Not quite Spring.

the-gate.jpg

Felt like it, though.

I spent the first Saturday morning of February walking around Zilker Botanical Gardens in Austin. Around 10 folks showed up for Simi’s PhotowalksATX gathering.

There were a few familiar faces – Greg, George, Ed, Ana – and a few folks I’d not met before – Justin, Derrick, Another Ed, Scott – and some folks whose names I did not get nor hear.

It was a beautiful Winter morning in the garden.

It was a beautiful Winter morning in the garden. A little chilly to start, but by the time folks were heading to lunch, it’d warmed up nicely.

It was my first visit to Zilker Gardens. Beautiful grounds. It has a lot of nice winding, gently sloped, paved paths, for ADA compliance I’m guessing, but there were also steps to use. Thoughtful.

I brought along the Sony RX100 III, my trusty Panasonic Lumix LX100, and it was my first outing with the Fujifilm XQ1.

There were a few paper whites popping out of the ground, and rose blossoms, pansies, and a few other flowers, but since it’s the dead of winter, mostly palms, ferns, and well, just a whole lot of green.

… it was my first outing with the Fujifilm XQ1.

Entrance into the gardens was $7 US for me, a senior, but that included parking. Not bad really.

There was a beautiful waterfall in one section of the gardens that I’m pretty sure everyone got a shot of… my picture was a little off-center, but it managed to catch a little cool lookin’ sun flare.

I was so busy focusing on getting into the gardens that I didn’t notice the front entrance gates, but the Rose Garden Gate on the north side of the property was something to behold. The only reference to the artist that I could find online was Lars Stanley and Louis Herrera.

Lunch was at Schlotsky’s on South Lamar. There weren’t as many folks as on the walk, but it was still a good crowd.

Simi’s photo strolls are always awesome.

Fiddlin’…

1600-bnw-02-1080.jpg

… in the digital darkroom.

I played around with one of my shots from last Sunday’s car show over in Round Rock at Centennial Plaza. This is the badge and right front-end of a silver colored Porsche 1600/356. 1956, I’m guessing.

The original photo was color, taken using the vivid setting available in the Sony RX100M3.

I use an older version of Photoshop, CS5 Extended, or Photoshop 12. I haven’t yet fully embraced Adobe’s subscription model and this rather old version still works on my trusty old 2012 Mac Mini.

1600-side-by-side-1080.jpg

I have the free version of the NIK software bundle installed and use it often for both color and black and white edits.

I haven’t yet fully embraced their subscription model…

For this shot, I used the Silver Efex Pro 2/030 Film Noir 1 filter to make the conversion to BNW. Love the grain from this filter. There are plenty of settings to mess with, including film types, vignette, and brightness/contrast. I also removed the image border.

Next I used the Photoshop burn tool to darken up the letter “P” at the top of the badge. I was pretty much shooting into the sun at ƒ/1.8 and a it got a little blown out, but there was enough there to recover.

I like that blown-out area to the left of the badge, framed by the badge and the curve of the fender, with the trees in the background and the fender’s shadow fore.

Walking among the dead.

oakwood-tree-instax-mini-8.jpg

Austin’s history under foot.

I met Kevin Thomas at Oakwood Cemetery in Austin last Sunday morning for a film stroll.

It’s a place I’ve been wanting to shoot since I saw Kat Swansey’s cemetery shots in her IG stream and her recommendation for a visit to Oakwood.

Foggy and a little chilly, it started clearing around noon. The drive down I-35 wasn’t bad at all.

I brought along the Yashica-Mat 66. I loaded a roll of Tri-X 400 in it the day before. Everything seemed pretty normal. Sunday I couldn’t get the film to advance properly. Hmmm.

Also on hand was my little Instax Mini 8, and I burned through two packs of Mono Chrome. Got a coupla’ keepers.

I thought I was prepared. Apparently not!

The Minolta XG-1/24mm ƒ2.8 + mystery roll, too.

I had the Sony RX100MIII in the bag, as well. Sadly, when I tried to use it, I discovered it had a dead battery.

So, I shot bunches with the iPhone 8 and Blackie App.

I thought I was prepared. Apparently not!

It was a good 2+ hour walk.

On my way back home I stopped at Austin Camera to pick up the negs/prints from the 4 rolls of C41 I left there last Saturday. Pretty cool to see what they contained. Around 20 keepers, plus I still have to scan the shots from the Sprocket Rocket.

Bookin’.

fly-book-05.jpg

… and lookin’ so fly.

The Shutterfly book I put together using pictures from our Portugal/Spain trip arrived in the mail last week.

Except for a few text alignment issues and me not making the shot on the front cover large enough, it turned out pretty nice.

Love the materials they used for this basic order. The cover is quite thick, nice and glossy. The pages are sturdy and semi-matte finished.

I’m happy with the results.

fly-book-01b.jpg

fly-book-02b.jpg

fly-book-03.jpg

fly-book-04.jpg

Moody.

pony-135-16x9.jpg

Willie, too.

I made it down to Austin this morning for a stroll with the PhotowalksATX gang. Simi had us meet beneath the sculpture of Wille Nelson, outside the legendary Moody Theater of Austin City Limits fame – attending a show there is on my bucket list – and by 8:30 am we’d reached a quorum of 8.

Besides Simi, I knew Michael and RJ (that’s his Kodak Pony, above) from previous walks, plus Ed, who I know from NAPƒS, showed up. That was pretty cool. George, Ina, Sean, and Timothy were the new folks I got to meet this time around. (I hope I got their names right!)

We started out by walking over to West Cesar Chavez St., stopping to shoot around Austin City Hall.

After that, we slowly made our way west on Cesar Chavez until we reached the Austin Library. We made our way to the butterfly bridge, crossed it then inched our way eastward on 2nd till we ended back at Lavaca Street.

I… found myself shooting in B&W mode. And square. A lot.

I took the GX8 and X100s with me, but used the Panny mostly and found myself shooting in B&W mode. And square. A lot. That’s okay, though. I got a few decent shots.

It was pretty close to 11 a.m. by then, so everyone headed over to the downtown Whole Foods for lunch. We had a hell of a time finding enough chairs to seat all 8 of us around the larger of the two sizes of tables they had, but eventually everyone had a place to sit and we ate then talked for at least an hour.

Great fun. Simi is awesome. If you’re in the Austin area, you should give this once-a-month gathering a try.

I headed out a little after noon, driving up Lamar until a left on 45th then a right on Burnet Road got me closer to my last stop. I finally dropped off the 4 rolls of 35mm C41 at Austin Camera. It’ll all be ready for me to pick up next Sunday. Yay!

 

Bom dia. Buenos días.

20191009-monastery-facade-lisbon.jpg

Vámonos!

Torri n’me recently took a two-week tour of Portugal and Spain. We had great weather throughout the trip and everywhere we went the food was really good.

13 cities in 13 days. A whirlwind.

Lisbon. Sintra. Cascais. Evora. Merida. Seville. Jerez. Gibraltar. Marbella. Ronda. Granada. Toledo. Madrid.

13 cities in 13 days. A whirlwind.

It was jam-packed with all sorts of activities and city-by-city tours. We visited historic palaces, cathedrals, and synagogues. We saw Roman ruins, Muslim and Catholic architecture. Took a horse and carriage ride. We witnessed a Flamenco performance. We had a guided tour of an equestrian school. We even sampled Port and Sherry in two different cites.

My last-day favorite was a slow, lengthy stroll through the Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum, where art that I’d only seen in history books was right in front of me. Awesome.

I brought along three cameras – The Panny LX100, Olympus XZ-2, Sony RX100m3 – and my iPhone 8. Talk about an extended photo stroll!

We had a great time.

I put together an album on Flickr with all my fave shots. Take a peek…

Sculpture garden.

tiny-white-flowers.jpg

A stroll through Laguna Gloria.

I finally had a chance to visit Laguna Gloria in Austin last Saturday morning, participating in a photowalk put together by the good folks that run Round Rock Image Creators.

It was well attended, bunches of fun, and getting to see all that amazing art was right up my alley.

I walked around the sculpture garden with the group, then after everyone else left I wandered around the art school that shares the grounds, peeking into classes that were in session.

I used the Panny GX8 and a couple of different lenses, the Fuji Instax SQ6 instant film camera, and the Blackie App on my iPhone 8.

I shot some 35mm film, too. The Minolta XG-1, Olympus Stylus Epic, and the Sprocket Rocket. All C-41. I have a few more shots left before I can get those processed.

Pretty cool.