Monday, January 30, 2006


While waiting for a green light I noticed this reflection
in a window on Ruth Chris' St. Paul Square restaurant.

Friday, January 27, 2006

The Beast

Yes, this is in response to the flower photo I posted
last night. Got to have some balance, and make the statement
that just because I enjoy taking a nice flower photo
doesn't mean that I'm becoming a sissy.
On Sunday I took another one of my seemingly aimless car journeys
where I listen to the voice in my head telling me where to turn,
knowing that eventually I'll come across something that
needs it's picture taken.
And this photo is a rare one on Views Of Texas because it was
taken on a cloudy day and it's in black and white.
Those two facts are interrelated because using greyscale
emphasizes the mood of the day and nature of the subject
in ways that color never could.
It was also a perfect image to experiment with using
PhotoShop's channel mixer, and stands among my favorite
black and white conversions.
(I have been told that thumbnails don't do this picture justice, so please click on it to see the full-sized version.)

Thursday, January 26, 2006


When my brother gave me some cuttings from his
Christmas Cactus, I appreciated the gift and took good
care of them over the last year or so.
But as succulents go it seemed rather flat and unimpressive.
My opinion changed just before this past Holiday Season
when it lived-up to it's name and gave us a welcome splash
of color.
This photo is of the best current blossom, and I wish I had
taken some photos of the previous ones, too.
It's not done yet, so maybe something in a nice purple color
will show up here in the next few weeks.
Thanks, Bro. It really livens-up our kitchen.
(Click on the image for an 800x600 version)
While it might look like I used some serious PhotoShop effects
to get the smooth look you see here, this is actually very close to
the original jpg from my Sony F717 camera.
Good lighting and camera settings are all you really need
to produce photos like this.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Model Cars

Several years ago I collected Hot Wheels, Johnny Lightning and other
small cars at a furious pace.
There are a few hundred of them in boxes that I hope are becoming more valuable over time.

Narrowing my focus somewhat, I now collect the Olds 442 and the
Shelby AC Cobra exclusively.
This particular Shelby model is interesting because it's 1:87 Scale.
That means it 'fits' on HO-Scale model railroads and is a
steal at $1.67 from WalMart, while similar products in the
hobby shops that sell train stuff retail for $10 or more.
Currently the online interest in locating these models is
a bit intense.
The photo fools our perceptions, because this little car
is only 1.75" long.

(Click On Me And I Get Bigger. In fact, the car is only about half the size of this thumbnail image!)

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Trees At Night

Despite perfect photography weather for several weeks, I just
haven't gotten out to shoot anything new.
During the day, anyway.
Here's a shot of a bradford pear tree and a crepe myrtle in
a parking lot. There was a six-point buck feeding near the
building in the background, and I was sorry to disturb him.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

New Year's Day

I had to do some work downtown on the first, and brought
my Sony F717 with me to make use of downtime.
This first shot is of one of the Hyatts we have on the RiverWalk.
The northern-most one with the stream running through the lobby.

This one is from inside MadDog's English Pub.

Both of them point out to me that had I used some more zoom, the
barrel-distortion of my lens at it's wideangle setting would have
been eliminated, despite my best efforts in Photoshop.
(Please click on them for bigger versions)

Monday, January 09, 2006

Passenger Comfort: Fifty Years Ago

This particular passenger car is significant for still being
in revenue service so many years after it was built.

Here is a close-up shot of the depot power connections that keep
the air-conditioning and lights working when the car is parked.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Pray For Rain

Months of drought conditions have left Texas and Oklahoma
dangerously dry. Entire towns have already been wiped off
the face of the earth by grassfires. Statewide, fireworks
and brush burning are banned.
Today I spotted smoke and drove across town to the scene of
a massive grassfire near Bulverde and Evans Rds.
Sixteen volunteer fire companies, the San Antonio Fire Department,
and water-dropping Blackhawk helicopters from the State of Texas
are currently trying to contain hundreds of burning acres.
The Fossil Ridge subdivision in being evacuated.
After following Channel 12's remote news truck to the scene,
the SAPD turned us amateurs away.

Next, I drove further into the hill country north of the fire.
This shot was taken from inside of a hillside home that's
under construction. (I guess I just didn't see the No Trespassing
signs.) The fire is ten miles away, so as you can see it's a big one.
The situation isn't helped by the 18mph sustained winds.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Sunset: December 29

Having already taken a few dozen photos and catching
the Scavenger Hunt item of the week, we decided to
stop and get groceries before calling it a day.
But sometimes you just have to go with the flow and
admire the beauty of another Texas sunset before
returning to the business at hand.