Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Touch of Color - Bend, TX

BREAKING NEWS:
I just saw that my photo of Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe Received an Editors Pick by Smithsonian Magazine! WOW I am so thrilled at this!
here is the Link to the Website and to the photo on my blog
OK here is a new one for me. Selective coloring is just another technique you can use in photoshop to draw a viewers eye to a certain subject. In this case the bluebonnet. Why I chose this image for selective coloring, something I do very little of, is because I wanted to emphasize how much this bluebonnet on the river bank stood out. It was a nice touch of color among the reeds and rocks. And as the state flower it deserves to stand on its own. I however did tonemap the rest of the scene to try and put together a nice black and white scene as well. But the focus remains on the flower.

Monday, April 27, 2009

An Evening on the Colorado - Bend, TX

I got a pass to go hang with the guys on Saturday and took advantage by doing some tent camping along the Colorado River. We did what guys do while camping. I scrounged up two small Guadalupe Bass early in the afternoon then sat along the river drinking some beers and telling dumb jokes. My wife asked what we talked about all day and for the life of me I can't say we talked about one thing that was of any importance. She asked about my friend's wife who has a baby due in a few weeks and I said well I don't know. She asked about my other friend looking for a house and I said " I don't know we didn't talk about it." She said, "what did you talk about all day?" I thought about it and said "well nothing really." I think that means this was the perfect camping trip! the below photo came at the expense of missing the bean eating competition which from what I hear was quite the event. See I told you there was a lot of good conversation! Oh well maybe next time. This shot is comprised of three, three shot HDRs blended as a vertorama. so 9 frames in total were shot to make the final photo. I have to say our view was pretty awesome for a $4 a night room.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

What Remains - Burton, TX

I took a little break from the computer starting on Thursday. I enjoyed the time away and it helped me focus on getting my work ready for the show this Friday. I picked up the canvas prints and they look great. I am thinking this photo may be in a future show. This photo is very symbolic of the ranch where the photo was taken. I was told back in the hay day of this ranch there were hundreds of head of cattle that were worked on this ranch by the family. Today only a handful of cattle remain under the family name and there is no plan to raise additional cattle under their name. The ranch will remain a working ranch as the land is leased to other cattle owners who will run their cattle on the ranch.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Corral - Burton, TX

This photo is of some cattle corrals that have been used for several generations to work cattle. The cows are herded in and seperated to be worked. The work contains all manner of things such as vaccinations and de-horning cattle. On ranches it is about practicality not beauty or luxury so while the paint may be chipped or the gate may be rusted if it ain't broke, don't fix it is the mantra. In my eye this however is what bring the unique beauty to the forefront.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

County Seat - LaGrange, TX

One of the things I like about HDR is the ability to take shots in low light without a flash. The below was taken about 1 hr after sunset and was a three shot exposure. The photo is of the Fayette County Courthouse. Having spent a lot of time lately driving through central Texas there is one thing that tends to look the same. In these small rural counties. The county courthouses are unmistakable. They are almost always built in the middle of town on a square plot of land surrounded by four streets. While strikingly similar each one takes on it unique architectural heritage that primarily derives from the country in which the founding immigrants arrived from. I think it could be a real cool photo essay or book to capture the uniqueness of these town squares and what they mean to the counties and communities in which they reside.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Earth's Life Blood - Burton, TX

This picture is so beautiful to so many people. Standing water in the pasture is a beautiful sight to farmers and ranchers in Texas. The rain gauge said 8 inches and I believe it. It rained solid from Friday night to about 3:00PM on Saturday. After the rain finally let up I headed out with my camera and as I was driving down the dirt road noticed that as the clouds were heading off to the east they let enough soft light through to create some cool reflections in the pools of water that had formed.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Fishing Hole - Burton, TX

This is a great place to spend a few hours on a spring afternoon. The jon boat at the edge of the water is the same one this guy was found under. I loved how the clouds looked inthis phot and wanted them to be a prominent feature of the photograph.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

God's Palette - Washington County, TX

For this photo I simply captured the art work God had already painted. Good thing he does not have a copyright on it and creates his work for everyone else to share and enjoy. Right now I am watching the rain fall and hoping it clears for tonight as we go down to the Cotton Gin Festival. Tonight is the night my Bevo and Reveille photos will be auctioned off. I hope people do not stay away because of the rain.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Taking it Easy - Klump, TX

Going throught the backroads off 290 I came across this pasture. Most of the time when you come up pn cattle they will stop and stare straight at you. These two however seemed like they could care less. Just taking it easy enjoying the nice spring day. I liked the fading horizon and the fact the cows were not looking at the camera for this photo. I went with a texture here becasue the sky was to muted to have any real definition. The texture added this along with some artistic flare.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Celebration House- LaGrange, TX

This sure looks like a fun place to go celebrate! I loved the sign above the door and how the colors screamed celebration but the weathered venue told a completely different story. This is one of those cases of taking a theme that is shot a lot and finding something unique to make your photo stand out. Also about a week ago we started a fan page over on facebook for 50% Chance of Rain. So if you are on face book be sure to join the fan club to see even more photos and get regular updates on events and other interesting things.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Heaven's Ladder - LaGrange, TX

I just love when the clouds cooperate! They did so perfectly for me to capture this scene. It took some waiting on my part for them to come together at the right moment. When they did I was ready. This photo was taken as the sun was rising across a field. I picked this spot out the previous day as I knew it had potential for a great sunrise shot. With the number of bluebonnet shots I captured this spring I think I may have to start my first collection. Also today I got some more exciting news. The Williamson County Art Guild has asked me to do a presentation at their next meeting on my process and how I achieve the final results of my photos. This is an honor they have asked me to present as there are so many great artist in this group. If you are interested in coming out it is at the Windberg Art Center on May 5th at 6:30PM

Monday, April 13, 2009

Field of Blue - Burton, TX

Let the bluebonnet photos continue! I think we may only have a couple more weeks of the state flower in full glory so I will continue to capture them while I can. The below is a vertoram HDR. I also thought I should announce my first gallery show. I will be joining many other great artist from the Williamson County Art Guild for a one month show at the Framers Gallery in downtown Georgetown. The show opens on may 1st at 6PM. I hope if you are in the Georgetown area I hope you can come by and say hi. I will have many of the works that you all see on this blog on display in as either framed prints or canvas gallery wraps. The below photo will be in the show as will these.
So if you are interested in owning one of these photos be sure to come by the gallery.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

He Has Risen - La Grange, TX

Happy Easter Everyone. I worked on this photo most of Easter weekend to have it ready to post today. I am excited it has been finished and am glad to share it with you all on this very special holiday.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Spring Color - Burton, TX

Ok now this picture has quite a story. I set out about 6:00PM to set up in this pasture. I stopped at the top of a hill and saw these bluebonnets below. I decided to save time by driving through the pasture down to the bluebonnets. This turned out to not save all that much time after all. I got to where I wanted to be and got some good shots and including some great panorama ms I am still working on. The sun started setting and I was thinking WOW how peaceful is this. All by myself with only the birds keeping me company. A warm beautiful evening and with the cloud formations in the west I knew the sky was going to explode. I sat patiently camera all set up on the tripod waiting for the colors in the sky to come alive. with about 20 minutes before the magic hour I decided to walk back over to my car to get some water when I noticed my front right tire was sitting on its rim. You have to be kidding me! I am going to have this awesome sunset and I have to decide change the tire with what light is left and miss the photo or get the photo and change the tire in the dark. Well I chose the photo. I think I chose correctly. The tire changing in the dark with no flashlight was not all that easy especially with the tire on its rim and only a weak factory jack. I got back in the house about 9PM and I prayed the photo would turn out after all that. i will let you all decide if it did.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Bluebonnets Along the Fence - Burton, TX

Hope everyone is enjoying a nice Easter Weekend. This photograph is from last weekend as we drove down the back roads looking for the best fields to shoot. This grouping was unique because of the wooden fence line that ran down the property.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

In a Blur - Burton, TX

Today I hit the road to go east toward LaGrange. I am going to try and find some Internet connectivity between now and Sunday but may be offline. The last couple of days have kind of been a whirlwind. Things have been moving pretty fast on the photography side of things. It is appropriate this is the picture to go with these things as I have to stop and slow down to think about it awhile. In the past two days I have been asked to do a presentation to the Local Art guild, secured a space at a shared show in Georgetown for May 1st and hung my first Canvas print for sale at Cianfrani Coffee Company. I would have hung more but with the show coming up I had to save some for the May 1 show. After hanging my print I was also approached by a business owner who had some art space but no art. I gave him my card and we will see what happens with that. Anyways have a great Easter weekend everyone.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Pantherophis Emoryi - Burton, Texas

Otherwise known as a rat snake. As a photographer I always have admired the photos I see in National Geographic and many of the other nature magazines. I had my nat geo moment when I was out around the ranch. Next to a small pond there was a turned over john boat and being the curious guy I was I decided to flip it over to see what was underneath. Hello there Mr Snake! He was quite upset that I had disturbed his dark layer but I on the other hand was quite happy. A beautiful snake out in the open. It was time to go into nature mode. This snake was quite large probably close to 6 feet in length and I fired off about 20 to 30 shots and this one was my favorite.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Blue Morning - Burton, TX

OK I admit this one is getting printed and framed as soon as I can. I fell in love with this photo as soon as I saw it in the camera. The scene was perfect an early morning fog the clouds beginning to break and the sun trying its hardest to come out to feed the bluebonnets below with its much sought after rays. When I saw the three exposures I worked them through my post magic and then thought "ok this photo is missing something." I went to my texture folder and looked through some texture photos and pulled my cactus texture. You heard it right I took a close up photo of a burned cactus and turned it into a texture. After I applied this texture along with a subtle concrete texture and vignette I had the result below. I know this is going to look unbelievable as a canvas print and can't wait to see it. In photography being in the right place at the right time is key. Had I sat around to long on this morning the photo would look completely different. This meant I sacrificed my morning cup of joe, but not even the strongest coffee can awaken you like being in places like this. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Spring Ride - Burton, TX

How is this as a backdrop for a bike ride! Pretty spectacular if you as me. In my quest to find shots of wildflowers I was given this added bonus. I came across a charity bike ride for Camp for All. What a wonderful course they rode and I hope they raised plenty of money for this great camp that is helping enrich the lives of special needs children. I looked for the perfect place to set up to capture this and found a nice hill flanked on one side by flowers and the power lines on the other. The road wound around a corner and I set up on the other side of the bend shooting across the corner of the property. The sky at this point was starting to clear and I absolutely loved the way the sun breaking through the clouds lit the pasture and road. This is the Texas I hope everyone gets to see at some point! Someone call Texas Highways Magazine :)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sunset Along the Back Roads- Round Top, TX

Apologies for no post yesterday. I had full intentions in making it work but bad luck prevented it. More on that story in a later post. All in all this weekend was extremely satisfying from a photography standpoint and this weekend I had some sun! My goal for the weekend was to capture the beauty of the Texas wildflowers and I believe my goal was achieved. It all started off well enough as I was driving out east toward the Brenham area on Friday evening. I was to meet my wife, daughter and her mom and sister out in Round Top to listen to some music and have a drink. I arrived in Round Top and pulled over to park and right next to me was this gorgeous field of Wildflowers and the sun was starting to set behind the trees. I didn't want to pass this up so I got the gear out and made a few photos. It has been a while since the weather has cooperated with my schedule to give me some good sunset shots but it did this weekend and I am quite pleased with the results. So hear is the first photo from the weekend and more from the weekend outing will be put up soon I am sure.

Friday, April 3, 2009

San Gabriel River Flow - Georgetown, TX

A photo of the river flow on the San Gabriel River. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder! As a photographer you start seeing beauty in things the average person does not give a second look at. The photographer sees lines, textures and colors all colliding to make a nice photo out of almost anything. Should have great weather for some wildflower work this weekend so be on the look out for these photos soon!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Evening Trail Walk - Georgetown, TX

Lake Georgetown has some wonderful trails for hiking and biking and I went down for a quick hike after work. The sun was setting and it was poking through the cedar trees spotlighting the opposite side of the trail. For those reading this blog that are not familiar with central Texas, this photo gives you a good representation of the prevalent cedar trees that fill the hill country landscape. The Cedar tree is the mortal enemy of many Texas allergy suffers.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Serene Bloom - Georgetown, TX

This photo was taken right out my backdoor. The flower is an Amaryllis and is a very special flower for my daughter she planted it almost 2 months ago as a bulb and has been waiting very patiently for a 3 year old to see what happens. She is always very eager to water it and check it everyday. It has now produced three unbelievable blooms with two more ready to come out. I took the photo mainly to capture this special moment for her. For a three year old I was very impressed with how she nurtured this flower. I could go on with a ton of symbolism and lessons but I will just leave that all to my viewers. Enjoy!