It’s been a while since I’ve done any writing. But not for lack of desire – well, maybe a little – but more for lack of things to say. I have a continuous dialogue in my head and sometimes I think I have good things to say, but to have it come out in coherent thoughts on a public blog is still a little sketchy. So instead of delving into deep thoughts and life-changing decisions, I’ll share snippets of the summer’s adventures.
In June, I finished shooting for my third book. I’m not sure what title the publisher will give it, but after nearly 9 months of photographing locations in and around Austin, Texas, I sent over 400 files to Twin Lights Publishing to let them sort through what will become a photographic guide to Austin. I was even able to include my two daughters as part of the crowd in some photographs The publisher sent me a nice check, too, and they were great to work with. I’m happy they asked me to take on this project. In the process of visiting the 100+ locations, many of which I’d never heard of despite living 45 minutes from downtown Austin, I discovered some new and interesting places around Austin, including the Texas State Cemetery, the Cathedral of Junk, Pioneer Farms, and a few other artsy-fartsy places. Some I’d go back to; others, not so much.
As soon as Austin locations were taken care of, I piled my family into the car and we headed to Colorado for about 5 weeks. I was able to add to my current Colorado website, Images from Colorado, and include new locations such as the Grand Mesa, views from the summit of Mount Huron, and sunrise at Lake Granby.
On the drive back, we stopped in Palo Duro Canyon for a quick hike around Capitol Peak. The temperatures were unusually cool for late July, and the sunset was amazing. I’m already looking forward to a return trip to this gem just south of Amarillo.
This panorama shows a glorious sunset over Capitol Peak in Palo Duro Canyon. Comprised of over 27 images stitched and blended together, the peak and its adjacent hoodoo are one of the iconic locations in this beautiful and colorful park.
This Palo Duro panorama is available in larger and custom sizes.
Upon returning to the Hill Country after enjoy a month of temperatures that rarely rose out of the upper 70s, I was quickly reminded of how hot Texas is in August and even September. Since our return 5 weeks ago, the clouds still haven’t produced a drop of rain. My trips out to Pedernales Falls have found the river lower than I remember in a long time, and trips to shoot in downtown led me to humidity that had to be in the 90s.
Butterfly Bridge crosses Shoal Creek near West Avenue on a summer morning in this photograph from downtown Austin. Not far to the west is Ladybird Lake. This pedestrian area is one of the places that has been revitalized by the city, and it makes for a nice stroll on a weekend. This view looks directly south just before sunrise.
It was a fine summer morning in the Texas Hill Country. The air was warm and humid and the waters of the Pedernales River flowed a clear aqua color. This sunrise image showing the first rays of daylight was taken from a ridge overlooking the river’s limestone basin. I had arrived well before the first glow of light appeared on the horizon, but left shortly after this photograph was taken. As usual, I never saw another person.
Yikes. So now I’m hunkered down and waiting for cooler temperatures. With a trip planned for fall colors in Colorado, I’m literally counting the days.
Here are a few things I’ve discovered in the last two months in no particular order…
* I still have a touch of acrophobia. The edges of a rock face with a precipitous 1,000′ drop make my vertigo kick in.
* I found out a semi-professional photographer in the Austin/Hill Country area has gone to nearly all the exact spots I’ve visited in the last several years and replicated my images – basically copying everything I’ve taken. I won’t say more, but it bums me out that other people would do that.
* One of my images will be on the cover of the October edition of Texas Highways. Thanks to a friend for accompanying and guiding me to Garner State Park and this specific location last November to take this photograph.
* There are different kinds of falling… falling in love, falling off your bike, falling when you are old, and countless others. Some are good; some are not so good.
* Fear can be a deterrent and hindrance and can keep you from doing things you dream of. Fear can also be a powerful motivator. I look forward to writing more about this in the coming months.
* Something that is truly beautiful doesn’t need to seek out attention and is not self-serving.
* Mean people suck.
Have a good September, everyone!
Images from Texas