An oasis of cool.


Cars and Coffee Austin

There’s a monthly car show held at the Oasis Restaurant on Lake Travis called Cars and Coffee Austin. It’s an easy half-hour drive from the Circle-M Ranch. Torri and I haven’t been to the lake yet and I wanted to check out both the car show and scout the restaurant.

I went as a participant in a North Austin Pfotographic Society field trip and did manage to find two folks, Josh and Clay, while walking the grounds.

The car show was quite big, with a mix of classic cars, trucks, motorcycles, and a lot of newer model high-performance automobiles.

And it was hot. High 90s if not into the low 100s. I wore my large-brimmed straw gardening hat, shorts, and a loose fitting light-colored T-shirt. I almost wore flip-flops, but opted for slip-on Skechers. Good thing… the car show was split between pavement and a dirt lot.

I shot with two cameras, my trusty LX100 and my good ‘ol GF1, with the Pinwide Slit and the Lensbaby Composer Pro/Sweet 35 combo. I got around 150 shots total, maybe 15 or so keepers.

The coolest part was doing a little panning as cars departed the area. Josh and I stood in the shade of some trees and bushes, leaning on a few good-sized boulders strewn along the side of the road. There’s a pedestrian crosswalk at the west end of the showspace on Comanche Trail, so the cars would let folks pass, then jump on the accelerator and fly by us.

I got a few decent pans with a cool blurry backgrounds using shutter priority, setting the LX100 to a super slow 1/8 – 1/15th shutter speed. I also attached an adjustable Neutral Density filter to the lens, hoping to coax a wider lens opening for greater depth of field on a very bright day.

Josh and I headed up to the Tap Room at about 11 a.m. to see if we’d meet any other club members for lunch. That’s when I caught a glimpse of Clay a level below taking pictures.

We noticed the Tap Room was closed, so we made our way downstairs and bumped into Clay, deciding instead to have lunch at the Oasis. Inside. Where it was air conditioned.

Good food and conversation lasted a little over an hour, learning more about the guys over lunch, and we had a great view of the lake t’boot.

Torri n’me are definitely going to head back to the Oasis for lunch in the near future.

Going To California.


7 days in July.

It’s funny, ironic, what we remember. We took a trip to California mid-July, stayed for week, visiting family and friends.

We also hit our fave restaurants, drove through the old neighborhood, and checked on our old home. We lived in that tiny little house for 28 years.

My memories of California life some two years after moving to Texas had become somewhat rosey, romantic. As we drove around, it just seemed like the area looked a bit worn down.

The drought restrictions, I’m sure, had a lot to do with the overall appearance of yards we saw in our daily meanderings, but things just did not seem the same.


Even so, I was still able to find glimpses of beauty with my camera while walking around my father-in-law’s neighborhhood…

Cool little gizmo.


Top Notch.

I’d been wanting to make one of the Top Notch Hot Rod Drive-ins for a while now, yet another Austin Summer tradition to experience.

I recently added a Fujifilm Instax SQ10 to my camera collection and Top Notch seemed like a good event to see what kind of pictures I could make with it.

The camera is a little different from other instant cameras Fuji sells. It produces square images, hence the ‘SQ’ in the camera name, and is capable of taking pictures, saving them on an added storage card, then going back later and editing each shot, using in-camera filters, tweaking exposure compensation, and adding vignetting, then printing them.

At around $12-$17 bucks for a 10-pack of film, this feature will (hopefully) lead to fewer wasted shots!


Fujifilm Instax SQ10

There’s a smallish 2-13/16″ by 1-7/16″ display on the back of the camera that’s actually fairly clear when framing or chimping and the interface is pretty easy to navigate, both physically and digitally.

The shape of the camera is a little odd, and kinda’ heavy, but considering all it needs to contain and the functions it performs, seems there was little choice.

The lens has a 28mm focal length, uses a ƒ2.4 aperture, and captures images at 3.69 megapixels.

The physical print is 2 13/16″ wide by 3 7/16″ tall and the image size is 2 7/16″ square.

The digital images can be transferred from the storage media, which is a MicroSDHC card that came with a SD adapter.

It’s a pretty cool little gizmo, actually. I took about a dozen shots at Top Notch and the above three were my faves, so I printed them last night and scanned ’em this morning.

Like I said, pretty cool.