Sunday, May 31, 2009

Mexican Hats - Georgetown, TX

I have taken photos from this location before but ventured down to take another look and was surprised by the number of Mexican Hat flowers had sprung up along the banks of the San Gabriel River. It just proves another point I have learned in photography. Just because you have been there before does not mean it is the same place. Hope everyone has a great week!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Equestrian Profile - Florence, TX

I was shooting a landscape of this pasture when this horse noticed me. He is definitely used to humans because he galloped across the pasture all the way to the fence to say hi. I was able to capture this nice profile portrait. Up close horses are really magnificent creatures. The power and muscles underneath their coat are relay something to behold. I shot several shots and finally was able to get a three shot HDR without the horse moving too much. Did some correcting with layer masking and added a slight texture.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

God's Country - Florence, TX

Just another beautiful Texas Sky! Gods country if you ask me! This is a digital blend HDR combination. The blend was used to merge the land and sky due to the moving livestock. The sky was a three shot HDR.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Comfort in Numbers - San Francisco, CA

Ahh the simple pleasures. When looking at creatures in the natural world you often see this. While they look peaceful and calm here I am sure the scars on these sea lions tell a whole other story of struggle and survival. Here in the comfort of the wood planks at Pier 39 in San Francisco the sea lions seem content on just soaking up the sun and putting on a show for the thousands of tourist that come by daily. It is like a natural zoo where the animals are on display for everyone to see but yet are free to leave whenever they want. This group look especially cozy and relaxed!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Storm Over the Vineyard - Florence, TX

Spring storms can produce such wonderful imagery and light for photography. Right before and right after can lead to almost magical light. I was out in Florence at a place called The Vineyard at Florence. It was a great scene as we sipped a glass of wine and watched this storm roll in from a distance. The gentle rumble of thunder and the birds flying and singing more than normal as if sounding warning of the approaching storm. It was a great hill country evening and glad I captured it with the camera.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Mechanical Maze - Burton, TX

Something about rust metal and old wires that draws my camera in for a closer look. I thought the lines, symmetry and textures in this old piece of equipment were great so I decided to capture this piece of mechanical engineering. I think it was some sort of old engine or pump but not quite sure. It was out in the open air under an overhang at the Burton Cotton Gin. It did not appear to be hooked up to anything but just siting there waiting to be retired or restored not quite sure which one. If you know what this is for please let me know.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Working Monument - Burton, TX

This is a photograph of the historic Burton Cotton Gin. It is the oldest operating cotton gin in America. The cotton gin played such a historic role in American history that this landmark is truly remarkable. The Gin started operating in 1914 and still bales cotton today at the annual cotton gin festival. While the miles and miles of cotton fields have disappeared the cotton gin and its museum do a great job telling the history of cotton and the vital role it played in Texas history. Inside the gin you can find another historic engineering marvel. A 1925 Bessemer type IV diesel oil engine, called "Lady B." This is the largest internal combustion engine of its vintage still operating in America.. So as you see quite a bit of history in this old tin building just off Highway 290 between Austin and Houston.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Burton Sunset - Burton, TX

This photo was a quick HDR Vertorama. I just snapped of 9 quick photos. The actual picture taking took about 15 seconds. I then however spent about two hours in photoshop manually blending the photos together for the final vertorama. The tree in this photo has been shot before. You can see it here shrouded in fog in the far back of the photo . I love how photography can capture the same item from a different angle or different point of view and convey an entirely different feeling.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Wood Pile - Burton, TX

There is really no interesting story to this photo it was just shot on an evening when the moment happened at the time I was there. I think why I like this photo is the compositional elements. The photo is sectioned nicely with different elements in each section. It keeps my eyes moving and wanting to look at the entire photograph not just a part. I hope everyone has a nice weekend.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Two of a Kind - Burton, TX

For this photo I decided to get a little closer. This photo is from the same pasture as the photo from yesterday and it shows the coming and going. The Bluebonnets are alwyas one of the first wildflowers to arrive and as they start fading the Indian Blankets take over. These two wildflowers are quite uniqe and together they are even more beautiful. I walked around for awhile to try and find both of these flowers together. It took some time to find one of each still in good shape. The contrasting colors of these two flowers work really well together! I keep saying this will be my last from the season and I am not going to say that anymore, becasue you never know what you will stumble upon with your camera. By the way this is a single exposure there was no digital editing in this photo other than a slight vignette and some toning. As a reminder you can keep up to date with me now on twitter just click over there on the right ----> Also I am just a few votes shy of becoming a candidate in the 2009 photoblog awards so tell your friends about my blog and encourage them to vote if they like it!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Changing Colors - Burton, TX

Well a few post ago I said I had probably shot my last spring wildflower photo. Well this weekend the Indian Blankets had pretty much taken over the same fields I had shot Bluebonnets a few weeks ago. It is as if Mother Nature pulled the stage curtains closed and reopened them for Act II. At the end I will applaud loudly for the show she put on this spring. To see what this field looked like a few weeks ago in act I you can view my "Field of Blue" Photo.
Speaking of performances, I do want to recognize some good friends of mine who are out showcasing a really great documentary film. As my readers and viewers stop to look at these photos and comment on how much they like them take a quick few seconds to imagine what your life would be like if you were blind. How would you "see" the world? This is the exact question my Friends Keith Maitland ( director ) and Patrick Floyd ( producer ) sat out to explore in a ground breaking documentary called the Eyes of Me Look for this to be on PBS soon as it was recently picked up by Independent Lens. The Eyes of Me has received critical acclaim at festivals such as SXSW and today Keith and Patrick arrived in Little Rock for the Little Rock Film Festival. So if you are in the area this movie is worth seeing. You can also follow the progress of this film on twitter or facebook. Great Job Keith and Patrick and good luck at the Little Rock Film Festival!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Evening Fire - Burton, TX

The short and sweet spring seems to be ending here in Texas. Constant day temperatures in the 90's and a heat that breaks you into sweat as soon as you step outside. However the evenings can still be quite nice so we have to enjoy them while they still last. We spent last Saturday night doing just that. What a place to spend an evening. I hung out with the family sitting around chatting and enjoying the nice evening. We lit a fire as the sun was set and I decided to set the camera up to make a photo. To capture this scene the way I saw it I had to use an HDR technique and combine the three image HDR with the best photo of the fire and digitally blended this image with the tonemapped HDR.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Heading West - Taylor, TX

Here is another photo from the drive out to Burton. There was quite a haze early in the evening and very few clouds at this time and thought the sky needed some more texture so I applied some photo filters and some textures. The gently curving road and the power lines gave this photo some good compositional elements but they did not stand on their own so this is why I felt the textures and photo filters were needed. I think it turned out pretty nice.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sunset Ahead - Noack, TX

Happy Mothers day to my wife and my mom. You both are very special to me and I would not be the person I am today if it was not for your wisdom, guidance, and love. This weekend as I was heading to Burton I took the long way down some back roads. While the trip was longer it was so much more enjoyable then being an the main highways. As I was heading east I notice the sun setting behind me. I decided to pull over and capture the sunset. So the below shot was not a pre-planned photo spot it just happened to be what was around me at the time the sun was setting. I quickly scanned the scenery and saw the curve sign and knew I had my composition. The shots were fired just in time as 10 seconds later the sun was below the horizon. The post processing in this photo was a digital blend, HDR combination.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

INSPIRATION - Lake Travis, TX

Where to begin with this photo...I think I should say inspirational! Many of my photos I have been posting on this site are great landscapes that showcase the beauty of nature. Photojournalism, while not as prevalent in my work these days, does hold a special place in my photography portfolio. For it is that moment like the below, in a journalist's photo where you capture the beauty of the human element. At this moment when this occurs or when you view such a photograph is when you know photography is a media which will remain part of human existence forever. This photo was shot back in my photojournalism days and stands out to me as one of my best photos ever and my most cherished for so many reason! I was covering the FLW Pro bass fishing tournament on Lake Travis and was told about this angler by the tournament director. So I boarded a chase boat and we set out to find him fishing. Clay was born with no legs and only a small appendage on hi right shoulder but he never let any of this slow him down in anyway. As an angler on the FLW he is given no special clauses and must obey all the rules set in place for all the other anglers. He must drive his boat he must cast his own line he must land his own fish. He is on his own and must do it just like everyone else. To watch him in action is amazing. Never missing a beat. after about 30 minutes you forget you are watching someone born with a disability and you are just watching someone who has perfected the sport of bass fishing. Some of the the things he has done to adapt is using teeth and tongue to bait hooks and stop his spool. I don't want to write all that much about Clay as I am afraid I won't do what him justice. He is a role model for everyone who faces adversity and what he is doing with his life should be commended! For more on clay his website can be viewed here: Clay Dyer Official Home Page and a video of him fishing can be seen here from a segment on ESPN. I revist thsi photo often for what it means to me and I feel honored I captured this portrait and will cherish it forever! If you were moved as I was please share this story with others!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Lunch - Burton, TX

This is a photo from the archives. I thought it was a great photo and decided to share it with my viewers. This is an Argiope spider. The common name is garden spider. It looks pretty menacing but really means no harm unless you are a grass hopper that lands in his web. This was a pretty cool thing to witness. The grasshopper landed in the web and in a matter of seconds it was over. I am glad I had my camera ready. By the way I am four votes from being a candidate for the 2009 Photo Blog Awards so if you have not voted yet would love to get your vote.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Spring Sunset - Round Top, TX

I think this may be my last from this season's wildflowers. After almost 2 months of working on photos I think this season was a success. This shot happens to be one of the first made of the season so it is only fitting I end with it. I also should let my viewers know that I have been asked to lead the program at tomorrow nights Williamson County Art Guild monthly meeting. So for the program I will be conducting a live HDR work flow demonstration to show folks how my images go from in camera to their final results. I think it will be a great opportunity to share what I have learned with other folks and spread my enjoyment with others. If you are interested it is at the Windberg Art Center in Georgetown and the meeting will start at 6:30.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Red Rose - Georgetown, TX

I guess I am in a flower kick lately. Anyways this is a rose from a bush outside our house. It has put out some beautiful blooms this spring and I decided that it was about time I photographed it. I mean come on who does not like photographs of roses. I applied a mild HDR and some texture in the background. Happy Sunday everyone.!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Texas Wildflowers - Washington County, TX

Hello All! The below is one of the more detailed works I have done when it comes to utilizing artistic rendering in photoshop. The base image is a digitally blended image with one image for the flowers and one for the sky. I then utilized several textures and techniques in photoshop for the artistic flare and final image. My thinking is with the spring wildflower season running it course I have looked at and shot myself hundreds of photos of Texas wildflowers. I told myself that it is time to do something out there and see what happens. While I utilized a lot of different techniques I tired to keep the image simple and focused. I think the simple subject allowed the use of more textures and techniques to be more effective without being overkill. As a side note to tonight. Don't let anyone ever tell you there is such a thing a "sure thing." I learned that lesson today as I watched the Kentucky Derby...

Friday, May 1, 2009

Worked and Worn - Trintiy, TX

I have to start this post by letting everyone know the show tonight was very nice. It goes on for a month so I hope if you did not get a chance to go by tonight you stop by to take a look. The good news tonight was one photo was sold! Field of Blue went to a lovely couple who spent a long time trying to decide just which one to buy. I gave them my card so if you read this post please contact me so I can follow up with you. The irony I just found out is if you link back to the photo above it was posted on the day I announced my work being shown in the gallery! OK so on to the photo below. This is a common scene throughout out ranches and farms. Old equipment that is tossed out to waste away their remaining days. I guess it is just easier to put it out of site then to dispose of. I love the way nature tries to reclaim everything and all that is left in its way. The fallen leaves, the moss and the decay are all saying I don't care what you are made of you will become one with Earth eventually. Have a good night all and Tomorrow I need to go out and make some more photographs!