Monday, January 30, 2017

Christmas Card 2016

For the 10th anniversary of sending out my own prints as Christmas cards, 11th card in fact, I decided to go back to the beginning and take another photo of the Alamo and HEB tree. Wanted a different viewpoint, so did some pointless research on places I might gain a higher perspective and eventually decided in October to just go downtown and see what I could find.
Across the street there's a row of three-story buildings that house all sorts of tenants, from touristy stuff on the ground floor to offices etc higher up.
The one I had in mind the whole time seemed like the best place to start, so we found a sort of general lobby entrance and barged right in.
Found stairs and started climbing, acting like we knew what we were doing.

On the top floor we came out of the stairwell to find ourselves in a long hallway with various businesses, but the one directly in front of us was the intended target from an "angles" perspective--and it turned out to be a high dollar steakhouse.
The place was seemingly deserted to I kept "boldly going" to the windows facing the Alamo and took a shot with my phone. Exactly what I had been picturing in my head for the past year. Success!!
Then we heard footsteps, and the bartender walked in and started his spiel: "Do you have reservations, or just here for drinks?" etc etc, and I told him the truth of why we were there and asked if he thought it would be okay if we came in for drinks some evening around sunset and maybe took a few pictures out their middle window. Surprisingly, he copped an attitude along the lines of having to ask the owners and suggesting that buying dinner would be the likely price of admission. Wow.
I mean, 55 cards, 55 prints, and 55 stamps is already pretty steep every year, and this ass thinks we're going to drop an extra $200 for the "privilege" of getting a decent photo?

We make the proper responses and grab a card, then head out to the hallway, where it got even weirder.
A waiter came up to us and started acting like Sylvia was Selma Hayek or someone of equal famousness, and we both got completely creeped out. You really should make sure the Ecstasy wears off before starting your shift, hombre.

So, we were still going to stick to the plan and make the shoot happen for the price of a few margaritas and beers with hopefully a less douchey bartender, after Thanksgiving when the Christmas tree in front of the Alamo is lit. On like a Tuesday evening so crowds are small, right after sunset so the sky is a nice rich blue when doing a long exposure.

Then while doing some early holiday shopping at The RIM, we remembered that we'd been meaning to check out a new multi-use commercial development across IH10 called Eilan, consisting of a swanky hotel, apartments, professional commercial spaces, high-end retail along the lines of Ruth's Chris Steakhouse (seeing a theme here).
They already had their decorations up, and I took some promising test shots with my phone.
2 nights later we were in the area shopping again and I had my "real" camera and tripod along, so we went back to Eilan.

So yeah, we both knew instantly that this was the shot we wanted. The Alamo from up high can wait. 
Quick, painless, pretty, and the cards went out a bit earlier than usual. 
And within days of posting it to Facebook, several friends posted photos of themselves in the exact same spot.......coincidentally. 

It's our fifth card photo with water in the central foreground. 

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