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

 

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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

 

 

SoCo Crosswalk

SoCo

I found myself gravitating to crosswalks in my street photography for some reason. Perhaps, they are easy targets much like street buskers? I hope not. It helps to find a good combination of scene, architecture, light, and people. Maybe I am drawn to crosswalks because for a moment in time people stand together & pass each other as life happens. With commonalities and diversity present people from all walks of life (no pun intended) wait and walk together on their journey. Wherever that may be. Maybe I think about this too much?

As I strolled down SoCo on a Saturday afternoon stood for a moment on the corner at Elizabeth Street & Congress. The smell from Guero’s taco bar kept me lingering for a moment along with the live salsa music playing from their outdoor patio. I liked the pop of colors on the Tesoros Trading Company building. The lady with the blue dress catches my eye along with the bustling of foot traffic, and so I take the shot. Sometimes magic happens, and other times it’s just the everyday aspects of people crossing the street. This time it’s just a moment in time on an overcast Saturday afternoon.

Details:

 

  • Fujifilm X-Pro2, XF23mmF1.4 R
  • ƒ/2.8
  • 23.0 mm
  • 1/250
  • ISO 400
  • Edited in LR 6

 

McNeil General Store & Post Office

 

McNeil Store

 

This is one of those places you wouldn’t know exists if you didn’t hear about it somehow. My coworker recently needed to make a trip to the post office, and Google maps sent her off the beaten path to this gem near our office building in Northwest Austin. As she described her trip and the location it seemed very interesting so I decided to drive by after work to check it out. It’s off McNeil road next to the Austin White Lime Company. Historically, both the limestone company & the general store date back to the 1860’s. Inside there is also a U.S. Post Office that has been there since 1888. There are several railroad crossings in front of and next to the store operated by Union Pacific and Capital Metro. Union Pacific carrying freight & materials and Capital Metro carrying commuters from Leander to Downtown Austin and back.

When I arrived in the evening the light had faded too much, and the building itself is not well lit from the outside. It didn’t grab me so I managed to go by the next morning and get this shot as the sun was coming up. After a few Lightroom edits I decided to process the image with a vintage feel so I used Nik Collection’s Analog Efex Pro 2. It takes some playing around with using the different various presets and adjustments. There was a Wet Plate black & white preset that was pretty cool, but I wanted to maintain the color so I settled on this one.  I was only able to capture the outside shot, but maybe I will stop back by sometime and check out the inside of the store. There are still hidden gems out there which I can appreciate. One’s that still exist and have not been replaced by a new office building or condo.

For now.

Details:

 

  • Fujifilm X-Pro2, XF23mmF1.4 R
  • ƒ/16.0
  • 23.0 mm
  • 1/125
  • 200
  • Edited in LR6 & Nik Analog Efex Pro2

 

Picture Time

Howdy Austin

Austin has a growing number of well known picture spots around town that have a street art or mural background. I came across one of the newest murals on side of the Parlor & Yard located at the corner of Neuces St. and W 6th St. The mural was painted by Mila Sketch who won the Ride Austin Mural contest.  The mural has vibrant color with many details that reflect Austin & it’s culture. It’s one of those spots that many tourists, and some locals, will no doubt mark as a destination spot to visit in our city.

I happened to be walking by the mural at night as a group went over to take a picture. It’s one of those right time, right place moments. I like the scene here at night with a mix of light and shadow. The artwork is beautiful and the people posing complete the shot for me. I am trying to improve on my night photography, and learning my camera. This was handheld and the X-PRO2 has no built image stabilization so I am trying to balance the shutter speed to keep the ISO as low as possible. It’s a work in progress for me.

Perhaps, I can showcase some of the other Austin murals, but I feel that some of them are possibly overdone. This one is a keeper for me.

Details:

 

  • Fujifilm X-Pro2, XF23mmF1.4 R
  • ƒ/1.4
  • 23.0 mm
  • 1/125
  • ISO 1250
  • Edited in LR6