Monday, February 28, 2011

Washington on the Brazos Photoshoot

Graden Hegar, the Activity Chairman of Northwest Houston Photo Club, really out did himself on the February activity, a trip to Washington on the Brazos State Park for a celebration of Texas declaration of independence from Mexico. There were hundreds of people there in period costumes to photograph.

We were to meet at Chappell Hill Sausage Company at 8am. I arrived at 6:45am and took the Lensbaby for a stroll up the hill. Then I changed lenses to the 70-200mm and did it one more time. I hate getting out of the house in the early mornings but I love shooting in the early mornings. Okay, I hate getting out of the house anytime by myself. Guess I need to get accustomed to that.

After breakfast at the Sausage Company, we arrived at the park around 10am—way too late. We had to park about a half mile from the shindig and for an old man that’s a long walk. I had a blast shooting people in costume. We photographed there until about two something and then Jerry and Darnell Klump, Debi Beauregard and myself drove into Navasota to get some lunch. At the City CafĂ© the owner suggested some things that we should see before leaving so after lunch we went for a photo walk. The Klumpps started back to Houston after an hour or so but Debi and I stayed another hour or longer walking along Main Street. We met a young couple that the wife has just purchased the old movie theater and is renovating it. I hope maybe in late March to promote a trip back to Navasota that is topped off with attending a movie there. Brad, the husband, is the City Manager and seems very interested in promoting Navasota as a photo shoot destination so I hope we can work something out.

Today is Janet’s birthday. She would have been seventy-five. Going to this photoshoot would have been out of the question were she still alive. And as much as I am enjoying them I would trade them all to have her back. I was very pleased to get a post from one of her nieces that wants Janet’s photograph of her sister’s children. I had already put together a large box but I had no idea what I was going to do with them. I didn’t want to throw them away but I also didn’t know anyone that would want them. Phyllis wants to scan them and burn them to CDs for all the kids which would be great. I need to get to work on the thousands of slides and get them sorted out so I can give them to Phyllis also.

Top of the hill overlooking the Brazos River


  1. These are all nice, Gary but the bottom one is far and away my favorite!! I love the content, the position of the two women and the lighting on the woman on the right. Also the colors, softness and pretty much everything about it. The lighting is interesting but I'm wondering what caused the halo effect on the woman on the left and what kind of processing you did. Were you using the lensbaby?

    I didn't realize that today was Janet's birthday. I'm sure you miss her terribly. I'm glad you had such a beautiful day for shooting and were able to get out and do something fun with friends. I'm sure that helps.

  2. Jan, thank you. It was an exceptionally enjoyable field trip. We had on idea when we left Houston the degree of the reenactment we were going to find.

    The processing is just standard. The halo is from the Lensbaby. I purchased a second lens which is a soft focus and that is the one that I used here. I didn't like it much at first but it is growing on me. At first I thought it didn't flair enough so I kept using wider apertures to increase the flair. Now I have decided that f/5.6, used here, is just about right but I think maybe I would like f/8 better. I want the effect of the old movie stills where the highlights flaired but the photograph is fairly sharp.

    Jan, I do miss Janet so much. In some ways I am thankful because I know that the quality of her life left such a lot to be desired. I was really dreading winter because she was so cold natured. With it being colder than usual, she would have been miserable. Still, I'd trade the photo trips for her any day.

  3. Gary, of course you would.

    Thanks for the explanation on lens you were using. I have been to Washington on the Brazos when the people at the farm were in period clothing. But there wasn't a huge event going on when I was there, in fact very few people were there. So maybe they have different reenactments? It's a great place to include in a wildflower outings.

  4. Jan, yes it was a celebration of the 175th anniversary of the signing of the declaration of independence from Mexico. They did a reenactment of the meeting at Independence Hall. The reenactments groups were phenomenal. The costumes were very authentic and made for great photo ops. Had a great time. Gary