Monday, March 26, 2012

Brenham Again...

Since Alcy will not be able to make the wildflower shoot with NWHPC on the 7th, she wanted to make a drive back to Brenham and Independence today. It all started on the wrong highway. We headed out 249 and should have been on 290—a slight disagreement—but I won. As a result we took 2920 across from Tomball to Waller—which was good. There is a tree on 2920 that Alcy likes to photograph and when we got there this morning there was still considerable ground fog. Stuck around a half hour or more photographing the tree and other stuff in the area.

Stopped at the Washington County Line for a few bluebonnet shots, then headed to the Antique Rose Emporium in Independence. Back to Brenham for lunch at It Must Be Heaven, finished off with a Blue Bell Fudge Sundae. Hung around Brenham photographing for a couple hours and headed back to Houston. Great trip—I even shot flowers.

We didn't make it to Martha's Bloomers, but that was okay. I found out that it was just another nursery.


Jan asked about the processing on the first tree photo. This is the original full frame image


  1. Now THAT'S what I call a "good photo day!" The first one is over-the-top awesomeness!!! So wish I could have taken it!

    Each spring for the last probably 6 or 7 years I take a "fun day" to drive around Washington County, sometimes Independence, Washington-on-the Brazos and shoot wildflowers to my hearts content. I'm not sure I've ever taken any I like as well as the ones you shot in that medium that time, but it's still my idea of a wonderful and fun day. I complete my day with a stop at Blue Bell Creamery before heading back to Houston. If you go back and haven't eaten there yet, try the Southern Flyer Diner at the Brenham airport the next time. Chappell Hill also has some nice photo ops with one subdivision outside of town that has wonderful fields of bluebonnets and paintbrush.

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  3. Jan, thanks so much. The bluebonnets don't do it for me. I enjoy seeing them and I realize that others are deeply affected and that's good. I'm just not a flower person but I hang out with a lot of people that are. LOL For me it is simply being in a small town. In your post here and to the last thread there is an undertone that reminds me very much of when I start writing about North Texas--and I think you are right--you are getting a little homesick. I greatly enjoy reading your blog. I love the way you are connecting with the people, customes and daily life in Indonesia. I could read the same thing in the media and pass over it not knowing how much I should believe. Reading your experiences I know that what you write is real. I have never had any desire to go to Indonesia, still don't but I do enjoy reading about the everyday life there. So, thanks for following my blog, commenting and for sharing your experiences on your blog.

  4. Thanks, Gary. I have never had any desire to go to Indonesia either and YES I am homesick!! I'm counting the days - 2 months to go. I know I am not a writer, but the blog has given me something to do to keep me from going crazy!!

    I'm thankful that this sacrifice hasn't been a waste, as Ronnie's classes have gone extremely well. He is partnering with another teacher at A&M and the students are writing software together. He is proposing some things to Fulbright that if adopted, could bring it into the 21st century in a big way. We'll see...

    Do you mind my asking how you did the color on the first tree photo? If you'd rather not put it on the blog, that is fine. I just love it and am curious what you did.

  5. Jan, I keep no secrets. LOL Actually I will post the original photo at the end.I knew when I was doing the photographs that morning that they would end up either very golden or very blue. Some, IMO, looked better one way, some the other. And as you see later some ended up black and white. Of this particular shot I did a gold, a blue, a purple and an aqua green version. I liked the gold best so that is the one that got posted. Part of that was influenced by the shot of the school bus which I knew at the time I took it was going to be warm colors. I have also processed one more of these images which is a little closer to being "real", if you can call any of my photographs real, which I will also post.

    As you know I shoot NEF and process in Nikon's NX2. I simply changed the white balance to Daylight Shade. I did use a Color Control Point on the top of the tree to darken it a little by increasing contrast in that area. Increasing the contrast brighten the colors and I normally will reduce saturation to compensate but I didn't in this case which accounts for the bright orange and yellow at the top of the tree. I might redo it again and tone down those colors a little. If you don't shoot NEF you can do the same thing by adjusting the warm/cool control tool.

  6. That is AMAZING!! I probably would have deleted that as soon as it uploaded, having no idea that it could be made into such an awesome, awe-inspiring photograph!! I personally don't think you should do a thing to it now - it's absolutely perfect and gorgeous just the way it is! WOW!!!! (and thank you for the explanation, as well as posting the original).

  7. Jan, thank you. I am convinced it is a mindset--the way we approach photography. Most photographers seem to equate digital with shooting slides--it had to come out of the camera. Very early on I decided that shoot digital was much more like shooting negative--the camera is just the first (actually second) step. The photograp is a combination of in camera and post processing. Then I read David duChemins thoughts and I agree with him entirely. He says there are three steps. First the photograph as you envision it at the time of exposure. Second the photograph that is captured in the camera. Third the photograph that replicates your "vision" in post processing. I knew when I took this photograph that a straight shot, what could be captured in the camera-a mechanical device, was not going to say what I wanted the photograph to say. But I also knew that I could most likely get it to match my "vision" in post. The photographs that I shot in that thirty or so minute stop are some of the most personally pleasing photographs that I have shot in a very long time. So, I am really pleased that you like this one so much.

  8. I don't disagree about the 3 steps - the problem for me is I'm no good at the third step! I know what I want it to look like, it usually doesn't and then I'm stuck. The fact that you have the ability and confidence to make the third step what you want it to be puts you light years ahead of most of us. Anyway, I enjoy your blog and you seem to be "on a roll" lately.