The Old Coffee Mill and a Call for Flickr & Facebook to increase their small pic sizes

It is old indeed! This is from my newly discovered ghost town and favorite place outside of Austin to go for a fun afternoon shoot! As much as I love coffee shops, I hate to see one fallen apart into such a state of disrepair… but it does make a good candidate for some HDR!

If possible, zoom into the Flickr one and see the original size (via All Sizes+ on top) if you like all the details in these sorts of places. The one here on the blog is 900 pixels across but the original is 6048 pixels across, so the blog cuts out about 6x of the detail!

But, it’s better than the paltry Facebook or Flickr sizes which are so tiny that it’s kind of depressing… I think that is a major problem with those two services… the very small default size of the image usually does not do it justice. They should have two interfaces – a low and high bandwidth interface. That’s not too much to ask here in late 2009, is it?

The Old Coffee Mill and a Call for Flickr & Facebook to increase their small pic sizes

The Roadhouse

This classic Texas roadhouse sits about two hours outside of Austin. It’s not even really in a town, but one of those places that is somewhere between. I happened to catch a cowboy just popping in at the last possible second.

Tomorrow night we have a most excellent horse on the ranch picture that I am working on for all you animal lovers… (and ranch lovers!)

The Roadhouse

This Way to the Holy Ghost Revival

Here is one of those Texas roadside revivals that come straight out of the movies. I happened to get there around sunset, so there was nice dramatic lighting to complement the drama of the environs.

The place was totally empty. I got a little bit creeped out…and I felt like maybe I was being watched. I snapped a few quick shots and then made a hasty egress…

Also, if you are into ENTJ Firebrands, then you might enjoy the First Newsletter that just went out today! You can sign up for free on the Newsletter page… I hope you find some good stuff in there!

This Way to the Holy Ghost Revival (by Stuck in Customs)

The Place in Texas Where They Found the 17 Bodies

Now this is a proper Texas ghost town!

It was always one of those things that fascinated me as a child. Pretty much anything with the name “ghost” in it was cool back then, including my “Choose Your Own Adventure” books. I remember there was one called “Deadwood” or something like that, which always had a creepy ghost town feel to it.

Anyway, this is a strange abandoned town outside of Brenham, Texas (Home of Blue Bell Ice Cream!). And no, 17 Bodies were not found here… just being a bit dramatic. Or maybe there WERE 17 bodies here but the authorities are just covering it up. It’s all true. I heard Alex Jones say it.

Last, I have updated my Nikon 14-24 Review and my Nikon 24-70 Review with new photos and the like. I know that only about half of our audience is photographers, but some people are looking to get into it more seriously, so maybe those will be helpful to you!

The Place in Texas Where They Found the 17 Bodies (by Stuck in Customs)

Welcome to the Ghost Town (and some things that inspire me)

The locals from the nearby settlements don’t like to call it a ghost town, but I hardly know what else to called the damned place.

I have a variety of photos from this eerie locale.  It turns out it was a failed development between Houston and Austin that is slowly crumbling into the ground.  There seemed to be a few Madmaxesque squatters in the distance muttering about, but they seemed kinda scary so I kept my distance.  Maybe it all felt a bit extra eerie because of the inclement weather as night fell.  I put on appropriately moody music on my iPod as I drifted around like a ghost to snap some photos.

I also added a new section here called “Things I’ve Found That Inspire Me“.  If you didn’t think I was weird before, you will after you see this page.  Sorry if some things on there are kinda strange… I don’t know how or where I found all these things, but I collect them like a digital antique shop.  It occurred to me on a whim that you guys might enjoy taking a gander at my bizarre menagerie.

The Town Was Never the Same (by Stuck in Customs)

The Warm Curios Inside

I can’t believe it was closed and I couldn’t go inside.  Look at all the little interesting things in there to explore.  I rattled on the transparent glass and some gal I didn’t know shooed me away.  I’ll go back there one day and I’m sure it will open on up…   I mean come on…it’s me!

The Warm Curios Inside (by Stuck in Customs)

The Batmobile

Everyone likes the Batmobile yes? It’s especially cool when you see one on the side of the road in Texas that some comic-book redneck has souped up to be something that is on the edge of street-legal. I jumped out quick to grab a shot before the owner could come out and hit me with some sort of a 2×4, which I only assumed me might be carrying. Actually, you never know… around Austin it’s just as likely to be a doctor or lawyer (assuming one of those two to be an honorable, upstanding profession!

The Batmobile (by Stuck in Customs)

The Holidays in a Small Town

This was shot after Christmas as I spent some time alone in a Brenham, a little town between Austin and Houston. I arrived right at dusk and strolled about for a few hours, meandering around the streets as dusk set… just me and my tripod and music that seemed fitting at the time. I can’t ever decide if I like being alone at moments like those. Actually, I do quite like being alone, but it’s interrupted by fleeting thoughts that I’d like to share with someone, as much as I’d like to hear new unexpected thoughts and ideas.

Brenham is one of those old Texas towns where there is a quaint square that surrounds a courthouse-like object. I thought this might be fitting, since, according to the twitters and facebook updates, everyone really seems to be strangely in love with the government all the sudden. Those of you that know my Libertarian leanings can pretty much expect that I spend little time getting excited about the power of government..

And, speaking of the twitters (my Twitter is at twitter.com/TreyRatcliff), I have made a change to the comments so those of you that use the same email should see your avatar show up on the right. If you don’t have an avatar, you can upload your own for free at Gravatar.

The Holidays in a Small Town (by Stuck in Customs)

The ghost town just outside of Brenham, Texas

I left Brenham early on Sunday morning after crashing in a tiny roadside motel. The motel was pretty sketchy, but sometimes I like that style of drive-up-to-the-door, ditch my camera stuff in the room, crash for 6 hours, then leave in haste to catch the sunrise. Sunday morning turned out to be rainy and freezing… pretty horrible for a lot of outside photography. So I ate in downtown, read a few chapters of Ananthem, drank a lot of coffee, chatted with a waitress who was an aspiring photography student and gave her some golden nuggets of truth, then drove on to Houston.

Several miles outside of Brenham, I saw this strange collection of houses and stores that were all brightly colored but recently abandoned. It was still raining, so I put it on my list to hit on the way back later in the evening. Luckily, the weather was dark and moody when I returned. I spent about an hour walking around this old abandoned place, shooting a bunch of cool and creepy things. I have no idea why everything was boarded up and empty… there might have been some squatters in one distant house, but I was kind of freaked out by some strange music coming out through some of the boarded-up windows, so I decided it was time to leave…

I’ll post more shots of this place later… it was very strange… reminded me a little of a mid-80′s Texas version of my visit to Pripyat (the little town right by Chernobyl that was also abandoned).

The ghost town just outside of Brenham, Texas (by Stuck in Customs)

A Good Ol’ Texas Revival

I drove down to Houston this weekend to meet some friends, and I took my time about it, so I might find a few things here or there. Well, I found a bunch!

The sun started to set as I was approaching Brenham (home of Blue Bell Ice Cream, as a few of you dessert-lovers like me already know), I came across a Roadside Revival!

So, those of you from overseas or those not familiar with the Christian sects and various mathic practices of arks in the south may never have heard of a Revival. These usually feature a firebrand ENTJ, who, happens to share the same Myers-Briggs as yours truly, and a happenstance clustering of believers who come to testify amidst fellow revelers, gesticulating about as 18-wheelers rumble along in the background.

A Good Old Texas Revival Meeting (by Stuck in Customs)

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