Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween! - Georgetown, TX

Happy Halloween everyone. Getting ready for a big night of trick or treating followed by watching Texas play Oklahoma State. This is our front porch here in Georgetown photographed Thursday night. Earlier in the night we had a good time carving pumpkins with our good friends and neighbors. The Pumpkin my daughter helped me with is on the right. She wanted a silly jack-o-lantern. Her favorite part was scooping out the "goop." The pumpkin on he left was done by our neighbor. His carving skills by far out out did mine. Oh well!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Guest Photographer Thursday - Chase Jarvis

Today's photographer is a pretty popular photographer and very well known. I typically like to feature lesser know photographers but I saw his recent blog post and felt I had to share this video. It is by far one of the coolest photo shoots I have seen utilizing strobes. Chase Jarvis's blog is for anyone that enjoys photography, and you should goahead and bookmark it. His behind the scene videos and eye popping photographs are second to none.
Here is his Blog: Chase Jarvis You can also follow Chase on Twitter @chasejarvis. I went ahead and embedded the video for you all to enjoy.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Downstream - Vail, CO

I will go ahead and follow up my last post with a second HDR shot from Gore Creek in Vail Colorado. These shots were taken the same day we left for the airport to return home. A nice parting gift before heading back to the airport to return home.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Gore Creek, Vail, CO

Gore creek is the stream that runs right through the middle of Vail Colorado. Its a beautiful little stream and very easy to get to. It was the perfect photo spot after two days of hard hiking. Its a short walk down to the creek and there is a paved trail that goes along the side. the challenge photographing this creek however is composing and eliminating distracting elements like condos, construction cranes, drain pipes etc. In this case I shot low as to remove the condos along the far bank. This was a three shot HDR. I cant believe I am still posting photos from Vail and St. John, talk about two great photography locations!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday Football Double Header - Leander and Round Rock, TX

Had a double Header assignment tonight and an 11 PM deadline. Well I just transmitted my files with 2 minutes to spare. My first Friday night football double header acomplished. I had always heard of big time stringers pulling double headers on Friday night and I have even heard of a few saying they have made 3 in one night. My night started at 7:30 in Round Rock at a game between McNeil and Westwood. 2 minutes into the second quarter I felt I had enough keepers on the card to head up to the press box grab a roster run back down the stairs hop in my car and head 15 miles down the road from Round Rock to Leander. I arrived at Bible Stadium by half time. I thought to myself "perfect on schedule." I ran up to the press box grabbed another roster and back down to the field. By the start of the second half it was 8:45. I was able to shoot the entire 3rd quarter and felt good with my shots. A quick look at the time. 9:40 , gotta go. In the car and headed to a local eatery I knew had wifi. I sat down at 10:00pm. Downloaded about 100 photos and quickly sorted picked best 12, narrowed those down to 6, three from each game. Wrote captions did some quick levels and 50 minutes later the FTP transmission is in to the paper. Mission accomplished. It was a fun quick paced night. One of the more difficult photographic challenges I have had. When on deadline time is your enemy. You can't wait for the perfect shot you have to make it happen. Here is a photo from each of the games I shot tonight. Look at the Round Rock Leader Online tomorrow to see which photos they ran.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Guest Photographer Thursday - Dave Wilson

I have been keeping it local over the last few guest photographer Thursdays and today we will do the same. Through blogging and social media you tend to be drawn to those in your area that share similar interest and are doing work very similar to yours. So why do I promote people doing the same thing, in the same field, in the same area? This kind of goes against marketing 101 right? With the advent of the Internet and the recent surge of social media there is sort of a paradox shift happening. It's no longer about protecting your turf but sharing your turf. It goes back to the same lesson my three year old is learning in preschool. The more you share the more you learn and the more you enjoy. You also never know what reward may be waiting for you around the corner from one of these same people.

So today I share with you another wonderful Austin HDR photographer David Wilson. I was drawn to his images of Austin and how wonderful he portrays the great landmarks we have all come to love. Two such landmarks are featured here, Hamilton Pool and the Texas State Capitol. While he may be Scottish by blood his images scream Texan. The bold colors, high contrast, and dynamic subjects have garnered him quite the following and quite a few awards. You can find out more about Dave from his Blog Dave Wilson Photography or his Flickr Photostream. Also feel free to follow him on Twiter @dawilson or find his many images featured on HDR Spotting. So enjoy the images below and go visit Dave's blog to see the rest of his work.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

All Alone In the Mountains - Eagle County, CO

I came to this spot at the end of a trail while hiking in Eagle County Colorado. I was there by myself and was just another one of those moments for me where you are able to take in and appreciate what surrounds you. I have mentioned this before but think photography has really helped me see these moments. I feel as if today I see so many more things that I would have just glanced by before photography. I wish I had more time in this place but had a long hike ahead of me back so I enjoyed a few moments rest by the stream and then headed back.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Final Push For the 2009 Photoblogs Awards

Hey All my loyal followers and new fans, the 2009 Photoblog Awards has about 2 more months of voting. 50% Chance of Rain has had a steady stream of votes and is now in the top 15 blogs for the America's nominees. I am extremely honored by this and it is nice to know that this blog that I started less then a year ago has already grown to such a following. If you have not voted yet I would love to have your vote. Yes you do have to register, but this is simply to make sure your vote is legit. Also people have told me they don't know how to vote once there. Well they made it kind of confusing. You have to click on the little word "vote." So click on the link over to the right n my blog or right here at The 2009 Photoblog Awards Here some nuggets to show you what you are voting for.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Colorado Colors - Vail, CO

Took a break from photography this weekend to enjoy a fun weekend in Dallas with old friends and enjoying the Texas OU football game. Had a great time and now back and will share with you all a photograph from Vail, Colorado. I shot this photo while on a hike. I saw this photo before it was shot and just loved how the colors interacted with each other. I also thought the framing of the shot was perfect with the pine trees on the outside of the frame.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Guest Photographer Thursday - Pawel

Welcome to another Guest Photographer Thursday. Today's guest is Pawel. Pawel is probably one of the more popular photographers on Flickr. Every image he post quickly climbs on the Flickr rankings toward the top of the most interesting photos. The reason, the unbelievable beauty in each and everyone of his pictures. The picture below is from his flickr photo stream and is titled Mahon Dawn. Pawel photography is work you could look at for hours. Almost perfect composition, unbelievable colors and so sharp that you feel as if you are there yourself. Pawel has only been photographing these beautiful landscapes since 2007 but already seems to have mastered the art of landscape photography. He got started on photography by his sister who introduced him to Flickr where he saw so many great works. His interest was particularly drawn to the HDR photography and decided this was going to be his main medium. When Pawel is not out shooting he loves mixing music and DJs in several clubs. Set some time aside ( you will need it ) and pay Pawel's entire Flicker Photostream a visit.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Waterlemon Cay - St. John, USVI

Sometimes what make me like a photograph are the smallest of details. In the photograph below of Waterlemon Cay it is the couple walking along the beach. Without them I don't think this photo has the same impact. There are quite a few people that claim the snorkeling around Waterlemon Cay is some of the best snorkeling on St. John. If you ask me however it is pretty good almost anywhere on St. John.

I also want to mention a new web site that I am lucky to be a contributor and guest editor for. It is a new project from Stuck in Customs photographer Trey Ratcliff called HDR Spotting. Trey is using this venue as another outlet for great photographers to share the world of HDR photography with everyone. I encourage you all to go check it out and see all the great work being posted but be sure you have some extra time on your hands because you may find yourself staying awhile. Part of this project is selecting guest editors that review the submission and post the photographs they feel are some of the best out there and I was honored to be chosen as one of the first guest editors. If you have work you would like to contribute post a comment here on my blog with a link to your work and I will go check it out.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Glass Blower of Maho - St. John, USVI

It has been awhile since any new portraits from st. john have been added here on 50% Chance of Rain so I thought we should feature a new one. Below is a portrait of Mariel Bass the resident glass blower at Maho Bay. Up on top of a hill overlooking Maho Bay in st. John one can find the Maho Bay Campground. This is perfect place for anyone looking for a unique experience while staying on St. John. Instead of a five star hotel you get to stay in a very neat little eco tent and you are steps away from the great Maho Beach. Another great part of the Maho campground is the very cool art program they have. Part of the program is a glass blowing program which is lead by Mariel Bass and Gregory Lee. The unique thing about the glass art that comes from Maho Bay is that it is all 100% recycled glass. The collect and store glass and then send it through a special process to make it ready to be made into art. Sound fun? Well if you are in St. John Mariel and the Maho camp ground teach classes frequently and you can try your hand at your own glass blowing piece of art. The glass is not the only art program that Maho bay uses recycled goods. They have a whole program called Trash to Treasures in which recycled items such as old bed linens are turned into works of art. To see what some of Mariel's finished works look like here is an online gallery of her work. Next time in St. John be sure you stop by to see these great artist like Mariel. The portrait below was comprised of a 3 shot HDR with a layer mask digital blend to remove motion blur.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Flying with Skis - Steamboat, CO

With the cold front that has blown through this weekend I have been seeing the news stories of the snow and it got me thinking about winter. IT appears the ski resorts are getting an early start. So I thought I would post some images from a few years back where I was lucky to photograph the US Junior Freestyle Olympics in Steamboat Springs Co. I thought of these photos after watching a video over at Chase Jarvis's Blog Freeskier Action NZ . So here is to Winter around the corner and all the great photo possibilities it will bring!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Breaking Through - Round Rock, TX

It's Friday night again and that means more Friday night Texas high school football. I think they may be secretly breeding running backs in Central Texas because every game I have shot so far this year has been dominated by big time running backs. Tonight a player by the name of Adrian Smith from McNeil High School in the Round Rock Texas school district had a big night breaking this run for 40 yards and a touchdown. I always enjoy shooting sports and this season has been great so far. It keeps me on my toes and I think is by far the best way to sharpen your overall photography skills. If anyone has any questions about shooting sports or needs some pointers shoot me a note or post a question here and I will try to answer them all.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Guest Photographer Thursday - DJ Schulte

Today is guest photographer Thursday and I am proud to showcase another Austin area photographer DJ Schulte. DJ also has a passion for HDR photography and seems to poses the same sense of adventure that I do. You can often find photographs from Texas state parks and great Texas landscapes as well as some great travel photos. The featured photograph below is titled Sunset on the Perdanales River and showcases DJ's photography talent exceptionally. DJ Can be found in several places. One of the best places to follow him is his blog Oxherding is Fun (DJ please enlighten us on the name) I like this blog because DJ does an excellent job of mixing in his excellent images with some great cometary and tips such as this post To HDR or not to HDR Every post on his blog is one worth reading so bookmark or put him in your feed reader. If just looking at his wonderful images is more your style check him out on Flickr. Or if your are a twitter guy or gal you guessed it @Oxherder_Arts. So take a gander at his photo below and go pay him a visit on his blog.

Click on photo for larger view

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Ruins Along the Johnny Horn Trail - St. John, USVI

There is no way I can post today without sending a huge thank you to Frank Barnako the St. John resident who runs a wonderful news blog News of St. John. Frank featured my blog and photos yesterday and the response to the photos was overwhelming. Comments and emails poured in and another forum caught wind and posted the link as well. News spread of the photos over to and even more wonderful comments. One comment thread here garnered 414 views alone in one day. I am honored by it all and thankful so much for the wonderful comments. It is days like this that motivate me even further to pursue this passion of mine so thanks everyone. I am extremely grateful for each and every comment. As a thank you I decided today to complete and post a brand new photo from St. John. I hope everyone from News of St. John and enjoys this photo as much as the others. It is a photograph from the ruins on the Johnny Horn Trail. I decided to stop here and enjoy a nice lunch under the arch of the estate ruins. As I sat here to enjoy lunch I had a wonderful view overlooking Waterlemon Bay. Thanks again everyone!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Calm Before the Game - Round Rock, TX

The moment before every football game begins is always pretty cool. Both teams are full of confidence and emotions run high. This photo was taken as the national anthem was about to begin. I liked the contrast of the bright colors in the uniforms with the sky and decided to make a few photos of the players standing in line for the anthem. This is the last calm moment before the real hitting begins.

Monday, October 5, 2009

All Alone at Sunset - St. John, USVI

Photography for me can be very cathartic. I many times find myself all alone with no one else around. Ever since I started taking photography seriously I find these moments where I am all alone the perfect chance to reflect on life, and thank god for my blessings and the beauty that surrounds me. The beauty below if from Cinnamon beach on the the island of St. John in the US virgin Islands.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Dinner Downtown - Georgetown, TX

Last night I had the pleasure of hosting a photo workshop in Georgetown and had a great time teaching and learning from the photographers that joined me. Part of the workshop was a photo walk around downtown Georgetown. We were a little worried about the weather but it did give us a great teaching opportunity about controlling and using available light and how it effects shutter speed. The wet streets and drizzly weather however did present itself for some very dramatic photographs. After the photo walk we worked on post processing and how you can use multiple exposures and layers to create works of art. We worked on this picture in the workshop and talked about why I thought a texture would work nice. We also discussed how to use a layer mask to get rid of those ugly halos in HDR photos. This is the final result of the photograph from the workshop which I hope those who attended enjoyed. This photo by the way is looking toward the northeast corner of the downtown square where a new Italian restaurant has opened called Amante's. My next visit will be to take part in what smelled like some delicious food as we walked by. We will be doing another workshop soon so be on the lookout here for details to come. Thanks as always for stopping by to look.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Friday Night Sunset- Round Rock, TX

Keep an open eye! Always always be on the look out for something else. The photo below was taken while I was on assignment to shoot a high school football game. I had been to this stadium before and noticed that the sun set just to the left side of the home stands. I had wanted to capture a sunset photo before but could never get an interesting subject or the sunset just did not pan out. The background was just to blah or had to many distracting elements. On this night however the sunset was spectacular so I quickly scanned the scene to find an angle that the composition worked and at the same time had an interesting subject. I saw the drill team lined up and thought this could work. It did! Tomorrow evening I host my first photo workshop at the framers gallery in downtown Georgetown. It should be a good time and I hope to be able to do more in the future. So if you missed this one keep your ears open because we will probably do it again soon.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Guest Photographer Thursday - Alex Suarez

Hey all welcome to another edition of Guest Photographer Thursday. Today's photographer is Alex Suarez. Alex is a fellow Austin photog that not only takes great images but loves to help and teach others through his blog at He does a great job explaining several tips and techniques that are great for the new or experienced photographer alike. His blog is definitely one you want to bookmark not only for the great images like one of the first ever from the top of the still being built Austonian or the one featured here from the 4th of July over Lake Travis. Alex has been an active photographer for over 30 years and draws on his sense of exploration to capture some very compelling images. I love how Alex can see everything from the beautiful to the humorous. Also if you are interested Alex host a monthly advanced photography group that is open to anyone. Another great thing about Alex is he very easy to find online. He has done a fabulous job of e-marketing and taking advantage of the power of social media. Alex can be found on Flickr , on Twitter @Alex_Suarez, facebook and of course on his blog So pay Alex a visit and book mark his blog. It is one worth following.