Westminster

While I may not enjoy all the camera gear I pack up with me when I travel, I relish the opportunity to take pictures while I am out and about. I was fortunate enough to be able to spend nearly 2 weeks in London a few winters back (December 2012 – January 2013).

 

One of the challenges is in both trying to capture those items that are seemingly, quintessentially, the local flavor, but also trying to find fresh, new takes on it too. Sometimes I’m just happy to take a shot of the landmark, but then I always try to challenge myself. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I fail.

 

 

 

These are shots I took in the Westminster Area, I’m particularly proud of my close-up of the Westminster Bridge Lamp, as well as the shot from the bridge that includes both the Westminster Bridge Lamp and the London Eye. While I like the shot I took of the London Eye through the fence and branches, my friend who I was traveling with had opted for a landscape shot here, and it really elevated that shot and won her recognition in a photography contest.

 

 

 

 

New Year’s Fire Works on the Thames, from the back of the Savoy Hotel. I like the odd effect of the long exposure I gave the shot with the silhouette of a man, and some branches, with fireworks reflecting off the Thames behind him.

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GAP at the Grand Gallery Exhibit in Grapevine

I was recently notified that there will be some slight changes to the duration of the upcoming art show I’m participating in held at the Grand Gallery inside the Grapevine Convention & Visitor’s Bureau (636 S Main Street in Grapevine, Texas).

The new dates of the show are from April 3 – April 28, 2017.

Due to this date change, this means the show will not run concurrently with the GADA (Grapevine Art Dealers Association) Art Walk scheduled for May 6. However, the New Vintage Wine Trail will be taking place on Saturday, April 8th from 11am – 5pm and it looks like members of the Grapevine Art Project will be planning on some artist demos on this day.

I hope you’ll come check us out!

 

 

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Appreciating Man-Made Objects in Photography

Nature is what drew me first as the subject I most desired to capture in my viewfinder. The world around us, from it’s unique geologies, to local flora and fauna can just fill you with awe–or at least it does me. But so many times when I would have a picture framed in my viewfinder of seemingly pristine nature there would be some man-made structure popping up and ruining the shot I wanted: power lines, water towers, buildings, or just the detritus of wind-tossed litter.

It would take me many years to begin to see how even man-made objects could have their own beauty. But if Ansel Adams who was known for creating such masterworks of nature in black and white, could also tackle man-made objects with beauty… I suppose it was only a matter of time that my own eye would develop and begin to embrace at least selective moments of such photography myself. Even so, I still usually prefer nature to man-made objects. 🙂

Various Works by Ansel Adams

 

 

 

Some of my own works

Texas Wildflowers – Part 6

A hodge podge of some of the other wildflowers you can find growing across the Texas countryside: wild sunflowers, horsemint (bee balm), Yucca, Prickly Pear Cactus in bloom, coneflower, and more. So many fields are over taken by yellow flowers, unfortunately they’re a challenge to photograph as usually temperatures are such the grass is no longer quite as verdantly green when compared to early spring, and with green and yellow being complimentary colors, you don’t have the deep contrast that can help make both colors really vivid when taking a photograph.

 

Winter Wonderlands

As a Texan, I like to tell people that in my part of the state we have three seasons: Baking Drought, Torrential Downpour, and Wind Chill. It is a very rare site indeed for snow to fall in the Dallas / Fort Worth area. We tend to have ice storms, more than snow storms, and even those storms are a rare occurrence. This year in particular we’ve had a very mild winter, even the days around Christmas this year I was wearing summer clothes when the temperature reached into the 80s.

So while I did not get to enjoy a winter in my area this year, one of my guilty pleasures is traveling abroad to the Hudson River Valley and enjoying the sights of winter there. Some of these photos are from a recent trip January 2017, and others are from several years ago.

 

Texas Wildflowers – Part 5

It’s so amazing how in a period of 4-6 weeks the wildflowers can change so drastically in the Texas Hill Country. Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrushes have faded, and now up comes other flowers like Indian Blankets (aka Firewheels), thistles, Horsemint (aka Bee Balm) and Mexican Hats (a type of coneflower) . I found this field June 8, 2016 along 71 just west of Spicewood and Cypress Creek. I stopped off and from the fence was taking pictures of the field, when I heard an engine idling behind me, the owner had come home from one of his other fields they farmed. The farm has been in the family since the 1800s, and the farmer couldn’t remember a year where the field was so overtaken by the horsemint. He even insisted my friends and I go home with some.

 

 

Texas Wildflowers – Part 4

 

In addition to the orange-red hues of Indian Paintbrushes, there are also some cousin flowers known as Prairie Paintbrush, the later appears in a range of hues including yellow, pale pink, peach, fuschia and shades in between. While these are found in Texas, they also can be found as far north as Kansas and Missouri.

I was on the 501 between Pontotoc and Cherokee in the Texas Hill Country, when I stumbled along some roadside blooms that had a range of the prairie paintbrush blooming against the Texas state wildflower: the Bluebonnet.

The image with the footpath, comes from Tandy Hills Natural Area in Fort Worth, Texas. Located just minutes from downtown, it preserverves over 160 acres of native prairie, and you can find some spectatcular sunsets here, especially during the blooming season. Milkweed in endless varieties is prevalent, and milkweed is the favorite food (as well as place to cocoon) for the Monarch Butterfly.