Thursday, March 30, 2006

Presa St. Bridge

(Click photo to enlarge)

An old steel bridge carries people and vehicles over
the Riverwalk.
Some of the rivets holding the span together are the
subject of this photo.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

4 Leaf Clover

(Click photo to enlarge)
In my continuing quest to illuminate the 'Truth' about
the legends associated with Holidays, here's a look at
the Luck of the Irish, a few weeks late for St. Pat's Day.
(Look in the archives for other Holiday posts.)

Having never seen a 4-leaf clover growing wild, I was
skeptical about their very existence let alone any
ability to confer good luck upon someone who found one.

But that changed last week.

I needed a photo of clover for the Brookston Photoblog
Scavenger Hunt, but a dry winter in San Antonio and most
of Texas meant that brown grass and dry dirt were the norm;
wildflowers and even weeds were scarce.
Hours had been spent looking for patches of the stuff that
might lend themselves to interesting photos.
A small clump next to a creek with reflections of trees
on the water was my best find, but the plants were ratty
A nice setting but the clover was not photogenic at all.

As the light was fading I rolled the dice one last time
by searching my backyard yet again, hoping against the odds
that some had sprouted since the last search three days earlier.

In the second small clump I looked at, there it was.

The Scavenger Hunt specified bonus points for a 4 leaf,
with even more for it still being in the wild.
So I can state with conviction that 4 leaf clovers can
be very lucky.
I got a photo to enter, with maximum bonus points.
But as subsequent testing confirmed, they are not Lottery-Lucky.

And in the spirit of catch-and-release fishing I left my
lucky clover where it was. No way am I going to tempt fate
by plucking that once in a lifetime find.
My hope is that it grows big and strong, attends an Ivy League
University on a curling scholarship, and becomes a research chemist
that cures cancer, wins the Nobel Prize and supports me in my old age.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Korean Catholic Church

Just northwest of town at IH10 and Ralph Fair Rd
there is a Korean Catholic Church. I spotted it while
on the way to a wedding, and we stopped for a few
minutes before the reception.
What intrigued me was the displays on the grounds behind
the church itself.

A gazebo with a statue of The Virgin Mary was surrounded by
the stations of the cross, with the fascinating addition of
tiki torches for evening prayer.

This photo is the one to click on and enlarge.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

La Luna

(Click on the photo to enlarge)
To go with the last post, here's a look at our satellite using
Sony's amazing H1 camera.
Featuring 12x optical magnification, you can actually get a usable
picture of the moon with it. My Sony F717 only has a 5x zoom factor
so the resulting image is only about 42% as big.
And with the F717 a tripod is mandatory for sharpness.
This photo was taken handheld, my friends!
The H1, like most others of the new breed of superzoom
digicams, has an image stabilization device which is an
absolute must-have for handheld long telephoto work.

Monday, March 20, 2006

High Cirrus

Using a borrowed Sony H1 digicam, I took advantage of
weather conditions that were suggested in a recent
magazine article: High, fast-moving cirrus clouds
and a fullish moon, with the bonus of zero groundlevel
wind which helped keep my neighbor's tree sharp.
Now I feel like I'm ready in case I happen upon an interesting
subject with a similar background.

Working with an unfamiliar camera was a difficult experience
for me, so I'm glad I managed to get a few keepers.
This post marks the very first time a photo has appeared here
on Views of Texas that wasn't taken with my beloved Sony F717.
But this shot wasn't anything I couldn't have captured with my
usual rig.
The next one, on the other hand...

(Click on the photo to enlarge it to full size)

Saturday, March 18, 2006

A Tulip For Spring

(Click on the photo to enlarge it)
Down here in South Texas the trees and shrubbery are
turning green faster than I can keep up with it, but the
wildflowers and grasses have been seriously compromised
by the lack of rain during the winter months.
So, I decided to work with a tulip from a florist for
this photo, to mark the coming of Spring.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Start Of The Riverwalk

Behind the Municipal Auditorium is a ramp that leads down
to the San Antonio river. If you turn right and walk under
a bridge you'll see this scene.
It's the last 'wild' part of the waterway before the
Riverwalk begins, and a good place to start if you want to
see the whole thing.
A tripod and long exposure times are the trick to making
the flowing water look so smooth.

(Click to enlarge)

Friday, March 10, 2006

Important Announcement

This is probably of interest to just a few of you, mainly
on the northside of SA, but I thought it was worth mentioning
that the bluebonnets have started coming up around here.
I appreciated the efficient braking of my little Honda Prelude
as I screeched to a halt to catch this photo.
I saw two small patches on both sides of Loop 1604 between
Babcock and Hausmann, right next to the access roads.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Main Library

Many San Antonians hated the "Enchilada Red" color of
our semi-new main library.
Since it has had a few years to fade you don't hear
much about it anymore.
Taken on a dreary afternoon this photo needed a lot of work
in Photoshop to make it visually interesting.
Exposure bracketing, layers, extreme levels adjustments
and noise-reduction brought it to a reasonable conclusion.
And now the building looks like it did when new.