Friday, February 29, 2008

Incarnate Word

In a first for me, I totally forgot to post these here.
I looked for them last night and didn't find them in the January archives like I thought, and realized my mistake.

Driving out of downtown on Broadway I had already noticed the unusual clouds, but as we passed The University of the Incarnate Word it all clicked so I made a quick (and safe) U-turn.
I shot the scene from a few angles and locations--all in infrared because I felt that black sky would really show-off the clouds.

This was the best by far.
I've posted several different versions online but after 6 attempts at fine-tuning it in Photoshop I was finally happy with this edit.
There's a hot spot in the clouds that's blown-out on the print I just made, but I can live with it for now.
This is another new print that will be hanging in the gallery for the show next week.

My Next Gallery Show

"First Friday" (March 7) at Blue Star.

We'll also be opening on Thursday night so friends and family can get convenient parking and not have to deal with the huge FF crowds.
Call me for directions next week--I'll have the exact address Sunday night--it's in one of the new loft condos.

I can't decide between beer and wine for Friday night...and I better not have to work like I did last time. (Edit: I don't. Yay!)

Two of the new prints shown will be:
I just printed this one and it looks beautiful, and is a real departure from my other work.

An infrared shot that really solidified my black & white techniques--lots of work to shoot and edit but the print is amazing.
In fact, I started over in Photoshop before printing so it looks much better than this version.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Huebner/Onion Homestead

The Huebner/Onion Homestead is a local project that includes restoring a frontier house and turning the surrounding land into a park with historical education as a focus. The building is right on Bandera road so I see it all the time, and newspaper updates have made mention of the parklands but I only had educated guesses as to where they were specifically located.
On a recent afternoon walk in an adjacent park I discovered all of this stuff by accident while exploring off the usual trails.

The 1st clue that there was something I hadn't seen before. Walking up to this sign I found a barely-used dirt trail--one way pointed right towards the location of the Huebner/Onion house so I went in the other direction.

Finding another new sign, I followed a twisting and turning path through open grassland that was full of various cactus and succulents before finding the little Huebner Family burial plot tucked into some trees.

On my own way back to the main trail I decided to bushwhack a little to see what kind of views most people would miss.
Finding this scene I got my infrared gear together and took a few shots.
Then I had to get out my little multi-tool and use the pliers to remove a few hundred small prickly-pear cactus spines from my pants and camera bag.
One of them was surrounded by scar tissue and working it's way out of my left inside knee when I finally plucked it out four days later.

Heading back to the parking lot three slides attracted my attention.
The tallest was an old all-steel one like I remember from my youth, so I made some tests for my too-long-dormant 'Playground' series that needs to be completed someday.
The sun wasn't in a good place at the time and neither was I, but at least I know where to find a reflective slide again in the future.

For the first weeks of the year I had many things happening photographically that got me into a mindset of quality versus quantity and style versus substance.
Mainly it was technique instead of trying to tell stories.

Somehow forgot that Views Of Texas was about Texas first.
Working on correcting my lack of focus.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Chris Park

Hidden away on a short side-street southwest of downtown San Antonio, Chris Park is something that should be experienced during all seasons in all weathers, and I wish it was open at night, too.

This was the first time after 3-4 previous visits that the fountains were squirting. Back-lit water is always impressive.

It's all very tasteful and touching. I usually don't take any pictures there, but when I do you'll see them.

The refined people of San Antonio will miss Linda Pace almost as much as she missed her son.

I missed the third anniversary of this site on the 15th. Forgot all about it--where does the time go?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Cold Steel

Just using whatever's handy to experiment with multiple flashes. Haven't been out shooting lately--nothing is inspiring me right now.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Highway Project Continues

An out-take from the shoot at the end of January.

These two were from a quick run in early February--and as usual I scouted a couple of new places from which to shoot.

As I continue adding to this series my enthusiasm increases. Hardly anybody shoots highways at night, and I have the good fortune of many nearby projects that give me brand-new highways and ramps on a regular basis.
The goal when shooting is to turn something we see every day but never really see into something memorable.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Kat And The Cube

From the SuperBowl Party at Holly's--the first time I felt comfortable just going ahead and setting up my camera/tripod plus a light stand and 2 flashes in someone's home.

Kat is curious about the Cube:

Kat has decided that the Cube is annoying her:
My main flash has a grid on it to narrow the beam and is lighting Kat's face from the left side of the frame--made a huge difference in the way this looks.

Friday, February 08, 2008

The Old Stone Shack

A very old and very small one-room house hidden in the woods.
I think it was built by hand from stones laying on the ground in the area.

I lit up the outside with a powerful rechargeable spotlight, diffused and dimmed using a sheet of paper.
13 second exposure to get the sky.
Two remotely triggered flashes inside the shack aimed at the windows.

Inside, it's a dark and scary place at night.
The cobwebs show the decades of neglect.
Single flash camera-right.

Even though I know the back door leads outside, there was no way I was going to open it.
25 second exposure using the spotlight through a window.

Someone has bought the property and is starting to restore this building so I had to shoot it now while I could still get inside.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

New Highway Photos

The big interchange at Loop410 and IH10 is coming along nicely.
New ramps and lanes are being opened all the time which greatly reduces traffic congestion, and of course new pavement always feels nice under your wheels.
I found a great new location that has convenient parking and a lot of different vantage points from which to shoot.

I like the Roman Aquaduct look of this one.

In this new edit it easier to tell that I was shooting from the street. A car came around the curve on the left while my camera was still doing it's noise-reduction processing. I held my ground until it was finished then grabbed my tripod and ran.
Needless to say, with restricted visibility I was cutting things close and didn't shoot any others from here--I'm glad this one came out so well.

The building on the left is TransGuide.
They monitor all of the cameras on the highways in San Antonio and issue alerts of problems on overhead displays, plus you can watch any of the cameras on TV or the internet. This makes planning alternate routes around gridlock and accidents a breeze.
I plan to shoot from the TransGuide parking lot soon.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

My Little Helper

He "helped" me clean out the garage yesterday by sitting still and looking mean, forcing me to take a break and get the camera.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Let's Finish Houston Street

The Longhorn Waltz was really just a quick sideshow--the main event was the monthly Houston Street Fair.
The usual stuff happens--music and food and local arts and crafts for sale--plus the rodeo flavor permeating the scene like this impromptu horse ride.

Chuck wagons were in the middle of the street in front of the Alamo, cooking up grub for hungry folk to taste. I've had their stew and it was good.
I liked the cook's phone-camera technique: No need to get up and move further away when a little lean can get the job done.

The first time I passed this awkwardly-named booth (TexMex shish-kabobs I think) the backlit smoke grabbed my eye.

Later in the day it grabbed me again--my favorite photo out of all 14 I have shown.