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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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?
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…
Last week about this time we had the PhotoWalk here in Austin. Thanks again to everyone that came out! I emphasized that an important part of the night was sharing, so I wanted to point to the two places where everyone shared their work. The first is the Facebook Event and the second is this Flickr Thread in my group (to which you are invited, of course). Feel free to come see some of the photo work of the participants and join in the comments!
This photo here is from Ed Sparks, who works at ABC here in Austin. He’s a regular on the blog, and I was glad to meet him in person! He was snapping away during the interview and took this shot. Here is a link to the interview…of course it’s dated now since it was talking about the PhotoWalk last week, but you might enjoy it nonetheless!
Thanks to everyone who came downtown for the PhotoWalk tonight. It was lots of fun and I hope everyone got something out of it.
I asked everyone to please share their photos from the evening and encouraged people to comment on the photos of others. You can get this started by posting them either inside the Facebook Event Here, or, of you prefer Flickr, inside this thread in the Stuck In Customs group (which you can join).
According to the Driskill, we had about 160 people squeezed into the Victorian room. Cool! Is this one of the biggest PhotoWalks ever? Maybe so! Anyway, I hope you all enjoyed your assignments. By the time we got to the capitol, the group was a bit scattered! It was wild to see over a hundred photographers out there taking photos, using tripods, and running around to get the best angles. Very cool!
I set up to take some HDRs and talked through the process as much as possible. Around the backside of the capitol, I stopped here to take a photo. It just seemed like a nice spot with the little rolling hills and the evening lights. Like I explained to the group there with me, half is the shot, and the other half is the processing. There were many new people there today that are new to this scene, so I wanted to point them to the free HDR Tutorial here on the site.
I understand that CBS and NBC were there covering the event. I know I saw a camera from CBS out on 6th Street. If any of you can find footage, feel free to post it below. Thanks again to everyone that came — I hope you had fun!
An all-Texas episode of Stuck In Customs today! 🙂
We have our big PhotoWalk this evening here in Austin. It’s going to tonight (Thursday, Aug 6th) at 7:30 PM. Be at the Driskill on 6th and Brazos. We’ll meet inside the Driskill in the Victorian Room. All are welcome, whether you are a beginner, amateur, or pro. It’s simply a very laid back event where we will walk to a location, meandering this way and that as a group, taking photos, sharing techniques, and the like. Afterward, we share the photos online, exchange comments, contacts, etc etc.
Also, if you tune into ABC news in Austin on Thursday for their midday news broadcast, you might just see me! I have a short interview on there. I’ll also endeavor to get a YouTube of it to share afterward in case you miss it (like I will).
Daily Photo – A Sunset on a Texas Farm
As for this photo, it was shot about two hours outside of Austin in a little town called Brady. You’d like it. They have a Sonic there. This was a 5-exposure HDR shot at f/16. This kept everything in focus and kept the shutter open long enough to let the clouds drag across the sensor. In these conditions, you don’t have a lot of time to fool around because the sun is bookin’ it towards the horizon. If you are new to the site, then you might enjoy reading more about how photos like this are made in the HDR Tutorial.