The Continental Club on South Congress in Austin

Here is the next in the series of my collection of the classic spots around Austin. I actually shot this on the same night that I took the Austin Hotel shot. You can probably see a similarity in the deep blue sky that we had just after dusk that evening.

People always look at me suspiciously when I set up the tripod for a major shooting event. I’m sure that if you use a tripod that you end up with the same reaction. It’s typically 90% confusion and 10% wonder. Either way, I tend to just ignore everyone, like I’m playing a game and they are NPCs milling around.

High Dynamic Range Photo

One of the Ruskies in my D&D Party

There were 6 of us, which is more or less the optimum number for a good campaign. I was the only Reaganite-capitalist among the five Soviet interlopers. I think, if we broke down people by personality and skillsets, we had a warrior, a shaman, a monk, a bard, and two clerics.

This guy, Vulva, would have been the monk. I’m not sure how to spell his name for sure, but he did respond to the word “Vulva”, if you put a little “w” sound with the “v”. Remember how Chekov was looking for the nuclear wessels? It was something like that. I say that Vulva was the monk of the group because his fingers and wrists were richly festooned with all sorts of Buddhist paraphernalia that he had picked up while in Tibet. He’s the sort of guy that would be really intimidating if it wasn’t for his kindness and zen peace.

Behind him are the Andes on the southern tip of Argentina.

One of the Ruskies in my D&D Party

Where the Secret Texas Illuminati Meet

This is shot from the backside of the Texas capital. Austin-area photographers know the spot well!

I don’t really believe in government conspiracies because it really requires a large group of very intelligent well-coordinated people to carry off a conspiracy.  I just can’t think of enough people in the government that could pull something like that off!

We ended up over here during our Photowalk last month… I saw a few people over in this direction shooting away, and some of these shots showed up in the post-photowalk sharing.  Thanks again to everyone that came out to that deal! 🙂

Where the Secret Texas Illuminati Meet

Stopping for Lunch at the Emerald Lake in the Andes (and a new photo-sharing thing)

We started the hike before the sun came up. It was really cold, so I was dressed in layers. People always give you very silly advice. Actually, whenever anyone tells me to “dress in layers”, I always find it very condescending! Why is that? I don’t know why that bothers me. I mean, OF COURSE dress in layers. Oh, you mean, if I get too hot, I can just take off a layer? Oh, brilliant! Why didn’t I think of that? Well… This is a concept everyone is already familiar with, so whenever anyone tells you to “dress in layers”, try not to let it annoy you as much as it does me.

Anyway, after removing many layers, since I was burning hot after the first five minutes from carrying 50 lbs of camera equipment over the Andes, we stopped at this mountain lake to relax and have a quick lunch. It was a good chance to drop off the bag, put together my camera and tripod, then break it all down again, repack, and get back on the hike.

Also, we have a fun new features opening today on the site. It’s a great and simple way for you to share photos on Facebook, Twitter, Email, or IM. You can probably see it when you mouseover a photo… I think it will be a good way for regular viewers to easily share the photos with their friends and family! Below is a short video showing how to use it (even though it’s pretty dang simple!). Again, the more you share, the better it is for the site… so thanks again, very much!

Stopping for Lunch at the Emerald Lake in the Andes (and a new photo-sharing thing)

The Abandoned Harrods in Buenos Aires

There are parts of Buenos Aires that are not too safe to walk around by yourself.  This part was not so bad, but there were several abandoned stores around, including this Harrods.  I was surprised to see such a nice store in a state of disrepair, especially after visiting its Valhalla-like anchor in London.

Out front, there was a man playing the violin alone.  It echoed around in a strange way through the acoustics of the tile, the roof, and the lonely streets.  There was a Argentine rhythm he mixed into his playing that really made me feel like I was in a different place.

The Abandoned Harrods in Buenos Aires

Industrial Storage in Houston

On the drive back from Houston to Austin, I pulled over to a small town just outside the sprawl. One of them had a bunch of old industrial tanks, pipelines, towers, chutes, and other mysterious bits and pieces. The light was getting just about right, so I started walking around to explore it with my tripod. I set up here and fired away.

Industrial Storage in Houston

The Blue Storm Over Denver International Airport

The TSA never liked me and I didn’t expect them to start on this day.

I have a general distaste for their attitude, their silly policies where they search grannies for show, and their little uniforms meant to quell the suspicions of a doting public who will succumb to authority with nary a question.

So, I was surprised when I was able to charm a new female TSA employee into letting me onto the tarmac to take a photo of the storm. I was down at the end of one of the terminals catching a little plane to fly over the Rockies. A major storm was brewing in the middle of the sunset, and there was no good shot from inside the terminal. Anyway, I went out there, with the permission of that one gal… then started shooting until another TSA guy came over with a much more important uniform, scowling away. That was a short conversation. No worries everyone, your government is protecting you from people like me.

The Blue Storm Over Denver International Airport

The Park in Buenos Aires

I didn’t get enough sunsets in BA, but I tried to make the most of what I had!  This picturesque park was enormous.  And I mean enormous.  We walked for miles before finding our final destination, which we made it to just in the nick of time.  The parks of Buenos Aires were pretty much what I imagined… the Argentineans stroll around parks with a certain sense of style.  It’s hard to explain…but kinda cool.

Also, Jim Austin has written a nice article about HDR for Apogee Photo Magazine entitled “Symphony in a Moment: HDR Nature Photography from Eight Maestros”. Very nice of him to call me a maestro – not sure I deserve that! The photo he included (“A Razor to the Sky”) I have put below… of that amazing mountain range called Fitz Roy. The way to catch that orange-pink morning light was to hike up another mountain in pitch-black conditions. It was certainly worth it, traversing the icy crest, catching that glimpse of the sun coming over the horizon of the Andes.

The Park in Buenos Aires

A Razor to the Sky

The NORAD of ABC in Austin

When I went up to have an interview in the ABC Newsroom here in Austin, a gentleman there named Ed Sparks was nice enough to take me back to the inner sanctum.  Ed is a frequent here in the community (hi Ed!) and quite the camera enthusiast.  Before and after my live appearance (from a few weeks ago), he took me back into this control room so I could set up for a shot.  As usual, I’ve uploaded the full-res version so you can see all the little details in the room. To see the full-res version, just click on the photo to go to the Flickr site. Click on “All Sizes” at the top of the photo. Last, click on “Original”.

They explained to me how the room worked and how everything was customizable.  The crew can pull in whatever feeds they need and position them on the screen accordingly.  They even can save templates, since each producer that comes in and out during the day can have their own setup.  It was quite fascinating to watch these guys operate in precision…   I had to catch myself and remember to take photos, since I would sorta stare at the screens at get mesmerized for a bit!

The NORAD of ABC in Austin

The Massive Glacier at Dusk

This is the Perito Moreno Glacier that empties into Lago Argentina. It was simply awesome to be there, as you can plainly see.

I was there with a bunch of Russians who had brought an insane amount of cognac. Between shots, they would all drink cognac, yell, and try to bring down the next ice wall. We were the only ones there, and we stayed until the last moments of dark to eek out every last bit of light from the sky.

Also, I wanted to point you to an article over at Abduzeedo yesterday about the new book. It was written by good man Paulo Canabarro (his Twitter account here). You can also follow @Abduzeedo if you are looking for another good set of Tweets. I notice that people that complain about Twitter always have the same sort of complaints: “I don’t want to know when everyone is standing in line at Starbucks!” Well, then, I say, you are following the wrong people! Once you get 50-100+ people to follow, it becomes a nice source for information, fun, and inspiration. It might take a while to build your personalized list, but then you will be hooked. (I am @TreyRatcliff, in case ya didn’t know).

The Massive Glacier at Dusk

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