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Monday, February 20, 2012

The Dallas Farmers Market

Dallas Farmers Market

In the last few days I have made several trips to downtown Dallas around sunset. Sometimes I feel the Weather Gods see me coming with my camera. I don't know how many times conditions are looking quite promising only to have the light and the clouds fizzle out instead of offering a glorious pink sky. That's OK though! I'm getting to where I like shooting the night lights long after that pink sky would have faded anyway. I've heard it called "The Blue Hour" but it sure doesn't last for an hour. I might call it "The Blue 30 Minutes" at best. That rich blue sky is hard to get until it starts getting fairly dark but then you seem to lose it after it gets too dark. 

Downtown Dallas From Ruibal's

It's surprising how quiet it is down by the Dallas Farmers Market in the evening, even during a weekday. You are so close to so much rush hour traffic but most of it bypasses this area. It makes it a pleasant experience for me as a photographer, especially when I need to run across a street to get a different view of something.


Chase Tower

The top two images were shot on my first trip to the Farmers Market last week. The timing and the light were fairly close on both. It was amazing to me that I could get a shot of the flowers at Ruibal's and keep it free of poles and wires that are so hard to keep out of other views of the skyline from this area. The "Chase Tower" was shot on a different night on the other side of downtown from the Farmers Market.  The electric blue accent lighting on the building is fairly new. It sure adds a nice touch to photographs of the building.


Reflections of the Mercantile Tower

This last image was made yesterday evening. While looking at some of the images from my first visit to the Farmers Market last week, I noticed that the Mercantile Tower would reflect on the side of the Comerica Bank Tower. I had taken that image with a much wider angle but yesterday I put on my 180 mm macro. It is made to do its best at close range but it also does a great job on farther away subjects. I am quickly becoming convinced that it will give me a sharper image than my 100-400 mm would have if zoomed out to the same focal length.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Watch Where You Step!

House Full of Jars

Saturday night I was watching TV and came across "Billy the Exterminator". In this episode his job was to remove a 5' rattlesnake from a storage shed. This shed was full of old carpet and a lot of other junk. Billy almost got bit by the snake! Sunday, while driving home from Midland, Texas, I stopped at this old house to get some photos. To reach this room in the photo, I had to climb through a room that must have had 5 or 6 deteriorated mattresses piled up on the floor. Guess what I was thinking about? I did keep telling myself that it was 34 degrees and the snakes won't be out. Warm weather would have had me as jumpy as a grasshopper. This house is about 15 miles from Sweetwater, Texas, home of the world's largest "Rattlesnake Roundup" each year.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

What Could Have Been.

video

On Monday afternoon I headed to my friend Dan's house to pick him up before heading downtown to shoot the full moon rising over downtown Dallas. The day had been mostly sunny and was still that way when I left my house. When I arrived at Dan's house about 4:15 I noticed that some clouds were moving in. Actually it was a pretty solid wall of clouds. Twenty minutes later we arrived at our shooting location near downtown. It was almost totally cloudy now and it would soon block out the eastern horizon. So much for seeing the moon rise at 5:15! I couldn't believe this last minute sudden change in the weather was going to cheat us out of what we came here to shoot. Knowing it didn't look to good we still decided to get out our equipment and hike down the Trinity River levee to where we had planned to shoot. The overcast skies made for some pretty flat light, but you never know.
 I had brought along two tripods. My plan was to set up a camera on one of them shooting a time lapse while I did stills using the other tripod. This was my first attempt at time lapse so that was another reason I was so bummed out about the weather change. I went ahead and set things up even though it wasn't looking too promising. Well, we never photographed the moon and the sun did not find a last minute hole in the western sky for a surprise sunset. The light did start looking better as it started to get dark and the lights of downtown started coming on. I left off the first half of the time lapse I shot because the light was so pitiful, but the second half isn't too bad. It was fun to try something I had not done before. It was also a challenging first effort with the light changing so much from start to finish. I did get a nice still image of downtown using my 180mm macro lens.



After we finished shooting we gathered our equipment and hiked back to the car. It was starting to look like the cloud cover was breaking up. We loaded the vehicle and shut its rear door. I looked up and saw the moon come out from behind the clouds but it was totally dark and the moon was way too high in the sky now.  We got in the car and headed out to get some dinner.

Friday, February 3, 2012

"What 's Your Favorite Photograph?

As many of you know I spend some time on Google +...actually a lot of time. This morning I noticed a post by Colby Brown featuring a QUOTE OF THE DAY.

“Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow." ~ Imogen Cunningham

This got me to thinking because I have been asked this a number of times while I have been showing my work. I will usually say I have a lot of them and point to several that are hanging on the wall. I'm not sure I would say it is the one I'm going to take tomorrow. Don't get me wrong, I'm excited about getting out and shooting but there is not a favorite to pick yet. I might could say "the one that I shot yesterday" but would have to put a disclaimer by that. Yesterday, I did shoot a few things to use in a presentation I was giving to the Fort Worth Camera Club but those pictures don't count. Saturday was the last time I went out and made an effort to seriously create something wonderful. I did and here it is, "my favorite photograph".



Dawn Over Dallas
Weather permitting, I will probably be out with my camera tomorrow. Hopefully something special will be created and I will have a new favorite photograph. Hmmm...so maybe it is the one I am going to take tomorrow.