Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Getting Around

Main Street in Elgin on a warm, Sunday afternoon in March.
“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.”
                                                                                                   Abraham Lincoln
One wonderful perk about having folks come to visit is, I get out to some rather cool places to shoot new photos. Somehow I just don't make the time to go visit the cute little towns and vistas without company to share it with or a Photography Meetup to coax me there.

And there are so many great new places to explore now that we are living in Texas. The big problem is "which one to choose for today?"  Last week, with my mother and sister in town, we did get out to see Gruene, Fredericksburg and Elgin.

Here's my Mom reading the history of the town of Gruene, which tells you about the German immigrant farmers who settled here and began a cotton plantation in the 1870s.
Gruene (pronounced "Green") is an adorable town with lots of shopping, a great Dance Hall and a large, busy restaurant called The Grist Mill. We arrived on St. Patrick's Day, which was also "Market Day" and the town was packed, but we discovered some unique gifts for one another and thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere.

On our way to visit Fredericksburg, another charming German settlement, we chanced upon a magical field filled with Verbena. At first it looked like a purple lake and I still think it was prettier in person than anything I captured, but her's the best I could do:

The tough part about taking so many photos is trying to find the time to post-process and to select only one or two as the very best. This state is so filled with beautiful sights, that is not an easy task. And it's wildflower season - I have several hundred of wildflower images alone, and there is more to come! 

Help! I'm losing my sanity!

Happy shooting, friends! We're off to Big Bend soon to try and capture Texas at it's best.

"To love what you do and feel that it matters - how could anything be more fun?"  
                                                                                                      Katherine Graham

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Keeping busy

In keeping with my last post, about iphoneography, I wouldn't have gotten these shots if it weren't for having my phone with me. While I love my camera, it is heavy and is not always on my person. The first is my neighborhood as I left yesterday morning. Phone in my hand - no intention of bringing camera with me to a Photoshop Workshop - and voila - a mood piece that was easy to achieve.
 This was a quick grab on the River Walk in San Antonio where the workshop was held. Again, I didn't bring my camera along because I would have had to worry about it's security all day and would have had to had it with me at all times - but this was a nice grab with the phone.
Here's one more I got of the torrential rain falling while my husband was driving.  I think everyone can get a sense of, "been there. Done that" with this one.

I am a still a firm believer in my Nikon gear, and without that, I never would have gotten this.

I was asked to photograph this puppy as a birthday gift and I got so many nice shots, I hated to select just the one, so I had fun making a composite that captured a variety of the puppy's many moods.

One of the fun things I did this past week was a Photowalk with Trey Ratcliff. I've been an admirer of Trey's photography, blog, books and traveling experiences for several years now and HOPED that in moving to Austin I might meet him one day. Well, I never really got close to him because of the crowd and pouring rain, but I was happy to be shooting in his presence in such a cool venue as the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin.

 It was actually more fun shooting the people and the atmosphere than any of the cool things in Austin.

These were taken with my camera, despite the raindrops that were falling. Someone told me to look into a lens condom - it's definitely on my list of things to do this week.

Naturally, when the sun came back out, I registered for a day with Kelby Training's instructor Ben Willmore for a day-long seminar on Photoshop CS5. I had actually taken this once before but it was nice to get re-inspired and to see that I HAVE picked up a lot of tricks along the way and there are still many that I need to try out. His smoke sculptures were amazing. Stay tuned - I am going to try them out this week.

Well, friends, keep shooting whatever you've got. And, leave me a note or a link so I can see what you've been shooting.  As a new friend I met this week said, I love to share my photos!

Happy Spring!