Colorado Springs, CO – Garden of the Gods (HDR)


From the beautiful Colorado Springs, CO…recently all our prayers go out to the families for the recent fires in this amazing location. In the heart of CO Springs you can find the Garden of the Gods. One super cool spot. Here you can park and walk the trails around these magnificent wonders of nature.

Some info fro the web…It was August of 1859 when two surveyors started out from Denver City to begin a townsite, soon to be called Colorado City. While exploring nearby locations, they came upon a beautiful area of sandstone formations. M. S. Beach, who related this incident, suggested that it would be a “capital place for a beer garden” when the country grew up. His companion, Rufus Cable, a “young and poetic man”, exclaimed, “Beer Garden! Why it is a fit place for the Gods to assemble. We will call it the Garden of the Gods.” It has been so called ever since.

Dripping Springs, TX – Packard (interior) HDR


We did it…we moved from Austin, TX to Southern CA! Just getting settled and that will take a month or so….look for some cool SoCal HDR’s soon!! This is from the old Packard outside of Vista West Ranch. The interior is sweet! Look how comfortable that seat looks! =) Have fun!

Socorro, NM – VLA (Very Large Arrays)


If anyone has ever seen the movie “Contact” you can remember seeing these VLA’s! Some info from the VLA web site…

The Very Large Array, one of the world’s premier astronomical radio observatories, consists of 27 radio antennas in a Y-shaped configuration on the Plains of San Agustin fifty miles west of Socorro, New Mexico. Each antenna is 25 meters (82 feet) in diameter. The data from the antennas is combined electronically to give the resolution of an antenna 36km (22 miles) across, with the sensitivity of a dish 130 meters (422 feet) in diameter.

It was one cool location I always wanted to see. The drive is about 126 miles from Albuquerque – one way! A very dry looking drive and you go thru some small & poor towns. When you arrive to the VLA’s…they are easy to spot in the distance as you drive in. There is a welcome center where you can watch some videos and a shop to buy some collectibles. Here you can buy a pass for the guided tour. I was solo this day and went it alone. They have walkways to follow and one takes you directly right below a VLA! Quite a sight to see!! Workers in trucks were very friendly and always asked if I had any questions. So very nice! I stayed for about an hour taking lots of shots. Unfortunately, you are not able to walk all over…just certain locations…but enough to get great photos!

Dripping Springs, Texas – Vista West Ranch (HDR)


I had a bucket list of shots I wanted to take before leaving Austin. This was one. One day we were looking for new locations and came across this super rusty old Packard at Vista West Ranch. I knew I had to go back and shoot it in HDR. Such a stunning cool spot for a wedding!!!!

Some info from their website…

Our love and commitment to our clients isn’t the only thing that makes Vista West Ranch special. Our venue is located in Dripping Springs, just 20 minutes southwest of Austin, nestled in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. Hundred-year old oak trees, an enchanting waterfall, amazing sunsets, breathtaking views of the hill country that seem to go on forever… these are just a few of the reasons that our clients choose to celebrate their weddings with us. Our onsite lodging accommodations also make Vista West Ranch a top pick for couples choosing Austin as the location for their destination weddings.

It is a beautiful place! I can only imagine all the wonderful photos taken with a bride and groom with this old Packard. Looks to be a 1950? Not sure. Classic! Kudos Vista West Ranch!

Talke Photography Settings:

Camera: Nikon D300
Lens: Nikon 12-24 f/4.0
Setting: Aperture Mode
Focal Length: 18.0 mm
ISO: 200
Exposure: HDR 7 Exposures (+3 to -3)
Aperture: f/8
Gear: Tripod
Post Process: Adobe CS5, HDR Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, OnOne Software Photo Tools 2.6

Austin, Texas – ROT Bike Rally (HDR)


Right now in Austin you can go downtown and enjoy the ROT (Republic of Texas) Bike Rally (June 8-10). This shot was from last nite. I met up with my good friends… Andy ATMTX, Dave Wilson and Jim Nix. It was my last photo walk in Austin. We only have 10 days left here. It was great to have my last outing with my Austin HDR Mafia guys! I’ll miss having the opportunity of shooting with them!

Sorry the shot above is very very very busy! We met up downtown at around 6:30 and grabbed some bike shots near 6th street. The parade was scheduled for 8 PM. This is when hundred of bikes roar down Congress Avenue, then park. After parking a concert is on and the party begins! The photo above is after the parade, the bikers can park their bikes in the middle of Congress and leave them there while they go have fun and enjoy the music and activities. As you can tell…lots o bikes!! On the side of the shot you can see the people walking…in the background the Texas Capitol Building. That is a lot of action indeed!!

It was the first time I had ever been to to ROT…and it was an experience. After this shot we went out to grab a few more HDR’s. Look for them soon! Ride On ROT!! Here are a few more pics…

My favorite bike of the nite….

and a cool bike during the parade…

Las Vegas, NV – Venetian Hotel (HDR)


Viva Las Vegas! When walking thru the Venetian this early AM…around 8ish..all was quiet and a few drunkards were stumbling by. While taking the gondola ride the evening before…I had to grab this shot and decided to come back. I’m sure many people have the same photo as well. It is a nice re-creation of Venice. The fake buildings look solid in HDR. Now here was the challenge…the original ceiling is a lighted sky. The lighting is odd and the sky def looks off and funky in HDR. So whats a photog to do? I added a sky layer to make it look cleaner. I messed with Saturation, skew and added NIK tonal contrast to the sky to get it to fit in properly. Now its Viva Las Photoshop!

Talke Photography Settings:

Camera: Nikon D300
Lens: Nikon 12-24 f/4.0
Setting: Aperture Mode
Focal Length: 12.0 mm
ISO: 200
Exposure: HDR 5 Exposures (+2 to -2)
Aperture: f/22
Gear: Tripod
Post Process: Adobe CS5, HDR Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, OnOne Software Photo Tools 2.6