Sanibel/Captiva annual visit and testing out the Fuji GFX 50s

For the past seven years, every Summer we are invited by my mother-in-law, Brooke, to stay a couple weeks on Sanibel Island, where her parents bought a condo on the beach in the early 1970’s. She has now long inherited it and shares this magical, wild place with us. This year I rented the Fuji GFX 50s to try out the mirrorless medium format to photograph the massive thunderheads that build over the ocean, a fine art project I have been slowly developing over the years called Aisthesis.. The Fuji’s body was not much larger than my Canon Mark III, the lenses however were larger. I had the zoom 32-64mm f/4 and the 110mm f/2 portrait lens. All the photographs below were photographed with the Fuji GFX 50s.

The ocean here is gentle and teeming with wildlife and shells. Since we are here at off season it tends to be quiet, although this year is the busiest by far, more and more families are hitting the Gulf Coast. It is a serene place to float hours upon hours in the warm ocean and spot the daily manatee swimming past. We take the boat out, which is parked in Captiva, to visit the other islands north of Captiva, homes off the grid with the smallest airstrips for landing small private planes. We see something new every time we go out on the boat, and this year was no exception, we happen to witness a shark kill a manta ray which was not at all pleasant- but fascinating to see how a shark hunts- creating whirlpools around its prey- very noticeable in the water with the spiral whirling and to see it aggressively move in to attack. It is also very obvious to see a shark fin vs. the many dolphin fins we see in the same area. What a wild experience! I have to say I did not feel up to swimming after that debacle but it was not long after I was back in the water floating along.