Up early, with a twist.

Greetings

GTX Photo Fest.

6 a.m. is when I usually get up, but my normal routine includes downing a travel mug of coffee and computer time until 8-ish.

Not so today. I had to be out the door by 7:30 a.m.

Today was the 1st (and hopefully annual) Georgetown Photo Festival.

But let me back up a minute.

I decided to take only my TtV rig with me today.

It’d been a while since I shot Through the Viewfinder and I thought this event would be a perfect fit. Last night I spent a good two hours getting my gear ready – charging batteries, checking camera settings, clearing and formatting the CF card in the ol’ Pentax *ist D – so it’d be a grab-and-go kind of thing after morning coffee and such.

I was ready. And everything worked out perfectly. Wake up. Coffee. Shower. Go.

Georgetown, TX is up the road about 17 minutes, if the traffic signal gods are on my side.

I got to the town square about 10 minutes early and could see folks gathering on the east side of the courthouse. A photostroll was planned for 8-10 a.m.

The morning air was around 46º with a slight breeze out of the north. Brrr. I wore a hoody sweatshirt. Seemed enough. Really wasn’t.

I mingled with people I know from PhotwalksATX, said hello to David Valdez (one of the event organizers), then joined in as everyone congregated on the courthouse steps for a group shot.

I started walking around, and promptly lost the folks partaking in the photostroll. I kept moving and in the span of an hour I’d made about 60 TtV shots. That’s when the 4 AA batteries in the *ist D decided to go dead. Bummer.

I went back to the Escape, looking for the other set of batteries I’d packed. Sadly, they weren’t in the bag. So, I put the TtV rig back in the camera bag and locked up the truck. Then I pulled out my iPhone and headed back into the fray using the Blackie app.

After another half-hour of walking around it was getting close to 10 a.m. and my toes were cold. So I headed back to the truck and drove home.

Yup. You know where this is going… maybe I *should’ve* brought another camera. Lesson learned. Next time bring a back-up camera. Maybe two.

I got around 2 dozen decent shots in all. Here are a few of my faves…

Not too shabby.

 

Walking around a craft fair.

We got out yesterday with friends, taking in Vintage Market Days at HEB Center in Cedar Park. While it seemed less vintage and more manufactured ‘Shabby Chic,’ there were still a few interesting and cool objects hiding amongst the mundane.

The morning started out cloudy and a bit windy, proving to be a challenge for vendors. Stuff flying everywhere! The cloud cover cleared an hour after we arrived, but the wind persisted. And it got warm. Hot.

We lasted 2 hours, total. Other than a bit of sun, we didn’t come away with much. It was a fun outing, nonetheless .

We headed for a well known, local chain Tex-Mex restaurant that was nearby, one that had recently opened in this part of town, but we’d not yet tried. Chow was great – I had chicken enchiladas – but their margaritas could’ve been better.

Pretty decent morning, all the way around.

Here are a few pictures I made with the TtV rig…

SPECS | Pentax *ist D, Sigma 28-135 3.8-5.6 macro + Kodak Duaflex II, art board contraption + Urban Acid, modified

 

Cruisin’ Central Texas farm country.

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Beyersville BBQ & 17th Annual Lonestar Round Up

I mixed it up a little this year, taking in the Beyersville Hall BBQ just south of Taylor, an annual tradition that happens before the main event, but out in the boonies!

It was last Thursday, April 5 and very well attended. Lots of cool cars to gawk at and man, was that line for BBQ long!

I took the TtV rig this trip. It’s been a while since shooting with it and as usual, I got to explain the whole operation to a few curious folks catching my act.

The next day I headed south on SH130, arriving at the Travis County Expo Center around 11 a.m. The Lonestar Round Up is my favorite car show, at least so far. It certainly is the largest gathering I’ve seen. Maybe even bigger that the Good Guys shows I attended in Northern California all those years.

At LSRU I used the GX8, the LX100, and the Fujifilm Instax SQ10. A good mix, I think.

Snapped a few keepers…

 

Taking flight.

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Discoveries.

From around 10 years ago, found while sifting through the archives.

I don’t always see the good in an image ’til later. In this case, much later.

I love how the eye is lead from bottom to top, in a clockwise semi-circle, with the last flower barely visible in the blown-out background.

It’s like the little blossoms are lining up for take off.

Shooting people.

Cool hat

Have a seat, please.

The night before, I’d attended a talk by George Brainard. George is an Austin, TX portrait photographer who, among other things, spoke about seeking to connect with his subjects, develop trust, hopefully allowing them to reveal their true selves. When you look at the shots in his book it’s clear he succeeds with this strategy.

I’ve taken plenty of portraits over the years, but I was inspired to make as many TtV portraits as I could at the Lonestar Round Up on the Friday following that talk.

And, I tried something new with portraiture this time around. I’d been planning on experimenting with this particular notion for a while. When I make TtV portraits at car shows the shots mostly have an upward angle to them because the subject is standing and my TtV rig is at waist level, and if I get close enough, the resulting picture includes a pretty good view up my subject’s nostrils. Not always pretty!

Not long ago I purchased an inexpensive Coleman folding camp stool from Amazon. It’s very light, but sturdy, and it’s just the right height for folks to sit on while I get the shot.

An added bonus is I can sit on the thing to get low angle shots of any subject and not have the hassle of dealing with my achy knees. All that crazy skateboarding in the 70s trashed my hips, too. I’m really starting to feel it in my old age.

So each time I approached my subject, I had to pretty much explain what I was up to. The TtV. The angle of attack on their nose hairs. And where the chair comes in. To my surprise, only one person declined to have their portrait made.

Sure, it adds one more thing to carry, but I’m really happy with the results. I’m even thinking about getting that little stool’s legs pinstriped! 8^)

Oh, yeah… I also made a few hot rod shots while I was at it. Kinda’ hard not to!