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Thursday, December 26, 2013

My Top Ten Images From 2013!

Picking my favorite images each year is always a tough thing to do. It would be nice to say that it is hard to decide because I shoot so many wonderful images but the subjective nature of the process is what really makes it difficult. It is much like judging a photo contest with several other judges. You like an image but the other two judges don't. Then you and judge #2 like an image but #3 says "this doesn't do much for me". Such is the nature of the beast! I did get some feedback from several friends and family before finalizing the choices. Several opinions were given but nothing strong enough to make me change things much. 
Another thing that helped make the choices difficult is that most of these have several very similar versions that are also on my web site. Horizontal or Vertical? This angle or that angle? Most of the time they all work well...but which is the best? I welcome your comments. If you like a different version of one of these ten then feel free to say so in the comments. You might also see one on my web site that I took this year that you feel I overlooked. One thing you might also notice is this...I am becoming quite the night stalker. Almost all of these were taken well after sunset.

Looking to the Stars

I have put these images in the order that they were created during the year.  I will also give you a little information about each. The image above was taken at the Very Large Array about 40 miles west of Socorro, New Mexico.When I finished shooting on this cold February night the temp gauge on the car said 10 degrees.

 Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

While I was in Kansas City for a show in  May I had several evenings to shoot the downtown area. I didn't really have a plan the first night but as soon as I saw the Kauffman Center it was like "where do I park the car". The building is really a photographer's dream. I spent the entire evening shooting it from different angles.

 Fulton Beach Fishing Pier #2

 I was in town for the Rockport Art Festival which is held over Fourth of July weekend. Somehow during previous visits I had missed the green LED lights of the pier on nearby Fulton Beach. Not this time.

 Devon Energy Tower and Sculpture

 I had photographed the Devon Tower the previous year and felt the area was worth exploring some more when I was back in town Labor Day weekend. I couldn't resist combining this interesting sculpture with Oklahoma City's tallest building in the background.

 Pensacola Pier

Last year I bough several neutral density filters in order to take long exposures lasting several minutes. I really had not used them very much but from seeing other photographer's work they were usually most effective when you have moving clouds or water that will blur heavily during a long exposure. Spending a November evening on Pensacola Beach was a good opportunity to see what they could do. I was pleased with this 3 1/2 minute exposure.

 A Nice Place to Swing

One of my favorite places to fish and photograph is Caddo Lake on the Texas-Louisiana border. I was blessed with a clear and calm night to shoot this dock that was built around one of the many Bald Cypress trees that grows in the lake. The light was coming from a nearby boathouse.

McDonald Observatory and the Milky Way

The drive to my last art show of the year provided me with several of my top images. I had planned to take several days to get to El Paso, Texas and do some photography on the way. The first day I detoured off the interstate about 40 miles in order to shoot the McDonald Observatory after dark. Most of the drive from Dallas had been cloudy but the skies cleared around sunset and I had some great conditions for picking up the Milky Way above the telescope domes. Be sure and check out the similar images on the web site. There were numerous winners from this nights shoot.

Guadalupe Reflections #2

The following day I drove to Guadalupe Mountains National Park. I was a little late for fall color but recent rains had a salt flat flooded that was just west of the park. The winds were dead calm at sunset and the reflections of El Capitan and Guadalupe Peak could not have been better.

 The Light From Within

After sunset I drove a few miles down the road to some abandoned buildings and did some light painting. I shot numerous versions with different colored gels on my flash, but this version definitely worked the best.

Futuro Home With Green Light

I have driven by this abandoned Futuro Home for years on my way to the lake. A clear December night with a full moon was just the time to make the 45 minute drive to photograph this structure which looks much like a spaceship that has landed. Unlike the previous photo, I used an LED light with a colored gel to provide the light for the inside. The light coming down the steps was made with a green flashlight.
I hope you have enjoyed these and have a very Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Beale Street

Several months ago I participated in the River Arts Festival in Memphis, Tennessee. While I was there I couldn't resist spending a little time on the very popular Beale Street with my camera. As you can see by the sign it is the "Home of the Blues" and the "Birthplace of Rock and Roll". Several of my previous images from the area sold well at the art show and these are welcome additions to my Memphis Gallery. You can see the full collection on my web site here. http://clarkcrenshaw.photodeck.com/-/galleries/travel-and-architecture/united-states/memphis

  Welcome to Beale Street

 Daisy Theater

 Orpheum Marquee

 Big Ass Beers To Go

Voodoo Alley

Pee Wee Saloon and the Hard Rock Cafe

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Web Site Featured in Shutterbug Magazine!

I looked in my mailbox yesterday and there it was...the January edition of Shutterbug magazine. I have been anxiously awaiting its arrival because my web site is featured in one of the articles. Each month, Joe Farace writes an article called WEB PROFILES. He will review four or five photo sites. He will write several paragraphs of praise for each site, show a screen shot of the home page, and of course include the web address. Thanks a bunch Joe!

Pensacola Pier

Quite honestly, I think my web site deserves a lot of praise. Not very much of my business happened on the web until I built my Photodeck web site. Today, I have more than 1200 images on the site. Images can be licensed or prints can be ordered. Purchases can be made through Pay Pal.When a purchase of a print is made several emails are automatically sent out to me and the client. Several emails are also sent out when an image is licensed. One of those emails will contain a link to download the image file in the size that was purchased. AWESOME! If you are interested in getting your own site through Photodeck, use the code YG@UNGXXE to get 50% off your first month.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Caddo Lake and the Giant Salvinia Problem!

A Nice Place to Swing

I have been fishing Caddo Lake since I was a kid. These days I will bring along my camera equipment in order to get some photographs of this shallow lake on the Texas-Louisiana border. Early November is usually the best time to capture the Bald Cypress Trees after they have turned rusty orange.

Colorful Caddo in 2013

I was shocked this fall to see how much of the lake is being taken over by an invasive species named Giant Salvinia. The main lake was so clogged with the weed that I did not even try to run through it with my boat. Surprisingly, some more confined areas were not so clogged up with the weed but I think a little current in these areas keeps the channels clear. You can see some of the weed in all of these photos. The bottom photo is completely covered with the stuff. I have yet to figure out if this is all Giant Salvinia or if the brown seed stalk looking things are a separate plant growing in the Salvinia. Either way, most of this water is about waist deep. 
I don't think we have heard the last of Giant Salvinia. I hope the biologists figure out a way to control this nasty weed before it starts taking over other lakes.

Overgrown With Weeds