Sunset on Lake Tahoe


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My family and I just returned from an almost two week long trip to Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, and Sequoia. While driving back toward our room, it appeared that the sunset was going to be fantastic! We pulled off the road and I began to setup while my wife and kids explored the surrounding area.

About 45 minutes later, this is one of the MANY shot taken!

9 shot HDR processed in Photomatix and Photoshop using a technique in Photoshop that was learned in part from Joel Grimes.


Willow City Loop Bluebonnets


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Here is another image from my recent trip to Willow City Loop.  The wildflowers are excellent this year!  All the rain that we’ve had recently has really got them sprouting up!

Willow City Loop

ISO = 200

Focal Length = 42mm

f-stop = 5.6

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More to Come!


Fredericksburg, Texas


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I saw this really cool sign while my wife and I were walking around the main drag in Fredericksburg, Texas this past Friday.

I’m trying to get into the habit of always having a camera with me…you never know when something cool might just out in front of you!

For those of you who have never been to or never heard of Fredericksburg, Texas…here’s a little history…

from Wikipedia…

Fredericksburg is the seat of Gillespie County, in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 Census estimate, the city had a population of 10, 530

Fredericksburg was founded in 1846 and named after Prince Frederick of Prussia. Old-time German residents often referred to Fredericksburg as Fritztown, a nickname that is still used in some businesses. The town is also notable as the home of Texas German, a dialect spoken by the first generations of German settlers who initially refused to learn English. Fredericksburg shares many cultural characteristics with New Braunfels, which had been established by Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels the previous year. Fredericksburg is the birthplace of Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz. It is the sister city of Montabaur, Germany. On October 14, 1970, the Fredericksburg Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places in Texas.

The Fredericksburg-Stonewall area has become known as the Peach Capital of Texas.[9] and Benjamin Lester Enderle is known as the Father of the Hill Country Peach Industry. He was Gillespie County Surveyor and a math and science teacher at Fredericksburg High School when he planted five peach trees and began selling the fruit in 1921. Enderle worked to develop the Hale, Burbank, Elberta, and Stark varieties. He began marketing them through the H-E-B grocery chain, and eventually had 5,000 producing peach trees on 150 acres (61 ha).[10] Growers claim the taste[11] is due to the area having the right combination of elevation, sandy soil and climate to produce flavorful clingstone and freestone peaches. The fruit ripens May–August, and consumers can either buy pre-picked fruit, or pick their own.[12]

Herb farms,[13] grape culture, lavender production and wildflower seeds have become burgeoning businesses in Fredericksburg. Combinations of agribusiness with day spas, wedding facilities, or bed and breakfast accommodations is not unusual. There is even a Texas Hill Country Lavender Trail.

Lady Bird Johnson’s passion for Texas wildflowers not only lives on in the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, but she also sparked off a high demand for seed. The 200-acre Wildseed Farms in Fredericksburg was founded by John R. Thomas in 1983 as a result of that high demand, and produces 88 varieties of wildflower seeds. It is the largest family-owned wildflower seed farm in the United States and host of an annual Wildflower Celebration.

In 1994, the Seventy-third Texas Legislature passed H.B. No. 1425, allowing brewpub operations within the state of Texas. Fredericksburg Brewing Company began operations shortly thereafter. A number of vineyards and related industry have also arisen in the post-LBJ era of Fredericksburg. The designated American Viticultural Areas of Fredericksburg in the Texas Hill Country AVA and the much larger Texas Hill Country AVA both include Fredericksburg inside their boundaries. Fredericksburg is a common starting point or destination for tourists visiting wineries in the Texas Hill Country.

More to Come…


Willow City Loop Texas Bluebonnets


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Last week I surprised my wife with a little getaway to Fredericksburg, Texas.  I had a Bed and Breakfast reserved and planned to leave Houston at about 1pm in order to be in the bluebonnets by sunset.  All plans worked as planned except for the fact that the bluebonnets were not as plentiful as i had planned (or hoped).

Since there were not as many large groups of these wild flowers all in one spot, I used low angles to give the appearance of more.

I processed these two images in Lightroom, Photoshop, and onOne Photo Suite.


More to Come…


The Cosmopolitan – Las Vegas Nevada


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Here is an image from my recent trip to Las Vegas Nevada for WPPI.

The Cosmopolitan Hotal - Las Vegas Nevada

This trip I wanted to do something orther than just shoot my normal HDR images.  After leaving the WPPI conference, I decided to find a parking garage and shoot some of the buildings around Las Vegas.  I ended up on the top floor of the Aria Hotel.  This is a single image shot at 1/1250 @ f11.  As for the post-processing,  I used only Lightroom 3 with a couple presets.


Rhyolite Nevada, Ghost Town


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On my recent raod trip to Las Vegas, I knew that I had to make it a point to see the Ghost Town of Rhyolite Nevada.  This place is really a must see if you are ever close!


Rhyolite Nevada


Rhyolite is a ghost town in Nye County, in the U.S. state of Nevada. It is located in the Bullfrog Hills, about 120 miles northwest of Las Vegas, near the eastern edge of Death Valley. The town began in early 1905 as one of several mining camps that sprang up after a prospecting discovery in the surrounding hills. During an ensuing gold rush, thousands of gold-seekers, developers, miners, and service providers flocked to the Bullfrog Mining District. Many settled in Rhyolite, which lay in a sheltered desert basin near the region’s biggest producer, the Montgomery Shoshone Mine.

Industrialist Charles M. Schwab bought the Montgomery Shoshone Mine in 1906 and invested heavily in infrastructure including piped water, electric lines, and railroad transportation that served the town as well as the mine. By 1907, Rhyolite had electric lights, water mains, telephones, newspapers, a hospital, a school, an opera house, and a stock exchange. Published estimates of the town’s peak population vary widely, but scholarly sources generally place it in a range between 3,500 and 5,000 in 1907–08.

Rhyolite declined almost as rapidly as it rose. After the richest ore was exhausted, production fell. The 1906 San Francisco earthquake and the financial panic of 1907 made it more difficult to raise development capital. In 1908, investors in the Montgomery Shoshone Mine, concerned that it was overvalued, ordered an independent study. When the study’s findings proved unfavorable, the company’s stock value crashed, further restricting funding. By the end of 1910, the mine was operating at a loss, and it closed in 1911. By this time, many out-of-work miners had moved elsewhere, and Rhyolite’s population dropped well below 1,000. By 1920, it was close to zero.

After 1920, Rhyolite and its ruins became a tourist attraction and a setting for motion pictures. Most of its buildings crumbled, were salvaged for building materials, or were moved to nearby Beatty or other towns, although the railway depot and a house made chiefly of empty bottles were repaired and preserved. From 1988 to 1998, three companies operated a profitable open-pit mine at the base of Ladd Mountain, about 1 mile south of Rhyolite. The Goldwell Open Air Museum lies on private property just south of the ghost town, which is on property overseen by the Bureau of Land Management.

The Las Vegas Sign in HDR


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I recently made the long haul from Houston to Las Vegas for the 2012 WPPI conference!  I didn’t get to do as much shooting as I had hoped but had a great time nonetheless!  While at WPPI I was able to hang out with my good friend Brian Matiash from OnOne Software.

I took this image on my last day in Vegas.  It’s a 9 shot HDR processed in Photomatix and OnOne Software!

Las Vegas Sign - HDR

The Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign is a Las Vegas Strip landmark funded in May 1959 and erected soon after by Western Neon. The sign was designed by Betty Willis at the request of Ted Rogich, a local salesman, who sold it to Clark County, Nevada.

The sign is located in the median at 5100 Las Vegas Boulevard South, north of the historic stone pillars of the old McCarran Airport on the east side, and across from the Bali Hai Golf Club and the (closed) Klondike Hotel & Casino on the west side. Some consider the sign to be the official southern end of the Las Vegas Strip. The sign, like most of the Strip, sits in the town of Paradise and is located roughly four miles south of the actual city limits of Las Vegas. (Such distinctions are usually ignored by both locals and tourists, who refer to the entire metro area as “Las Vegas”.)

Houston Aeros – Houston, Texas


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I shot my first Ice Hockey game last night and let me just say – “WOW,  that’s a tough game to shoot!”

Houston Aeros vs Texas Stars - Toyta Center in Houston Texas

I met up with Mr. Morris Molina, the Aeros Staff Photographer and he was great!  He showed me around and gave me numerous pointers.  I shot all night with the D3s with the ISO from 800 to 1200.  This gave me a shutter speed range from 100 to approximately 1250.

Houston Aeros vs Texas Stars - Toyta Center in Houston Texas

When the Toyota Center is set up for ice hockey, there are only two small (approximately 6″ x 5″) holes in which to shoot through!  Not to mention the fact that you have to worry about the puck flying through the hole.

Houston Aeros vs Texas Stars - Toyota Center Houston Texas

Thanks again to Mr. Molina and the Houston Aeros!  Oh yeah, the home team (Aeros) came out with a 3-1 victory!

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