Archive for February 2013

The Boutique Art Deco Hotels of South Beach, FL   Leave a comment

Rarely am I satisfied with my architectural photography. Buildings, cityscapes, right angles, and flat colors, offer little enthusiasm for photographic exploration for me. When compared to landscape, people, animals, even the studio, the subject of architecture is not high on my list of themes to explore. So it was indeed a rare opportunity and surprising pleasure for me to explore the Art Deco boutique hotels that neighbor one another along Ocean Dr. in South Beach, Fl.

Royal Palm Shorecrest

© 2013 Paul Coffin Photography

Elongated parallel lines stretching into the sky with elements of color to accentuate the style suited my wide angle lens and a subtle use of high dynamic processing pulled out the detail that might otherwise have been lost to a “normally” exposed image. Partly cloudy skies, my favorite when photographing landscapes and now cityscapes, helped add just the right amount of contrast to the architecture to bring it to life.

Park Central Hotel


© 2013 Paul Coffin Photography

The nostalgia of South Beach was enhanced by the occasional hotelier who parked an antique car outside their front entrance. No doubt if this were a B&W photo, it could easily appear to have been taken in the 1930’s.  Below is an extract from Wikipedia regarding this particular style of Art Deco architecture called Streamline Moderne.

In the 1930s, an architectural revolution came to South Beach, bringing Art Deco, Streamline Moderne, and Nautical Moderne architecture  to the Beach. South Beach claims to be the world’s largest collection of Streamline Moderne Art Deco architecture

Streamline Moderne, sometimes referred to by either name alone or as Art Moderne, was a late type of the Art Deco design style which emerged during the 1930s. Its architectural style emphasized curving forms, long horizontal lines, and sometimes nautical elements.

Breakwater Hotel

© 2013 Paul Coffin Photography

14th Street Restrooms

© 2013 Paul Coffin Photography

Not to be overlooked, even the public restrooms that appear along the public beaches are styled in the Streamline Moderne motif.

Still Waters – The National Hotel

© 2013 Paul Coffin Photography

Miami in February can still have a chill in the air and this empty pool was evidence of that. The early morning sun cast just enough of a shadow through the palm branches to make for a wonderful reflection in the still waters.

Miami Nightlife

© 2013 Paul Coffin Photography

The night in Miami offers a completely different experience as the true life of the city emerges. I have long outgrown the desire for late nights and dancing; to be honest I never really had them, however if you are prone to shake a leg or move a hip at the hint of heart pounding dance music, this is your town.

Miami isn’t for everyone, but it is for many and for me it is a city I hope one day to return to.

Thanks for stopping by.


South Beach – Lifeguard Stands in the Morning   Leave a comment

On a recent trip to Miami I decided to rise before the sun (and my meetings) to enjoy the early morning sunrise and smell of the salt air as the waves crashed against the shore. This was my first time to Miami and to the area of South Beach. It is a sight to behold.

Below are a series of images of the life guard stands that dot the shoreline every 500 yards or so. Built to replace the original structures damaged when Hurricane Wilma hit in 2006, the lifeguard stands are fully functional and used daily.

10th Street Lifeguard Stand

© 2013 Paul Coffin Photography

16th Street Lifeguard Stand

© 2013 Paul Coffin Photography

15th Street Lifeguard Stand

© 2013 Paul Coffin Photography

14th Street Lifeguard Stand

© 2013 Paul Coffin Photography

13th Street Lifeguard Stand

© 2013 Paul Coffin Photography

12th Street Lifeguard Stand

© 2013 Paul Coffin Photography

The quiet morning walk along the beach was a great way to start my day and though the sun soaked bodies that typically dot the beach are also a main attraction of South Beach, the peace and tranquility of the morning offered this somewhat introverted photographer time to enjoy the simple beauty of the rising sun and the warm glow of light as it enveloped the delightfully colored stands the lifeguards call home.