Monday, December 22, 2014

Faux Pas

If I were French my middle name would have to be faux pas. There are time when I can do the dumbest things possible. I was asked to take photographs at the studios holiday party last Saturday. I told them that I was a lousy event photographer then did my best to prove that. But the pièce de résistance occurred after the party. I thought I marked all of the photographs to be uploaded to my computer and without checking formatted the disc. Well, as you might have guessed I only marked a very few, maybe like three or four. The rest, all gone.

Well, I borrowed a SD card from Alcy for the shoot in Richmond so that I would not overwrite anything on the card I had used. I was a little slow getting to the studio today but when I did I researched recovery software and took a shot in the dark at a free software called Recuva. Loaded it to my computer and after installing scanned the SD Card. The first scan found nothing. The software suggested a ‘deep scan’ warning that it could take a very long time. What else did I have but time. I tried it. Took just under an hour because it was scanning a single 32gb card rather than a multi-terabyte hard drive. Didn’t work. Nothing, nada. But I’ve got this poof theory that says not to sweat the small stuff, at some point everything is going to work out sorta magically—always does. Remembering my poof theory I decided to do it again. This time it did work. Found every single file and they are all in excellent condition. So, at this point I would recommend that having Recuva on your computer is not a bad idea, but then again your middle name might not be faux pas.

Model Shoots

Well, I wrote a post and then I thought better and deleted it. It was just more of my rambling about photographing children and about a woman I saw Saturday that took my breath away. Everyone knows everything there is to know about the first and don't particularly care about the second.

My photography seems very, very off track and right now I am not sure how to get it back on track. And maybe it is just the time of the year.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

On Track

Debi called around noon to asked if I was on track. I had to ask track for what. Then she reminded me it was Friday and we were going to the Trans Siberian Orchestra at 4. A quick shave and shine and we met up at the studio at 2. Where we had parked last week was $20 and was full. We drove around the block and parked at a meter across the street from the lot for $2. Not a bad beginning for the night.

When Don and Carolyn arrived sometime before us they had been upgraded to box seats so we would not be sitting together. Not a problem. It was interesting. Were it ever on my bucket list it would now be totally off which is about the best that I can say. They had sort of tied it to gather loosely with a story about a young girl in an attic reading letters. Finally when the got to the last letter I thought the grand finale was getting near. They did a big production number with fireballs so hot they could be felt at the back of the arena and I thought that was it. But wait, there were several more numbers and another big production and more and more. There were at least three or four finales before the grand finale. I began to pray at the end of each number that the next would be the real grand finale. And people say that I go on and on.

Finally it was over and my ear drums could see some possibility of getting back to normal. If I hadn't been nearly deaf before I would surely be now. I had talked to Carolyn about going to dinner at Pappasitos over in the Hilton after the show and she had agreed, so we headed for Pappsitos. It would be a 45 minute wait. I suggested that we hit the Papasitos out on 1960 since it would be on their way home (but a thirty plus mile drive for me). I forgot about Christmas and Willowbrook Mall. Traffic was horrendous. We finally got there. Don and Carolyn were already there and had made a reservation--the wait time was one hour and 45 minutes. Oh well, it gave us an opportunity to sit and talk although we seriously considered crossing the street to the Coney Island. They were fairly close on the wait time. We drew a great server, the meal was excellent as usual and we all enjoyed it. Well except for the part where Santa and his elves were serenading off key--way off key. Sure appears they had been hitting the Tequila pretty hard. Debi and I got back to the studio a little after eleven and I should be in bed but  who can sleep when they are full of enchiladas, so very full of enchiladas.

It was a very interesting night to say the least. Now for the Christmas Party at the studio tomorrow and a photoshoot in Richmond Sunday. Going to do Christmas with Debi and Alcy on Tuesday, shoot with Debi on the 25th and with Paula and Debi on the 26. 2015 is going out with a bang if only I survive. I'm certainly will be hitting the Two Old Goats frequently.

[For those who do not know, I am not referring to anyone I know should you be confused. Two Old Goats is an essential oils ointment that helps relieve the pain of arthritis. I actually will not be hitting it, I will be rubbing it on my knee.]

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Mullett

Sunday the Sugarland Photography Meetup scheduled a shoot at a place called The Mullett in the Almeda area south of Houston. I wasn't a member of the Sugarland group but Saundra Salter sent me an email and I quickly joined and registered for the shoot. Got to visit briefly with Rudy Hernandez a co-worker from the many years ago at Southwestern Camera. Rudy has had a successful run as a professional photographer and photojournalist. He has a highly respected reputation in Houston. The Mullett was an art supply/art studio affair but as I understand it the young man that set it up had been murdered and they were being evicted. Outside it is Alvagraphics on steroids. The graffiti is phenomenal and covered an area larger than Alvagraphic’s old building. Some fellow was there that let us inside to do some photographs.

The shoot ended fairly early and one of the women asked me if there was anything else in the area. The Kemah Boardwalk was the only thing I could think of so Sandy, Liz, Saundra and I headed over there. I had mentioned before I knew that Saundra and I would be going that if they go they should eat at Tookies. When we met up in the parking lot at the Boardwalk Sandy mentioned that they had seen Tookies and almost stopped. About that time Alcy called and when I told her where we were she said that we had better not go to Tookies without her—sorry it was too late for that. We went back over the Clear Lake Channel Bridge to Tookies before we started to shoot.
I probably haven’t eaten at Tookies more than a half dozen times or so times since Janet and I quit sailing and I have been there three times within the last three weeks. That’s okay, you can’t stop too often at Tookies for a No. 99, their specialty burger with a wine marinated patty. Great eating.

Here are a few of the shots from the day…



 I didn't do much at the Boardwalk but I did shoot a few of the rides.

As a matter of explanation; I do not generally put the borders around the images that I upload to Meetup sites. The image itself is resized to 1024 pixels on the long side before the border and occasionally I will take the time to add borders before posting to the blog, sometimes not.


I attended the inaugural shoot with a new models group organized by Manny Dhaliwal this past Saturday. It is unbelievable to me that I have been attending meet up groups for over six years. The shoot was at the Kemah Boardwalk. I arrived early and ran into another photogapher that I hadn’t shot with in a very long time, Richard Priest. Richard and I were talking about Niecy, the model that first pursuaded me to join a models group. We were discussing the last time we had shot together and it was at a horse breeding farm in Huffman over four years ago. It just seems like a couple of years since I first attended the Houston Photography Meetup at JAX Bar and Grill on Shephard. Well, as they say, time goes fast when you are having fun.

Anyway, I didn’t do a lot of good at the Kemah shoot. Several of the models showed up late and judging from the posted photographs some arrived after I left. Two hours is about my shooting limit, then the legs give out. Here are a few of what I got.

After the shoot Alcy wanted to photograph some of the rides and on the way back to Houston we stopped at Clear Lake for sunset.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Running Behind--Again

Maybe I need to start numbering threads with this title.
I have joined three new meet up groups within the last week and a half--not that I was able to keep up with the ones where I was already a member. Between meet up groups and the studio I manage to stay busy.

The new groups are Models, Photographers, Art, Fashion; Shabby Chic Models and Photographers and Sugarland Photography Group. If I work this just right I will never ever have another free day. LOL

Saturday, December 13, 2014


Alcy wanted to go to Brookwood Community at Brookshire to photograph flowers. Thankfully they had an extensive selection of cacti. This was a few days ago but I wanted to post them since they are considerably different from what I normally do. It was all I could do not to come home with a container cacti garden. I think I would keep cacti alive but there is no guarantee.

 They also had a lot of poinsettia. When I got back to the studio I was processing the following picture and was very frustrated because I couldn't get it to the red color that I thought a poinsettia was supposed to be. Then Alcy explained why--it's a hydrangea or something like that--okay hibiscus.

Friday, December 12, 2014

A friend kindly gave me matinee tickets to the Trans Siberian Orchestra playing at the Toyota Center. Since Debi is frequently off on Friday I asked if she would like to go along.

We met at the studio at 2, the concert began at 4. Stopped at The Lake House for something cold to drink and at about 3:40 headed over to Toyota Center. There sure wasn't any crowd--that is when I realized that the tickets were for the 19th not the 13th. We had paid for parking until 11pm so we grabbed our cameras and did a walk around.

Debi and I had both shot the Winged City sculptures within the last week but we decided to do them again. This time with off camera flash. Had a great time and got a few descent photos. At around 7 we decided we were hungry and would try the Grove at Discovery Green. Neither of us had eaten there so I mentioned that there was a Pappas Barbeque that was within walking distance and Debi said that there was a Pappasitos at the Hilton which was much closer. I finally found a place that can make a descent Enchilada.

The last time I took Debi anywhere we went to a Imago meeting at the Second Baptist Church. There wasn't anyone in the meeting room so we sat in the lobby and talked for almost an hour.  Imago normally meets on Tuesday night but for November and December they were meeting on Monday. We were a day late. Going to a concert a week early I figured made up for Imago and gave me a couple of oops to play around with later.

Anyway, we will go to the concert next Friday--and might just eat at Pappasitos again. In my defense--when you are seventy-five, unattached, unemployed and with not really much to do time, days, months (even years) really don't hold a lot of interest. Just think, if we had waited until next Friday we would not enjoyed tonight nearly so much. So snicker if you must but it was not a wasted trip.