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Fuzzy Flowers

On my trip to Johnson City, on my never ending quest for things to photograph, I stopped in on the Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Wildlife Reserve. Ladybird Johnson had a thing for wild flowers and on this reserve there were fields of wild flowers despite the lack of rain this year. This was shot at sunset, with the sun low on the horizon. As a result it was providing a great deal of light down low. This along with the wind provided a bright and fuzzy flower.

Fuzzy Flowers

Fuzzy Flowers

There is nothing particularly special about this shot. No prep, no lights, no reflectors. Just me, my D700 and my Nikkor 105mm f2.8. I shot this about 3.75 inches from the flower with a very narry DOF to really kick the bokeh up. Knowing I cant get tack sharp in the field, going for more abstract form and minimal detail was the right approach. Unlike many digital photographers, no effort was placed in removing or taming the grain in the shot. This is intentional. It adds to the bokeh effect and to me is a compositional element as it provides texture to the image. This look and technique reminds me of my film days when you could push Tri-X and get this look. In an age when detail is king, there are times when soft and fuzzy are a good thing.

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Home is where the heart is…

College is a funny thing. People are very devoted to their respective schools and I am no different. In my 40 some odd years I have lived in every major city in Texas and three other states. In all my time across Texas and around the country, Lubbock has always been home. I spent 5 years there, and shy or Oregon, Lubbock has been the place I have spent the most time in since I left home. So, you can say that I am attached to the place. While I was in Lubbock, I shot for the Texas Tech Year Book and school newspaper. In all the years there with a camera, I really never sat out to shoot the Administration building,  the most dominant piece of architecture on the campus. So, when I was moving back to Texas from Seattle, I stopped in Lubbock and took some pictures. This shot is of the oldest building on campus.

Texas Tech Administration Building

Texas Tech Administration Building

The Administration Building is a structure on the campus of Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. It was one of the original buildings on the campus, and is modeled after La Universidad de Alcala de Hernales in Alcalá de Henares, Spain.[1] The Admin building has three floors and a basement and includes twin bell towers, double wings, and a courtyard. Some of the offices housed in the building include the Chancellor’s Office, President’s Office and Board of Regents Office.

I was pretty happy with how this came out. Its a decent B&W shot and has that sentimental feel to it for me. Its nice being closer to home and the school. One day I hope to move back to Lubbock.

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Details of West Texas

As many have noticed, I haven’t been shooting as much as I normally do and the vast landscape shots have all but disappeared. While I am a native Texan, I am missing (terribly I might add) the landscape of the Pacific Northwest and Vancouver. While I am a HUGE fan of the desert of West Texas, I am not a huge fan of the Austin landscape.  Here its largely flat,Plateau Live Oak and Hackberry Trees are the dominant species here though several sites claim there are over 100 different species in the area. Suffice to say, while an Oak is great for a lynch mob, they aren’t really great when compared to the majestic 120′ tall trees found in Washington.

As a result, I have tried to find other things to shoot. With my background in Architecture, I am always drawn to images and details of structures. Texas has a ton of old ranches and farms. This particular shot was taken in Johnson City, at a historical landmark where President Johnson grew up.  The ranch was in amazing shape without signs of over preservation. The wood, nails and paints that were used them are still in place. I really liked the way this site was tended to. It was authentic in every

Details of West Texas

Details of West Texas

aspect. This shot of a 40′ tall windmill was one of my favorite details. The texture of the blades is what caught my eye. I am still looking for a “theme” or set of things I can focus on to shoot. Its hard. nothing here really appeals to me artistically so I am searching for my “eye” again. Things just don’t jump out at me like they used to. I largely attribute this to not shooting as much as opposed to the local scenery. Either way I need to fix it…. soon

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Friends and Photowalks

February 14, 2011 2 comments

Knowing I haven’t taken a great deal of pictures in the last year (largely do to my real job) a friend of mine encouraged me to get out more. In fact he said he was going to make it a personal mission to make sure I got out more to shoot. So, this weekend we went into downtown Austin to take some pictures. While we weren’t organized with the “where or what,” we managed to have a good time and get some good shots. There are a ton of very old homes and structures in dowtown Austin. Some we were looking at went back to the 1840’s. In fact this first shot is of a house built in 1846. This is a side window. Oddly, it was the only window for about 40 feet of brick wall. Even more interesting, this was literally the only place in the wall that had a crack. I was drawn to this small architectural detail because it was odd, the texture of the brick was great as was the detail in the wood and leaded glass.

Ancient Portal

Ancient Portal

I took several on the outing but this was my favorite. Because of my Architectural background I enjoy the details of these historic structures. I may add one of a 1960’s power station once I get done doing my conversion. But, for now I am taking pictures and enjoying the mild Texas winter.

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An Oldie… but

In reviewing some “Old” pictures from 2010, I found a few of the desert. Being from El Paso, I am something of a desert rat. I love the landscape. The mountains and big sky as well as the brush. There is a texture to it, you can breath when you are out in it. When you are in the desert you can see a storm coming for MILES. This particular shot is one taken in New Mexico back in July when I was moving across the country from Seattle to Austin.

The New Mexico Desert

The New Mexico Desert

New Mexico is a great place to get some pictures (I need to go to Santa Fe). I took several just like this along the way and hope to get some more out here soon.

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A New Year and a new focus on my photography

Several of my family and friends have noticed that I have SLOWED down a great deal in updating my blog as well as taking pictures. It’s true, work has beat me to death and its been hard to find anything of substance to take here in Austin. Suffice to say, as a landscape photographer I was indeed very spoiled when it came to beautiful surroundings.

A good friend of mine who recently produced his first photo book as a gift (amazing by the way) has been nagging me to “Just Shoot.” So, with the New Year now in full swing, I decided to make a new years resolution to take more pictures this year than I did in 2007 (the year I started shooting again). In 2007 that was 35 outings or shoots. In 2010 there was only 13. So, I have a TON of work to do.

The following two shots are the first of this new year.

On The Way Home

On The Way Home

I found myself fighting with my cameras. As with any tool the less that you use it, the more painful it is. Never the less, this is the first shot. Since I shot hand held I felt my composition was off, but I was happy with the final look. As most know I am a huge fan of  B&W, so here is the same image after converting it.

On The Way Home - B&W

On The Way Home - B&W

Finally, this last shot was for my daughter. She was involved in an audition with the Joffrey Ballet Company’s summer intensive program. A criteria for being selected in this intensive is very much like model and any other professional performer. You must have a head shot, but in this case it was a select position and pose. After I shot what was required for the audition, my daughter asked if she could copy a pose from a calendar. I had to set up my alien bees (my lighter meter was dead since I haven’t used it in SO LONG) but I winged it with some good guesses and trial and error to get the following:

My Tiny Dancer

My Tiny Dancer

Considering I don’t have a studio and this was shot in my kitchen I am pretty happy with the result.  I want to thank my friends and family who are encouraging me to focus more on my images. I have to admit, I have missed it and playing with my cameras again as well as doing my conversions, updating my web site and more has been fun.

Happy New Year

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Seems like forever…

Its been about a month since I have posted anything here at the FPT blog. It’s been longer since I have actually taken one of my cameras out of the bag and taken a picture. Since I am new to Austin, and don’t know my way around, knowing where to go to take pictures is hard. So, I asked several friends if they would be interested in going out as a group and doing a shoot. Eight of us got together this past Sunday and went to an abandoned Lime Kiln in Austin.

The structure was fascinating and very much overrun with vegetation, bugs and the like lending to its character. I was most drawn to a few of the Architectural details associated with the structure and that is the shot that I am placing here online.

Austin Lime Kiln

Austin Lime Kiln

In this shot is a door way into the Kiln itself. I liked the texture, the brick work and the contrast of the structure and think its well represented here. My son went with me and had a blast. It was REALLY nice getting out with some creative people, talking pictures and walking around discovering things. If we aren’t careful it will become a club as we were already discussing a Flicker Gallery and the next shoot.

Now that I think about it. This is my first shot taken in Austin (Shy of a few models) that I have taken. It’s really been weird not taking more pictures and 2010 has been a OFF year for me in terms of outings. When I started shooting  again back in 2007, I had pictures every week for that year. In 2008, I went out 42 times. This year, I have been out 11 times… ALL YEAR. Its no wonder I had a good time.

Simply put… I need to get out more with my camera.

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