Saturday, June 21, 2008

Spanish Missions In San Antonio

Of the five Missions in San Antonio, San Juan and Espada are the furthest from downtown but well worth a visit.

Three infrared views of Mission Espada's tiny chapel:

This photo is from early 2005, and I shot it for an online contest whose theme was "Abandoned Buildings/ Ruins".
One jackass in the group gave it a 1 out of 10 score because they didn't see an abandoned building. Maybe if more of it were left? I think that person got banned soon after complaining about the moderator striking their vote for stupidity. I remember the internet being more angry and fun back then.

These are from Mission San Juan, also infrared:

The skies were highly variable during this short visit. Brightly-lit tall cumulus on one side and dark waves of menace on the other, so I brought my monopod and IR filters and shot mostly infrared to get a more cohesive series.

It was hot and dusty but fun.

You can sense the ghosts of SA's origins all around you at the Missions. Sometimes it's friendly and full of hope, other times you can feel the pain and suffering endured by the missionaries and especially the local Native Americans who sought refuge from raiding Comanches within the walls of these historic compounds.

In other news--the women and girls of the polygamist sect that are here in SA are often spotted at Sam's Club and WalMarts around town. We saw a half-dozen inhaling ice cream, pizza and big sodas at Sam's, enjoying the processed and fattening foods the men of their cult probably don't allow them to have inside the compound in El Dorado, for spiritual reasons.
The long dress chicks were having a jolly time, and I felt a little proud of them.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day

Accomplished more in his short 33 years than I have in 45.
I remember big shoes, beer, a drawer full of paper airplanes to hold us over while he was overseas, the skeet range at Randolph AFB, and his big silver BBQ grill.
Sweaty flight suits and aviator sunglasses.
Good music.
Tupper Lake.
His parent's tavern in Buffalo.
The smells of Vitalis and his Zippo lighter.

Scratchy-face hugs.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Oblate Church

The grotto is very origianl and amazing, but I didn't really feel comfortable shooting there. We bought a candle to light in memory of my parents and other cherished relatives.

They do good work helping the poorest of the poor, and a visit is highly recommended. Find a way to drop a few dollars and you might feel a little better about yourself.
Oblate Missions

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Deserted Train Yard

Finally retrieved my prints from the gallery at Blue Star--I only got a chance to look at them during the show, and it's been over a month since then.
After that I took a few minutes to shoot the nearby industrial train yard, but it's never a great night subject since there's almost no artificial light and the sun had only just set so the sky wasn't in any kind of balance with the ground.
Still, there's a certain mood captured.

To me, there's always something sad and yet hopeful about trains that are just sitting there in the dark.
In my mind I picture tramps sitting in the doorway of a boxcar, hoping their chosen ride is going to be the next one rolling into the night towards an uncertain tomorrow.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Where Have I Been?

Working with BLISS mostly, and even String Theory once in awhile.
I shoot so much at the gigs I really get it all out of my system for the rest of the week.
The first shot even let me use my fancy wireless flash gear.

I have a light schedule this week and some ideas so hopefully this site will return to something resembling normal in a few days.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Matthew's Reviews

This is one of the photos I had great fun making for yet another new website I'm involved with: Matthew's Reviews.
There's a link on the right side of this page, too.

Matthew Robertson lives in Toronto (Ontario Province of Canada) and when I was just starting out he was the first photographer to ever seriously critique my work in a helpful way by pointing out both mistakes and what I had done right. Under his gentle guidance I was able to make quicker progress than would have been possible otherwise, and I'll always remember what he did for me.
In fact, it was through him that I discovered the concept of photo blogs so Views Of Texas wouldn't have happened when it did without Matthew.
We soon became good internet friends and have kept in touch with both photography-related news and personal stuff over the years.

His newest project is Matthew's Reviews, a site devoted to reviews of products, places and services, and probably anything else worth talking about.
It's already seen an eclectic mix of subway stations and camera equipment and restaurants and scooters.
Now that Matthew has graciously invited me to join him in writing for the site, I've added my own take on some great flashlight accessories that I'm currently enjoying.

He started this site as a new hobby that only partly needed camera involvement and might appeal to the consumer in all of us.
After a few weeks I begged him to become involved, and now I eagerly look forward to both reading his next review and writing my own.
Please bookmark us and visit a few times every week to see what's new?

This is my 500th post here at Views Of Texas.
It's been a lot of fun, and having a single place where people can find most of my internet output is very convenient when it comes to business cards and email.
If you want to know where my band is playing next, it's in one of the links on the right side of the page.
Where was I last weekend? There are pictures here and there.
What's coming up in my life? Reading a few paragraphs usually gives a hint.

Thanks for visiting Views Of Texas and I love to read your comments.