Sunday, February 28, 2010

Never Underestimate the Power of the Big Camera!!!

I had the enormous pleasure yesterday of heading down the road to welcome in the trail riders, who make the annual journey from their respective starting points (some of which are as much as 200 miles away!),  to downtown H-town for the start of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

It appeals to the kid in me. A lot that we learned as kids shapes the way we see and react to the world as adults. For example, as a kid I was always taught to respect my "elders and betters".  I got a good lesson in how that teaching can manifest itself in the behavior of well healed adults while I was out at the parade today.

I was out on the parade route with my camera gear to see if I could capture a few special moments. I had the whole rig out there...a backpack full of lenses and accessories, and my trusty Nikon D3 with the 80-200mm lens attached. It is a formidable rig - but hey...I am a formidable guy! I was down there with a couple of friends, and a couple of folks that I met who were taking photos of this event for the first time. They all had very nice camera gear, which I am sure generated photos as good or better than anything that I could generate.

It's just that these cameras were ...smaller.

I am not braggin'...I'm just sayin'.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Photography on the Rise

Well... a long cold Texas winter is starting to wane and the first big local photography opportunity is upon us. Tomorrow the many trail riders who give up their annual vacations to be a part of our history leading into the future converge on downtown Houston from their final bivouac at Memorial Park. They, and their horses and wagons will be dressed up for the big party that is the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Parade. I usually go down there with my camera to welcome them in to town. I have a sweet location to shoot from that affords great views of the road travelled and the road ahead. It is a blast - I can't wait!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

On Reaching 50

I am not a black balloon kind of guy. I am usually a "glass is half full" kind of guy. I have drunk gallons of lemonade made from lemons tossed at me by LIFE. And I really do believe that...just like today...the sun will come up tomorrow.

I have been fortunate to live on this Earth for 50 years. I was born in Texas, made by Texans, and by the grace of some higher order (you take your pick)...I am a Texas Aggie.

Monday, February 15, 2010

A busy time of year

I am heading into what will most likely be the craziest part of my year. My day job is consuming more than its usual 55 hours per week, and it seems that everything that can go wrong is going wrong. I am heading the major project delivery organization for a $1B business segment. It certainly keeps me hopping. In this job you are never quite good, fast or cheap enough... and that is just the start of the stresses you come across in the course of an average day.

Add to this mix the fact that I am going to be doing some things over the next month to take my hobby to the next level. First amongst those will be spending four days with Moose Peterson, Joe McNally and the rest of the Digital Landscape Workshop Series gang. This is my first photo workshop in about 4 years - And I took a long time pulling the trigger on this one. I am looking forward as much to the training in Photoshop processing techniques as I am in the shoots themselves. When I saw that this workshop was going to be held in Santa Fe, I just couldn't resist. Santa Fe is about my favorite town outside of Texas!!! The light there is magical on its own...I can only imagine what it is going to look like once McNally gets done with it.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Oh-fer January

It has been a full month since I last posted. Not that I didn't have anything to say...I just didn't feel like I had done anything blog-worthy. And, it seemed at the time like I hadn't done anything with my camera worth sharing either. However, in a wave of sentiency, born in the boredom of a staff meeting, I realized that I had done much to advance the state of my photography this past month. And I thought that anyone reading this space (all four of you) might actually pick up a nuggett or two.

Over the last several years, January was like any other month in what we call winter around these parts. Cooler than summer, but not cold by any stretch of the imagination. Cold is snow in winter...ponds freezing over... weather forecasts where the terms "life threatening" are frequently used... and that just isn't us. This year has been different though. In December and January it has snowed here. And we had enough cold weather here for every body of water in my yard - A spa, a pool and a landscaping water feature - to freeze over. The waterfall created some very interesting ice sculpture - and when I saw it, the photographer in me saw it as an opportunity to try out a few techniques that I had been studying related to off camera flash (OCF). There I was ...running around in the front yard positioning a couple of speedlights with CTO gels positioned across the lens  to make it look like sunlight was reflecting off the ice sculpture.