Boating in Central Park

Boating in Central Park

A boat on the lake in Central Park, under cloudy skies on a glorious Fall afternoon...

Read More

Bainbridge - and Happy Halloween!

Honestly, I have no idea the name of the place where I took this shot.  It's one of those little towns scattered along the California coast, somewhere betwen Carmel and San Francisco.  We were driving along and saw this boat, and all those sea lions basking on the dock, and had to take a closer look!

Since it will be Halloween Day by the time most folks read this, I thought I would throw in some pumpkin shots for the heck of it.  I grabbed these with my iPhone while at Whole Foods the other day.  Sadly I never made a trip this fall to shoot in a pumpkin patch, though I wanted to.  It's one of those things that just never made it on the list.  Anyways, thankfully Whole Foods has a bunch still!

Slight ripples

I like boats, though I don't own one and don't want to.  I guess I like the idea of boats then.  Anyways, I do like to take photos of them, if you can get a cool reflection or something like that.  In this case, I got this shot after returning from our little cruise around the bay in Corpus Christi, TX.  These were all there, sitting at anchor and waiting for someone to come enjoy them.  I enjoyed taking their photo, even if it was a fleeting moment as we cruised past.

Twilight at Fisherman's Wharf

I always enjoy seeing photos of boats, though I am not a "boat guy".  I don't own a boat, and really have no desire to.  But, I appreciate their beauty and find them interesting.  Rarely though have I taken photos of a boat or boats, and when I have the shots have been disappointments.  So, I found myself at Fisherman's Wharf along the Embarcadero in San Francisco, and it was nearly sunset.  I had spent the better part of the day behind the camera, which is always great fun (especially in San Fran) but I was tired and in need of food.  I found some place serving fish and chips - image that! - and hunkered down for some refueling.  After a bit though I started to notice the subtle changes in the sky and the color and light, and got itchy feet and headed back out to shoot some more.  I walked around Fisherman's Wharf for a while, but it is crowded with tourists and I was looking for something a little quieter.  I meandered around the backside of the wharf and found this marina, which happens to overlook Alcatraz.  It was peaceful and quiet, the sun was setting over distant hills, the light was just right, and it was just me and the camera.  

Closed for winter

Zilker Park is Austin's version of Central Park, sort of.  It's not as big, nor is it surrounded by skyscrapers, but it is a big beautiful open space that can provide hours of entertainment for young and old.  Barton Springs is a natural spring that runs through part of the park, and there is a section which is dammed up and made into a swimming pool which is open year-round, if you can handle the constant 68 degree temps.  I might be able to in the summer, when it's about 500 degrees outside, but in the winter?  Craziness.  Anyways, the spring continues its path and eventually merges into Lady Bird Lake, aka The Colorado River, or more likely known as Town Lake if you have been here for more than a few years.  For the record, I call it Town Lake.  These canoes are for rental there, and are very popular in the other seasons as folks enjoy taking them out for a spin.  I was walking around and liked the look of these abandoned fellows, seemingly waiting out the cold by huddling together like a bunch of penguins.

This is a 6 shot HDR image shot at f/5, with the exposures ranging from -3 to +2.  They were merged in Photomatix to create the HDR, and then moved into PSE for Curves, Contrast, and Unsharp Mask.  The final touch was in Topaz Adjust for a little polish.

Austin cityscape from the lake

Austin is a great town.  There are so many cool things about it.  Great food, excellent live music, and a cool funky sort of hippie vibe are the obvious ones that we are well known for.  But there is so much more.  One of our bridges on this fine lake (Lady Bird Lake that you see in this picture) houses about 1 million Mexican free-tailed bats, and at dusk they swarm out of the bridge to go eat their weight in bugs.  That is quite a sight.  Lance Armstrong lives here, if you have heard of that guy (hint: he rides a bike), and Sandra Bullock has a restaurant here (Bess, which I hear is good but haven't been yet).  The author James Michener lived here until his death, upon which many of his collected art works were donated to The Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas.  Which reminds me, we have The University of Texas, which has the best football team in the country (Hook 'Em Horns)!  We also have a *few* barbecue joints around here and our Tex-Mex cuisine is the best there is...

This shot was taken while on a touristy boat ride up and down Town Lake, now called Lady Bird Lake in honor of LBJ's late wife, and which is technically the Colorado River.  Which reminds me, we have about 3 names for everything so as to confuse visitors and newbies.  It seems to work.   Our town motto is "Keep Austin Weird", which is both a plea to support local business and a true statement.  Austin is both weird and wonderful!

If I had a boat...

Boats are cool, and the ocean is amazing in many ways.  I was at West Jetty View Park, at the tip of the Balboa Peninsula, in Orange County, CA when I saw these two boats.  I was immediately drawn in by them, and at first I wasn't sure why.  But now, I think it is for a few reasons.  It could be that I just like boats (though I don't own one), or it could be that these two boats are of not just different makes but different eras, or perhaps because these two represent a real contrast among life's big decisions: enjoy the journey and go where life leads you (sailboat) or just hurry up and get somewhere quickly (speedboat) paying little attention to what is going on around you.  

Lyle Lovett has a great song about a boat, the title of which I borrowed for the title of this photo, and I recommend you listen to it.  It's a great song, and I am not biased just because Lyle is from around Central Texas (where I live).  He rambles on in the song about The Lone Ranger, Tonto and having a pony on his boat, and I am not sure what all he means by it, though I am sure it is deeply meaningful to him.  Anyways, one of my favorites lines in the song is "kiss my ass I bought a boat, I'm going out to sea".  Perhaps that is the lure of boats, especially seafaring ones - that you can sail off and moor yourself on distant shores, leaving all your troubles behind.  I know people that would very much like to do that.

I have a friend whose older brother once worked for little money at a tough job up in New England, and one winter he literally had enough of the cold and snow, and so he packed everything up in his old car, quit his job and left the next morning for a new life in the sunshine.  He ended up in south Florida, working as a deckhand on various boats, gaining experience and knowledge and eventually grew to be Captain on a large luxury yacht owned by a wealthy businessman out of Chicago.  Now he runs the boat back and forth from Ft. Lauderdale, FL to Nassau, Bahamas and generally just loves the hell out of it - and makes a great living too.  So, I guess going out to sea can pay big dividends...