Monday, December 24, 2012

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I'm a "Get the Gig" finalist!

Just found out that I'm a "Get the Gig" finalist!

I will receive a photojournalist equipment package consisting of the following:

(1) Canon® EOS 5D Mark III EF 24-105mm IS Kit, 
(1) Canon® 600 RT Speedlite, 
(1) Canon® 70-300 Telephoto lens, 
(1) Canon® Carry Bag, 
(1) Canon® Pixma® Wireless Photo Printer,
(1) Canon® PowerShot® G12, 
(1) Canon® Battery Grip, Canon® Cartridges, 
(150) Canon® Photo Paper Sheets, 
(1) Sony® Pocket Bit USM-P Series USB flash drive (8 GB), and 
(1) 64GB SD Card X3. 
Each Finalist will also receive a check in the amount of $4,500.00. 
Total Approximate Retail Value of each Finalist Prize is $15,996.00.

My self and the 7 other finalists will receive an assignment, and the top 4 submissions of that assignment will win the grand prize of $20,000!

There is a force more powerful than steam and electricity: the will

grafitti covered electrical box behind the Chong Hua Sheng Mu Holy Palace in Houston, Texas.

Still at the Chong Hua Sheng Mu Holy Palace. Don't know of the Palace? Check out my previous post.

Title quote from Fernán Caballero

Monday, December 10, 2012

Knowing others is Wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment

At the Chong Hua Sheng Mu Holy Palace, an abandoned since 2001.

Construction on the Chong Hua Sheng Mu Holy Palace was to be the beginning of a grand complex for spiritual rejuvenation, an oasis of calm within the sprawling suburbs of western Houston. But with the US government preventing the group leader's 2001 return from a trip abroad, all work stopped, without much hope of seeing the Tien Tao temple complex completed.

It has the architectural air of Dr. No meets Wernham-Hogg or Dunder-Miflin. The dramatic gold dome looks perfect for housing a doomsday weapon and twin minarets flank either side, but the construction and materials has all the grace and inspiration of a mundane industrial office tower. The entire property is gated and fenced off, but exploration of the north wall may reveal an accessible entrance. Once on the grounds, visitors to the building will find it buttoned up tight with robust security gates around all the main entrances and side doors. With the project stopped before the interior was started, the inside (apparently) has little to offer. Windows are either blacked out or too high to gaze in on, so the simple bizarreness of the building will have to do. The palace, for an abandoned building, remains surprisingly tidy and seemingly maintained. Grass mowed, parking lot relatively free of garbage and graffiti painted over.

Title quote from: Lao Tzu

Info from: Nothing to see here: Chong Hua Sheng Mu Holy Palace

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Sabine-to-Bagby Promenade

Sabine-to-Bagby Promenade - Houston, Texas - HDR - Stitched

At Sabine st on the Sabine-to-Bagby Promenade, heading into Eleanor Tinsley Park in Houton, Texas. This is a two shot stitched but someone distracted me in between shots. I kinda like the outcome so I didn't clean up the edges.

Monday, December 3, 2012

The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battle-field, and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearth-stone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature

The Pirit of the Confederacy - Memorial to fallen soldiers of the Confederacy at Sam Houston Park in Houston Texas - HDR

"The Spirit of the Confederacy" at Sam Houston Park at downtown Houston, Texas.

The plaque on the base says: “To all heroes of the South who fought for the Principles of States Rights.”

This monument placed in 1908 is made from bronze and granite.

AMATEIS, LOUIS (1855-1913). Louis Amateis, sculptor, was born in Turin, Italy, on December 13, 1855, the son of Gen. Paolo and Carolina Amateis. He studied architecture at the Institute of Technology and sculpture at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, both in Turin, and received a gold medal from the Royal Academy for outstanding work. In 1880 he received a silver medal at the National Exposition in Turin. He also studied art in Paris and Milan before immigrating to the United States in 1883. Amateis settled first in New York City, where he did some architectural sculpture, primarily for the firm of McKim, Mead, and White. He married Dora Ballin in New York City on February 24, 1889; they had four sons. After his marriage Amateis moved to Washington, D.C., to found the School of Architecture and Fine Arts at Colombian University (later George Washington University), where he served as chairman of the Department of Fine Arts from 1892 to 1902. Among some of his best known works are the bronze doors (1909) intended for the west main entrance to the United States Capitol, a monument to the heroes of the Texas Revolution (1900) in Galveston, and busts of such prominent men as President Chester A. Arthur, Gen. Winfield Scott Hancock, and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.

Title quote from Abraham Lincoln.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind

Family marker at Glenwood Cemetery in Houston, Texas.

The Glenwood Cemetery is located at 2525 Washington Avenue in Houston, Texas. It was the first cemetery in Houston to be professionally designed and opened in 1871. The cemetery is situated between Washington Avenue on the North side and Memorial Drive on the South side, the latter overlooking Buffalo Bayou.

Buried in the cemetery is William P. Hobby, after whom Hobby Airport in Houston, Texas, is named. In 1938, the William P. Hobby Airport in Houston, known at the time as Houston Municipal Airport, was renamed “Howard Hughes Airport,” but the name was changed back after people objected to naming the airport after a living person. This is also the location of pioneering heart surgeon Dr. Denton Cooley’s family grave-site. Anson Jones, the last president of the Republic of Texas, is also buried here.

This historic cemetery is the final resting place of a number of individuals who were citizens of the short-lived Republic of Texas. The grave sites of those individuals have been designated with metal markers and are frequently decorated with the flag of the Republic and State of Texas. 

Keith Rosen, a Houston area history professor quoted in the San Antonio Express-News, said that the cemetery is the "River Oaks of the dead."

Title quote from William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Flowers are restful to look at. They have neither emotions nor conflicts

Iris flowers in HDR

This is my first posting of a photo not taken by myself, this was taken by my mother in her garden. It was processed by yours truly though.

Title quote from Sigmund Freud.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Nothing that surrounds us is object, all is subject

Top of tanks at pumping station - George Bush Park - Houston, Texas - HDR - Panoramic

Pumping station tanks containing...? at George Bush Park in Houston, Texas.

Another panoramic comprising 8 separate HDR frames, totaling around 60 megapixels.

Title quote from  André Breton.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Scarcely has night arrived to undeceive, unfurling her wings of crepe

Sunset at The Imperial Sugar Factory in Sugar Land, Texas - HDR

At the old Imperial Sugar factory in Sugar Land, Texas. The factory has been shut down for a few years now, but they still use the premisses for various activities, like a farmers market.

I have plans to see if I can get permission to go inside one day and document the whole place in all its abandoned(some what) glory.

"Scarcely has night arrived to undeceive, unfurling her wings of crepe (wings drained even of the glimmer just now dying in the tree-tops); scarcely has the last glint still dancing on the burnished metal heights of the tall towers ceased to fade, like a still glowing coal in a spent brazier, which whitens gradually beneath the ashes, and soon is indistinguishable from the abandoned hearth, than a fearful murmur rises amongst them, their teeth chatter with despair and rage, they hasten and scatter in their dread, finding witches everywhere, and ghosts. It is night... and Hell will gape once more"

- Charles Nodier, Smarra: & Trilby

Monday, November 19, 2012

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one

Pumping Station at George Bush Park in Houston, Texas - HDR Panoramic

George Bush park has a few wells on its grounds, not sure what they're pumping but they are still in use. Regardless, they looked cool.

This is the combination of 3 separate "portrait"  HDR frames stitched together to create the "landscape" you see before you. This just about triples the pixels of my average "landscape" photo putting it at around 35 mega-pixels.

When I stitched it it didn't quite come together right there at the top of the dials box, it looks like its tearing apart. I though it looked cool so I left it alone.

 Title quote from Albert Einstein

Thursday, November 15, 2012

He raised against the gods in the machine, Then once again the sandbank lay serene

Rusted machinery at No Label Brewery in Katy, Texas - HDR

Rusty machines!                                                                                                   - At No Label Brewery

Robert Frost - The Egg and the Machine -

He gave the solid rail a hateful kick.
From far away there came an answering tick
And then another tick. He knew the code:
His hate had roused an engine up the road.
He wished when he had had the track alone
He had attacked it with a club or stone
And bent some rail wide open like switch
So as to wreck the engine in the ditch.
Too late though, now, he had himself to thank.
Its click was rising to a nearer clank.
Here it came breasting like a horse in skirts.
(He stood well back for fear of scalding squirts.)
Then for a moment all there was was size
Confusion and a roar that drowned the cries
He raised against the gods in the machine.
Then once again the sandbank lay serene.
The traveler's eye picked up a turtle train,
between the dotted feet a streak of tail,
And followed it to where he made out vague
But certain signs of buried turtle's egg;
And probing with one finger not too rough,
He found suspicious sand, and sure enough,
The pocket of a little turtle mine.
If there was one egg in it there were nine,
Torpedo-like, with shell of gritty leather
All packed in sand to wait the trump together.
'You'd better not disturb any more,'
He told the distance, 'I am armed for war.
The next machine that has the power to pass
Will get this plasm in it goggle glass.'

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Clouds on clouds, in volumes driven, Curtain round the vault of heaven

Cloudy day at White Lake in Cullinan Park in Houston. Texas - HDR

White Lake at Cullinan Park near Sugar Land, Texas.

The lands of Cullinan Park were first settled in 1828 by Alexander Hodge, a member of Stephen F. Austin’s Old Three Hundred.   For over 150 years, this Columbia Bottomland country was then used for raising cattle, sugar cane, and other crops.   In 1989, Cullinan Park was acquired by the Houston Parks Board and City of Houston, and opened in 1991 as a nature preserve with improvements funded by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Title quote by Thomas Love Peacock

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

When the sun has set, no candle can replace it

Just before sunset at a field in George Bush park - Houston, Texas - HDR - Panoramic

A field at George Bush Park in Houston, Texas, just before sunset. This photo is actually made up of of twenty photos combined. 4 sets of 5 frames at different exposures combined in the usual HDR fashion and then those images were stitched together to create the final panoramic, its around 30 megapixels total.

The federal government opened the Barker Reservoir in the 1940s, mainly for Buffalo Bayou flood control. The present area occupies about half of the original area.

Due to the ongoing Texas drought, on 9/13/2011, Houston Firefighters were dispatched to the park responding to a wildfire. The fire quickly grew and the firefighters were sent to the north levee near I-10 to wait for the fire to come to them and stop it there. At one point the fire was one mile wide, consuming 1,500-acres of the park, with the cause under investigation.

Title quote from George R.R. Martin

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Window on the West

Window on the west - west facing barn window - HDR - Houston texas

Every time I was driving home from work, back when we lived in Houston the first time, this barn structure a little off the road (on the north side of interstate 10 just east of Highway 6), would catch my eye.

And now that we're back and I am working that job again, I pass by there twice a week. Well last Friday, I stopped to check it out.

I must admit, the inside is one of the least interesting interiors of an abandoned building that I have run across yet. It is completely emptied out, no worn out machinery, no graffitied walls, just some fake grass carpet.

Judging from the fact that it was next to a unkempt baseball field, I think it may have contained batting cages or something of that nature.

But I persevered and got some good shots, this one in particular is one of my best yet, I think.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

...By water, wood and hill, by reed and willow...

Mirrored tree on water - Buffalo Bayou at Geoger Bush Park in Houston Texas - HDR

Exploring the George Bush Park and it's sprawling 7,800 acres. Well I probably only explored a single acre, but I plan to make many more trips.

 George Bush Park is a city park in Houston, Texas in the United States. It is the sixth largest city park in the nation, covering 7,800 acres (32 km2). It was previously known as Cullen-Barker Park.

Monday, November 5, 2012

...where moth and rust doth corrupt...

No Label Brewery - Under the Silos - Katy, Texas, HDR

I stopped by the No Label Brewery in Katy, Texas the other day. With the right camera, I could spend all day there. They operate out of an old silo complex that I can't seem to find the history of, at the moment...

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Westchase Park Sunset

Westchase Park Sunset - Houston, Texas - HDR

Pass by here frequently while driving the Sam Houston Toll Way. I was on my way home with a better then average sunset in progress so I had to stop and catch this. In front of Westchase Park Houston Office building.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Imagination and Medium

New Forms by Tony Cragg at Cullen Sculpture Garden at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas - HDR

Strolling through the Cullen Sculpture Garden at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas.

Here we have "New Forms", a group of bronze sculptures by British artist, Tony Cragg.

I read that his inspiration for these came from the contents of a chemistry lab.

Phenomenal Cullen Art Sculpture Garden
Tony Cragg

Monday, October 29, 2012

St. Paul's United

St. Paul's United Methodist Church with Jesus Statue - HDR - Houston, Texas

St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Houston, Texas. It is a clear example of Gothic style architecture.

Originating in 12th century France and lasting into the 16th century, Gothic architecture was known during the period as "French work" (Opus Francigenum), with the term Gothic first appearing during the latter part of the Renaissance. Its characteristic features include the pointed arch, the ribbed vault and the flying buttress. 

Gothic architecture is most familiar as the architecture of many of the great cathedrals, abbeys and churches of Europe. It is also the architecture of many castles, palaces, town halls, guild halls, universities and to a less prominent extent, private dwellings. 

It is in the great churches and cathedrals and in a number of civic buildings that the Gothic style was expressed most powerfully, its characteristics lending themselves to appeal to the emotions. A great number of ecclesiastical buildings remain from this period, of which even the smallest are often structures of architectural distinction while many of the larger churches are considered priceless works of art and are listed with UNESCO as World Heritage Sites. For this reason a study of Gothic architecture is largely a study of cathedrals and churches. 

A series of Gothic revivals began in mid-18th century England, spread through 19th-century Europe and continued, largely for ecclesiastical and university structures, into the 20th century.

Gothic architecture

Friday, October 26, 2012

If everything seems under control, you're not going fast enough.

While we were living in north Austin, I came across a local automotive shop that had a Shelby Cobra kit car. The clear coat was starting to peel and the owner left it with shop to be clear coated. The owner of the shop was nice enough to let me take a few photos.

The AC Cobra, sold as the Ford/Shelby AC Cobra in the USA and often known colloquially as the Shelby Cobra in that country, is an American-engined British sports car produced intermittently since 1962.

The car may have been designed by AC but Carroll Shelby made it famous.  Sadly, Carroll Shelby died about six months ago of ongoing heart problems, but he lived a long and for-filling life of 89 years.

Title quote by Mario Andretti.

The AC Cobra on Wikipedia
Carroll Shelby on Wikipedia
Legendary Car Builder Carroll Shelby Dead At 89

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Presidents head and dumpster

I am ashamed to say that after some research, I still can't figure out which president this is. I am leaning towards James Monroe but he doesn't quite match up. Any way, here's another of the giant president busts of artist David Adickes. Ans I liked this dumpster so much that I included it in the photo, I think stuff like this dumpster lends itself to HDR well.

More giant presidents:
Giant Presidents Head Mold
Presidents Heads

Monday, October 22, 2012

Basilica of Saint Mary of the Flower

The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore (English: Basilica of Saint Mary of the Flower) is the main church of Florence, Italy.

The Duomo, as it is ordinarily called, was begun in 1296 in the Gothic style to the design of Arnolfo di Cambio and completed structurally in 1436 with the dome engineered by Filippo Brunelleschi.

The exterior of the basilica is faced with polychrome marble panels in various shades of green and pink bordered by white and has an elaborate 19th century Gothic Revival façade by Emilio De Fabris.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

St. Pauls main entrance

St. Paul's United Methodist Church Main Entrance - Houston, Texas - Black and White HDR

St. Paul's United Methodist Church. The architect was Trustee Jesse H. Jones’ protege Alfred C. Finn, who also designed the San Jacinto Monument and the Gulf Building, the latter now part of the Chase Bank complex in downtown Houston.

St. Paul's History

Friday, October 19, 2012

Render unto Caesar...

The colossal head of Imperator Caesar Divi F. Augustus in the Court of the Pigna ( So named for the giant bronze Pine-cone at one end of the yard ) at the Vatican in Rome, Italy. I could not find any background info beyond the name to my dismay.

Born into an old, wealthy equestrian branch of the Plebeian Octavii family, Augustus was adopted posthumously by his maternal great-uncle Gaius Julius Caesar in 44 BC following Caesar's assassination. Together with Mark Antony and Marcus Lepidus, he formed the Second Triumvirate to defeat the assassins of Caesar. Following their victory at Phillipi, the Triumvirate divided the Roman Republic between themselves and ruled as military dictators.[note 3] The Triumvirate was eventually torn apart under the competing ambitions of its members: Lepidus was driven into exile and stripped of his position, and Antony committed suicide following his defeat at the Battle of Actium by Augustus in 31 BC.

After the demise of the Second Triumvirate, Augustus restored the outward facade of the free Republic, with governmental power vested in the Roman Senate, the executive magistrates, and the legislative assemblies. In reality, however, he retained his autocratic power over the Republic as a military dictator. By law, Augustus held a collection of powers granted to him for life by the Senate, including supreme military command, and those of tribune and censor. It took several years for Augustus to develop the framework within which a formally republican state could be led under his sole rule. He rejected monarchical titles, and instead called himself Princeps Civitatis ("First Citizen"). The resulting constitutional framework became known as the Principate, the first phase of the Roman Empire.

The reign of Augustus initiated an era of relative peace known as the Pax Romana (The Roman Peace). Despite continuous wars or imperial expansion on the Empire's frontiers and one year-long civil war over the imperial succession, the Mediterranean world remained at peace for more than two centuries. Augustus dramatically enlarged the Empire, annexing Egypt, Dalmatia, Pannonia, Noricum, and Raetia, expanded possessions in Africa, expanded into Germania, and completed the conquest of Hispania. Beyond the frontiers, he secured the Empire with a buffer region of client states, and made peace with the Parthian Empire through diplomacy. He reformed the Roman system of taxation, developed networks of roads with an official courier system, established a standing army, established the Praetorian Guard, created official police and fire-fighting services for Rome, and rebuilt much of the City during his reign.

Augustus died in 14 AD at the age of 75. He may have died from natural causes, though there were unconfirmed rumors that his wife Livia poisoned him. He was succeeded as Emperor by his adopted son (also stepson and former son-in-law) Tiberius

Augustus on Wikipedia

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I put a new engine in my car, but forgot to take the old one out. Now my car goes 500 miles per hour


This is one of those times that you run across something totally unexpected. I was checking out those huge presidents heads and ran across a Mustang in mid tear down; I thought it was a neat scene with the ominous sky in the background.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Light from out of the darkness

I was at at St. Paul's United Methodist Church in the museum district of Houston, just looking around. They're perfectly fine with photography and they let you roam around the main auditorium unattended. When I get a camera capable of long exposures, this is the first place I'm going to hit up. So much potential!