Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Longhorns On Houston Street 2

More from Saturday's events

There's always somebody protesting or preaching in front of the Alamo, but when there's an event that'll bring in the crowds the number of shouters goes way up.
Got to expose the public to your message, and more = better.

What was funny this time is that at least 5 different groups were there, working together.
The anti-immigration-reform leader would shout a slogan, and everyone would repeat it no matter what their sign said.
Then it was school worker's turn, etc.

Texans believe strongly in free speech and lawful protest--that's part of how we became a republic and then a state.
But FYI--we also think the Alamo is sacred ground and that the protesters who annoy tourists and locals alike need to shut the hell up or move around the corner because what they're doing is almost sacriligeous to Texans, and is at best counter-productive to their goals.
Y'all piss us off.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Goodbye, Logan

You were a good dog in every way, and you lived a long and happy life.
We'll miss you, girl.
Rest In Peace

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Longhorns On Houston Street

The first cattle to set foot in North America and the only breed of cattle to evolve without human management... from Wikipedia.

To kickoff this year's Stock Show & Rodeo here in San Antonio, for the first time in nine years the organizers paraded around 30 longhorns on Houston Street in downtown.

Real cowboys and cowgirls, too.

These things are intimidating!

To help fight the deep shadows between tall buildings, I used flash with mixed results.

The cheerful Poo Crew.
This little parade was short--maybe half a dozen city blocks, but I was glad we went.

I Missed It

At some point yesterday Views Of Texas went way beyond the 25,000 hits milestone.

Very Cool!

And in the year 2012 we might pass 14 comments?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Duck Hunter

A little scene originally intended as part of a bigger project I hoped to work on this weekend.
It started as just a quick lighting test but I like it so much as-is that the other project is being reconcieved in a completely different direction.
The book is 'Birds Of America' Copyright 1917.
My copy was printed in 1936 by Doubleday & Co.
Full color plates were made from paintings by Louis Agassiz Fuertes.
Shotgun is a Harrington & Richardson 12gauge single shot that's so light it kicks like a mule.
Shells are modern Winchester SuperX.
Lantern was a free promotional item from Marlboro.

Here's a sepia-toned version that's more in tune with the vintage props, but I don't know if I like it better or not.

Lighting Info: Sunpak 383-Super manual flash with a grid pointing down at the page from 4 feet, on 1/8th power. Triggered by GI Cactus V2s radio system.
The grid focuses the light into a small circular area with less intensity and a smooth transition to darkness--I made the grid myself and it's proving to be a crucial part of accomplishing many of my flash ideas.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Flash Cube

As I predicted a few weeks ago, things are getting interesting now that the new flash equipment is here and working just like I expected.

This self-portrait was intended to convey my new feeling of control over light while demonstrating same.
The hoodie was meant to cover my receding hairline, and also as a gentle poke at the flood of hoodie-wearing models I've recently noticed on the Strobist Flickr group.
I'm at peace with the wizard comparisons--I'm trying to be a wizard with flash anyway.

It's much easier and faster to get the results you want when using a model versus self-portraiture.
I knocked this one out in 5 minutes including setup two days later.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Spurs 89 / 76ers 82

A major departure because I never shoot sports, I didn't even use my own camera, and the photos kinda suck.
But it was my first live game of the season and I had a lot of fun watching, experimenting with settings, and listening to the young fan behind me who didn't really know what was going on.

Four Championship Trophies since 1999.
We've got a good shot at another this year.

The tip-off.
Doesn't the ref look like a wannabe ballerina?

One of the Philly players got poked in the eye so I shot him staggering around under their basket, plus the cameraman getting a tight shot.

Tim Duncan's follow-through after a shot attempt.

Lots of concentration--Tony Parker's tongue is always sticking out of the corner of his mouth whenever he shoots. This one missed.

NBA Legend Robert Horry (Big Shot Rob) timing his jump in case he needs to rebound.

Manu Ginobili takes a handoff from Jacques Vaughn and races around an Horry screen before slicing and dicing the 76er's defense.

Team huddle during a timeout. Coach Greg Popovich got his 601st career win this night.

Manu catches a pass...

and Manu makes a pass seconds later. His four 3-pointers in the 4th quarter blew the game open for San Antonio.

The Silver Dancers.

Mrs. Tony Parker, Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria.

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Art Silos

Possibly my last visit--now behind a locked fence and soon to be demolished.

Once the carcinogens are cleaned up this property will become condos and retail space.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

An Empty River

Every January the city drains the downtown Riverwalk part of the San Antonio River for maintenance of the channel and to collect all of the folding chairs, silverware, plates, glassware, cellphones, keys and sunglasses lost (or thrown in) by tourists and restaurant patrons.
The Fiesta Mud King and Queen are also chosen at this time.

Fish and turtles etc are collected and relocated downstream while the aquatic birds have a feast on whatever remains in the isolated pools left behind.

The city crews were relocating introduced tilapia until the State of Texas reminded them of the rules that say this destructive non-native fish is to be gutted (or eaten), not released back into the river. And the city was also told that they have not been in compliance with the required wildlife handling permits, which cost $20.

The reflection of a downtown building caught my eye as I was trying to get a good angle on this egret fishing in the shallow pools.
Normally shore birds like this are never seen in the Riverwalk area but adapt nicely when there's a free lunch to be had.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Leather Statues

I'm glad these came out OK since I took them just after midnight on January 1, 2008. I guess that makes these my first photos of the New Year.

I had never seen statues covered entirely in leather before.
They had a tactile quality that made them a pleasure to hold.
Warm and inviting--certainly more natural than bronze.
They were about a foot tall.

Update: The camel came from Iraq and the horse is from Virginia. Thanks, Holly.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Missile Barrage!

One of my favorite fireworks as a kid, I caught this at a party we attended on New Year's Eve.
I used flash to freeze the smoke and light the ground somewhat (the flash was tilted up a few degrees to lessen the ground's light) and then a very long exposure to catch the streaks from all of the missiles that fire sequentially.

Friday, January 04, 2008

The Other Side

San Antonio River in Infrared.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Steel Wheel

A boxcar sitting alone on an industrial spur track south of downtown, behind the Blue Star and the art silos.

I've got a few more recent photos to show, then I suppose I'll do a 'leftovers from last year' post again.
During the next few weeks I'll be experimenting with new equipment and there's no guarantee that I'll go anywhere interesting or shoot anything worth showing, but hopefully there's enough material on file to carry us through the lean times.
Thanks in advance for your patience--I'm a little burned-out from the holidays and was the last person in the family to catch the cold that got re-gifted for Christmas a few times, so I'm still a little sick and there's a ton of household stuff to do, too.