Monday, August 31, 2009

Day's End - St. John, USVI

So lets step away from the Texas gridiron and back onto the beach, what do you say? I love photography for this very reason. You can transport yourself from one place to the next instantaneously. One of my favorite places to be is on a beach at sunset. The crowds have left and you can sit in peace and enjoy natures beauty in all her glory. This was one of those moments for me and now I can enjoy it at anytime through this photograph!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sports Posters Available - Austin, TX

Friday night was a lot of fun getting back on the field and shooting a football game. I got some good shots and got them to the paper by deadline so all in all a good night. I thought I would also showcase another type of digital art I do. This is a digital poster print created in Photoshop. It was made by combining several photos from the game last night with a texture from my gallery used as the background. Several tonemaps and texts later the finished product is below. Feel free to contact me at any time if you are interested in having some work such as this digitally created for you.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Princeton Collins - Round Rock, TX

Princeton Collins is a stud running back from Westwood high school in Austin, TX. I had the privilege of covering the Westwood vs Lake Travis football game Friday night and saw Princeton in person. While his team came up short Collins was able to rattle off 160yds against the 2 time defending sate champion. Many runs like the below were of him powering through the line to leave the defenders scratching their heads and grasping at air. Remember his name because I am sure we will see him at the collegiate level. It's nice to be back on the sidelines and my plan is to post the photo run in the Round Rock Leader every Saturday from the previous nights game. Here is a link to the photo at the Round Rock Leader. I also started a new group over at Flickr dedicated to high school football so if you shoot games in your area I would love for you to share your photos. I plan on hosting a weekly photo contest over there for the best shot of the week.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Crazy Time! - Austin and Cedar Park, TX

It's that time again! Football begins all over the state of Texas tomorrow. One of my favorite things about going to these games is the passion you find in the stands. It brings sort of a youthful exuberance to me and I am always fired up about shooting these games. I know a lot of photographers out there that dream of one day standing on the sidelines of a NFL team and photographing that great play or player but I will say there is no greater event than a Texas high school football game. It not only is fun but it is also one of the biggest photography challenges you will ever face. If anyone reading this ever wants any pointers on shooting high school football drop me a note. I am happy to share some of the tips and tricks I have learned over the years. Number 1 tip, take a few moments to see what photos are there for the taking off the field! If you are in the Round Rock area look for my work this fall in the Round Rock Leader.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sunset Peace, St. John, USVI

I came across this scene while walking out towards Cinnamon Beach one evening and knew I had to photograph it. I can't assume I knew what they were thinking or what they had been doing but I do know that at this moment life was good! This is what life is about while in an island paradise. It does not get much better.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

View from Windy Hill Estate - St. John, USVI

This photo was shot at the peek of Leinster Point. It is on the grounds of the Windy Hill Ruins. An old Danish estate house. This house was built in the late 1700s for James Murphy. History of Mr. Murphy says he was a prominent mason and was the headquarters for the Masonic Lodge on St. John. It has since held many owners including the Vice Governor of the Danish West Indies, Judge Berg. It was last lived in in 1917 when much of St. John was bought by the United States. When standing on these grounds you can easily envision the great gatherings of wealthy Danish elite as they gathered to discuss the politics surrounding the Danish Territories such as slavery and land ownership. I see in my head the lavish, wide, flowing gowns of the women. The men gathering in the library with their status symbol white wigs and waist coats adorned with gold buttons. The slaves standing along the walls attending to the needs of the party goers wearing their traditional bright, loose fitting, clothes more adapt to the Caribbean heat. As I leave the estate and head back down the trail I am once again reminded how important the past is in our future.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Annaberg Point - St. John, USVI

This is the rocky beach along Leinster Bay Trail shot from Annaberg Point This trail will take you to a very nice beach on Watermelon Cay that is typically not very crowded. From this photo you are looking into Mary Creek and the east side of Mary Point.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Cinnamon Beach - St. John, USVI

This is Cinnamon Beach on St. John. With the rock formations that jut into the sand I think it is probably the most photogenic beach on St. John. There were not a lot of clouds on this day so we had some pretty harsh light. Because of this I decided to go back and visit Cinnamon at sunset one evening and those photos will be shared in due course. I am also adding all my St. John landscape photos into a single gallery. If you want to visit all the photos one place or purchase a print you can visit them in my Landscapes of The Virgin Islands Gallery. Talk to you all soon!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Island Flora - St. John, USVI

I really like this photo and think it came out nicely. This photo was taken along the Johnny Horn Trail that follows along the beach around Leinster and Watermelon Bay on St. John. This was the very start of my big hike for the trip. The hike began at the Annaberg Ruins and led me 4.6 miles along beaches and up to the top of 500' hills with beautiful overlooks, and then down through scrub brush and woodlands where I came out on a road on the East side of the island. From here I was many miles from my car back at Annaberg so it was either hoof it another five miles or hitch hike. 3 hitch hikes later and a missed drop off I was in the middle of the island with another 1 mile down hill trek at the Maria Hope Trail and a short hitch hike from the north shore road back to my car. During this adventure I have to thank all the very nice people along the way that helped me get back to my car and most of all I have to thank the Trail Bandit. I have never met Bob Garrison, aka the Trail Bandit but without his help and map I would have very easily gotten lost and had a much longer day then I did. By the end I was tired and worn out but I truly believe that hiking the island by foot is the only way to truly appreciate this beautiful place. After safely getting back to my jeep I returned the favor of those folks who gave me a lift by taking a very nice man who had a long day of work back into town. He had been picking mangos and thanked me by leaving me three fresh mangos. Yum. It is days like this that make you not want to ever leave this place.

Monday, August 17, 2009

This is Ivan - Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands

There have been two previous post from Ivan's Stress Free Bar "Stress Free Bar" and "Down the Rabbit Hole" The man behind this fabulous place is the man the bar is named After. Meet Ivan. A well known local on Jost Van Dyke and probably the most stress free man on planet earth. Ivan is a welcoming presence to his little hamlet and has shared his little secret for a stress free life with many island faring folks as they look to escape the stress of everyday life. Visit Ivan's and forget about everything else and just enjoy this place for what it is. I felt luck to have met the man who created this wonderful oasis! And just in case you forgot from my previous post, it is an honor bar!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Window to Beauty - St. John, USVI

Sorry for the absence of post over the weekend. Should be able to get things back on track now. I continue to work through photos from St. John and here is the latest I have completed. This is from the historic Annenberg sugar plantation ruins located on the north east end of the Island. This shot was from inside the windmill ruin. The window caught my eye with the beautiful orange tree that contrasted so nicely with the blue water and sky so I decided to set up and compose my shot from here. This was a perfect candidate for an HDR as with out the three exposures it would be impossible to properly expose the rock of the building and the ocean in the back as the light from inside and out were drastically different and with a single exposure you only can meter against one light source.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Striped Perfection - Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

A quick post today as I am very tired. It has been a long couple of days but when all is said and done family is what is most important so they always will come first. The below was from a fishing trip to Cabo San Lucas. If I had my wish I would go here every year and I try to as often as possible. I stay in a cheap motel and do nothing but fish while I am there. No sitting on the beach on this trip. One mission and one mission only, MARLIN! This trip a couple years back was a Marlin bonaza as we landed 6 Striped Marlin in one day. Added some texture to break up the blues and the final art is below. I should also point out a new link over there on the right
The HDR Soft link will take you to the website to download photomatix software. You will see there is a code - FiftyPercentChance15 - The folks over at HDRsoft were kind to offer my followers 15% off this software if you use my coupon. I don't get a dime from this, just a cupon and a way of saying thanks. So if you like my HDR work and want to try some yourself be sure to use the coupon to get 15% off and be sure to share your great work with me! This is the tone mapping software I use most frequently.

Monday, August 10, 2009

In Loving Memory of Mrs. Mary Beth Scott, Meme - Trinty, TX

I have several photos here on my blog that were shot in Trinity Texas. A small town in East Texas near Huntsville. Almost everyone of these shots was shot on the Scott Farm. Today is a sad day for us as we morn the loss of my wife's wonderful Grandmother, Mary Beth Scott. The photo below was one which was shot on her farm and given to her last Christmas as a gift. The grand tree was a victim of Hurricane Ike and still sits as it is in this photo as a permanent fixture, but in a new form right on the Scott Farm, so too will Mary Beth. While no longer with us, she will always be a permanent fixture on the farm in spirit and in our hearts wherever we may be. While I only knew her for a relatively short time in her life. It was long enough to know what a wonderful person she was. She was a simple woman who appreciated the simple things, like a hot cup of coffee in the morning, or the family gathering for the holidays. It was easy to see in her that the most important thing to her was her family. My wife's heart and head is full of so many wonderful memories of spending time with her on the farm. One such tradition was the cousin vacation where all the cousins would gather at the farm as children to spend one week of each summer together. Just this last year the cousins all gathered together again, but this time with great grand children to rekindle the cousin vacation. I am so glad my wife was able to share this wonderful memory with our daughter. She will be missed by all that knew her. Rest in Peace Meme...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Down The Rabbit Hole - JostVan Dyke, BVI

So this photo is either going to give you a headache or cause you to get lost in the details. For me looking at this photo is a journey down the rabbit hole with more and more to see the further you go. From the detailed notes of those who came before me to the sea shell art work that creates the walls. This is Ivan's Stress Free Bar and probably my favorite place to go in all of the Virgin Islands. This is the bar I described in an early post Stress Free Bar that has the honor bar. IT is so easy to just let go and not worry about a thing while you are here. As the writing on the wall attest so many other people have as well. The thing is that the two time we have been here it is never crowded and that is the way it should be. Be yourself, relax, enjoy the beauty, and leave your mark. This is Ivan's on Jost Van Dyke.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The North Shore - St. John, USVI

I swear that I think anyone can be a better photographer in St. John. There is literally a photo wherever you look. A few post back I posted a photo called Peace Hill. From the vantage point of this photo I turned 90 degrees to the left and this was the view. From this vantage point you can see the famous Truck Bay on the right and on the left foreground is Denis Bay. Francis Bay is in the background with Mary Point being the big hill and Whistling Cay the smaller one in the background left. What a view!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Dittlif Point - St. John, USVI

A bit of news first. Save the date October 3rd on your calendar. I will be conducting a 4hr HDR workshop in conjunction with the Framers Gallery's new classroom curriculum. This will be an in person hands on workshop which will be for all levels of photographers focusing on the HDR technique. I love sharing what I learn and in person workshops I feel are always the best way to learn and teach. So if you like what you see in this blog contact the Framers gallery to sign up for the workshop and you too can be shooting great HDR images. (512) 863-2214. As the date gets close I will remind you all again. Also my work just got picked up by another business wishing to showcase my work and it is a really cool place. The Vineyard in Florence, winery and spa will be showcasing my work most likely in September. I may plan an opening for this event because the venue is so nice. I will most likely have a few new pieces in this show as well.

So on to this photo. After a strenuous hike, blistered feet, and empty water bottle, I reached the top of one of St. John's highest peeks I sat down to watch as the sun faded and began to light up the clouds. HA HA just kidding, this view greeted me every evening after a strenuous day on the beach! This was the view from where we stayed on St. John. It is the view from a little Villa called La Tete Rouge and the view of Ditliff Point with Fish Bay on the Left and Klein Bay on the right is the perfect way to end the day.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Foxy - Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands

This is Foxy. One of the most famous people in all of the British Virgin Islands. He is owner, patron, and story teller of Foxy's I was also told he is also now Sir Foxy as he was recently knighted for his work, conservation and philanthropy on Jost Van Dyke. I doubt however if you will every hear anyone call him sir. To everyone he is simply Foxy. These days he spends most of his time tending to his garden or sitting around his bar greeting everyone that walks past him. If you are lucky enough to see him when at Foxy's be sure to stop and chat as he is famous for his stories and jokes and will be happy to share them with you. Jost Van Dyke has the nickname, the Barefoot Islands, and Foxy lives this philosophy, very rarely wearing anything on his feet other than sand that makes up the floor at Foxy's. He is a man of simple means, seen most frequently in nothing more then a Foxys t-shirt worn jeans and crushed hat.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Hang On - Georgetown, TX

Mixing in a rodeo photo in between great beach photos makes sense doesn't it! Sand, dirt, its the same thing just a little different color and make up. Neither one taste good in your ham sandwich. Also should let you all know that 7 canvas prints of mine went up on display and for sale at Cianfrani Coffee Company in downtown Georgetown. Here are two of the images for sale, "Light Through the Window" and " Abandoned Radiance"

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Peace Hill - St. John, USVI

The photo below is of an old windmill ruin that used to operate atop peace hill. Ruins such as these are scattered throughout the island. Many of the trails throughout the island take you past the ruins of an era long gone on the island. These buildings were built as early as the 1700s as colonist settled the island and created a thriving sugar and rum industry. This era ended soon after the slave trade ended due to the fact that the slaves were the primary laborers for the sugar plantations on the island. Touring these ruins takes you back in time while visiting St. John and reminds you of a very important time in the history of this island.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Beach at Trunk Bay - St. John, USVI

The beach in this photo is one of the most famous beaches in the world. It is located in Trunk Bay in the US Virgin Islands. It is famous for the crystal clear water, fabulous snorkeling, and the best white sand beach in the Caribbean. It has some wonderful coral reefs that are just below the surface that make the snorkeling very good. Recent National Park fish studies indicate on any given day you should see around 30 unique species of fish during a 30 minute snorkel. the best place is around the island you see in this photo called Trunk Cay. It is not uncommon to see large tarpon or barracuda around the cay.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Hawksnest Point, St. John, USVI

I am back in good old Texas now, but I will relive my trip to the Virgin Islands through several post on 50% Chance of Rain, and hope these images encourage you to visit this beautiful place. This is another image from Hawksnest Point, with Jost Van Dyke in the background.