The Really Big Ring

One of my most favorite times to shoot photos now is at night. I’m not sure exactly why, but I know one reason is the lights that come alive after sunset. These same lights have a color quality that you just don’t experience during the day. You get to enjoy them on-location as you shoot, but you really appreciate them after you come home and process your images. The oranges, greens, blues and others are so much more distinct against the night background and paint a picture that is hard to see with the eye alone.

This is a wider view of the Pedestrian Ring at Smith Street & 1500 Louisiana Street in downtown Houston. It a great place of converging lines and colors.

This is a wider view of the Pedestrian Ring at Smith Street & 1500 Louisiana Street in downtown Houston. It a great place of converging lines and colors. Photo by TIm Stanley Photography.

Ballpark Concert

A day at the ballpark is fun for the entire family, but add a concert after the game and you have a combination better than a double hitter. I’m not the biggest sports fan in the world, but I do enjoy going to a major league game once or twice a year. The sights and sounds are a lot of fun, but I grow old of the crowds quickly and the long drive to and from the stadium. When we do go, we try to combine it with an extra activity.

Last summer, the David Crowder Band gave an after-game concert following a Houston Astros baseball game. It was the first concert I’ve been to in a while and the family had a great time.

For some photo geek-speak… A shot like this is simple to take, but hard to expose correctly. The contrast between the light on the field and the light from the bright video screens usually means one or the other will come out correctly exposed. This is a great reason to shoot raw files and adjust it in processing to balance things out. You can’t do that if you shoot the default jpeg files that most cameras shoot.  This was a just a single shot, tweaked in Lightroom.
 

Last summer, the David Crowder Band gave an after-game concert following a Houston Astros baseball game. It was the first concert I've been to in a while and the family had a great time. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.

Five Minutes Later

If you have taken more than a few sunsets, you have probably experienced this.  You think the sunset is going to be brilliant, only to have it fizzle out in the last minute. Or it looks no good, then at the last minute (after you decided not to pull your camera out), BAMM, everything changes and it’s a beautiful sunset. If you enjoy taking sunsets, then you know that the scene can change in just a few moments. And this change can go on for some time after the sun has dropped below the horizon, until it’s almost dark.

This image was taken about five minutes after “A Hard Sunset to Shoot“. Every portion of the sky seemed to change colors and intensity as the sun fell further behind the clouds. 

This image was taken about five minutes after

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Jesus Saves Again

I really don’t want to start shooting the same subjects more than once, but some locations just look different each time you visit them. 

I live far enough from downtown Houston, that I don’t go there unless I have a very good reason. On this evening, a friend had ask me to meet him there to shoot a few photos of he and his girlfriend. Since I arrived too early, for fear I wouldn’t know where to park, I had some time to spend before they arrived. Since it was close, it gave me a chance to revisit a few spots I had shot last summer, including the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church. It was much earlier in the evening on this trip, so the light was totally different.  

Comparing to last year’s photo, I think my photo style may have evolved a bit. I tend to process my photos a bit differently than I did last year and maybe even see things in the camera slightly different too. I suppose that’s the nature of any type of art form. It’s subjective and constantly changing.

Maybe I’ll have to visit here again next summer.
  

Recently, I had a chance to revisit a few spots I had shot last summer, including the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church.  Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.

Bird on a Stump

Walking around any kind of nature reserve gives you an opportunity to reconnect. At first glance, there may not seem to be a lot going on, but if you are quiet, look closely and pay attention to the details, you start to see an entire new world open before you.

I say reconnect, because for most of us, we live and work in an unnatural, almost sterile environment. Being outside in the “great outdoors” reminds us of the majesty that this world we live in offers. But we first have to get off the couch and take a drive. 

Maybe that’s one thing that I have enjoyed about this past year shooting so many photos, the motivation to see new things or go to new places that would not normally  be on my radar. Now, I’m always trying to look for interesting places and subjects to point my camera at. Yes, it would be easier if I had a job that allowed me to travel more, but I work with what I have and where I am. 

This large bird on a stump was found at Brazos Bend State Park. I’m sorry that I don’t know the species, so please comment if you do. Then I’ll learn something new too!

This large bird on a stump was found at Brazos Bend State Park. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.

 

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The Red Gate

There is something inviting about a gate, a portal into a new space that is longing to be investigated and explored.

If it’s a solid gate, there’s a sense of mystery, not knowing what may be on the other side. But if it’s a rail type gate, you have a clear view of what is to come, you know what you’re in for. This might increase your desire to move forward, or it might satisfy your need to venture through, since the other side is not enticing enough.  Either way, they allow you to enter into an area without scaling a wall, jumping a fence or walking around the obstacle. 

This red gate opens into a Virginia pasture where you can find a few head of cattle and occasionally a deer or on a rare occasion, a bear. 
 

This red gate opens into a Virginia pasture where you can find a few head of cattle and occasionally a deer or on a rare occasion, a bear. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.

 

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Saddles and Tack

Hobbies are an interesting subject. I once heard that to start any hobby with the basic supplies, you can expect to spend about $1000. Then again, some hobbies can cost a little more. Fast cars, fine art and any sport related to a horse falls into that slightly more expensive category. At first you think a little hay, a little water, some grass in the field. What more could a horse need? How about stable fees, vet fees, saddles, tack, and stuff I don’t even know about. Oh boy. 

These western saddles and tack are just a small sampling of what you can find at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Even if you don’t ride horses, you can’t help but appreciate the craftsmanship and details in a sport that many take a great deal of pride in.

 

These western saddles and tack are just a small sampling of what you can find at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Even if you don't ride horses, you can't help be appreciate the craftsmanship and details in a sport that many take a great deal of pride in. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.