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florida

Stilt Houses on the Gulf of Mexico

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Stilt Houses on the Gulf of Mexico

New Port Richey is a town on the Gulf Coast of Florida, about 30 miles north of Tampa on US 19.  I moved there from Canada when I was 12, and left when I was 20 (my parents still live there, so I get back a couple of times a year). Those formative years left a deep impression, and one of the many memories from that time is driving out to Green Key Beach to watch the sun set, and wade in the very shallow water and hunt for horseshoe crabs.  

From the shoreline, you can see several houses about half a mile into the Gulf, built on pilings driven deep into the soft muck on the bottom of the shallow water there.  I guess I never thought much about them, until I recently read this well-researched article by Jeff Miller.

It got me to thinking about the stilt houses again, and I realized that I'd never really paid much attention to them when I lived there.

So, since I'd already booked a plane and Macbeth Photo's chief pilot Brokaw Davis to shoot some aerial photos for clients in Orlando this weekend, I figured we might be able to make the 45-minute flight over to the coast and check them out, time and weather permitting.

It happened that the weather was gorgeous, with almost no clouds (a very rare occurrence in the middle of June around here).  With Brokaw's brilliant low-and-slow flying skills, we were able to get some shots of the stilt houses, perhaps to help complete the story of these unique and, sadly, endangered homes (read the article for details).


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Florida Polytechnic University: Another Calatrava Masterpiece

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Florida Polytechnic University: Another Calatrava Masterpiece

A week before Florida Polytechnic University opened for classes in the fall semester of 2014, Macbeth Photo was invited by the general contractor on the project to spend three days photographing this incredible building.

Designed by renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, it is not just a beautiful structure, but also an engineering marvel.  

The 162,000 sq. ft. Innovation, Science and Technology (IST) Building, the signature element of the Lakeland, FL campus that is clearly visible from I-4, is topped by a 250-foot long skylight shading system with 94 louvered arms that raise and lower to track the sun.  This means that the direct sunlight is effectively blocked, leaving the glass roof open to the indirect sky light all day.

Macbeth Photo worked closely with the team from Skanska USA, and the representative from Atlantic Industrial Technolgies who controlled the louvers for us during our shoot. Three days of pre-dawn to after-dusk shooting resulted in hundreds of still images, as well as the time lapse video above.

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