The Silos

The Silos

On a whim my wife and I decided to drive up to Waco, Texas one afternoon to visit Magnolia. For those who don’t know this happens to be the market created by HGTV Fixer Upper’s Chip & Joanna Gaines. My wife, like many women, is a fan. She had visited before but was interested in going. I looked forward to possibly getting some shots. The site is a repurposed cottonseed mill, and it houses a home decor store, food trucks, bakery, garden, and play area. With the shows popularity it has become a tourist destination in Waco.

I have to admit we picked a bad day since the temperatures were hovering around 100 degrees in the afternoon. This is a typical summer in Texas, but with all of the white reflecting the sun everywhere it was hot! After touring the place we got some treats from the bakery and tried to keep cool in the shade. I would have liked to walk around the area to get more images but after being there for a few hours it was time to pack it up. I don’t expect that I would ever go back, but it was interesting to visit. It’s always interesting to see historical and industrial components used past their purpose in the modern age.

Details:

 

  • Fujifilm X-Pro2, XF23mmF1.4 R
  • ƒ/5.6
  • 23.0 mm
  • 1/2000
  • ISO 200
  • Edited in LR6

 

 

The Frisco

Frisco

Recently, I met up with friends for breakfast at a local diner here in Austin called The Frisco. The diner is an Austin original and has been in business since 1953. Step in and you will find a homestyle menu, friendly service, and food made with love. The restaurant has made it through many changes in Austin, and a few locations. At this point, they should be around for many more years to come! I couldn’t resist the mood of the counter seating area. I’ve sat at the counter more than a few times. It’s a chance to interact with the staff, and others. If anything, go by and have a slice of their freshly baked in house pies. Either it’s worth a visit!

Details:

 

  • Fujifilm X-Pro2,XF23mmF1.4 R
  • ƒ/2.0
  • 23.0 mm
  • 1/125
  • ISO 1600
  • Edited in LR6

 

Enjoying the Fireworks

Enjoying the Fireworks

My good friend Simi of Uche Photography invited my wife and I out to her church’s event held each year to celebrate the 4th of July.  They have a campus located in North Austin and the property has a quarry lake located on it. To be honest we have been invited each year, but this is the first time that we have made it. The event is not only meant to serve it’s church members but the community as well. Families gather to share food, listen to music, and enjoy the evening fireworks display. This gave me and the other photographers in our photowalk group the chance to get some good fireworks photos. Ok, a chance take pictures in general. But, it also gave us a chance to get to know each other better and perhaps make new friends.

It was on the warm side that evening. The watermelon, and being able to put my feet in the water helped keep me cool. This was only my second time shooting fireworks with my camera so there was still a learning curve. I got some keepers. But the most enjoyable part of the event was having the freedom to enjoy the evening with my wife and friends. To live in and see community lived out while doing something that you love.

Somethings might be messed up as America celebrates it’s independence, but there is still a lot that is good about our country. Things that we take for granted at times. We have freedom’s that are worth celebrating, and appreciating. Thanks to all of the servicemen & women that have fought, died, and continue to serve so that we can enjoy life. So that we can sit back have some watermelon, and enjoy some fireworks with our family & friends.

Details:

 

  • Fujifilm X-Pro2, XF23mmF1.4 R
  • ƒ/8.0
  • 23.0 mm
  • 8
  • ISO 200
  • Edited in Lightroom 6 & Luminar

 

SXSW: The Gunfighter

SXSW- The Gunfighter

It’s SXSW 2017 and 6th street is shutdown for the event. As you walk down the street you will see crowds gathered around street performers in various locations. Some old and some new. I walk east and come across “The Gunfighter” standing on his podium; ready to draw his revolvers. As usual, there is a crowd of people with their choice of camera taking pictures. As usual, I want to grab an image that is hopefully different from the others. I walk around but can’t see one at the moment. So I walk over to the sidewalk and look around. I wait a few minutes for the current crowd disperse and I see this!

What appears to be his son sitting behind the performer eating goldfish crackers and watching something on his smartphone. It spoke volumes to me!

OK, getting a little personal here, but I never had a dad. He left when I was about a year old, and I only saw him a few times in my life. This image speaks to the deepest desires of any child. Boys in particular. Having a Father that will stand in front of you ready to defend & protect you. To see it with your own eyes demonstrated, and to give you the confidence they are there at all times. Perhaps, so that you can sit on a street filled with strangers, eat goldfish, and wait with your Dad “The Gunfighter” to do his performance. And bring in some some good tips no doubt.

For all that would cry child neglect I have to note that later I walked by and the boy had moved to the front of his dad, and I believe that his mom showed up. But he was just fine the whole time.

Details:

 

  • Fujifilm X-Pro2, XF23mmF1.4 R
  • ƒ/4.0
  • 23.0 mm
  • 1/500
  • ISO 800
  • Edited in LR6 & Luminar

 

Flying A Gas Station

Flying A Station

My wife and I went on vacation recently and spent an amazing week in Lake Tahoe, CA. I have never been near such pristine beauty here in the United States, and loved every moment. The mountains, the lakes, the pine trees, and the air. Not to mention the lack of Texas humidity, and no bumper to bumper traffic!

Of course, I took many landscape and nature shots during our visit so I am still processing the images from the trip. During our stay we travelled a half hour north to the town of Truckee, California. Established in 1863 and name for a Paiute Indian Chief who helped the early settlers to the area. Much of the town has been preserved to maintain its history and character including this Flying A station that was built in 1936. It was restored in 2008 and has been home to various businesses. There is so much history in this town, and it is good to see these gems up close and personal. We finished our time in Truckee by having lunch at Best Pies Pizzeria. A casual place with great food and service…it hit the spot!

If you ever have the chance to stop in Truckee, CA or Lake Tahoe for that matter I highly recommend it! You can’t go wrong in such a beautiful place.

Details:

 

  • Fujifilm X-Pro2, XF23mmF1.4 R
  • ƒ/9.0
  • 23.0 mm
  • 1/250
  • ISO 400
  • Edite in LR6 & Luminar

 

Night Scenes: Roppolo’s

 

Night Scenes- Roppolo'sTake a walk down the 6th Street entertainment district in Austin, Texas and you will find a variety of food stands including a few walk up pizza spots. A staple to the area is Roppolo’s Pizzeria. It’s a business with family roots that has been serving Austin for the past 25 years.  This is one of 2 separate locations on 6th street serving up pizza to bar goers and visitors.

On this occasion I went out purposefully to work on my night photography. Night scenes without a tripod are challenging to me and I am still trying to grow in capturing the best quality images. I across this scene on a Saturday evening just before 6th street got busy.  A country musician grabbing a slice of pizza with someone. Perhaps, a quick bite before a show with his significant other, friend, band member?  Who knows? It’s always nice to see people engaging with each other, and not glued to their phones. Especially, when they are from different walks of life such as here.

While the Fuji XPRO2 & 23mm prime lens I use have great capabilities with higher ISO; they do not have any built image stabilization. I’ve had it for about 6 months, and I am still learning it. Low light means practicing & failing a bit as I want to keep the ISO as low as possible, but still get a good exposure. One area of opportunity that I found for me is to practice shooting at lower shutter speeds handheld. This can be a challenge with movement, but also because I still have a fear factor at times. This results in me rushing the shot which can often lead to missing it altogether.

I am also still trying to find my signature black and white editing look. As in this shot I lean toward a higher contrast image results. It’s a work in progress but I am overall pleased with how this shot came out.  Like anything else in life getting better at photography means practice! It means learning your gear, getting out, and learning about light. These are beneficial to know when the light fades, and the next night scene comes.

Details:

 

  • Fujifilm X-Pro2, XF23mmF1.4 R
  • ƒ/1.4
  • 23.0 mm
  • 1/125
  • ISO 2000
  • Edited in LR 6

 

 

 

City Rooster

Rooster Overlooks Downtown.jpg

I was driving by downtown one evening and this chicken sitting high up caught my eye. I managed to find a to get a closer look. Along side the chicken, which looks more like a rooster crowing, also sits some green grapes and a fish which is in shadow. The display seems rather odd, but as I recalled this garage ornament is reflective of a previous Whole Foods location. One that existed at this address prior to opening their flagship headquarters store across the street in downtown Austin, Texas.

I would like to go back in the future and do some night shots once a couple of the buildings under construction are completed. Hopefully, this spot will still be available when the time comes. The downtown landscape continues to change and grow mostly with high rise condos, and apartments. Perhaps, this empty parking garage will one day too become residential space? Time will tell.

Details:

 

  • Fujifilm X-Pro2, XF23mmF1.4 R
  • ƒ/5.6
  • 23.0 mm
  • 1/1000
  • ISO 250
  • Edited in LR 6 and Luminar