Thursday, December 31, 2009

Teppsco Kingfisher

I spotted this Kingfisher in the Baytown Nature Center this weekend. I would of preferred it resting on a old tree in the water or somewhere else that hid the "hand of man", but he just wouldn't cooperate!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Cousins at Christmas Time

I couldn't resist this shot. While it's not great technically, I had to add it to my blog because everyone was having so much fun.

Armadillo Eggs 2

Another shot of our family Armadillo Egg making session on Christmas Eve.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Armadillo Eggs 1

A relatively new Christmas tradition for our family is getting together to make up a batch of Armadillo Eggs for the holidays. Armadillo Eggs are cheese stuffed jalapeno peppers covered in a sausage and Shake-N-Bake and baked until golden brown. This usually takes us about four hours to make up about 120 "eggs" most of which are passed out among Friends.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas 2009

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!!!!

Urban Clutter

Something about this scene at the local grocery store last week caught my eye. One factor for sure was watching the "whatever" attitude of complacency that these "parking lot crows" develop to the proximity of people and clutter.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

BNC Snowy Egret_2

A Snowy Egret from the Baytown Nature Center this weekend.

Monday, December 21, 2009

BNC Osprey Duo

This Osprey, photographed at the Baytown Nature Center this weekend, is proving to be a dependable subject.

Friday, December 18, 2009

BNC Spoonbill Takeoff

Another spoonbill shot taken at the Baytown Nature Center a couple of weekends ago.

Monday, December 14, 2009

BNC Foggy Morning_2

Another shot from a foggy Baytown Nature Center this past weekend. Converted to B&W using a conversion layer in PS3 and the "infrared" preset.

BNC Foggy Morning_1

Since we had lousy weather this weekend I thought I would take a drive through the Baytown Nature Center and see if I could shoot some images I would normally miss. Speaking of misses, the shot that got away was an Osprey flying two feet above a foggy mirror slick bay inlet with a fish in it's talons! Yikes, well you just can't get them all..

This shot was taken from my car window and was converted to B&W in PS3 using the a B&W layer in Maximum White mode.

Headache Ball and Block_2

I had a couple of comments about this shot being too dark so I'm posting this lighter version. I agree, definitely looks better.

Picture and a Poem

I work for a PVF master distributor in Houston at one of the companies eight branches. We are a small company overall, the Houston branch is one of the two largest with about twenty employees. Last Friday we had two great guys retire that had just over twenty years a piece with the company. It was quite an experience and, when you think about the odds, one that's not likely to be repeated. To commemorate the occasion I gleaned the following poem.


Here's to two men twenty years on the job
Working hard for Rene, Ron, and Rob.
They come in early, work hard, and stay late
Till beer-thirty calls and they have to vacate.

George works the inventory receiving freight at the dock
He counts it, corrects it, and puts it in stock.
And if he has time then two times a day
He feeds his pigeons and goes back on his way.

James guides the warehouse like a captain steers a ship
While he manages with a smile and a crack of the whip.
He's the go-to guy if your order needs a fix
And he'll always help you from his bag of tricks.

When both of them leave and 40 years hit the door
We'll miss there experience , but we'll miss much more.
Experience over time will return I told
But men like George and James are rarer than Gold.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Headache Ball and Block

Keeping with yesterday's industrial theme, I shot this headache ball and block on a mobile crane that was doing some work in Baytown a while back. I don't know why but I like the subject as a still life study.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Men at Work

Some number of months ago the Dairy Queen at the corner of Texas Avenue and Alexander Drive in Baytown was accidentally burned down while a new roof was being installed. I'm not sure how long the building had been there but I've lived in Baytown all my life and I remember it there at least as long as I've been driving. After sitting for a while reconstruction is now underway. It's always good to see businesses rebound after a setback like this, it makes you feel like it's springtime in the winter!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Triple Posterior Cervical Discectomy

Well here's the BEFORE and AFTER. Besides the obvious difference in quality between the MRI [top] and the X-RAY [bottom] there are other obvious differences. Chiefest among them is the addition of brand new shiny titanium plate and screws. Also visible, but less obvious, is the substitution of cadaver bones for the three included disc. In the X-RAY you can see that the fusion of old bone and new [so to speak] bone is underway. As of yesterday I am officially out of my cervical collar and back behind the wheel! It's all good....

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Mow Power

Since my doctor says I'm not supposed to drive a car, I didn't think it would be a good idea to drive a mower either. Fortunately my lovely and talented wife is a quick study and took to the dead-man steering on my commercial mower like a politician to other peoples money! Did she like it? I may never get to mow again.

Sadie and The Orange Daisy

OK, if you follow this blog you've seen the orange Daisy and the orange dog Sadie before. But you haven't seen them both in the same shot utilizing the strobist method of lighting. This was really just an exercise for me to utilize some equipment I purchased months ago but hadn't gotten around to using. In this shot I used a Paul C. Buff transmitter on my Oly E-3 to trigger my Oly FL50R off -camera flash. I used a small knock-off soft box on the flash which my wife held high and photo right. Room for improvement here for sure but at least I broke some gear out of it's box!

BNC Egret_3

Also from this past weekend at the Baytown Nature Center, this is the Egret in Monday's post.

BNC Wildflower 1

Like most flowers I photograph, I don't know what this one is. I do know it's at the Baytown Nature Center and was shot last weekend.

BNC Splashing Egret

I caught this Egret splashing in a shallow tidal pool at the Baytown Nature Center this weekend. The wind was completely still which apparently created ideal fishing conditions for shore birds.

BNC Osprey Again

This is the same Osprey in the same tree at the Baytown Nature Center that I posted on my October 9 blog entry. Yesterday morning I was able to get a few paces closer and, I think, improve the shot. This would have been a better shot had I had a "Better Beamer" flash extender in play to add a little fill light to the body.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Circus Comes To Town

This past weekend the Carson and Barnes Circus came to Baytown for four shows in two days. I had planned on making one of the shows, mostly for the photo ops, but didn't end up having time. I thought this main tent that houses three rings was kind of a cool iconic think to see. Maybe I'll get some shots from the actual show the next time they come to town.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Deserts Around Big Bend_5

This shot is of the Lajitas Cemetery between Big Bend State and National Parks at Lajitas Texas. This should be my last archive shot, hopefully I be able to post some new stuff next week.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Deserts Around Big Bend_4

This shot was taken in a courtyard at a resort in Lajitas Texas in the summer of '08. As usual I don't know the variety but the flowers on this plant hung down from an overhead trellis and were absolutely beautiful.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Deserts Around Big Bend_3

A different take on a cactus shot, again from Big Bend National Park last year.

Processed from an Olympus E-3 .ORF RAW file in CS3 using High Pass sharpening, B&W Adjustment Layer w/Blue Photo Filter, Topaz Adjust Simplify.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Deserts Around Big Bend_2

Also from last years trip to Big Bend this cactus flower macro was taken on near the top of the national park's "Lost Mine Trail."

Monday, November 16, 2009

Deserts Around Big Bend_1

Just found some shots from our summer of '08 trip to Big Bend I hadn't processed and thought this would be a good time to work on them. This one was taken near Lajita's between the State and National parks.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Downtown Train

This is an older shot from the archives [best I can do for now!] taken on a trip downtown with my brother Barry []. I was riding shotgun and just liked the scene we were given at this intersection. Hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Images with Impact

I believe this is the first image I've posted on this blog that I didn't take. It's a little contrasty, doesn't follow the rule of thirds, and breaks several other rules - but it does have IMPACT! At least to me, and certainly to at least one Neurologist and one Micro Neuro Surgeon who both had similarly worded reactions -"Wow, this isn't good." By the time most of you read this I will be in surgery having three discs replaced with cadaver bones and a titanium plate installed in my neck. If your looking at this later in the day I should be up walking, having a nice late lunch, and planning to come home tomorrow for a brief 2 week rehab.
What's the moral here?" It's the old cliche, "Be sure to take the time to stop and smell the roses" - and while your smelling it you might as well shoot a nice macro shot.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Texas Avenue Oak

This oak tree stands in the middle of the western end of Texas Avenue in Baytown, TX. The street, which was the central thoroughfare of Baytown's business district for many years, runs on both sides of the old tree. No one know how old it is but one written account from 1909 reports it to have been over 100 years old and already a local landmark back them.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Weathered Exterior

An old weathered exterior shot on Texas Avenue in Baytown a few weeks ago while on a field trip with the Baytown Photography Club.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Monday's Flower

I don't know what type of flower this is, even though it's in my own backyard, but I think it's a variety of a Daisy. I'm not sure I did it justice here but the thing that drew me to this flower was the vivid orange color. It's a pure orange that's so bright you can hardly look directly at it.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Renaissance Festival_5

I thought these two characters where the creepiest at the festival. Not just because of their elaborate costumes, but also because they seemed to be just a little bit too much into characters.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Renaissance Festival_4

I caught these fairies gathered on a hill at the Texas Renaissance Festival this past Saturday.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Renaissance Festival_3

I wanted to try and take away some shots from the Renaissance Festival other than portraits of the characters there. I thought that this 25' waterwheel feature was a nice addition to the landscape and might make an interesting shot.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Renaissance Festival_2

Also from this weekends field trip to the Renaissance Festival, this store keeper was kind enough to allow my brother and I to photograph her.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Renaissance Festival 1

This weekend the Bay Area Photo Club held our October field trip at the Texas Renaissance Festival at Plantersville, TX. We had a good turn out of about 10 photographers roaming over the 54 acre event taking a variety of shots. I would imagine that 95 percent of the shots were portraits of the different participants in a variety of costumes. Originally the fair was strictly limited to costumes and themes relating to the Renaissance period, but over the years it has loosened it's restrictions to now include the fantasy realm of witches, fairies, elves and just about anything else. I would put this guy in the "anything else" category.

Friday, October 23, 2009

BNC Great American Egret

Well, I did say no more Spoonbills right - not no more birds! This one is also from the Baytown Nature Center this weekend.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Spoonbill 4

This will be the last Spoonbill shot in this series. I promise to move on to something new to close out the week with tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Spoonbill 2

Still in the same back lit situation as the shot I posted yesterday, but I like the exposure on this one a little better. As I was shooting this one my buddy from the other pond drove by. Happily he did not decide to honk in retaliation or give me that "special" wave. My wife and I figured he was probably on his way to the front gate to register a formal complaint!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Spoonbill and Freind

This shot was taken at the Baytown Nature Center this past Sunday. While I was scouting this shot I approached a different pond in the park and saw another photographer there already. He was set up with a tripod and what looked like at least a 600mm lens and looked prepared to do some serious bird work. It looked like there was plenty of room on the other end of the pond so I turned my little car off the road to set up. After I turned I saw there wasn't really enough room to get my car completely off the road. With camera and telephoto in hand I attempted to back up to reposition the car. As I attempted this maneuver my camera strap snagged the shifter causing me to inadvertently lay on the horn! When this happened the pond emptied completely of birds as if it where dynamite instead of a car horn. I'm sure the first photographer was impressed with my professionalism as I drove off to find a new [quieter] place to shoot - someplace that actually had birds...

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Foggy Morn

From one particularly foggy morning a few weeks ago....

Friday, October 16, 2009

Chasing Rainbows 4

My last shot from the rainbow chasing experiment couldn't include the SJ Monument because the Baytown Nature Center is on the opposite side of the Houston Ship Channel from where the rainbow was visible. Nonetheless the sky was still interesting to the south and I like the way this shot came out.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Chasing Rainbows 3

I had taken a shot of this vignette at the Baytown Nature Center a week or so ago because I like the mix of fall colors in the foliage and the texture of the trees. Because I had this shot on file already it was one of the first places I thought of shooting again while the rainbow was in the shot. Hope you like it.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Chasing Rainbows 2

While I was at the Baytown Nature Center Monday afternoon my intention was to try and isolate and photograph as many subjects as I could before the rainbow I was most interested in dissipated. In my mind the ideal shot I could capture was the one I ended up getting above. A rainbow, a stormy sky, a craggy branch and a sunning Osprey - man could it get any better than that?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Chasing Rainbows

Yesterday afternoon as I left work headed East on I-10 from Houston towards Baytown I noticed that my direction put me chasing a thunderstorm. I spotted a rainbow in the sky along the way and decided to take a detour by the Baytown Nature Center to see if I could time it where I could frame a few shots with the rainbow in the background. My luck, and atmospheric conditions, held long enough for me to frame two or three shots in the park that I like. This hill top gazebo always seemed to me to be a potential subject but just isn't interesting enough under normal conditions. I think with the combination of the rainbow and accompanying light it came out fairly well. More tomorrow.....

Monday, October 12, 2009


This weekend was the first field trip of the newly founded Baytown Photography Club. Participants met on historic Texas Avenue at the Baytown Art League facility and spit into groups to see what we could find. I caught this young man [one of the participants] in a contemplative moment during a break. Hope you enjoy it.