Monday, November 23, 2009

Maho Bay Boardwalk - St. John, USVI

One of my favorite movies when I was growing up was Swiss Family Robinson about a family stranded on a tropical island that builds and lives in lavish tree houses. I couldn't help think of this movie as I walked through Maho Bay campground in St. John. the entire campsite is connected via a bunch of boardwalks that are elevated above the ground. It gives you the feeling of walking through the trees and is a unique experience. I have said it before but if traveling inexpensively is your cup of tea the Campground at Maho Bay is your choice on St. John. Where else can you camp on a tropical island in eco tents tucked away up on a hill overlooking a tropical beach! Also come back tomorrow to find out about a great gathering photog group launching in Austin this December. The kickoff event will be headlined by one of the webs most popular photographers. It's Gonna be BIG!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Buck on the Move - Georgetown, TX

Here is the artistic rendering of the buck from my previous post. This shot was completed by adding in some motion blur on the background to create a panning effect and create a sense of motion. Then I added two different textures from my texture library. the next step was a soft vignette and lastly brushed over the entire work with a painters brush in photoshop. Let me know what you all think.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Backyard Buck- Georgetown, TX

Last weekend was the opening of deer season in Texas. Agree or disagree I will leave that for you all to discuss. But there is no arguing it is a big part of the Texas culture and the beauty of the Texas Whitetail Buck is what draws hunters from all over to Central and South Texas. Almost a year ago we moved away from the suburbs out to a little plot of land just outside Georgetown and the reason we did this was the view in the morning in our back yard is now so much better. I know many deer hunters will wait all season to see a nice 8 point buck like this and some never do. They spend countless hours in deer blinds, wake hours before first light and can usually count on a could couple mile hike each way. At my place however I can rise around 7am brew some coffee look out my window and almost every day see some deer grazing in my backyard. However most of the time it is a doe with a couple young fawns. This morning however this magnificent 8 point buck was working his way through the yard. It did not take me long to know why. Down near the fence there was a young doe. This guy had one thing on his mind today. He stayed around popping in and out of the tree line for about 20 minutes before the doe decided she had had enough of his stalking and retreated into the woods. Here are 2 photos from this morning. One of the buck, and one of the doe. I just love the fall tones in these photos and how the buck was nice enough to stand in some nice fall foliage for me as I shot some photos. Notice the one leave captured that was in flight on its way down to the ground. I am working on a nice artistic rendering from another shot that I will share later. So be sure to come back and check out some more photos of this backyard buck.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Help Portrait - Help Me Bring Smiles and Hope to Georgetown, TX Dec 12th

Hello fellow fans of 50% Chance of Rain todays post is all about a movement of help that is spreading fast among the photography community. I am going to help out with this movement in my local community. It is a movement spreading worldwide but beeing done in its own way across the world in big and small cities alike. It is simply called Help Portrait. Simply put, this holiday season photographers from around the country will volunteer their time on Dec 12th to photograph those who may not have the chance or may never have had the chance to have a profesional portrait taken and to give back to those who have come across difficult times lately.

On Dec 12th in Georgetown Texas I will be scheduling as many portrait sessions as I can for those who may need a little extra help or cheer this year. Sound cool, I thought is was when I heard about it. Interested in helping out? If so here is how you can help

  • Check out the Help Portrait Website here!
  • I need a couple people to help me during the shoots on Dec 12th. (no photography experience needed. )
  • Makeup / hair dresser - are you good with make up and hair, I could use you! Lets make these people feel special and beautiful.
  • Drivers - If participants do not have transportation I would like to be able to provide them with transportation to and from our portrait location
  • Individual and Family nominations - Do you know someone or some family that have been hit hard by difficult times this year? If so send me an email to a brief description of the family or person and how a Christmas portrait may make their day a little brighter. I will try to accept as many people as I can and they will need to be local to the Central Texas Area. I will follow up on every email and confirm with you that we have room to give them a portrait session.

Still interested and want to see more. Check out this video of a test shoot in Nashville. While our shoot won't be as big. It is really is just about helping and I want Dec 12th to be a great day for those who need it! So let me know and lets bring as many smiles as we can to Georgetown on December 12th.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hidden Paradise - Jost Van Dyke, BVI

If you find yourself on your way to Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands, make your way around to White Bay, ( by boat is best ) on the far corner you will see a little blue hut poking out from behind a grove of mangroves. This little gem is called Ivan's Stress Free Bar and is a little hidden paradise. It is not immaculate by any stretch of the means but it serves its purpose and many have come to escape the stress of everyday life by walking up this little path and grabbing a cold beer at the honor bar. Kenny Chesney pretty much sums it up in his song, "Somewhere in the Sun" The line goes "Makes me long for where I really want to be....Oh I wish I was there tonight on Jost Van Dyke Sipping on some Foxy's Firewater rum Or kickin' back with Ivan" This photo makes me long to be there as well. And yep kickin back with Ivan is pretty nice as well, hit the link here for the photo from the last time I kicked it with Ivan.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Island Hermit - St. John, USVI

Don't let anyone tell yo these little guys can't pack a pinch! I had a blood blister on my finger for a week thanks to one of these little Hermit Crabs. I thought that if you picked them up from the back of their shell these nasty pincher's could not get you. Well lesson learned. After an acrobatic feat of using his legs to swing around and upside down his claw was locked down good on my finger. Good thing no one else was around because a few expletives were shouted and some jumps and shakes before this guy finally let go. After this I decided to take some photos to help remind me that Hermit crabs should just be left alone. When I first visited St. John and was hiking down some trails I discovered these guys after hearing what sounded like little rocks rolling down the side of the hills. Every so often you hear a thump thump crack crack crash. I would look up and wonder what is making this noise. Finally after some serious scanning of the hill side I saw what was rolling down the hill. The noise was coming from the shells of these hermit crabs bouncing of rocks and rolling through leaves after either an unfortunate misstep or maybe a more purposefully fast track down to a new resting spot. Either way I started seeing these guys everywhere. So If you visit St. john and hike some of these trails look and listen closely as you will see these little hermit crabs everywhere.

Also want to let you all know I along with some other folks are working on some great photographic get togethers in Austin, both happening in the middle of December. Both of these events will be great for anyone that wants to learn, share, enjoy, and just meet other people who love photography. So check back here as I announce more details and the other great photographers that will be a part of these two events.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Chan Ho Park - Round Rock, TX

Sitting at home tonight watching the Phillies Yankees World Series. I just Saw Chan Ho park pitch a pretty good inning for the Phillie's in the bottom of the 6th inning of game 6 and I remembered that I had an assignment a couple years ago to photograph Chan Ho Park in his return to professional baseball as he was picked up by the Houston Astros and assigned to their triple A franchise the Round Rock Express. He never made it onto the Houston Astros roster but it was pretty cool to see him tonight pitching in the World Series. I just now saw he came out to start the bottom of the 7th as well. Its good to see he had made it back to the majors and is doing well! By the way if you were wondering I am rooting for the Yankees. I just can't stand Phillie fans! I think this goes back to being a Dallas Cowboy fan and my dislike of the Eagles. ( I get that game to watch this Sunday night! ) Here are three photos from the game in Round Rock.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Beach Dog - St. John USVI

Ah the life. You know life is great if you can live on a beach. I think this dog pretty much thinks the same thing. I found him relaxing in the shade of a picnic table at Skinny Legs after what appeared to be a nice dip in the water. This dogs appears to be one of Skinny Legs regulars as he seemed quite at home amongst the sand and people. What dog wouldn't like living here!