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Texas Wildfires: Bastrop

The Bastrop Wildfires as seen from Manor Texas

The Bastrop Wildfires as seen from our roof in Manor

Wildfires have been ravaging the area around us and living halfway between Austin and Bastrop has put us literally in the middle. Thankfully we have not had to contend with immediate threats or imminent danger, however; for the first few days it was very scary. With Austin as small as it is we know many, many families who have been affected by the wildfires that have seemingly surrounded our town. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone touched by these recent events and to all those who are helping in this time of need.

Bridal Portrait

black and white portrait of a bride at magic hour

Leah in Repose at Sunset

 

A nniversaries are wonderful to celebrate, especially as a photographer to be able to look back and recall the creation of images with fondness. This is a portrait I took at my good friend Maria’s wedding to her partner Leah pictured above. I love the line and graceful fall of her dress. They were both so beautiful and it was a wonderful evening in the Texas hill-country.

 

In the Rain

a car sits upside down on the front lawn of a house

A car sits upside-down on the front lawn of a house in South Austin

Oltorf is a major East-West street in South Austin. Sometimes in rains in Austin. When it rains, the roads usually get slippery. I arrived on this scene as the police were showing up and left just as the tow truck arrived; it seems no one was injured. Somehow this car made it from Oltorf, over the tree lane and sidewalk, and onto the front lawn, without leaving any marks.  The only apparent contact the vehicle made between its position on the previously discussed road to the aforementioned lawn seems to be the speed limit sign. I imagine it also did this upside down. I don’t think this kind of thing can be good for your grass.

Traffic

Sunrise in the country outside Austin Texas

Sunrise over grazing horses in Texas

Vacuous is the landscape that rises to meet me in the morning, yet surprisingly, most people I meet are often astounded to hear how far away from town we live. Coming from Los Angeles I relish the ability to traverse 15 miles in less than 30 minutes; a heretofore unknown vehicular pleasure that I could not have imagined over five years ago before we moved. Pictured above is the scene that frequently greets us five minutes after we leave our house on our commute to town. And by us I mean Bodie and I who roll along mist drenched hillsides under dramatic fiery cloudscapes that scorch the sky as we drive to town. I can’t imagine a more inspiring start to our day.

Hannah

Hannah -a young pretty girl- reclines in a fashionable pose beside an dry, drained and empty public pool in Austin, Texas.

Hannah waits patiently for a pool party.

I came across this quote years ago but despite ample searching have been unable to properly credit it. I recall it being attributed to a game designer at Nintendo who said that, “The best games are those that are simple to learn yet difficult to master.” I think this is one of the most apt and accurate descriptions of photography. The principles behind photography can be learned in an afternoon, but what happens next can barely be fit into a lifetime. The image above was taken at an empty pool in town with an 80 year old box camera; the simplest camera to use but the most difficult to focus. What initially seemed impossible turned out to be quite easy with the assistance of my trusty clamps, a cannibalized ground glass and a tape measure. I spent a dark evening a few weeks ago setting the focus for all my vintage and antique cameras. Once calibrated and recorded they prove divinely easy to use on location. My gratitude to my good friend Hannah who obliged me in testing my new applied theory of fixed focus calibration.