Thursday, December 30, 2010

Little Treasures And Strobist Trickery

One of the cool things about living on the coast is being able to walk on the shoreline. It's a great way to get some exercise, some fresh air and if you go to the right spots, some solitude. It's also pretty cool that on any given day, you can bring home a pocket full of these little treasures.

I shot these little treasures using my high tech, high dollar macro studio. Said studio is constructed of a cardboard box, some tissue paper (or tracing paper) and some white poster board. I got the idea from the Strobist blog. I used two flashes; one synced to the camera's hot shoe and the other one slaved to the first one...both on manual control. You can do basically the same thing with desk lamps, work lights or just about any kind of portable light source. For all the folks that post photos of small items on evil-bay, etsy or any other similar venue, this is a great little item to enhance your photos. If you're interested, go to David Hobby has a great blog site that is filled with how to's, equipment sources and general photographic knowledge...with an emphasis on lighting. Check it out.

Sony 35/1.8

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Birthday

Rufus is 6 months old today.

Good looking kid isn't he? He's been a joy but...Oh, does he keep you on your toes!
Sigma 70/2.8 macro

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Devotion To Duty

Like at most homes in south Texas, there's a barbecue pit in our back yard. This particular pit is made of 16 inch pipe, weighs a ton and took a pretty good sized crew of helpers when I set it in the ground about 30 years ago. When Chica was a pup, she spent a great amount of time trying to figure out a way to get on top. When she got a little older and her athletic ability developed, she discovered she could make the jump with ease. For over 5 years now, the pit has been her guard post...she would spend hours surveying her domain from this lofty perch. Last week, disaster struck! When she lept to her lookout post, the effects of rust and time came into play and the whole contraption came crashing to the ground. Not being one to let unfortunate circumstance stand in the way of duty, Chica still mans her post every day...just doesn't have quite as good of a view, Guess it's time to fire up the welder and assemble the crew!
Fuji point and shoot

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Aransas Pass Christmas Tree

I guess every town has it's own way to decorate for the holidays...At the harbor, we decorate our anchors! This particular anchor was pulled up in a shrimper's net several years ago. It is believed to be from a union gun boat that was sunk in that area during the civil war. I intended to shoot this a little later in the day, after sundown so the lights would show up, but had to do it earlier...when it was my turn to use the truck! Seems like I have to make an appointment these days ;)
Sigma 8-16

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Caged Heart

This leaf immediately reminded me of our classic, romantic vision of the heart and it seemed to be caged by the wire and the vines...The cliched title for this post came to me instantly. The shadows ruin the shot but I figured, what the heck, I'll post it anyway.

These pretties aren't caged...unless having your long slender throat cut and being stuffed into a bud vase counts

Both shots with the Sigma 70/2.8 macro

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Nuthin' Sez

Nothing says Christmas better than a smoking electric meter, spun off it's axis!
Sony 35/1.8

AP's Pride And Joy

I went out for a little night shooting tonight and decided to get a shot or two of the new Civic Center. It's a gazillion dollar project and they can't (apparently) afford to keep the light bulbs burning...LOL. I sent an e-mail to the city manager and told him he was ruining my symmetry...think he'll respond? Really, it's an impressive facility for a small town like Aransas Pass and we're proud of if it can just make some money and pay for itself!
3 shot HDR...Sigma 18-250

Thursday, December 9, 2010

HDR---Over The Top

A few weeks ago, I posted an example of an HDR was composed of two differently exposed images combined to widen the dynamic range. Here's one composed of five different exposures and heavily manipulated to give it a different look. I wasn't happy with the power lines and a few other things.

So, I did one with just three exposures and cloned out the power lines...I don't know which one I like better...but they're both a little out of the mainstream!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Man's Best Friend

What can I say, it's kinda cold in South Texas!
Sony 35/1.8

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Artiste Formerly Known As John...Impressionist

From my red period! Sigma 18-250 with a bit of influence by Photoshop and Topaz Labs

Monday, December 6, 2010

Back To The Refuge...

Another day with no time for photo therapy so here's another shot from Saturday's trip to Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.
Sony 70-300 G

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Texas Survival Kit

Considered a weapon of mass destruction in some cultures.
Sony 35/1.8

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Wild Thangs

I went back to the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge today and that's where the wild thangs are. This baby 'gator was in the brush at Jones Lake...shadows were pretty strong but I took the shot and think it's not too bad.

This was on The Big Tree Trail and almost caused me to soil my underoos!

This was at Hog Lake. I don't feed the animals or try to bait them but there were a couple of kids there throwing Ritz Crackers into the water and I guess old Wally here decided it was time for a snack.

The kinder, gentler side of wild thangness...on the auto loop.

Heading back toward the gate, these three broke out of the brush and started grazing by the side of the road.

They noticed me and watched me for a few moments but decided I wasn't a threat. I sat and watched them for quite a while before moving on.

This is from just outside the front gate. The sun was almost down and the light was perfect. Photographers call the hour before sunset "The Magic Hour" for me! It was a great afternoon but then, I'm never disappointed at ANWR.

All the deer shots were with the Sony 70-300G, all others with the Sigma 18-250.

Big Gulp

Well, another day without getting out to shoot...bummer but here's one from 2006. I know the date stamp on this post says Dec 4th but it's 2:30 in the morning so I'm counting this as Friday's post. I can do that, right? Why 2:30 in the AM? That's what you get when you go to bed at 8:30!
Konica-Minolta 7D / Minolta 500-f8

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Gimme a Big Wet Sloppy One

My boy Gimpster (AKA "G-man") with his wide angle nose.
Sigma 8-16

Saturday, November 27, 2010


I was at the harbor today and witnessed this rescue. The weekend fishermen had run aground and were stuck. The Brown Tide came along and pulled them off the bank. It may seem like overkill to have a thousand horsepower tug to pull out an 18 foot sportfisherman but I'm pretty sure they had enough power to do it.
Sigma 18-250

Friday, November 19, 2010

November Butterflies

Everyone at my house has a cold so I went to town this afternoon to get all the required equipage...Nyquil, Alka Seltzer Plus and all that stuff. Naturally I returned home by way of the harbor and spotted these guys at work.

Never could get the classic pose from this one so this will have to do.
Sony 70-300 G

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Brown Canal

It's been a few days since posting for me and I don't have much to post today...but here's the Brown Canal taking on fuel at Conn Brown Harbor.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Cold and Rainy Day

What do old photographers do on cold rainy days? We play in photoshop and hope for a warm and dry day tomorrow.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Evil Eye

My friend Wendy laughs at me when I take pictures of grackles but this guy was giving me such an evil look, I just had to do a quick portrait.
Again, the Sony 70-300 G

Under The Pier

The Brown Pelican is the official bird of the City of Aransas Pass and I guess one reason is because they're so plentiful. On any day that the fishing piers are occupied, they congregate below the cleaning tables and wait for the's like shooting fish in a barrel...even for an old blind photographer!
Sony 70-300 4.5/5.6 G-SSM

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day

I wanted to do a little something special for Veterans what better place to look for a picture than the VFW? This little statue is at the Ingleside is the flag garden.

The flags were with the 8-16 and the statue with the Sony 30/2.8 macro.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Mission Conception

I didn't manage to get out for pictures today so here's one from 2005. Mission Conception in San Antonio is a mystical place and a wonderful location for photography...if you can manage to shoot around all the tourists. Or should I say...all the OTHER tourists!
This is with my trusty old Konica-Minolta Maxxum 7D and a K-M 28-75/2.8

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Harbor Ruins

This old foundation sits at Conn Brown Harbor. The rest of the building has been gone for so long that there are fairly large trees growing in the middle. I've been an Aransas Pass citizen for over 30 years now and I guess my memory is failing me...I can't remember what this used to be!
Sigma 8-16/4.5-5.6

Monday, November 8, 2010

Wild Man...Without A Plan

Sometimes I have a perfectly normal looking image but something about it just seems to need a little, off we go to photoshop and then...I just might get carried away.
Sigma 8-16/4.5-5.6

Saturday, November 6, 2010


First time out with the camera in several days and the light was very, very harsh. I did manage a pretty good exposure on this pair though...well...photoshop and I did.
Minolta 70-210/f4

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Le Mansion Du Fulton...c'est tres bon

Sigma 8-16/4.5-5.6 on a beautiful October Sunday afternoon.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

R...Is for Rose

Sigma 70/2.8 Macro...f22 with ring flash

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

R... Is For Rufus

My wife's beloved sister, Connie, lost her battle with cancer early Tuesday morning. She was a fighter and put up a spirited battle but detection was too late and the cancer had spread extensively before any treatment was started. Connie was a devoted wife and mother and a GREAT sister...she was loved dearly and she will be missed sorely.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Still Not Happy

I got a little closer to the osprey today but I'm still not happy with the quality of the photo...I'll keep trying. To console myself, I took my Sigma 70/2.8 macro and went flower hunting...they're MUCH easier to sneak up on!

All these flowers, not weeds, were in Fulton,TX

Again, The Age Old Question...

Are they flowers or are they weeds?

All flowers / weeds shot using the Sigma 70/2.8 macro.

Couldn't let the day go by without a stop at the harbor!
Minolta 500/f8