Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from Hill Country Images!

My daughter Ashley made this arrangement in the foreground:  Pinecones from a tree that my Grandmother planted with some silver spray, fresh cedar, magnolia, & mistletoe from our back pastures!  Add a floating candle in a mason jar with a ribbon and ta-da!  (drum roll) You have real Hill Country Christmas decor!

I hope everyone has a safe and joyous Christmas Season!  Merry Christmas from our little part of the Hill Country!

2011 Wild Horses (first edition) Christmas Cards – benefitting Wild Horses!

 

Hi everyone!

As many of you already know I am a HUGE fan of America’s Wild Horses and over the years I have tried to help them out as I can.

This year, I’ve created new cards featuring BRIDGER, a beautiful Wild Stallion  who is living at the McCullough Peaks Wild Horse Range near Cody Wyoming.  Its one of my favorite places to visit along with the Pryor Mountain Wild Horses!
Check them out at www.westerngalleries.com 

 

 

Photography as Art – Going through my ‘Blue Period’

I love traveling – especially through Wyoming/Montana/Colorado/ & the ROCKY MOUNTAINS!  But as the only photographer in my family, it can be frustrating and tough convincing my family that we have to be at a certain location at sunset or sunrise for prime light!
So, on one of our trips through the Tetons, we were running late and the lighting was ‘less than desirable’.  Afterward, I decided to do some Photoshop to this image, creating an intense BLUE cast and limited depth of field with dark contrasty shadows.   I purposely blurred the foreground, and darkened the shadows, trying to make it look cold and eerie – with a painterly quality. Did I spell that right?

It looks like it was taken at night – which could fit right into the Twilight Saga!

Its something different for me.
What do you think?

The Blue Period is a term used to define to the works produced by Spanish painter Pablo Picasso between 1901 and 1904, when he painted essentially monochromatic paintings in shades of blue and blue-green, only occasionally warmed by other colors. These somber works, inspired by Spain but painted in Paris, are now some of his most popular works, although he had difficulty selling them at the time.

Simple Photography Tips – for winter


Taken near Ouray Colorado

It may look warm in this photo, but the temp was around 15 degrees! That’s crazy cold for a Texan like me!

We had arrived just before sunrise and I stayed out in the cold for most of the morning while my hubby stayed toasty warm in the truck!  It was so cold, I used a shutter release & mirror lock up, to minimize movement (my shaking)!     Shot at F22  .4sec  ISO 50 

Tips for Shooting in the Cold

  • When shooting in below-freezing weather, it is critical to have a fully charged set of batteries, since the cold temperatures can quickly drain them. Should your battery discharge too early, you can extend its life by placing it in a warm pocket, close to your body, to warm it up. Remember to always bring along two batteries: one for the camera and another to be kept charging in your cabin or room.
  • When shooting in cold weather, or extreme conditions such as snow and sleet, it’s important not to change your lenses outdoors. You never want to get moisture or condensation inside the camera body.
  • Be careful bringing your camera inside a warm house or cabin from the cold outdoors. Put your cameras and lenses into a plastic bag and seal them up before you bring them indoors. Once inside, place them in the coldest area you can find so they slowly warm up to the new temperature.
  • I shoot with a rain cover (after all, snow is wet) to prevent the bodies and lenses from getting damp. Even the pro cameras, which are sturdier, need protection. Some systems even have an O ring on the lens to keep moisture from getting into the camera body.  I use a simple thin plastic rain guard that fits most telephoto lens and has a snug fitting velcro closer around the lens and hand placements for the camera’s back control buttons.
  • I try to bring along thin gloves when shooting in cold weather. Set up a system that works for you, one that allows you to shoot with your fingers and stay warm in between shots. 
  • It’s always wise to have a good chamois lens cleaner with you. Who knows when you might want to clean your filter or front element that has become moist from going in and out of cold temperatures.
  • A weatherproof container for Memory Cards might be a good idea, especially for those who are out in the elements often. The last thing you want to do is lose or drop your valuable photos in the snow. 

Challenge yourself to get outdoors for sunrise or sunset Winter shots!  Use a tripod for landscapes and drag the shutter a bit. 

 

 

Old Texas Hill Country Barn – TMax Film

Just had to post an old image that I took around 2001 or so using FILM!  That was way back in the good ‘ol days huh?!?
TMax black & white film – Canon EOS 3 (aka my Black Beauty), tripod, shutter release!   I need to dust her off once in a while… sniff, sniff … sometimes I do miss film!

Anybody remember using TMax film? lol!!!

2011 PPA Print Competition

I’m so happy that I’m sharing a little part of the Texas Hill Country with the PPA, Professional Photographers of America, International Print Competition – it scored a merit, so it should be on display in New Orleans!  woohoo!

Title:  The Way, Truth, & The Light
St Mary’s Church in downtown Fredericksburg Texas late on a foggy night! I actually took this in Dec 2010 after working at the studio until about 11pm! I had no idea that it was so foggy until I walked out to my car.  Of course I had  to go back to the studio and grab my camera (tripod is always in my car) after I saw the towers GLOWING in the fog!     The funniest part about that night was – it was so foggy that my mom saw ‘a photographer using a tripod’ that night at St Mary’s and wished it was me – it was me!  The fog was so thick she couldn’t tell who it was!  haha!

I LOVE moody images!  So cool!

😉

 

© Hill Country Images

Wedding near Enchanted Rock at Trois Estate, Fredericksburg Tx, Hill Country

I still love this image!  Its simple, & it has long leading lines and a powerful MOOD!


Taken at Zee & Michael’s beautiful wedding at the Trois Estate, near Enchanted Rock north of Fredericksburg Texas.  It almost looks like the bride is floating, but she’s wearing some awesome heels.  You can’t always see those tiny details in small web jpegs!