Life is a bountiful harvest

As you probably know, all of us here in the US are headed into a long weekend in celebration of Thanksgiving.  In that spirit, I wanted to share a few things that I am thankful for as it relates to photography: 

  • Photography has given me new eyes, and I am thankful for it - I may look at the same things as before, but now I really see them
  • Photography has taken me places that I would never have gone before - into certain buildings, down dark alleys, around deserted corners - and I am glad I went
  • I have been given opportunities as a direct result of going to these places - print sales, commercial licensing opportunities, and making just enough money from it to reinvest in new equipment
  • I am thankful for all the new Nikon gear I just picked up - it is incredible to have pro-level tools in hand
  • I am incredibly thankful for the community of folks that I interact with, none of which I would have had the opportunity to meet without photography - and all of which I have learned something from

Thanks to everyone who has ever visited my blog, commented or shared my work on Google+, friended me on Facebook or "Liked" my page there, made me a contact on Flickr, or followed me on Twitter or elsewhere - I am incredibly grateful for every single bit of it, and my photographic life is richer because of it.


Good morning, Seattle

Ah, Seattle, how I love thee!  I shot this from my hotel room - through the glass - early one morning while up in Seattle for work.  I really enjoy visiting that town, and each time I go there I return liking it even more.  It's got some cool architecture, some wonderful landmarks (that's the tip of the Space Needle peeking out over that building on the far right), the greatest public market anywhere (Pike Place), cool signs, graffiti and of course there are some amazing landscapes nearby!  What's not to love?  (waiting for someone to say it rains a lot...)

Handbills at the market

When we were in Seattle a little while back, we found ourselves walking up to the Pike Place Market via some back streets and alleys.  Normally that isn't recommended per se, but with a camera it is always an adventure.  Lucky for me, we came across some interesting stuff, like a wall of gum (more on that in another future post) and this wall which was totally covered in handbills and some graffiti.  In the old days (that is, prior to being a photographer) I would pass this by without much attention, and possibly consider it ugly and defacing.  These days however, I consider it something worth closer inspection and I actually find it rather compelling (I will stop slightly short of calling it beautiful, but I think it has some beauty about it).  Isn't it interesting how things change when you look at life through the lens?

Seattle stuff

Ok, back to Seattle.  I was up there recently, and absolutely love that town.  One afternoon we ventured over to the Space Needle in order to do the tourist thing, and afterwards I just had to wander around and try to find an alternative view of it to share with all my visitors here on the blog.  Last time I was there, back in April, I came up with what I consider an interesting view, which you can see here

Today's post is from a couple of weeks back.  That is the Experience Music Project on the left, with the Space Needle there poking out of the right side of the shot.   Please let me know your thoughts - which one do you like better, and why?  I dare ya to leave a comment!  (haha, there's a big challenge, huh?)


On a personal note, we spent the last 5 days down in Corpus Christi, Texas enjoying a little beach time.  I actually was offline for most of those 5 days, and it felt great (except that I feel way behind).  I witnessed a beautiful sunset last night (and yes, I have pictures to prove it!) and I got up early today and went out capturing quite a bit of the place in HDR.  A last-minute work trip came up the other day, so I am grabbing a plane ride in the morning to Chicago, but the Nikon will remain at home as there is just no time for it, and I travel as light as possible as a rule. 

So I wanted to thank everyone who takes the time to visit my site each day - I really appreciate it.  And to those of you who also take the time to leave a comment, another heartfelt thank you.  I will be visiting your sites soon and look forward to catching up with all the incredible photo work you do!  Have a wonderful day everyone!

The sky's the limit

Another post and run - it's Thursday night, but let's count this as a Friday post, shall we?   I will likely be offline all weekend while we are soaking up some beach time, so thanks as always for the visits and comments - they are truly appreciated!  A lesson I learned in Seattle - don't forget to look UP.  I was wandering back to my hotel, and just kept looking side to side for ideas and inspiration, when all along it was above me!

Seattle by Ferry

Pike Place Market, two mountain ranges, nearby islands, natural beauty, the Pacific Ocean, a great art community, cooler weather - what's not to like about Seattle??

Seattle is a great town - I’m a big fan.  I have been there twice this year, and considering how dang hot it is in Austin, I am ready for another trip!  I got this shot on my most recent trip up there.  We took a ferry up to the San Juan Islands over a weekend, and this was my view on Sunday evening as I was returning to Seattle.  It was cool and windy up there on top of the boat, but hey who minds that when you are snapping away?  In case you are curious, the Space Needle is not in the shot, because it is out of frame to the left.  I went for a tighter shot in this case, partly because I just love those clouds up there!  Thanks for stopping by!

Boiling clouds

This is the second image I have posted that was taken from behind Pike Place Market in Seattle, looking out at this lovely range of mountains in the distance.  This one is remarkably similar to this shot, mostly because they were taken mere seconds apart from the same spot.  I fired off a lot of shots within a matter of minutes, because it was incredibly beautiful and the clouds were literally boiling and churning, and changing by the second.  It was incredible.  I am posting this because I just confirmed a return trip to the lovely Emerald City in a few weeks, and will have a bit more time to shoot on this upcoming trip.  I hope to get some cool shots!  There is so much to shoot up there, and I can never get it all, but I can sure try!

Also, today was an awesome day in New Mexico.  We left the northern mountains and headed out to Ojo Caliente, where we sat in their hot mineral springs, where you can literally feel the stress melt away.  It was excellent, and definitely rejuvenating!  We followed that up with a visit to Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu where Georgia O'Keefe once spent her time painting - below is an iPhone shot from there.  Talk about inspiring landscapes - I was shooting left and right.  I can certainly see how that place got her fired up to create.  We landed in Santa Fe, from where I am typing this.  Exploring Santa Fe tomorrow - a town I love.  More soon! 

A Seattle abstract

I love Seattle - it’s such a beautiful city!  I hear it rains there sometimes though. :)

I was there recently on business, and one afternoon I had just a short window of time prior to a dinner engagement, so I thought I would run over to the Space Needle and get some shots.  I had been there before (a couple of times) but never had much in the way of a publish-able shot, so that was my goal.  I also wanted something slightly different, as opposed to a straight-up shot of the Space Needle rising into the sky.  As I was walking towards it, I first had to pass the Experience Music Project building, which is way cool.  It’s an architectural masterpiece designed by Frank Gehry, so you know it has to be cool.  Anyways, as I was approaching I liked how this view gives you just a slice of each structure, in sort of an abstract way.  I took several versions of this, but this one came out best.  I have plenty more of the Experience Music Project building and will get to them when I can.  Thanks for looking!

Mountains draped in clouds

I really enjoy viewing black and white photographs, though I do not employ that technique too often.  I tend to be a big color guy, if there’s such a term, but now and then a monochrome just seems to fit the bill better.  This is one of those cases.  I was walking around at Pike Place Market in Seattle and after snapping a bunch of shots there, I walked around the back side - really more off to the right and sorta behind it - where there is a very small park which offers up a commanding view of these lovely mountains.  I snapped away.  The clouds were just spectacular. 

I’m a big fan of the Nik Software suite, which fits perfectly for me as a plug-in to Aperture, and I used HDR Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro, and Color Efex Pro all on this single exposure.  It’s fun using all these great tools!

By the way, since this image has both ocean and mountains in it, is it called a landscape or a seascape??  hehe I am really not sure how to classify it.

Seattle skyline at blue hour

I just love skyline shots, the only problem is that they are often hard to get!  In this case, this was the view from my room in Seattle, so I got lucky for a change!

I have seen a lot of Seattle skyline shots, but the best spots to take them from were places that I could just not get to on this trip.  But, hopefully I will be back and be able to capture them next time.  This is definitely not the whole skyline of Seattle, as my hotel was situated pretty much in the middle of downtown.  When I checked in and saw the hotel was a high-rise, I asked for a room with a view, and the gentlemen said “I already have you in a room with my favorite view, Mr. Nix”.  Well thank you - I guess membership does have its privileges. :)  All in all, the view was pretty nice.  If you squint and look real close, you can just make out the top of the Space Needle sort of off-center between the two larger buildings on the left.  Thanks for stopping by!