A blazing sunset never wears out the eye, and Florida delivers the finest. A photo of just such an awe-inspiring photo that was taken in Venice is now brightening up the commute of people along I-4 in central Florida.
Photographer Liesl Walsh took the shot, which was one of the winners of the 2021 Fine Art America Billboard Contest, in which judges chose from 297 finalists out of 2,500 entries. Fine Art America is an online print-on-demand company based in California that showcases the work of more than 750,000 artists from around the world.
Walsh, originally from the Philadelphia area, moved to Venice with her husband, Mike, in 2019, and had committed to “capturing the best sky possible,” she says. Walsh credits the picture, titled “The Most Amazing Sunset at the Pier in Venice, Florida,” to her husband’s tenacious eye for the right light.
“We were at Caspersen Beach and my husband noticed there was an opening in the sky right above the horizon," says Walsh. "He knew once the sun came below the clouds the sky could turn into bright colors. He insisted that we rush over and I was able to get there just in time to capture a few photos of this amazing sky right before it disappeared.”
Artists from around the world were invited to submit their entries. To be considered, each image had to receive at least 100 votes on social media. Walsh's earned 125.
On Sept. 15th, a panel of judges chose 20 winning images to appear on billboards for one month throughout the country during the fall and winter. Walsh's Venice Pier picture is on display on an I-4 billboard at the Route 27 exit for Haines City, between Orlando and Lakeland.
All billboards are located near major metropolitan areas, including Chicago, Los Angeles and Atlanta. Each is at least 24 feet wide by 12 feet tall and features the title of the image, and the artist's name or preferred social media handle.
What’s Walsh's secret behind taking the sweetest pic?
“Lighting,” she says. “It has to be early in the day, or nearing sunset.”