A pause in the hike

We arrived at Lost Maples State Park in the late afternoon, and were promptly told by the park ranger that we had just over 2 hours until sunset.  Having spent the better part of 2 hours driving to get here, and with nowhere else even remotely nearby to go visit or photograph, we hit the trail.  The map told us it was not a long hike, but being a photographer I know how these things stretch out - mostly due to me stopping and taking pictures.  Ok, entirely due to that.  Anyways, we had been on the trail less than 10 minutes and we came to this spot where the water ran over the trail, making for a tricky crossing - but a nice photograph.  I set up and got my shots and then we were off.  As you can see, the sun was heading around the bend and that gave me the opportunity to get some nice reflections in the water.  I finished up, we skipped over some rocks to cross the water, and continued the hike...you can see the bend in the trail off to the right.

6 exposure HDR taken at f/22, with exposures from -3 to +2.  HDR created in Photomatix and massaged a little in PSE and Aperture.

Break the ice

This was taken at Lost Maples State Park in the Texas Hill Country, on a recent trip I did with my good friend Jeff.  We had hiked all around the park, stopping of course for photo opps and the like, and by the time we got to this nice little spot it was closing in on sunset and we were tired.  It is not often that you find frozen water in these parts, simply because it doesn't get too cold.  So, we did the obvious thing a guy would do - try to break it.  It was fun.  We were sliding rocks out over the ice, which you can see in the photo, and throwing them high so they could land with a lot of force.  I am not sure we actually ever broke the ice here, but it sure was fun trying!

This is a 5 exposure HDR taken at f/11, with exposure ranging from -4 to 0.  They were merged into an HDR in Photomatix, and then I made some adjustments in PSE such as Shadows, Contrast and Unsharp Mask.  Then I ran it through Topaz Adjust and I made some final color adjustments in Aperture.

A quiet stretch of river

This weekend was great fun.  Me and my good buddy Jeff got the weekend to leave town and go do whatever we want, so we drove a bit aimlessly through some parts of the Texas Hill Country.  There are a ton of small towns (and we saw most of them I think!) and several state parks.  So, basically it was a photography weekend for me.  I think I got about 600 pictures!  Anyways, this was at Guadalupe River State Park.  It's a nice little park with a beautiful stretch of river running through it.  The weather was fabulous and we only saw 2 other people the whole time there.   The great thing about this river is that the water is so clear, as you can plainly tell in this photo.  It really is gorgeous and I have many more photos from the area to work on!

This was a 6 exposure HDR (-4 to +1) shot at f/22 and merged in Photomatix, and then some minor adjustments in PSE (Curves, Contrast) and a slight touch in Topaz Adjust.

A nice walk in the woods

On a recent morning I went for a solo photowalk in a park that I came across.  It has been raining quite a bit here in Austin, which is a good thing for several reasons, not the least of which is that our creeks start moving again and we get these lovely waterfalls.  

The silence of nature

I recently rediscovered a nice little park in Austin that I hadn't been to in probably 20 years.  It is off the beaten path, which is nice, and has a stream running through it, which is also nice.  I ended up there, mostly by accident, with camera in hand.  I was the only one there, and the silence was absolute.  The only noise came from a waterfall that was downstream a bit, and you could only hear it when you got close.  It was almost spooky out there, but it was great to just enjoy the silence of nature.  I think I shall return.