Friday, July 31, 2009

Venerable Seating

Also from the House of Representative's Chamber of the Texas State Capital Building at Austin, Texas...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Texas House of Representatives Chamber

Well this is it - the Texas State House or Representatives Chamber at the Texas State Capital Building in Austin, Texas where each one of the chairs pictured above is filled with the fat rear end of one of our elected officials whenever Congress is in session. Whether you participate or not the House members that occupy this room, along with the Senators in the corresponding Senate Chamber, are making the decisions that impact how you live your lives! As politicians in Washington mull over how to spend a trillion plus dollars to solve a quasi "emergency" in our nations health care system (now where was that in the Constitution?) one of our Texas lawmaker's newest laws goes into effect on Saturday.

Effective September 1, the 61 page document called house bill 1831, gives local law enforcement officials the right to arrest anyone if they refuse to leave the area, should a mandatory evacuation be called. This is a sweet bill that would treat you like your were Branch Davidian David Koresh should you decide to stay home during a storm instead of risking your life on an evacuation. All this in the name of public safety and saving us from ourselves. God protect us from those that would confine us to a cradle for all our lives so that we don't have to be confronted with the challenges of real life!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Texas State Capital Building 2

This is one of the smaller assembly rooms near the floor of congress in the Texas State Capital Building in Austin, TX.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Texas State Capital Interior

Apparently one of the things you get for your money when you commission a building for 3 million acres of land in remuneration is lots of details. It seems to me that you can't stand anywhere in the Texas State Capital Building in Austin, Texas where you don't spot some detail in the architecture that is a true work of art. I think a photographer could spend a week there just shooting all the detail work that went into the construction of this great historic building.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Texas State Capital Building 2

Completed in 1888 as the winning design from a national competition, the Capitol's style is Renaissance Revival, based on the architecture of 15th-century Italy and characterized by classical orders, round arches and symmetrical composition. The structural exterior is "sunset red" granite, quarried just 50 miles from the site. Additional structural support is provided by masonry walls and cast iron columns and beams. The foundation is limestone. Texas paid for the construction not in dollars, but in land: some three million acres in the Texas Panhandle that would later become the famous XIT Ranch.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Texas State Capital Building

The next few days will feature a series of shots from the Texas State Capital Building in Austin. I'm starting things off with this exterior shot which I'm sure has never been photographed before!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Route 66 Horizon

There is a lot of interest along historic Route 66 heading west from Amarillo, but there is also much of the road with this same repeating view. While it's all part of the overall attraction, it's not all exactly a thrill-a-minute. It is the quintessential "open road."

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Route 66 Scene

This abandoned grain silo is located on historic Route 66 somewhere between Amarillo, TX and Tucamcari, NM. I like the shot and started thinking of it in terms of fit with the upcoming BAPC Honors Night assignment "Breaking Photographic Rules" after Shirley's comment on yesterdays post. This one has a "slanted horizon," a "centered subject matter," and an "amputated top". I think it would fair well in "applicability" but what about the photo itself? How hard will it be to have a good photo that breaks rules? After all the rules are there to help define a good photo, right?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Somewhere In New Mexico

If I wanted to go back and re-shoot this one I'd be in trouble. Most of the images I take I can remember where I was but on this one I just remember that it was somewhere in New Mexico. I guess it's and example of one of the benefits of geo-tagging.

Lake City Diner

If your ever in Santa Rosa, NM stop by the "Lake Side Diner" for a nice bistro style meal. The restaurant resides in an early 1900's bank building and the kitchen is accessed through the heavy steel vault door.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Deputy Shane Thomas Detwiler

My wife and I took a day of vacation Friday to work on a remodeling project we’ve had going on at our house. While we were off we decided to take some time to help honor one of our local law enforcement officials who had be killed in the line of duty on Monday. Chambers County sheriff's deputy Shane Thomas Detwiler was a 31-year-old Baytown man with a wife and three small children 4 years old and younger.

We had read in the paper that citizens were invited to come out and help line Garth Rd. in Baytown from I-10 to Memory Gardens Cemetery along the route the funeral procession would be traveling in route to the deputy’s final resting place. The paper asked that you try and be in place by 10:30 so we arrived about 10:15 to stake out a place.

We new the turn out would be great for an officer killed in the line of duty but we were not prepared for the response we witnessed. When the head of procession arrived, judging by the number of vehicles that passed us, we would estimate that the rear of the line must have been 5 miles down the road! First responders from all over Southeast Texas participated. We saw fireman, policemen, sheriffs, constables, game wardens, EMS, rescue personnel and more in what must have been at least 500 official vehicles. They came from Houston, Baytown, Chambers County, Winnie/Stowell, Beaumont, LaPorte, Pasadena, Orange, Lufkin, Dayton, Liberty, Galveston, and many more cities that I’m sure we missed.

Citizen participation was great as well. Even though the procession didn’t arrive until 12:30, which left us in the heat for about 3 hours, we were glad we had the chance to participate. It was the kind of send-off deputy Detwiler and all our fine law-enforcement agents killed in the line of duty deserve. Although his friends and family have a lot to deal with in the coming years I’m sure they will always remember this day and be comforted by the support they saw.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Santa Rosa, NM Cemetery_2

Well I've recovered my lost vacation photos and all it took was being without my computer for a couple of days and about $45.00. Heck, I may never consider a back-up scheme if that's all it takes!!!

This shot is the second shot I've posted of this old church building located in an old cemetery in Santa Rosa, NM. The place has an historic marker and from it I believe this old church was relocated to the cemetery in recent times, although the wording on the plaque was a little ambiguous. As you can tell the church now consist of only four partial stacked-stone exterior walls.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

This is a shot of the Fred Hartman Bridge taken from Evergreen Road on the Baytown, Texas side of the bridge. This was the first shot I took with my Olympus E-3 camera. I took it without much planning or thought - just wanting to take some test pictures to get acquainted with the controls on my new [then] camera. I like the way the shot came out, it just proves that "it's better to be lucky than good!"

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Field of Dreams

I had this photo on file from a trip we took to Garner State Park a year or two ago. The base image was pretty fantastical so I decided to push the image further in that direction. I used Saturation, Brightness and Contrast, Wind Blown Filter, a Solid Color Layer with Clouds filter, and various Blending Modes, Masks, and Opacity's to achieve the look.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Drive Thru Menu

I had this shot of a drive-thru menu from a Dairy Queen on file and decided to work it up as an abstract. Out of the ten layers I used in Photoshop the two that probably had the most impact were an "invert" layer to reverse the colors, and a texture layer [using rusted metal and blending modes] to add the grunge effect. The big question here is: Is capturing an image of a menu at Dairy Queen a sign of some photographic sickness?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Mailbox Mayhem_2

A slightly altered photo from the archives. I spotted these mailboxes near my home in Baytown, Texas and thought they had an interesting mix of color, textures, and pattern [not to mention orientation!] Hope you like the shot.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Sweeny, Texas

My wife and I recently attended the Hood-Butler family reunion in Sweeny, Texas. It's a small town an hour south of Houston near Old Ocean where my wife has had family for years. On the way we stopped long enough to take a few pictures in the area including this water tower located near downtown. We circled it a couple of times looking for the best composition and this is what I came up with.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Purple Flower Macro

I didn't like any of the fireworks shots I took this weekend so I thought I would post this macro instead. It's a shot from the Baytown Nature Center yesterday morning and it reminds me of some of the fireworks I tried to shoot!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Independence Day!!!

From yesterdays San Jacinto Tea Party rally at Houston Raceway Park. We had a pretty good turnout, I would say 1500 or so, with Jim McIngvale [AKA: Mattress Mac] and Congressman Ted Poe on the card as the key note speakers. Another good event by the San Jacinto Tea Party group!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

San Jacinto Tea Party Rally

Hello All - I have my home computer in the shop trying to recover some lost files and therefore have no photos to post today. Since I am temporarily photo-challenged I thought I would use today's posting to invite everyone to the San Jacinto Tea Party Rally tonight at the Houston Raceway Park in Baytown. Many of you will be busy on the 4th so this might be your best opportunity to participate in a worthwhile effort. Come out and hear Texas State Senator Dan Patrick, Congressman Ted Poe, and others speak about the important issues facing America today.

Hope to see you there and God Bless America!!!!