Joshua Esponda

Joshua Esponda

@umbral_x

In South Florida 🇺🇸 from Puerto Rico 🇵🇷 Sony Photographer (& Sony Employee) Urbex, Travel, Landscape, etc. Currently shooting: Sony α6000, α7, α7RII
Joshua Esponda (umbral_x) Instagram Photos and Videos

Joshua Esponda

@umbral_x


Comment from Joshua Esponda:


Be sure to check out my “Croom” story highlight on my profile! Camp Withlacoochee, a former campsite for the Girl Scouts of America located deep in the woods of the Croom Tract of Withlacoochee Forest that was in use during the 1960’s through the 80’s. This is another view of those cabins featuring the one that is most intact through all of these years of neglect. After seeing the majority of these treehouses collapsed I found the hike out here to see the structures well worth it as I am not sure how much more time these simple cabins can endure. The forest is a amazing time capsule of different eras ranging from leftovers from towns of the 1800’s to farms and ranches from the 1940’s and this place from the 1960’s. More posts to soon follow from Croom! (Shot with the α7RII and 16-35 Zeiss)

4 Hours ago
Joshua Esponda (umbral_x) Instagram Photos and Videos

Joshua Esponda

@umbral_x


Comment from Joshua Esponda:


Camp Withlacoochee, a former campsite for the Girl Scouts of America located deep in the woods of the Croom Tract of Withlacoochee Forest that was in use during the 1960’s through the 80’s. See my previous post for a view of the unique cabins of this location. This structure was located at the entrance to the whole camp and branched off towards the totem pole/camp center through one path, and the cabins on another. The interior was caved in and emptied out and it looks like the number attached on the front either fell off or was snatched by a curious wanderer. Of all the forests I have explored so far the Croom area is definitely the most rewarding. I found amazing spots to photograph while I was there and have uncovered so many new locations in the forest to explore on future trips as well.

1 Days ago
Joshua Esponda (umbral_x) Instagram Photos and Videos

Joshua Esponda

@umbral_x


Comment from Joshua Esponda:


Camp Withlacoochee, a former campsite for the Girl Scouts of America located deep in the woods of the Croom Tract of Withlacoochee Forest that was in use during the 1960’s through the 80’s. What made this site unique were the treehouse type cabins which the scouts used during their stay. These cabins had a simple rope ladder that was used to climb in and out and was rolled up into the cabin at night. Today these cabins, which number seven, are in various states of disrepair having endured sun and storm through the years. Finding this location took quite a bit of detective work but in the end the biggest clue came from someone giving away too much info in their videos such as the direction they were hiking thanks to their shadow 😝. More posts from this spot to follow.

2 Days ago
Joshua Esponda (umbral_x) Instagram Photos and Videos

Joshua Esponda

@umbral_x


Comment from Joshua Esponda:


The best sunsets will always be on the best beaches. Not sure who I captured in my shot but I had to get them in there. (Thanks @adventureandthegirl for inspiring this shot with your own awesome beach silhouette shots taken on the same shores)

5 Days ago
Joshua Esponda (umbral_x) Instagram Photos and Videos

Joshua Esponda

@umbral_x


Comment from Joshua Esponda:


Lido Key, off the coast of Sarasota, Florida. There is something about a beach at night that makes a moment great but I'm starting to find, between spots like Lido Key, Fort Desoto, and Sanibel, that the beaches along the West Coast of Florida are the greatest to spend a night on.

11 Days ago
Joshua Esponda (umbral_x) Instagram Photos and Videos

Joshua Esponda

@umbral_x


Comment from Joshua Esponda:


I may have upgraded to the α7RII but it does not mean that I won’t use my α6000 anymore! The beautiful shores of Pompano Beach, Florida shot with the α6000+Zeiss 24mm 1.8 combo

21 Days ago
Joshua Esponda (umbral_x) Instagram Photos and Videos

Joshua Esponda

@umbral_x


Comment from Joshua Esponda:


I'm used to digging out the history hidden in the places I explore but for a change the history of a spot I came across was connected to me! Located in the Everglades National Park is an abandoned amphitheater area that I came across while looking for a proper place to shoot a typical sunset. In 2002 I recall heading out here as part of a series of trips to learn more about the Florida Watershed and remember working on a presentation out at this spot during a similarly cold evening those many years ago. During the course of the next few years through this project I had the opportunity to camp out and explore so many places in Florida and learn so much about the valuable chain of ecosystems that this water flows through. In the end the lessons learned on these trips have not been lost as I put them to use in nearly all of my adventures from identifying species of flora and fauna and of course knowing how to camp and kayak. I even used what I learned about Florida's ecosystems to track down a lost 100+ year old settlement deep in the woods! (that story is for another day)

26 Days ago
Joshua Esponda (umbral_x) Instagram Photos and Videos

Joshua Esponda

@umbral_x


Comment from Joshua Esponda:


Thank you very much @floridaexplored for featuring my photo of the Strawn Orange Packing House. I greatly appreciate how it adds more awareness to protecting precious historic sites like these.

27 Days ago
Joshua Esponda (umbral_x) Instagram Photos and Videos

Joshua Esponda

@umbral_x


Comment from Joshua Esponda:


A cormorant on the Anhinga Trail of Everglades National Park. Since people tend to mix up s and anhingas all the time I will share a way I was taught to tell the difference between these similar birds: the first letters of their names can distinguish features while in the air or on the ground. So in the air if the bird is flapping its wings “C”onstantly it a and if it “A”lternates between flapping and soaring it is an anhinga; if on the ground you notice the beak is “C”urved it is a and if it pointed like the letter “A” it is an anhinga. There you go, the easy way I was taught to tell the difference between these two avians.

33 Days ago
Joshua Esponda (umbral_x) Instagram Photos and Videos

Joshua Esponda

@umbral_x


Comment from Joshua Esponda:


Historic places should be preserved and protected, for even when such a place is entered on the National Register of Historic Places it does not grant it immunity as accidents and mishaps, along with intentional harm can and will happen. Such was the loss of Historic Monroe Station in South Florida’s Big Cypress when an insta-idiot lacking basic common sense decided to photograph himself burning steel wool while atop of a dry wooden structure. The fact that said dry wooden structure caught on fire from the blazing hot steel wool somehow surprised this guy and his cohorts to the point of fleeing the scene (he later turned himself in at least). The Strawn Citrus Packing House featured in this post is also no stranger to stupid antics and accidents. It seems every time I visit this location a new structure on the site vanishes with some being burned to the ground by arson and mistakes and others being demolished by the land’s new owner. Places like this are full of stories from the past and represent times less known by today’s modern society and making an effort to preserve this past should be more than just adding it to a list. Hopefully the next time I visit this location there will more than just another smoldering crater in the ground.

35 Days ago
Joshua Esponda (umbral_x) Instagram Photos and Videos

Joshua Esponda

@umbral_x


Comment from Joshua Esponda:


Just as it was a year ago out here I shot this scene vertically and horizontally. I personally prefer this horizontal shot but what do you think? Find the vertical shot 14 posts before this one and compare for yourself. Shot with the α7RII: a grand upgrade from the α7 I used then.

38 Days ago
Joshua Esponda (umbral_x) Instagram Photos and Videos

Joshua Esponda

@umbral_x


Comment from Joshua Esponda:


Turn the usual scene into something unusual.

42 Days ago
Joshua Esponda (umbral_x) Instagram Photos and Videos

Joshua Esponda

@umbral_x


Comment from Joshua Esponda:


A 2000+ year old Oak fills the frame with branches full of life and wisdom. Shot with the α7RII and the 16-35 Zeiss.

44 Days ago
Joshua Esponda (umbral_x) Instagram Photos and Videos

Joshua Esponda

@umbral_x


Comment from Joshua Esponda:


Getting lost in Florida’s amazing ecosystems.

45 Days ago
Joshua Esponda (umbral_x) Instagram Photos and Videos

Joshua Esponda

@umbral_x


Comment from Joshua Esponda:


Not everything at the Aerojet site was abandoned and decaying.

47 Days ago
Joshua Esponda (umbral_x) Instagram Photos and Videos

Joshua Esponda

@umbral_x


Comment from Joshua Esponda:


Urbex 101: Know your exits and always watch your back out there.

48 Days ago
Joshua Esponda (umbral_x) Instagram Photos and Videos

Joshua Esponda

@umbral_x


Comment from Joshua Esponda:


When I explore abandoned places I look for how nature has adapted and reclaimed these areas. In Florida and other tropical places the ruins I investigate tend to be invaded by nature rather quickly; vines tether objects to the ground as carpets of moss creep through concrete and wood. The Aerojet ruins are the perfect example of nature working its magic and there seems to be a perfect balance between man-made and the natural world here.

49 Days ago
Joshua Esponda (umbral_x) Instagram Photos and Videos

Joshua Esponda

@umbral_x


Comment from Joshua Esponda:


French Landing Sunrise (1 of 3) The perfect way to start this new year is a sunrise post from one of the most amazing places I have ever seen. Hopefully, there will be more sunrise shots this year as being up early to shoot them is a goal of mine.

54 Days ago
Joshua Esponda (umbral_x) Instagram Photos and Videos

Joshua Esponda

@umbral_x


Comment from Joshua Esponda:


French Landing Sunrise (2 of 3) A new year means the concept of a new start for many but I prefer to look at it as a chance to make new opportunities and a desire to accomplish more and make the year better than the last.

54 Days ago
Joshua Esponda (umbral_x) Instagram Photos and Videos

Joshua Esponda

@umbral_x


Comment from Joshua Esponda:


French Landing Sunrise (3 of 3) At the same time, much as it was with this beautiful spot, I feel a new year is a chance to make new experiences and create a new chapter in life. Therefore for this year my theme will be “Making Memories”.

54 Days ago
Joshua Esponda (umbral_x) Instagram Photos and Videos

Joshua Esponda

@umbral_x


Comment from Joshua Esponda:


Much better this year! My year was full of adventure and I met so many new people along the way too! (Check out my story for the full recap of the year too) Overall I am super proud of all I did this year and while 2017 will be a hard year to beat I am looking forward to the next year with optimism to my adventures to come!

55 Days ago
Joshua Esponda (umbral_x) Instagram Photos and Videos

Joshua Esponda

@umbral_x


Comment from Joshua Esponda:


French Landing, just a bit west of Blue Spring SP. Nearly two years ago I was introduced to this spot for a beautiful sunset that still tops my list of amazing moments but on the final morning of my recent trip to this area I managed to wake myself early enough (and just in time) to shoot the sunrise in contrast to that point in time. (As usual in giving credit where credit is due thanks @painting_fire for showing me this amazing spot) Shot in the freezing morning air with the kickass α7RII + Zeiss 16-35mm combo.

59 Days ago
Joshua Esponda (umbral_x) Instagram Photos and Videos

Joshua Esponda

@umbral_x


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61 Days ago
Joshua Esponda (umbral_x) Instagram Photos and Videos

Joshua Esponda

@umbral_x


Comment from Joshua Esponda:


Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Feliz Navidad. Hoping everyone’s holidays are full of life, love, and wonder.

62 Days ago
Joshua Esponda (umbral_x) Instagram Photos and Videos

Joshua Esponda

@umbral_x


Comment from Joshua Esponda:


A lake from my past full of memories both good and bad but all irrelevant as I focus solely on the serenity that is sunset and the stillness of nature that surrounds me. It's good to be back in this place.

66 Days ago
Joshua Esponda (umbral_x) Instagram Photos and Videos

Joshua Esponda

@umbral_x


Comment from Joshua Esponda:


It was great being out at this spot again a year later on a new adventure with friends and a new camera! Last year the α6000 shot the scene but this time around my α7RII would capture the beauty with striking detail. This sunset would close out my second day in this area and I honestly did miss being out here; as usual the sunset did not disappoint and being able to show my friends this amazing place just as it was shown to me made the experience all the better. While more posts from my Central Florida adventure are coming be sure to check out the highlights of my IG story on my profile page! (Thanks to @painting_fire for originally showing me this great spot as well as those of the posts coming up soon!)

68 Days ago
Joshua Esponda (umbral_x) Instagram Photos and Videos

Joshua Esponda

@umbral_x


Comment from Joshua Esponda:


The day sadly ended as the shades of orange fell to the dark blues that were settling on the sky. It was an amazing day out at Everglades National Park and the road out, which led into the growing darkness, was to be a peaceful one in contrast to the busy day.

71 Days ago
Joshua Esponda (umbral_x) Instagram Photos and Videos

Joshua Esponda

@umbral_x


Comment from Joshua Esponda:


My day in the Everglades was coming to a close as the forest trail sunset turned into a lake view reflection. The last time I viewed this lake was over 15 years ago for a morning sunrise while camping out here.

73 Days ago
Joshua Esponda (umbral_x) Instagram Photos and Videos

Joshua Esponda

@umbral_x


Comment from Joshua Esponda:


Deep in the middle of the Everglades at Long Pine Key’s hardwood hammock the forest sunset is an amazing sight to witness with the fading shades of light passing through the tall stalks of slash pine as their shadows become cast as streaks along the trail. Getting lost in the beauty of the day’s final light can be a temporary setback but with camp nearby it will always be easy to follow the campfires in the dark on the way back.

74 Days ago
Joshua Esponda (umbral_x) Instagram Photos and Videos

Joshua Esponda

@umbral_x


Comment from Joshua Esponda:


A white peacock butterfly (A. jatrophae) in Everglades National Park shot with the 70-200mm 2.8 GMaster lens.

77 Days ago
Joshua Esponda (umbral_x) Instagram Photos and Videos

Joshua Esponda

@umbral_x


Comment from Joshua Esponda:


At the very edge of the Florida Mainland is Flamingo, a part of Everglades National Park that is a gateway to Florida Bay... and countless mosquito bites. This area also goes to show Florida’s amazing diversity with life and ecosystems with the drive down to this area taking someone through all sorts of systems including marshland, prairie, and hardwood hammocks. Flamingo itself is part of a mangrove forest environment of brackish water full of seabirds and manatees along with a massive population of mosquitoes to the point of a special meter being used to warn visitors of how bad the biting conditions would be.

78 Days ago
Joshua Esponda (umbral_x) Instagram Photos and Videos

Joshua Esponda

@umbral_x


Comment from Joshua Esponda:


While everyone else was busy taking the same image of a wide angle aligator body I set my sights (and the Sony 70-200 2.8 GMaster lens) on capturing something different. The α7RII and GMaster combo is a match made in heaven- or Sony’s engineering lab at least- that enabled me to produce an image that reminded me of Jurassic Park. (I was seriously expecting another gator to pop out of the brush while lining up my shot and my final words to be “clever girl”)

79 Days ago
Joshua Esponda (umbral_x) Instagram Photos and Videos

Joshua Esponda

@umbral_x


Comment from Joshua Esponda:


American Backroads Tour Part 5: “The Road at Night” (1 of 3, see other posts!) My favorite time to drive is at night, specifically right after the sun sets. This is during the twilight where the last of the daylight fades and the darkness of night envelops the sky..

81 Days ago