Sunday, August 28, 2011


Tonight I was blessed when my truck managed to start one last time at a gas station so I was able to make it to the show.

Steve's girlfriend Jan was blessing #2 because she went to AutoZone and picked up a new battery for me, then went above and beyond to take the old one back for my $12 core exchange refund.

I knew that my battery was about to fail and was trying to make it just one more day, but like all good plans...
It was a sweaty and dirty affair swapping them out in a bar parking lot in the dark by myself, but at least I had my tools and a good flashlight.
Mostly I'm glad and blessed that I didn't end up needing a jump-start at 3:15AM in some random bar parking lot.

Speaking of good flashlights, if you're interested in what I'm using now please take a moment to read this review I wrote for my friend Matthew's website.
It's been a long while since I've written anything over there, but with several of us contributing there's plenty of new content all the time.
Mostly Matthew, which is a good thing.
Y'all should bookmark it, or at least remember to use my handy link over there on the right and up 12 spaces or so-->

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Just Learnin'...

Every once in a while I like to try new things, even when they they don't appeal to me at first.
A good example is when I first tried to shoot dripping water into a bucket.
I suppose some day I'll have to try smoke photos (when there aren't fans and AC blowing all over the house).

This time it's drops of food coloring in a vase full of water.
I'm just trying to get a handle on the techniques involved, in case they are someday needed to tell a story or make money.
Plus, it's fun to play around with my cameras and lighting gear.

What I didn't expect was liking the results.

When I see food coloring/smoke photos from other people (and they are usually better-quality than mine) the results just don't do much for me.
I've even questioned people as to the possible audience for them.
Abstract prints? Maybe, I guess.

Perhaps it is the random nature of the results that bothers me?
I'm used to having total control over the scene whenever I set up the lights indoors. (Portraits not included)

On the other hand, a few clicks in PhotoShop and there's all kinds of things you can do should the need arise.
I didn't even begin to explore those possibilities, because for me most of the fun, work, and decision making when taking pictures happens before the shutter button gets pressed.

I guess the main thing is that it didn't feel like a waste of time, because learning is a worthy pursuit even if the possible future application of that knowledge is hazy and undefined.
Maybe that's why I read so much?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

ViewMasters Of Texas

We went to some antique stores in New Braunfels last week, and someone in our group proved that people sometimes listen when I talk.
Imagine that!
(I'll have to be more careful...)

Selma remembered that I was looking for a ViewMaster, but especially an older one from when they were made for adults, too.
In the '60s or '70s the eye spacing got too narrow when they got marketed as just a kid's toy.

This is a Sawyer's Model C, and as near as I can tell from my research it was made in 1950:
Gotta love the bakelite body!

The reels she scored are also very early examples--most of them feature the Grand Canyon. No stupid cartoon characters here!
An all together super-awesome package of historical goodness.
Thanks, Selma!
Love it.

My interest and successes in 3D photography date back a few years before the current fad.
One of my contacts has sent me a link so I can get my own ViewMaster reels made, which is nice.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Fire Stuff

The rest of my station tour photos:

Friday, August 05, 2011


More from our fire station tour:

The water cannon that's at the end of the big ladder. I wasn't able to climb up and shoot down the legnth of the ladder for safety and insurance reasons, but that's okay because unless I had a pocket camera with almost unlimited depth-of-focus the result would have been a blurry mess.

Radios in the back seat--communication is vital for these people and their mission.

For the big fires this truck comes out to recharge the BA's (breathing apparatus).
Generator, compressor, storage tanks, and already filled BA bottles--sweet!

Axe, hoses, and connections to the engine's pumping system.
While the trucks get more modern-looking every few years, the basic tools of the trade are pretty much the same.
I wish I had been paying attention when the jaws of life were shown...

More to come

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

German Chocolate Cake?

That's what we were served at a fire station tonight.
It was good--both the cake and the tour.
Thanks, Mel!

I have a lot more pictures to share during the coming week.