-in-the-dogs, cover-the-plants freezing, though nothing like the -22 degrees they had in Minot, North Dakota made worse by a wind that made it feel like -48. Not that anyone outside when it's 22 degrees below zero is going to have any exposed skin to feel the wind-chill factor.

The freeze watch is only for nighttime. The daytime temperature was still around 60. That's cold for us but I understand your lack of sympathy if you're shivering under a blanket of ice somewhere north of the Mason-Dixon line.

Anyway, cloud cover is great for photography because it eliminates the harsh shadows sunlight causes.

Ybor City is a historic part of Tampa once known for its cigar factories but now a center of Tampa nightlife. It's also one of the few places around here where many of the buildings have brick exteriors instead of the ubiquitous stucco pastels. Some of the streets and many of the sidewalks are also paved with red bricks.

Ybor's distinctive scenery makes it a popular with area photographers. I shot there once before but couldn't find most of the places I'd seen in other people's photos of the place. That's not crucial except that I didn't find much of anything in which I could see good photographs.

Today I did. I took more than 250 photographs and a few could be mistaken for art.

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