The Rocket Bar in Austin, and a visit from RC Concepcion

This is a photo of a strange place on South Congress. I was down at a restaurant in the area and I saw this when I was walking back to my car. As usual, I had my tripod and camera ready, so I set up for a shot. It was actually a store that sold all kinds of pop art and a lot of neon. I thought it looked cool through the frosted glass. Any of you Austinites know the name of this place?

Also, recently I had the pleasure of hanging out with RC Concepcion when he came down to Austin to host a photo-editing seminar along with Dave Cross in Austin. Here is RC’s HDR he shot here in Austin. I found out he was coming to Austin on Twitter, so we tweeted up a little get-together in a well-orchestrated 140-character tennis match. We went out to shoot the SRV statue in the rain, ate a leisurely dinner full of philosophical thoughts, and then I had him over to show him the “Stuck in Motion” video over at my home before it was released. I was happy that this guy, the know-it-all (in a good way) host of Layers TV could not even figure it out! BTW, if you are looking to bone up on all your Adobe products, be sure to watch some Layers TV or subscribe to the free video podcast in iTunes.

The Rocket Bar in Austin, and a visit from RC Concepcion

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

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

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 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

Pulling into the Austin Motel after dark

This is a classic motel here in Austin.  It’s on South Congress, and one of many examples of unique neon in the city.  It looks positively phallic (if that wasn’t in your head, it was now, excuse the pun) and you just can’t miss it when you’re driving down the street.

There is a long and rich history, starting even before when it became a hotel in 1938.  One thing I remember as a kid (and still hear now from the backseat), is that my primary feature in any Texas motel was a swimming pool.  I understand they still have a kidney-shaped one out back.

As you can tell, I’ve been working my way around Austin, doing my best to grab some of the classic spots.  It takes a lot of time, because the conditions aren’t always perfect.  I like the sky and everything to be just about right…  but, sometime by the end of the year, I should have the major spots of interest captured!

The Austin Motel

The Waterfall in Horseshoe Bay

I recently went down to Horseshoe Bay for a little family reunion and went out to play golf on this amazing putting course. I’m not sure, but I’d have to say it’s one of the best in the world if not the best in world. It’s an 18-hole course with long, winding putting greens through meticulous gardens. I took a ton of photos at the place, and I’ll have to get around to processing them. Golf courses often make for great photography subjects… I need to do a lot more of that, methinks! I haven’t had much time for golf lately… also, it’s been over 100 degrees here in Texas for about the last two months… making me think even more about New Zealand!

Thanks for participating in the little photo mystery yesterday… many people got close (or right about on) the answer. I’ll try to do that more often… post strange photos and see who can figure out what is a-goin’ on.

The Waterfall in Horseshoe Bay

New Video on Colorspace

Daily Photo: Flying on a Harley

This is the subject of one of the other new videos in the newsletter. It speaks to a common problem many people have when uploading photos online. Sometimes, I’ve noticed, they don’t look the same on Flickr as the do on my home computer! That’s no good… I figured out the best way to do it and put it in a little video for you. You can get to it here at the ColorSpace Video.

Flying on a Harley - and new newsletter today!

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 Booming Austin Downtown

I am looking forward to all these cranes getting finished so I can take a final shot of downtown!  As soon as I think they are done, another building starts up.  I’m not sure the expected completion date, but I do have a shot in mind for that day.  I’m not sure if it will work out…  but it’s worth a try!

There is an interview on FOX news here in Austin tomorrow morning.  It’s a live shot and I’ll be on a few times throughout the show…  I know we’ll be talking about HDR photography and I might even have a tripod set up…we’ll see!  I know most of y’all aren’t in Austin, so I’ll try to get a link up…

Booming Austin (by Stuck in Customs)

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