Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Bevo sniff

Bevo, red point siamese cat sniffing the camera - HDR

This here is Bevo, our other cat. He is a curious red point Siamese.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Who, through long days of labor, And nights devoid of ease, Still heard in his soul the music Of wonderful melodies

Sunset at White lake in Cullinan Park near Houston and Sugar Land Texas - HDR Panoramic

Went back to White lake a few weeks ago to attempt a sunset time lapse but I forgot my intervalometer. So I decided to just take some of the usual shots. I got this pano in while I was there and it turned out better then I thought it would. This pano is roughly 100 degrees.

Did you know that...

   The colors of the sunset result from a phenomenon called scattering, molecules and small particles in the atmosphere change the direction of light rays, causing them to scatter. Scattering affects the color of light coming from the sky, but the details are determined by the wavelength of the light and the size of the particle. The short-wavelength blue and violet are scattered by molecules in the air much more than other colors of the spectrum. This is why blue and violet light reaches our eyes from all directions on a clear day. But because we can’t see violet very well, the sky appears blue.
   Scattering also explains the colors of the sunrise and sunset. Because the sun is low on the horizon, sunlight passes through more air at sunset and sunrise than during the day, when the sun is higher in the sky. More atmosphere means more molecules to scatter the violet and blue light away from your eyes. If the path is long enough, all of the blue and violet light scatters out of your line of sight. The other colors continue on their way to your eyes. This is why sunsets are often yellow, orange, and red. And because red has the longest wavelength of any visible light, the sun is red when it’s on the horizon, where its extremely long path through the atmosphere blocks all other colors.

Now you know...

The title quote is from "The Day is Done" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The voice of an old intelligence which in another age and climate had pondered and thus disposed of the same questions which exercise us.

HDR photo of BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir - Houston at sunset- in Stafford, Texas

This beautiful place is conveniently located just down the road from my home. I wanted to photograph it for some time but I thought they didn't allow photography on the premises. Turns out they're fine with it out side of the temple its self. 

This is the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, a mandir, or Hindu temple, in Stafford, Texas. It was the first traditional mandir of stone and marble to be constructed in the United States.

The mandir was created entirely according to ancient Hindu architectural manuscripts known as the Shilpa Shastras, but also meets all modern regulations. Opened on July 25, 2004, by Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the present spiritual guru of Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), it was constructed in 16 months starting from the day its first stone was laid.

The 25,620 sq ft mandir is constructed entirely of marble from Italy and limestone from Turkey. There is no iron or steel anywhere in the structure. The stone that makes up the temple was shipped to India where it was hand-carved with traditional Vedic deities and motifs. Approximately 33,000 individually marked pieces were then shipped to Houston and assembled like a giant three-dimensional jigsaw.

The mandir was created by BAPS, an international Hindu organisation belonging to the Swaminarayan faith of Hinduism.

Title quote from The Journals and Miscellaneous Notebooks of Ralph Waldo Emerson, vol. x, p. 360, on the Bhagavat Geeta

Monday, May 20, 2013


Took this one a few weeks ago with  the G15. I like using the G15 for indoor shots because its lens goes up to f/1.8, which is much faster then my current 5D lenses.

This is Tink, taking a nap under the coffee table. If she's not up and about, you can usually find here here.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Let us build us a city, and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven...

I took this the same night I took the Houston Panorama. I was fascinated by the orange glow of the  JPMorgan Chase Building, so I stowed my 24-105mm and whipped out the 70-300mm for a close-up shot before I left.

JPMorgan Chase Building is a 37-story 130 m (430 ft) Art Deco skyscraper in downtown Houston, Texas. Completed in 1929, it remained the tallest building in Houston until 1963, when the Exxon Building surpassed it in height. The building is the Houston headquarters of JPMorgan Chase Bank, and was formerly the headquarters of Texas Commerce Bank.

The title quote is from the Book of Genesis, 11 verse 4, concerning the tower of Babel.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

For the Birds

Here we have a couple Black-bellied whistling-ducks enjoying the scenery at Hermann Park in the Museum District of Houston.

They breed from the southernmost United States and tropical Central to south-central South America. In the USA, it can be found year-round in parts of southeast Texas and are some times known to vacation in southeast Arizona and along the Louisiana gulf coast.

More from Hermann Park

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Water drops

These are a couple of my first attempts at reverse lens macro photography. Just some droplets of water on a CD surface.

Monday, May 13, 2013

The object of Art is to give life a shape

Bryan wraps up the street art that him and Wiley worked on that day at an old gas station across from Station Museum of Contemporary Art in Downtown Houston, Texas.

This is in preparation for a street art exhibit at the museum on May the 25th, 2013.

This photo may look like it was taken with a extreme wide angle lens but it was in fact taken with my usual 24-105mm set at 24.

It is another stitch made up of 12 or so portraits. I panned across the top for about 6 shots and then across the bottom for the same.

I had intended to straighten out the distortion but when I did, the photo took on a bow-tie shape so I left it in. I don't generally like the fish-eye look but for this scene I think it looks pretty good.

I finally learned a good sharpening technique using a duplicate layer with a high-pass filter in use which I learned with the help of a fellow photographer's blog:

Title quote from "The Rehearsal" by Jean Anouilh.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Night on the town

Here we have a panoramic photo of Down town Houston. It's roughly 180 degrees. Made up of 12 portrait HDR shots. To see it in all its glory click here:

I got lucky that the Astros were playing that night, adds something to the scene I think. I had mad this trip to get some sunset shots with the Houston skyline but I didn't leave the house early enough.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Light seeking light doth light of light beguile

This was my first attempt at photo stacking and layer masks in Photoshop. The light trails and road is 17 long exposure photos stacked. The sky and everything else is a single photo that I layered in after the stacking. 

I was up there attempting to get a shot of Comet PANSTARRS, but nothing turned up. But it turned into a pretty decent sunset while I was up there.

Shot from the top parking deck at Town Center in Sugar Land, Texas.

The title quote is from "Love's Labor's Lost", Act 1. scene 1, 72–79 
By William Shakespeare 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Baby False-Map Turtle

I've been playing around with the reversed lens technique. To accomplish this I hold a lens backwards up to the camera body. There are adapters that will free up a hand for for focusing, I plan to buy one one of these days.

You focus by moving closer to and further away from the subject, it's very tricky stuff. Since the depth of field is only about a millimeter, you have to maneuver around to get the photo just right.

About a week ago we had an incredible rain storm. I haven't had much time for photography lately and I thought I'd get out and check things out, see if there was some interesting scene. I nearly step on this little guy trying to escape the rain. I brought him in out of the mess. He obviously didn't like all the attention, because after this shot he wouldn't stay put, so I took him back outside.

This guy, I'm pretty sure, is a false-map turtle. His shell had a pronounced ridges down the middle and a serrated edge. His face and neck had bright orange stripes.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Winged Victory of Samothrace

Back from a bit of a break from blogging, decided to put it aside while I focused on school. 

I recently dropped my old iPhone 3G for the thousandth time and finally cracked the screen so I picked up a new SIII. I was going through the old photos on there and doing some interesting but simple editing in Picasa. 

This is a mobile shot I took of the Winged Victory of Samothracealso referred to as Nike of Samothrace, at the Louvre Museum in Paris, France. 

It is a 2nd century BC marble sculpture of the Greek goddess Nike (Victory). Since 1884, it has been prominently displayed at the Louvre. 

The Nike of Samothrace, discovered in 1863 on the island of Samothrace (in Greek, Σαμοθρακη — Samothraki), is estimated to have been created around 190 BC. It was created to not only honor the goddess, Nike, but to honor a sea battle. It conveys a sense of action and triumph as well as portraying artful flowing drapery through its features which the Greeks considered ideal beauty. 

The sculptor is unknown.

Friday, March 8, 2013

First Attempt at Star Photography

Had a little free time after dark the other night so I decided to attempt my first star photo. I headed down I 59 South until I felt it might be dark enough, stopped in the little town of Beasley, Texas.

This one is processed with a tweaked Lightroom preset created by Dave Morrow, an experience star photographer.

I had hoped to get a shot of the milky way but it was still too bright. I referenced a light pollution map more recently and apparently west Texas is saturated with light pollution and I'm right in the middle of it.

Monday, February 18, 2013

My God, it's full of stars!

At this abandoned rock crushing facility on the outskirts of Searcy, Arkansas.

I love the monolithic quality of this... thing.

It just occurs to me that this would be a great place for star photography, to bad it's eight hours away.

Huh, according to the map, this is in Gray, Ar.

Friday, February 15, 2013

I have been one acquainted with the night. I have walked out in rain -- and back in rain. I have outwalked the furthest city light.

The skyline of Downtown Austin, Texas as seen from atop Mount Bonnell.

I had planned on doing some star photography for the first time but mother nature thought other wise, it was thick with clouds the entire time I was in Austin that weekend. Maybe next time.

If you're ever in Austin, make sure you check this place out, it has great views of east and west Austin.

Acquainted with the Night

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain -- and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.

I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,

But not to call me back or say good-bye;
And further still at an unearthly height,
A luminary clock against the sky

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night.

Thursday, February 14, 2013


On our way back to Houston, I had to stop again at this old farm house, if only long enough to take a few pictures.

I decided to include the power plant in the background and I'm so glad I did. The new perspective hives it a completely different aspect.

Click here to see the same farm house taken about six months ago by my old CyberShot:

 Old Abandoned Farmhouse - When children’s voices called, Where grasses now stand still

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present

A back alley view of down town Austin Texas after dark - HDR

Still in Austin, Texas.

I was just starting my walk back to the car from the South Congress Ave Bridge cutting through the back lot of the Hyatt and I saw this scene. The light from the Hyatt was reflecting off that window on the building to the right and it just kinda demanded my attention.

This photo is a composite HDR/fusion of two long exposures, it wasn't nearly this bright in the alley way. I'm not completely happy with it, I may play around with the original images in Lightroom later on when free time is a bit more free.

Title quote by Francis Bacon.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out

This is a composite of 5 separate 30sec exposures taken as a cruise ship eased it's way down Lady Bird Lake in Austin Texas.

I was heading back to my car and I saw that a restaurant/cruise ship had left out of it's dock so I hurried down along the shore of the lake to see if maybe they were going to turn around and head back this way. And to my luck they did. So I sat there and waited patiently for them to make there way into my line of sight to take these shots.

Technically not the whole photo is a composite. The buildings and water are a composite of the last 4 of the 5 photos. I did this because after looking at the photos on the computer screen, I realized that the first photo was blurry, so I only used the light trail from that photo. Also the sky is a single photo, I used photomatix's natural/fusion to do the composting but I didn't like how gritty the sky looked so I selected the sky of one of the original photos. This is also how I took only the streak from the first photo, once I had an initial composite of the 4 photos, I used that composite and the blurry first photo in the photomatix process again and selected all but the streak and use the orirginal compsoite and

Title from "The Fellowship of the Ring" by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Monday, February 11, 2013

How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.

Light trails in a long exposure taken taken of the night time skyline of Austin, Texas as the lights of passing cars stretch into the distance.

Took a trip to Austin, Texas the other night. I had planned on getting some star photography from atop Mount Bonnel(great view of downtown Austin and it's pitch-black at night). But mother nature thought otherwise; it was thick with clouds all weekend.

But I persevered and after getting some decent long exposures at Mt. Bonnel I proceeded down to Auditorium Shores and walked along Lady Bird Lake up to the South Congress Ave Bridge and got the shot you see here.

At the end of the street, where the light trails seem to emanate from, is the Texas State Capitol Building.

Title quote is from The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

This old house

Out cruising around in Judsonia/Providence/Steprock Ar one day during this last winter break.

According to the map, I was in Guthrie, Ar.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

If columns could talk

This is one of my old ones, not that old I guess, only about 6 months, but I've only been at this for that long.

This is a close up of one of the columns of Papal Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican (Latin: Basilica Sancti Petri) under a Roman summer sky.

I took this on our summer vacation across Europe last year.

You may say: "It's just a column and the sky", but this column is roughly 400 years old. It has been at the forefront of so much history.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Fly me to the moon, Let me play among the stars, Let me see what spring is like On, a Jupiter and Mars

Here's another at White Lake from a few weeks ago. This one is also a single exposure the I played around with in Lightroom to bring out these colors and give it more contrast. You can barely see the moon at the top of the photo due to the wide angle shot, I should have brought my 70-300mm but I was feeling lazy.

The title is the first four lines of "Fly me to the moon", a Frank Sinatra classic.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Voiceless it cries, wingless flutters, toothless bites, mouthless mutters

Photo of a water tower taken near sunset at the Imperial Sugar Factory in Sugar Land, Texas.

A single Raw edited in Lightroom, taken at the Imperial Sugar Factory in Sugar Land, Texas.

This just goes to show how much you can do with a single RAW in Lightroom or any other photo-editing software, there wasn't nearly this much color and depth in the original shot.

Friday, February 1, 2013

If there be light, then there is darkness; if cold, heat; if height, depth; if solid, fluid; if hard, soft; if rough, smooth; if calm, tempest; if prosperity, adversity; if life, death.

Night-Time long exposure taken from underneath the majestic Sam Houston Tollway(Beltway 8), and Interstate 10(not pictured), in Houston, Texas.

Underneath the majestic Sam Houston Tollway(Beltway 8), and Interstate 10(not pictured).

I love light trails, I've been wanted to do this long before I got my first and current DSLR. Can't wait to do it again.

The layout of Houston's highways, specifically it's inner(Interstate 610) and outer(Beltway8) loops have become a popular metropolitan highway design for other large metro areas around the world.

Tittle quote by Pythagoras.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Each, from his peculiar angle of observation, takes in a certain sphere of fact and trouble, which each must deal with in a unique manner

The other night after class, I walked down to the intersection of Interstate 10 and Sam Houston Toll Way(Beltway 8) and took some long exposures.

There's just something about the freeway system in Houston that is awe inspiring.

This is the only one without light trails (which was my objective for the whole endeavor) but I love the angle.

This is a 30sec exposure tweaked in Lightroom.

The title is an excerpt from the quote:

“. . . I do not see how it is possible that creatures in such different positions and with such different powers as human individuals are, should have exactly the same functions nor should we be expected to work out identical solutions. Each, from his peculiar angle of observation, takes in a certain sphere of fact and trouble, which each must deal with in a unique manner.”

  By William James

Monday, January 28, 2013

Sam Houston Park

Here we have another from Sam Houston Park in Downtown Houston, Texas. Took this a couple months ago with the old Sony Cyber-Shot. This is another stitched panoramic made up of about 7 or so portrait HDRed shots. I love this shot but I don't think the Cyber-Shot was up to the dynamic range of this scene, there was a lot of noise in the dark areas of the statue. I'll have to take another walk through the park and see what the 5D can make of this scene. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Water Wall

And facing away from Williams tower you get to see this beauty  the Water Wall. Also located in the Galleria mall area of Uptown Houston, Texas. This too is a 30sec exposure (my first ever in fact), tweaked in Lightroom to bring out the textures and colors, tone down the brights and bring out the darks. Gotta love editing RAWs in Lightroom.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Only a mighty sadness fills, The silence of the dark

The weather was amazing and the clouds look great yesterday for the first time in a month here in the Houston area. So the wife an I went down to Cullinan Park just north of Sugar Land, TX to check out the sunset. This one is actually facing away from the sunset but the pinks in the clouds just looked amazing.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Serenity now

Another of my bro-in-law's boat, great subject matter in my opinion. Also, if anyone's curious, the vignetting is a natural result of the 5D's full frame sensor and is magnified by the HDR process. One of these days I'm going to learn how to layer in PS and I might start lessening or removing them. For now they don't bother me all that much. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Rust to rust

Out on the hunt for interesting subject matter in rural White County Arkansas and came across these two babies.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Old things

Took a trip back to Austin to check out some places and see about locating property owners and I revisited this old truck to get some new shots with the 5D.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A sea of snow

My bro-in-law's boat at sunset in Searcy, Ar.

This is an HDR composite of 7 long exposures ranging from 2 to 30 seconds.

Monday, January 7, 2013

A Horse is a Horse

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One of my sibling-in-law's neighbor's horses, they were very welcoming.