Print Shop and Site Facelift

After getting a few requests that compelled me to work out some technical issues, I finally got around to adding a Shop page where I can sell prints of some of the still photos I've posted. Taking me back to my days restoring my often-missed Datsun 240Z, I had a case of "while I'm at it" syndrome -- one thing led to another and I wound up spending all night overhauling the entire site interface!

I think I've worked out all the major bugs, but there are likely to be a one or two that will slip through the cracks. If you have any issues with the Shop page, please let me know via the Contact form on the About page.

In the meantime, here's a photo I shot two months ago of the Texas State Capitol on a night of below freezing temperatures. I realized I'd posted this to Reddit at the time, but forgot to write a blog entry about it. The fog emanates from the massive HVAC system that heats and cools all the above- and underground facilities of the capitol complex. Usually it's invisible, but the low temperature that night caused the humid air to immediately condense into fog.

A print of this photo is available for purchase on the Shop page.

Riding the Light

I'm excited and proud to present my new film, Riding the Light, a flying winter journey around downtown Austin. Shot during the winter of 2013-2014, Riding the Light is my third solo hyperlapse cityscape project, building on the techniques I honed in Sleepwalking Austin and Spectral Austin. It is the product of many late nights and early mornings shooting, many numb extremities in the coldest conditions Austin has to offer, and a very great many long hours in front of a computer screen. I hope that you enjoy watching this film as much as I enjoyed creating it -- if you do, I encourage you to share it, especially with any friends who are inbound for SXSW over the coming weeks!

Music courtesy of Draper -- Do It Right from Sonder EP, an excellent release I highly recommend in its entirety.

Congress Avenue, Abandoned

I stepped outside early this morning and saw that low well-defined clouds were rolling over town, their features illuminated by the city lights below. I decided it would be a good time to test out a new skyline shooting location I'd discovered, but not before feeling the need to clean the low pass filter on my camera sensor and get rid of a dust bunny that popped up in the middle of my last shoot.

This otherwise mundane camera maintenance task gave me a chance to try out a new item I picked up last week, the Pentax Image Sensor Cleaning Kit, O-ICK1. To start off, let's just say it turned out to be a bit of a disappointment. After seeing a recent F-Stoppers review of an identical product sold under a different brand (and not yet available through that vendor), I was sold on the idea of this potentially easier dry cleaning method. This little rubber-cube-on-a-stick didn't work nearly as well for me as it did for the F-Stopper reviewer. There were a great deal of dust specks that showed up clearly at f/32 that I could not remove with the Pentax tool, no matter how many times I blotted it back and forth between the low pass filter and the little sticky sheet. Before I began my cleaning attempt, I managed to somehow blow an oily speck of some sort onto the filter with my rocket blower, and the Pentax tool did nothing to lessen its appearance. After messing with it for a few minutes with only marginal results, I got out my bottle of Eclipse and a sensor swab and did my usual wet cleaning routine. Two swipes and the sensor was almost perfectly clean, and it got that difficult oily speck on the first pass. I suppose I'll keep it around for later attempts -- maybe it works better on some types of dust than others (like pollen), but it's definitely no replacement for a good wet cleaning.

Anyway, back to my little photo trip -- as I was making my drive across town I noticed the clouds had become very diffuse in the 15 minutes I spent on my 3:30AM sensor cleaning misadventure. I decided to check out the shooting location anyway, and snapped a few unimpressive test shots before heading home. On the way, I was amazed at the total lack of activity downtown, specifically on Congress Avenue. I had done a lot of downtown night shooting before, but never on Congress at 4AM, a time at which there were no buses, and the only traffic appeared to be a few early morning delivery trucks.

I managed to snap a few shots I thought were interesting, mainly because I could stand in the middle of one of Austin's busiest streets without fear, giving me a perspective I'd been unable to shoot from before.

Prints of both photos are available for purchase on the Shop page.

Monday Evening Stroll

I was out for a walk last night with my trusty sidekick, Bella, when I observed clouds starting to form above the Colorado River just west of town. Feeling a gentle breeze out of the west, it was clear that these conditions would make for an amazing sunset. I ran home and grabbed my camera and rushed over to one of my favorite spots on the east side just in time to catch a few nice shots in the last moments of the day.

I love the silhouette of the Austin skyline; I'm excited to see how it will look in another 10 years.

A Misty Night at Mount Bonnell

Last Saturday night I spent many hours shooting various spots northwest of Austin for an ongoing project and, exhausted, I stopped to snap a few panoramas from Mount Bonnell on my way back into the city. 

It was a cool night, made even cooler by a fast moving front that brought in low hanging clouds and intermittent rain and drizzle. The bright city lights scattered upward creating a cathedral-like ceiling of clouds above the downtown skyline and West Lake Hills.

Click the thumbnails below (beware -- they're large images!).

Prints of the West Lake Hills photo are available for purchase on the Shop page.

Reflection

Late last night I found myself down at Auditorium Shores where the lake presented ideal glass-like conditions. I had planned to go to bed early to get back onto a "normal" sleep schedule, but conditions like this are fairly rare, especially on winter nights where it's warm enough that your fingers don't go numb after 20-30 minutes of exposure (I really need better gloves)!

I spent a few hours shooting hyperlapse footage and finished off by snapping a quick nine image panorama of the Austin skyline that I would like to share with you.

Prints are available for purchase on the Shop page.

Rendering Means Killing Time

Rendering out files is so tedious. Even with a beastly workstation you find yourself sitting and waiting for hours sometimes. Being bored of Sherlock on Netflix tonight, I ended up digging through my library for material and building a fun composite image of the Austin skyline during sunset and moonrise.

Prints are available for purchase on the Shop page.

 A composite image of the Austin skyline across 10 exposures in 2 hours.

A composite image of the Austin skyline across 10 exposures in 2 hours.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from Austin, everyone!

2013 has been a tremendous year of growth for me, both personally, and professionally. I'm looking forward to discovering what opportunities 2014 holds.

In the meantime, enjoy a shot I snapped a short time ago while watching the fireworks over Auditorium Shores here in ATX.

Prints are available for purchase on the Shop page.

 Fireworks over Auditorium Shores viewed from South Austin.

Fireworks over Auditorium Shores viewed from South Austin.