Tom Sommers
Coldwell Banker Realty

April Photos 2021

One of the challenges that I did not expect in pursuing photography is what I call the 1000-yard stare. You start to look at everything differently almost like it is through the lens of a camera. I hope that makes sense because I do not know how else to say it. Everything for me now feels like a potential photo. Some of my greatest inspiration comes from just driving down the road. Many times, the same road you have probably traveled on hundreds of times. I was driving through Iowa and stopped to get gas. This barn was right across the street from the gas station before I got back onto the highway. There was something about it that just struck me. Right away I thought this would look really cool in black and white. There is so much texture to it and with the overcast sky, it removed all the shadows that would normally be there at 11:00 in the morning. I would even go as far as to say this is a photo, I have had in my head for several years that I have been searching for.



Cheryl and I were in Florida in March visiting a fried and went to Circle B park reserve. This place is truly magical. Its located just south of Orlando near Lakeland. Its filled with all types of wildlife including this 14 foot alligator. As we were walking along the path, Cheryl spotted him just laying in the sun. We stood and watched him for several minutes. He was happy and sleeping with no interest in us at all. Every once in a while he would open one eye and look at us. Several minutes go by and a guy on a bicycle approaches. Now that was something the alligator didn't like. He started to make sounds and opened up his mouth to show dominance. I was able to get several photos and this one is probably my favorite. Shortly after that, he turned his back and went into the water. This a the photo I was hoping to get. I consider this a "bucket list" photo and grateful to have been there in that moment.

Alligator in Circle B Park Reserve. Lakeland, Florida



This is the entrance to the path that heads to alligator alley and other parts of the reserve. Rumor has it that there are over 20,000 gators in the lake. There are no boats, docks and especially no swimming! Everyone was very respectful of the wildlife. Lots of people hoping to see an alligator or other creatures. Many had cameras as well. Its easy to get lost in the beauty of this place so plan an afternoon there. So much to see and it changes everyday.



As you walk along the paths in Circle B, its seems as though everywhere you look you see wildlife. This photo was taken of the lake a few minutes after our encounter the the alligator. This is a very frequent sight. Considering how many of them live there, it would be hard no to see some swimming around looking for food.

alligator circle b park reserve



This photo is another "bucket list" photo for me. I have always though bald eagles are so beautiful and majestic. But I have never photographed one before. Shortly after the alligator encounter we were walking back to the car. Out of the corner of my eye, I see this eagle circling over the water. I grabbed my telephoto lens and was lucky enough to capture him pulling a fish out of the lake.

Bald Eagle catching a fish circle b park reserve lakeland, florida



Because of the timing and the city being on edge, I thought I would include a photo of the gathering in downtown Minneapolis after the reading of the verdict in the George Floyd case. I have been covering this for almost a year so I felt compelled to go down there and capture the scene.

george floyd verdict 4/20/2021 minneapolis minnesota