Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Day 60. February 2. Leap Day

Day Sixty. February 29. Leap Day. Picture # 60. This is not the picture I climbed out of bed at 5:00 AM for. The weather forecast had called for heavy fog this morning. I was planning on getting a shot of the scullers rowing out of the fog. They train on the Ladybird Lake almost every morning. But as seen in this  picture, I did not have rowing or fog. But what I did have was a light rain starting. I liked the play of lights on the water so I grabbed a few quick shots and headed for the truck. Seemed like Leap Day deserved something better. Canon Rebel XTI on tripod. Canon 18-55mm lens. Bower Superwide lens. Focal length 30mm. f/22. ISO 400. Exposure 2 seconds.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Day 59. February 28.

Day Fifty Nine. February 28. Picture # 59. "Shadow Art". I do not condone graffiti. No one has a right to deface public or private property. That being said, The shadowy spaces under bridges and in drainage ditches can be fascinating because of the illicit art that mysteriously appears in the night. Some of the work is very well executed and frequently has some sort of message. A few years ago I ran into a twelve foot long floor to ceiling screed against George W. Bush lavishly done in black lettering with silver & gold metallic paint highlights. On the opposite wall, there was a red, black & white demon from hell that appeared to be staring at the writing. It was painsakingly done in a dripping paint style that was pretty remarkable. The anquish in it's expression reminded me of the painting "The Scream" by Edvard Munch. Both creations were deep inside of a drainage tunnel where you had to have a flashlight to read. Mixed in with the good is always the bad. Profanity, vulger drawings, scribbles and gang tags are a constant ying to the art's yang. Canon Rebel XTI on tripod. Canon 28-135mm lens. Focal length 28mm. f/22. ISO 400. 1/400 second.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Day 58. February 27.

Day Fifty Eight. February 27. Picture # 58. "Untitled" The difference time of day and angle of sun can be seen by comparing today's picture with Day 27. Both were taken from about the same spot on the  bank of Bull Creek. This picture is much tighter in it's field of view than the other one. What really sets these two pictures apart is the almost perfect lighting in this picture. There is no harsh light or shadows marring the mirror surface of the water. I had another picture in mind for today but it started to rain as I drove to the location. Worried about a rainout, I stopped and and grabbed this picture. It never did rain. Canon Rebel XTI on monopod. Canon 28-135mm lens. Focal length 75mm. f/5.6. ISO 400. Exposure 1/250 second.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Day 57. February 26.

Day 57. February 26. Picture # 56. "Untitled". Just a snap shot. I have passed this sign a few times on the way to and from a friend's lake place. I always enjoyed the uniformity of the signs, in that they are arrows that point the same way.The commonality ends there, each owner has added their own touch of individuality with their use of colors, lettering style and they even made the "arrows" different shapes. Just a simple fun picture today. Canon Rebel XTI handheld. Canon 28-135mm lens. Focal length 38mm. f/11. ISO 400.Exposure 1/320 second.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Day 56. February 25.

Day Fifty Six. February 25. Picture # 56. "Window". This is the first abstract posted so far. There seems to be many ideas as to what makes a picture abstract. I was looking for a good site to link to which would explain the concept but I ran into a quagmire of conflicting opinions. I feel that the variety of materials that make up the individual panes in this window, both adds interest and confusion. The different elements of this picture viewed by themselves is quite unremarkable. The front of a church, a pole some transformers, none of these subjects would draw much attention, but with each pane the window visually defining the scene differently it adds intrigue.It makes the mind uneasy, forcing it to try to restore some logic and a sense of familiarity to the scene.Canon Rebel XTI on tripod.. Canon 75-300mm zoom lens. Focal length 300mm. f/45. ISO 400. Exposure 1/30 second.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Day 55. February 24.

Day Fifty Five. February 24. Picture # 55, " Gary's Request". While driving in the Hill Country today, I kept seeing nice vistas. But these very pleasing to the eye scenes became boring and unremarkable when framed in the view finder. Maybe "I" was just feeling a little flat as the week was winding down into the weekend. I needed a pick me up. About this time, I received a text from my friend Gary Cross with a request list of sorts. He suggested I "shoot some life" followed up by "introduce the female. . . of any species". His good natured ribbing was just what I needed to get inspired to find a shot. Gary encourages and pushes me in my photography and I push him in his song writing. Well Gary, here's your "life", "species" and "female?". This buffalo's for you ! Canon Rebel XTI hand held. Canon 28-135mm lens. Focal length 30mm. f/3.5. ISO 400. Exposure 1/1000 second.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Day 54. February 23.

Day Fifty Four. February 23. Picture # 54. "Untitled". Never give up on a sunset. As I drove out into the country side this afternoon, I was concerned that the heavy gray cloud cover was going to really shorten my shooting window and limit my options. I quickly found a nice stream scene with good lighting and high stone cliffs that would be a good choice for an HDR image. While getting into position I got my feet tangled in some loose barbed wire hidden in the tall grass and rocks. I tripped and fell but managed to keep the gear off of the ground. A few scrapes and cuts, more bruised pride than actual damage. So in other words not a great start to shooting. I got my bracketed set of exposures. Nice images but nothing exciting. I decided to change course and head out to Lago Vista to scout locations for another day. I found a subdivision that wrapped around a small mountain. It appeared as if only sold a few lots had been sold so far. The roads wind up and down the small mountain but as I explored I realized what a great place it would be to shoot sunsets from. In a case of being in the right place at the right time the sun came out from behind the gray and set the sky on fire. As I was shooting, I received a picture of the same sunset from my friend Tracy Jackson. She wanted to be sure I was not missing it. The picture of the camera below is the actual setup of todays picture. As I walked back to the parked truck I could not resist the cliche sunset in the truck window pic. Canon Rebel XTI on tripod. Canon 28-135mm lens. Focal length 112mm. f/22. ISO 200. Exposure 1/20 second

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Day 53. February 22.

Day Fifty Three. February 22. Picture #53. "Untitled" My neighborhood is surrounded by greenbelts and nature preserves. It is not uncommon to see deer, foxes, coyotes and many more central Texas animals. This was one of three deer walking along the edge of the woods about a half mile from my apartment. I already had my camera bag open on the passenger seat. All I needed was to change to the 300mm lens and a little bit of luck. This picture was shot out the window of my truck. Canon Rebel XTI handheld. Canon 75-300mm lens. Focal length 135mm. f/4.5. ISO 800. Exposure 1/400 second.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Day 52. February 21.

Day Fifty Two. February 21. Picture # 52. "Untitled". Under the flyover at Mopac and 6th street there is a series of hike and bike trails. These trails were all built after the construction of Mopac. But while walking these trails traces of much older structures still remain. I would have liked to crop this picture differently but there was a pile of trash at the bottom of the stairs that distracted from the picture. The trash was not from the vistors who use these trails.This area has a split personality. There are all the people who enjoy this attractive and safe place to exercise and just visit. But there is a darker more seamier side just out of view. If you leave the main trails and start exploring under the bridges, drainage tunnels or strike off into the woods, you will see places where homeless people are living. There is graffiti and signs of drug activity. Occasionally I will encounter or see people moving in the shadows. I never disturb anyone's belongings and I do not bother the people and they do not bother me. I once found odd artwork hanging deep inside of a tunnel. As it first appeared in the dim light of my flashlight, it appeared to be some strange creature hanging on the wall. Upon closer inspection it was obvious someone had created it and hung it on the wall deep in the darkness of the tunnel. Canon Rebel XTI on tripod. Canon 18-55 lens. Focal length 18mm. f/22. ISO 400. Exposure 1/15 second.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Day 51. February 20.

Day Fifty One. February 20. Picture # 51. "Study in Black & White". Each one of these chess pieces is eighteen inches tall. They are an outdoor set that that are set up waiting for the contest to begin. From the height of the grass, it appears they have been waiting a while. Canon XTI Rebel handheld. Canon 75-300 zoom lens. Focal length 170mm, f/5. ISO 400. Exposure 1/500 second.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Day 50. February 19.

Day Fifty. February 19. "School Holiday". I left Jacksonville Florida at 7:15 AM 2/18/12 eastern time. I drove non-stop to Austin, Texas, arriving at 1:00 AM 2/19/12. I stopped only briefly for gas and food. There was one detour for taking a set of pictures. Needless to say I have been dragging today. I spent the better part of the day editing pictures from the trip. I almost forgot about getting out to get the picture for today. But once again as luck would have it, there was a pretty sunset. All I needed was some interesting foreground. I had previously noted a neat tree was in a good position for sunset pictures at a near by school. Upon arrival I was disappointed to find the gate locked to the area where the tree was. Running out of both time and light, I remembered one of the driving reasons for undertaking the 366 Project was to force myself to see my everyday world with a fresh eye. So with my gear in hand I began walking around the track. Nothing, maybe I was just tired. There was nothing. Then in one of those flashes of clarity. Nothing was the answer. I used this point of view and a wide angled lens trying to capture the emptiness of this school on a holiday weekend. Canon Rebel XTI on tripod. Canon 18-55mm lens. Bower Super Wide lens. Focal length 37mm. f/4.5. ISO 200. Exposure 1/30second. 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Day 49. February 18.

Day Forty Nine. February 18. Picture # 49. "Atchafalaya Swamp Bridge". . Saturday was a drive day. 1036 miles to be exact. Two of those miles was turning off on a down ramp for Whiskey Bay which allows drivers access to a boat ramp under the bridge. My camera and tripod are on the boat ramp aimed back east. I had about a fifteen minute window where the rain stopped for the first time since I had left Florida. The picture below was my picture of the day "place holder", that I took and edited with my cell phone. Canon Rebel XTI on tripod. Canon 18-55mm lens. Bower Super Wide lens. Focal length 28mm. f/4. ISO 200. Exposure1/30 second.

Headed home.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Day 48. February 17.

Day Forty Eight. February 17.  Today found my dad and I waiting in vain for the sunrise at Talbot Island.The sky remained cloudy and gray. But the long drive and wait ended up being worth it in that one of my Facebook friends and fellow photographer Lori Whitaker also gambled on the sunrise and came out to the beach. Her enthusiasm and dedication to photography is infectious and it was a pleasure to finally meet her. Picture below was an iphone picture taken of the review screen on the back of my camera as a "place holder" for the day's picture. Canon Rebel XTI on tripod. Canon 28-135mm. Focal length 135mm. f/22. ISO 1600. Exposure 1/5 second.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Day 47. February 16.

Day 47. February 16. "Untitled" This shot was framed while holding my camera, above a eight foot high fence. This view is under the Beach Boulevard bridge at the Intracoastal Canal in Jacksonville, Florida. Because of severe time restraints, I put all of my eggs in one basket today. This is the only scene I shot. My brother Lantz set me up with an internet connection and gave me some time to edit. Canon Rebel XTI handheld. Canon 28-135mm lens. Focal length 28mm. f/22. ISO 400. Exposure 1/30

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Day 46. February 15

Day Forty Six. February 15. Picture # 15. "Untitled" This is one of those "almost" pictures. The shot was there. I snatched the camera off off the tripod. I timed the shot well. The shutter speed and aperture were good, but I forgot to take the camera off of auto focus. It focused on the moss behind the bird leaving the details on the bird soft. Oh well, almost a fun picture. Picture below shows the picture in my laptop. I was having internet issues and could not post the picture. Used my iPhone to take this picture as a place holder. Canon Rebel XTI handheld. Canon 75-300mm lens. Focal length 300mm. f/5.6. ISO 400. Exposure 1/2000 second. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Day 45. February 14

Day Forty Five. February 14. Picture # 45. "Untitled" Up early. I was headed out to Big Talbot Island State Park, , to shoot the sunrise. I was twenty minutes into my drive when I came upon this scene. I knew I already had my picture for the day. These boats are docked In the Saint Johns River. They can be viewed from Heckscher Drive, just east of the Dames Point Bridge. Canon Rebel XTI on tripod. Can 28-135mm. Focal length 35mm. f/18. ISO 800. Exposure 1/20 second.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Day 44. February 13.

Day Forty Four. February 13. "Florida Trip" I am on a trip to Florida and I am struggling with my laptop and accessing the Internet. So please bear with me as I post daily but plan on re-editing and post when I am back in Austin.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Day 43. February 12.

Day Forty Three. February 12. Picture # 43. "Trade Mark Tree" Picture on right was taken today and the picture on right was shot a few years ago. Picture below was an iPhone picture of the back of my camera as a "place holder". Canon Rebel XTI on tripod. Canon 28-135mm. Focal length 70mm. f/10. ISO 200. Exposure 1/600 second.

Headed East

I am leaving at 2:00 PM Central time headed east. It is currently a mixture of snow, sleet and rain here. Seema like I am always leaving when we get interesting weather in central Texas. Post may be slow today or even a catchup post if I drive all night. Thanks for checking in.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Day 42. February 11.

Day Forty Two. February 11, Picture # 42. "Living Color". Todays idea for a picture came from two different people. Last night my friend Gary Cross sent me a text about Day Forty One that said, "Good to get off "gray" occasionally. ;-) nice color . . .". He was somewhat, but not completely writing tongue in cheek, about how many of my pictures have been dark and gray. He understands Austin as of late has been gray and cloudy and I have been shooting after work with fading light. Well on to the second person. Tracy Jackson told  me about this brightly colored gym where her daughter was going to play a volleyball tournament. She thought it might offer some neat photo opportunities with it's red and blue floor. Tracy appears in the lower right hand corner of the picture. Well Gary asked for color and Tracy provided some. So thanks to both for todays picture. Another thing was was different today, it was the first day a picture contained people. Canon Rebel XTI handheld. Canon 18-55mm lens. Focal length 25mm. Bower Super wide AT lens. f/4. ISO 1600. 1/250 second.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Day 41. February 10.

Day Forty One. February 10. Picture # 41. "Untitled". I decided to set some rules for todays shooting. First rule was I could only select one lens. I chose my 75-300mm zoom. Second rule was whatever my first shot was, I had to stay within the same shooting style. I was at Richard Garriott's Lake Austin property which offers many picture opportunities.There is always a chance of encountering wildlife and the 300mm would give me good options for reaching out and grabbing the shot. So I sat down on the ground and leaned back against a tree to wait and see if any creatures would show up. As I waited the sun dropped lower in the sky and started back lighting a patch of small purple flowers. I liked what the light was doing to the flowers so I set up the tripod 18" off of the ground and started shooting. The pattern was set. The picture must be a shallow depth of field with backlighting. I ended up not being impressed with any of the flower pictures. But as I framed this picture of a grass seed head, I knew it was going to be Day Forty One. Canon Rebel XTI. Canon 75-300mm zoom lens. Focal length 155mm. f/5. ISO 200. Exposure 1/250 second.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Day 40. February 9.

Day Forty. February Ninth. Picture # 40. One of the luxuries of living in Austin,Texas is its scenery. This is one of eight low water crossings that I drive past each day. This particular crossing has been dry for many months and has only recently started to flow again. The reflection of the sunset in the flowing water is what completes this scene. I enjoyed watching the sun set but I must admit I left quickly because my feet were cold. The only way for me to frame the scene as I wanted it, was to set up the tripod in the stream. Hence the cold wet feet. Canon Rebel XTI. Canon 28-135mm lens. Focal length 28 mm. f/22. ISO 200. Exposure 1/8 second. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Day 39. February 8.

Day Thirty Nine. February 8. Picture # 39. "Lines & Vines". As my picture project proceeds I am realizing things. First thing is that there are days that my shooting time is going to be very limited. Second thing is, I would like to keep everything interesting and shoot a lot of varied subjects. Back to the first point on days when my time is short I need to have a specific interesting picture in mind and go out and quickly capture that image. This is one of those images. The picture from day five was taken at this location. It is a drainage tunnel under Highway 360. On day five after I had packed all of my gear and was heading out of the tunnel I noticed this shot. I am trying to commit these images to memory as I go, so I can come back at some future date knowing there is a scene that caught my eye. Canon Rebel XTI. Canon 28-135mm lens. Focal length 30mm. f/8. ISO 200. Exposure 1/100 second.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Day 38. February 7.

Day Thirty Eight. February 7. Picture 38A,B,C,D. "Shadow Moon" I was at my computer trying to find a picture in the very average set of exposures that I shot today. There was one picture that was pretty good but not very exciting. Then in a case of serendipity my text alert buzzed. the message said, "Cassie said the moon is perfect for a photo. Big orange and a little bit of cloud.". The text was from her mom Tracy Jackson. Well Cassie Jackson was right ! I grabbed the big glass and shot this sequence off of my balcony. The narrow cloud is an airplane condesation trail as the high allitude winds carried it across the field of view of the moon. Canon Rebel XTI on tripod. Phoenix 1100mm Lens. Focal length 1100mm. f/8. ISO 100. Exposure 1/100 second.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Day 37. February 6.

Day Thirty Seven. February 6. "Untitled" This little creek can only be seen during times of severe drought. When Lake Travis is at normal water levels this part of the original stream bed is under about twenty feet of water. The spring fed waters are crystal clear and still flowing strong. This stream is in Cypress Creek Park which is in the north west corner of Austin. The reflections on the water surface are storm clouds that were being black lit by the setting Sun. Canon Rebel XTI on Tripod. Canon 18-55mm lens. Focal length 18mm. f/22. ISO 100. Exposure 1 second.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Day 36. February 5.

Day Thirty Six. February 5. Picture # 36. This dead twisted tree graces the bank of Lake Austin just below the Mansfield dam, There is a secluded little park on Low Water Crossing road off of FM 620 downstream of the dam. The water temperture at this park is the coldest in Lake Austin. It is a great spot for swimming, fishing and kayaking. The only draw back is over zealous LCRA security guards. I have been questioned twice for taking pictures and warned that I am not allowed to take pictures of the power station. One guard implied it was NSA rules. But overall other guards there were friendly and I had enjoyable conversations with them. This is a little hidden gem of a park. Canon Rebel XTI on tripod. Canon 18-55mm lens. Bower Super Wide lens. Focal Length 32mm. f/4.5. ISO 400. Exposure 1/500 second.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Day 35. February 4.

Day Thirty Five. February 4. "Oakwood Cemetery". I had breakfast with a friend of mine named Dale Flatt. We ate at a Denny's that was just a few short blocks from the oldest city owned cemetery in Austin. This morning I was sharing a table with Dale because of his connection to this and all the other cemeteries in and around Austin. Dale is the founder of "Save Austin's Cemeteries" . This group's purpose is to save, research and document all of the cemeteries in the Austin area. Dale has been suggesting to me, that I come take some pictures of the many interesting older graveyards. So I finally accepted the challenge. I posted four pictures today. No single picture captured what I was feeling. I was trying to find a way to photograph something as fleeting and ephemeral as a feeling, a mood. Should I shoot wide? Tight? Low? High? I was overwhelmed this morning. Shots seemed everywhere; then, as I framed the shot in the view finder, they would disappear in to the gray morning light. I was Captain Ahab with a camera instead of a harpoon and this cemetery may become my white whale. I have to figure out how to shoot it. Canon Rebel XTI. Lenses used Canon 18-55mm, 28-135mm, 75-300mm.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Day 34. February 3.

Day Thirty Four. February 3. "Untitled". This stone maiden with her enigmatic stare greets visitors to Richard Garriott de Cayeux's , Castleton Village and Curtain Theater on the shores of Lake Austin. The arch in the top left of the picture is the Capital of Texas Highway (360) bridge. Richard commissioned both Castleton Village and the Curtain Theater to be built on his Lake Austin property and he generously allows different groups and events to use the property. The Curtain Theater is the home for Austin's theater troupe "The Baron's Men" and the "Austin Shakespeare Festival" The village hosts "Society for Creative Anachronism" and has the largest jousting tournament in the North America, "Lysts at the Lake" Some of the pictures in the Texas Joust's website slide show are my pictures that I took at last years event. Canon Rebel XTI on tripod. Canon 75-300mm lens. Focal length 110mm. f/4.5. ISO 400. Exposure 1/800 second.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Day 33. February 2.

Day Thirty Three. February 2. Picture # 33. "Storm Clouds". Storm clouds as a back drop to the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library seems fitting. His presidency was defined by the turbulent period that bracketed his time in office. The Viet Nam War, the struggles for civil rights and women's rights had storm clouds swirling through out society. LBJ befitting his Texas roots somehow rode herd over all the competing factions and kept the country moving forward. The library is a treasure trove of history in shedding light on this dramatic time in our nations history. Canon Rebel XTI. Canon 18-55mm lens. Bower Super Wide .42 X, Af lens. Focal length 32mm. f/4.5. ISO 400. Exposure 1/1600 second.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Day 32. February 1

Day Thirty Two. February 1. Picture # 32. "Wood, Metal & Time" . I am a lover of old buildings and machinery. I am intriqued by nature's slow destruction of what man builds. In Texas this process takes place very slowly because of the dry conditions. You can drive in almost any direction in the countryside and find these extremely weathered but still standing structures. This building is located northeast of Austin close to Coupland. It is in an area of flat farm fields, big sky and empty roads. Canon Rebel XTI on tripod. 28-135mm lens. Focal length 53mm. f/6.3. ISO 200. Exposure 1/800 second.  

 This is a cell phone picture of how these small roads appear on my GPS. The other picture is a view looking west down the road where this picture was taken. The building is to the right in the picture.

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