Saturday, September 1, 2012

Softly Breaking - Cinnamon Beach, St. John USVI

Well its September 1st and I guess summer is pretty much over.  I was very fortunate this summer to travel to so many great places.  It was definitely a busy and exciting summer.  One place we visited was St. John in the US Virgin Islands.  The photo below was taking at Cinnamon Beach which is just one of so many picture perfect beaches to visit.   Heres to this summers memories and the places traveled.  On to the fall, football, hunting, and more wonderful memories! Binomo review

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Island Beauty - St. John, USVI

I honestly don't think you can find a more beautiful place than St. John in the US Virgin Islands.  Around every corner you can find views like this.  Sometimes you have to go off the main roads but even if you don't these views are everywhere.  So if you are ever in St. John, to see this go just past Hawksnest Beach and on the left you will see a pull over to Peace Hill.  A short hike to the top gives you this breathtaking view looking east.  The beach on the right of the frame is Maho Beach and beyond this you are looking at Francis Bay.  It was an unbelievably clear day and beyond Francis Bay you can see Tortola of the the British Virgin Islands

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Conch Paradise - Providenciales, Turks and Caicos

Sometime a good image is just about doing something different.  I took this image just killing time with my Sony point and shoot camera.  The great thing about this camera is it is water proof!  Great for taking to the beach.  Earlier in the week we had gone on a conch dive and found these beautiful shells.  After enjoying the delicious conch and cleaning up the shells a bit we had some beautiful souvenirs from our trip.  We thought a picture of these shells underwater would look cool so on my snorkel went and about 20 shots later we had one that I liked.  I did some post process lighting and desaturation to help balance out the bright sunlight coming through the water to complete the shot.  Anyone have a beach house?  I think this would look pretty darn cool hanging on a wall! Simple and elegant. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

True Heroes - Fredricksburg, TX

I am a day late with this photograph but even though it is late tonight I did not want to wait any longer before posting this to my website in honor of those who serve, served, and paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.  On Sunday I spent some time at the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredricksburg Texas.  That's right, this is in the heart of the Texas Hill Country.  Fredericksburg is home to Admiral Nimitz, Commander of the entire Pacific Fleet during World War II and so this museum came to be.  I was getting ready to tour the museum when I asked the lady at the front desk.  Anything special I should know about.  She proceeded to tell me that in about 30 minutes they were going to have a live reenactment down the block a ways in the Pacific War Zone.  An area designed to replicate what the combat terrain looked like during the Pacific Campaign.  What a treat this was to be watching current and ex marines reenact with actual WWII era weapons and vehicles including an actual WWII flame thrower and a 150 caliber machine gun.  It was loud, very loud and you could feel the heat from the flame thrower as it lit a pill box on fire.  It was one thing knowing this was just a show but you truly got the sense of what it must have been like when these soldiers had to storm up the hills on these islands fighting at close range.  The best part was, since it was Memorial Day weekend, there were several WWII veterans in the audience and at the end they recognized these veterans and everyone in the audience stood and applauded.  WWII veterans are dying at a rate of 1000 per day so please make sure you take the time to thank one of these veterans and take the time to introduce your children to them and explain what exactly their sacrifices have given us today.
Photograph By Jason St Peter - Fredricksburg, TX

Sunday, May 6, 2012

A Weary Drink - Waco, TX

I have a lot of nature shots lately, not sure why.  Some from the wild others from zoos.  This photo from Waco Texas is obviously not from the wild.  Cameron Park Zoo is a great small zoo with wonderful exhibits like this lion exhibit.  I wish I was able to shoot this from a slightly higher angle to capture more of the reflection in the water but too high and I would have lost that weary eye keeping tabs on everything around her.  

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Spring Turkey - LaGrange, TX

I have heard from fellow hunters that Turkey hunting can be a frustrating endeavor. I have heard that Turkey's are elusive, fickle, and unbelievably shy around humans. So, over Easter weekend when I heard the distinct gobble of some turkeys while family and friends were playing horseshoes, I was resigned to think there is no way we will actually see them. However the gobbles kept getting closer and closer until they were in plain view. 3 of them strutting around as if they could care less if we were there. They looped in around us not getting closer than about 25 yards. When they had made it all the way around behind us along a tree line, I captured this photo. This male made his way through a patch of wildflowers and into the trees and was gone. I made a fellow co-worker who likes to hunt extremely jealous at this encounter. Also should note the LadyBird Wildflower Center opened up their photo contest for 2012. they added a new category "wildlife in native landscapes" This photo has been entered :) They do have an overall viewers choice award so if you like this photo feel free to visit and vote. Lots of great photos out there so the quickest way to find this one is to sort by most recent.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Sunrise - LaGrange, TX

What a wonderful morning created by God this morning. Today along with some family and friends we gathered at this location in LaGrange Texas for a Easter Sunday sunrise service. In the background the sun was breaking the horizon and illuminating the middle cross signaling the rising of Christ. In the pasture in the back, deer calmly grazed. A gentle fog hung over the tree line. The peace surrounding us was obviously the hand of god at work. Happy Easter everyone.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Watering Hole - Georgetown, TX

I love this phot on so many levles. I am not sure why I never posted it. There are just so many things to look at. From the tip jar and the dollar bills stapled to the rafters to the patron taking a drag. There is a story all in its own captured at this bar. I was lucky to spend some time talking with these patrons and they indeed had some good stories. From living on a sailboat to to waiting for their son to return home from Iraq. My advice on this photo, spend some tiem and take it in. The more you look at it the better it gets.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Georgetown Blue - Georgetown, TX

Much has been said about the Texas drought of 2011. Rivers ran dry, mighty Oaks wilted and died, ranchers selling off livestock, farmers losing a entire year's harvest. It was the driest on record. The other night I laid down in bed and read a story to my daughter "The Legend of the Bluebonnet" by Tommie dePaola

As the story goes, A Comanche Indian Girl named She-Who-Is-Alone lost here family during a great drought. All she had to remember them by was a little doll made by her grandmother that had deep blue feathers from the bird that cried "Jay-Jay". The tribe prayed to the great spirits and danced for rain. The great shaman who spoke to the Spirits told the Comanches that the spirits had spoken and they had been selfish and they were being punished. To end the drought they must make sacrifices of their most valued possessions. She-Who-Is_Alone new what she must give up. She climbed to the top of a hill lit a fire and threw her doll into the flames as an offering to the great spirit. When she awoke the next morning the rains had come, and the fields, as far as she could see, were covered in blue flowers. They were just as blue as the feathers from the bird that cried "Jay- Jay."

I couldn't help recall this legend as I was making this photograph. The rains came this winter and ended the Texas drought. What used to be dry brown dead fields are now lush and covered with the beautiful blue flowers we call Bluebonnets. I know there are thousands of farmers, ranchers and those who rely on the land who made huge sacrifices last year. These Bluebonnets are a sign that 2012 will be a much better year for them.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Silver Back - Dallas, TX

One of my dream trips would be a trip into the hear of Africa to track the elusive Mountain Gorilla. I honestly don't know if this will ever happen so I am thrilled that the Dallas Zoo has an unbelievable exhibit that displays these magnificent giants in a very natural habitat. Even at the zoo there is no guarantee you will get a good view of these guys as they have made sure it is flush with vegetation. They however do their best to give you nice observation platforms should they wish to venture out. I was lucky and was able to catch this male walking along the grass.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Marching On - Burton, TX

I know I am not posting very often and I really don't know why...I have gone through these spells before and I always tell myself I will pick it back up. In all honesty I am not so sure I will ever get back to a new image every day. I have set a goal of 2 every month to share 24 images a year with my followers. I have two lined up for January already and I will start with this image. This year was my first year to begin deer hunting. While the gun sat by my side no bullets ever left the chamber. Instead the only success this year were some great images of some deer walking through the pasture by my blind. Restrictions in Washington County kept me from shooting any does or young bucks but I was still happy with the images none the less. The fact that I was in a deer blind let me get really close to the deer and capture this image with only a 70-200mm lens. The early morning light was perfect and I got some great images.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Saturday Snack - Dallas, TX

Here is another photo from my Dallas Zoo collection. These elephants are part of the new Giants of the Savannah exhibit. The Dallas zoo does a really great job of creating habitats that are conducive to the animals and also well designed for the visitor viewing and photographing. Again, sorry for the lack of updates to my blog. I need to jump back on this and get it going again. Thanks for taking a look and let me know what you think.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Receding River - Georgetown, TX

The San Gabriel River is on the retreat. The Texas drought which now has hit extreme levels in about 80% of the state is causing this waterway to shrink to almost nothing. I shoot this location of the San Gabriel often and is one of my favorite places to photograph. While this scene was beautiful the sad part is I was standing on dry rock in the middle of the river bed that in most cases is flowing freely. The clouds that were building at sunset only teased the San Gabriel as they formed and then dissapeared not producing a single drop of rain.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Gulf Sunrise - Galveston, TX

This summer the family spent some time down at the beach in Galveston Texas. We had a great time relaxing and spending time at the beach. One morning I woke up early to make some photographs before the sun got to high and captured this photograph of the beach early in the morning. While peaceful it was not empty. Throngs of fisherman had already taken to the water and they were busy trying to get their daily catch in before the beach goers showed up to crowd them out. It is amazing that just a few short years ago in 2008 this beach was devastated by Hurricane Ike wiping out most of the island. It is once again a beautiful place and great for some family fun.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Street Time Forgot - Dime Box, TX

This photograph was shot in Dime Box Texas on a drive back to Georgetown. The street is abandoned except for an old automechanic shop on the corner. The owner of this shop fixes up classic cars and parks them along the street. Seeing these cars on the street makes this scene look as if time just simply stopped in this town. To add to the overall feeling of this image I added some grain and other artistic renderings to make this photo look older then it really is. Hope you enjoy.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

New Father - Georgetown, TX

Happy Fathers day to all the fathers out there. Whether it is your first fathers day or another of many. What you have instilled in your children will be with them forever so make the most of every day and cherish everyone. This father redbird started his new family this spring inside a chandelier that hangs on our back porch and I was lucky to capture this photo as dad came back to the nest to check on his new babies. Red Birds carry a special place in the hearts of my wife and her family. Her grandfather Oliver Whitener was always fond of the Redbirds that lived in the trees outside his house and loved to sit and watch them fly about. When he passed away most of the family agrees that his spirit is still very alive in these birds and every time we see one it is hard not to think of him. So when this Redbird family decided to make there home right on our back door step it was very special and I could not think of a better photograph to post today on fathers day.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

On Top - Deer Valley, UT

Driving home from work today the gauge in my car read 104 degrees! Even for Texas that is hot on June 16th! After seeing this I had to think cooler thoughts so decided to go with a landscape from this winter. I don't convert alot of my photos to black and white but when I looked at this photo it screamed put me in black and white. Why? The huge contrast of lights and darks from shooting directly into the sun. The dark sky, the white snow, the dark trees, the amazing white clouds. I put this photo into my Nik Software and produced this great black and white photo from atop the mountains in Deer Valley Utah. I am quite happy with the result. So here is to cooler temps in Texas!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Family Gathering - Dallas, TX

Man how time gets away from me. I know that if I continue to go long stretches without updating my blog those who visit regularly will move on else where. So I am going to try my best to get on here and update more often. The good news is I have a nice size collection of images that are just waiting to go up. Last month I took a trip with the family to the Dallas Zoo. I always get just as excited as my 5 year old daughter about a trip to the zoo. I know any trip to the zoo will be a photographic bonanza! This trip did not disappoint. The challenge is balancing my need to stay and wait for just the right image and the families desire to move on to the next part of the zoo. This was the case at the chimpanzee exhibit at the newwy opened Wilds of Afica Exhibit. I could of stayed here all day photographing these guys hanging out and playing. When you go to a zoo and want to photograph patience is key. The key is to set up from a position that has a nice clean background and then wait for the scene to come to you. In this photograph I had to wait a good while to get the juvenile to show its face from up out of the grass while also waiting for one of the adults to turn their head. Of about 25 frames this is the only one in which 2 of the 3 faces were visible. I would have stayed longer but with a 5 year old it was time to go see the elephants!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Blacksmith - Burton, TX

Here is a portrait from the Burton Cotton Gin Festival. This is a local blacksmith artist that has been showcasing his work for many years at the festival. It is a pleasure to watch him work as he creates fabulous metal work with nothing more then his hand tools and a classic furnace kept hot by a hand crank. It is a step back in time when hand made meant something. If you are local to Burton and know this man please let me know so I can add his name to this post.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Cotton - Burton, TX

WOW! what happened to March. I went over a month without a single post. I hope I did not lose to many of my fans who visit this blog on a regular basis. Time has indeed gotten away from me. A combination of work and family is what mainly kept me from working on photographs and writing on my blog. I didn't spend this entire time away from my camera, but my most of my work for everyone took a back seat to shooting my favorite subjects, my two girls! This time of year also is typically full of wildflower photos on my blog but the drought Texas is in has made the flowers less then stellar. There were a few good places to find them but my regular spots were not at all up to par. I did however make an appearance at the annual Burton Cotton Gin Festival again this year and took the time to make some photos inside this historic gin. I have many other photos from the gin but this is my first post from inside. This gin is a Texas historical landmark and is full of history, but rather then bore you here I will just provide you a link and let you simply enjoy the photograph.

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Tycoon - Deer Valley, UT

Here is another photo from my time out in Deer Valley. This was probably my favorite cruising run on the mountain. The views are spectacular with the Aspen trees and Jordanelle Reservoir in the background. If you ski this run, to enjoy, you must go slow and soak in all that is around you. If cruising is not your style jump into the Aspens in the Triangle Trees for some great one on one time with the trees.

On another note tonight I am heading down to descend upon the masses assembled in downtown Austin for SXSW. I will be joining Trey Ratcliff of Stuck in Customs and Jack Holingsworth @photojack for the biggest photowalk I have ever been a part of. All levels are welcome and I will be there to assist as a photo coach so come join us in what could make history as the worlds largest photowalk. We are meeting at 6:30 at the Driskell hotel.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Work in Progress - Burton, TX

Lets take a little break from the snow pictures and turn our thoughts toward spring. This image was shot at the Burton Cotton Gin in Burton Texas. A location that has been featured many times before on my blog. Each spring Burton holds a festival to raise money for this historic gin and part of the money goes toward repairing historic engines that used to power gins across Texas. This particular engine is a Waukesha engine, circa 1950, that powered the Cotton Gin at DaCosa, Texas near Victoria. The gin was to be torn down but the engine was saved by the Burton Cotton Gin Museum with the goal of restoring it. So next time you are on Texas Hwy 290 between Austin and Houston stop off at this little town just west of Brenham and stop by this historic gin. It is the perfect place to stretch your legs a bit.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Under the Moonlight - Deer Valley, UT

While in Utah we were blessed with some beautiful clear days and nights. This is perfect if you want to capture the full moon rising over the mountains as I did in this photograph below. We were all tucked away and cozy after a long day of skiing so I did not venture far to capture this photo but when we saw the moon coming up over the mountains outside our window I knew I had to tray and find a good close by place to photograph it. I was not about to go tromping a long way away in frigid temperatures. I found this location atop the crest of the road that ran in front of where we were staying and there was a perfect row of houses with just enough lights on to make for a nice winter scene. This photograph was made by shooting multiple exposures including one just for the moon and then blending them all together to make the final image. The lighting and exposure on this image was a real challenge with trying to balance moonlight, city lights, and the light coming off the snow. It took about 20 or so shots before I felt like I had the right 3 exposure sequence (F11, with an 8 sec, 2sec, 30 sec exposures shot at 70mm ) and then the 4th nailed down for the moon (f13 1/30 sec). I hope you all like the final result.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Aspens in the Snow - Deer Valley, UT

I spent a recent day skiing some slopes in Deer Valley with my camera and tripod in tow. I know I looked ridiculous with all my gear but I was able to find some good spots to stop and photograph. Loaded up with my gear and my wife with me on the chair lift up she states "I'll meet you at lunch because I not going to wait around for you and your photography nonsense" Ahh my biggest fan. Ohh well, I find it easier to shoot without other people distracting me anyways. I can shoot at my own pace and shoot whatever I want whenever I want and take as long as I want. This shot was captured off a main run. The hardest thing about photographing with skis is that when you take your skis off inside some nice trees like this you quickly sink sometimes up to your waist which was the case shooting through these Aspen trees. It makes for an easy low angel however! I know winter has been miserable throughout the united states so maybe this picture can bring back some happier thoughts about winter.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Central Texas Snow - Georgetown, TX

We had a rare winter weather event last night so today at lunch I loaded up my gear and headed out to Lake Georgetown to make some photographs. This snow storm was not a big as last years but it still produced a nice dusting of snow across the area. So while this may not be my most exquisite photograph it is a rare capture so special in its own little way. So while everyone else digs out of feet of snow we will enjoy our little dusting. Stay warm everyone.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow on the Prairie Sunset - Burton, TX

Ohh man is the chill in the air throughout the country right now. Only in Texas can it be 80 degrees one day and 10 degrees the next. With the frigid temperatures I thought I would post a little snow picture. OK so not actual snow but a photograph from this fall that captures a late blooming wild flower that the folsk around here call Snow on the Prairie. Here is the amazing thing about this photo. It was shot with my Iphone. I took two photos one of the sunset and one of the foreground and stitched the two photos together. Other then the stitching and some contrast and burning on the foreground, no other effects were applied. This was one of the most amazing sunsets I have seen. I was out dove hunting so the only camera I had with me was my phone so I made do with what I had. Underneath the final image I posted the two originals.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Heaven's Light - Noack TX

This is a little church off Hwy 12 east of Georgetown in Noack Texas. I drive this route several times a year and I am always inspired as I drive by this church. On a clear day you can see the black steeple from miles away as you meander down a two lane highway between acres and acres of corn fields. From a distance this church appears to be off the highway but soon you round a bend and there it sits. Its not a grand cathedral by any means but the simple beauty goes extremely well with the simple landscape that surrounds it. The church's neighbors are nothing more than corn fields and clouds. I have to assume the community is much like the church and its surroundings, simple and content where they are. I photographed this church about a year ago but decided to make another rendition of the photograph using a new program for my phone. Yep that's right this photo was created on my phone. I downloaded a new app from Trey Ratcliff called 100 cameras in 1 which allows you to apply several textures and effects on top of your photos. On this app you have over 100 different effects you can apply. I have enjoyed this application very much and have even started a new gallery that features nothing but art created from my phone. It has opened up so many more possibilities for my work. The best thing about this program is the price. Unlike your full PC programs that can run you hundreds of dollars, this application cost $1.99. You most likely will see many more photos created with this application on my blog in the near future.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Circus Fun - Cedar Park, TX

It was a cold rainy day this weekend. Perfect weather for a fun filled indoor circus! You are never too old to enjoy a good circus. The laughter, the thrills, and the awe produced by the performers makes young and old alike enjoy the circus! This particular circus is the Ben Hur Shrine Circus performing at the Cedar Park Center. It runs through Monday so you still have time to go see it for yourself.

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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Barn Rays - Burton, TX

This 1st photo here is a redo. This scene was one of my first HDRs. 2 years later I wanted to take another stab at post processing to see the difference. The first image is my latest take on the subject. Some new tools went into the process such as my new Dell XPS, and Lightroom 3. What do you all think.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Reclaimed - Burton, TX

This photograph has been sitting in my archive for a little while but I am glad I came across it today. This turned out to be one of my favorites to date from out and around the ranch. This is an old hay loft that hasn't seen any use for several years now. Quickly the vines and vegetation are starting to overcome the structure and soon it will reclaim it entirely. During post processing I applied some cooling filters to create a starker lonelier mood. I then utilized a 3 image HDR blend to bring out the grain in the hay loft. The final step was to apply some texture using a photo from a brick wall. To me photos are about awakening senses and creating a mood. For me this finished photo does all of the above. I hope it does the same for you.