|El Mercado in Austin||Renzo Piano Pavilion, Kimball Art Museum, Fort Worth|
|Gears at Rice University in Houston||Chef d'Orchestre at the Amon Carter Museum|
I added two new pictures in the Landscapes gallery of some ominous pre-storm skies over Fort Worth, taken at sunset on May 20, 2013. These images are not manipulated to alter the colors; this is actually how the skies looked that evening…it was very eerie! I was later told by a meteorologist that these are mammatus clouds, somewhat rare and usually associated with severe thunderstorms. They just happened to form before a storm that evening around 8:00-8:15 p.m. and, coupled with the light from the final moments of the sunset, created these beautiful layers of color.
|Fort Worth Skies I||Fort Worth Skies II|
Click an image above to view in its gallery.
|Museu de Arte Contemporânea in Niterói, Brazil||Porsche Club Race at Texas World Speedway|
|The Alamo in San Antonio||Cavanaugh Flight Museum|
|Sante Fe International Folks Art Festival||Boxstoberfest at Gillespie County Airport in Fredericksburg|
I originally intended to work chronologically through the photos from my recent trip to Australia and New Zealand, but I decided to skip ahead to Christchurch after the devastating earthquake that struck the city last month. Christchurch is the largest city on the South Island of New Zealand and was my first stop in the country. It’s considered one of the most “English” cities outside England and was named after its founder’s alma mater, Christ Church College at Oxford University.
Prior to my arrival, Christchurch had been hit by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake on September 4, 2010 and a 4.9 magnitude aftershock on December 26, 2010. These events caused serious damage to a number of buildings in the central business district. Some structures were partially collapsed and others had bricks and masonry knocked onto the street. Remarkably, there were no direct fatalities resulting from these two earlier events. However, when I arrived in the city last January, the damage from these tremors was still very apparent, and numerous streets, alleyways and sidewalks were cordoned around the damaged buildings. Fortunately, most of the city was still generally accessible and its landmarks, including the iconic Christchurch Cathedral, were still standing.
Although I was only in Christchurch for two nonconsecutive days during my trip, I immensely enjoyed walking the city and learning about its history and architecture. It was heartbreaking after my return to Houston to hear the news that this city had been devastated by yet another earthquake on February 22, 2011. This quake measured 6.3 in magnitude but, unlike the earlier events, had a shallower epicenter that was closer to the city. It also struck on an early weekday afternoon when the central business district was at its busiest. It caused widespread damage and nearly 200 fatalities, making it the second deadliest natural disaster in New Zealand’s history.
Many historic landmarks were lost or severely damaged, including the Christchurch Cathedral. Below are two “before and after” images of the Christchurch Cathedral and the ANZ Bank Chambers Building, comparing a photo I took from my trip with an image from the news after the February earthquake. Sadly, I may have a few more of these comparison photographs to come.
I feel extremely fortunate to have been able to experience and photograph these landmarks before they were lost, and to have not been in the city during the quake. My heart goes out to the people of Christchurch, as well as to the people in Japan who recently suffered an even more devastating earthquake and tsunami.
|Click here to an image above to view the gallery.|
I recently visited Sydney, Melbourne and the South Island of New Zealand on a three week “get away from everything” trip. I had an amazing time exploring new places, meeting new people, drinking my weight in beer, and―of course―taking a ton of pictures.
My first stop was Sydney, where I stayed for four days. It’s an aesthetically wonderful city, with a dense and architecturally diverse urban core surrounded by a stunning harbor, eastern beach communities and walkable inland suburbs. As exciting as it was to start exploring this unique place, it was a near photographic disaster when, on day three, an internal mirror in my camera fell loose rendering it completely unusable. Luckily, I was able to “swap” my EOS 5D camera body for an identical one at a local camera shop called George’s, which allowed me to keep shooting without skipping a beat.
Back in Houston, I’ve been trudging (slowly but surely) through the voluminous mass of images I brought home with me. I’m processing them chronologically, and just today made it through Sydney. After Sydney, my next stop was Melbourne, and I hope to have those pictures posted very soon, followed by the Great Ocean Road and finally (saving the best for last) New Zealand.
In the meantime, I hope you enjoy these images from Sydney.
|Sydney Opera House||Sydney Darling Harbour|
Updated Website Design
I further revised the aesthetics in the website design. I’m not a professional web designer, so any suggestions on improving the look and feel of this site are always welcome.
I expanded the three previous photo categories into the following six: *
* These galleries have since been reorganized into new portfolio galleries, which are displayed on the main "Galleries". Images from most of the older galleries are still available in the section entitled "Archives", primarily for personal archiving purposes.
While my interest in architecture initially attracted me to photography, over time I have come to enjoy a broader array of subject matter. To better reflect this variety, I reorganized old and new photos within the above categories. I have also increased the online image quality and resolution (though still presented at relatively low resolutions for viewing and security purposes).
New Photos Added
I added some new photos, samples of which are thumbnailed below (and are linked to their current galleries, which have been revised since this update was originally posted).
|East Texas Boat House Standard poodle, Jamie||Mexican Federal police at the Palacio Nacional|
Click an image above to view an updated gallery
As of this update, I have lived in Houston for exactly three years, so it's a little sad that I've just recently begun exploring this city with my camera. For now, I've posted seven dusk / night downtown images taken with an old Leica SLR in May 2008, plus one additional picture taken by another individual, Daniel Santamaria (Daniel’s picture is of my Leica sitting on a tripod with skyscrapers in the background, taken as I was setting up for long exposures).
Houston is a diverse, fascinating and underrated city with in-exhaustive photographic possibilities. I plan to add many new H-Town images in the future.
|Houston Main Street|
|Click image or here to view the gallery.|
These photos were taken in late March 2005 when I traveled to Savannah for my sister's wedding. The wedding was held at Mickve Israel synagogue, which is the third oldest Jewish congregation in North America, as well as the only gothic style synagogue on the continent. Over the weekend I was there, I managed to take these few pictures. I had a wonderful time at the wedding, but need to return to further explore this picturesque and historic city.Savannah Reflections
These are images from early March 2005, when I drove eight hours from my then home in Austin to meet my sister and her friends in this small, eclectic, ranching town in the west Texas desert. We all had an amazing time exploring the area and hanging out at the retro Thunderbird Motel (which, incidentally, is the sister property of Hotel San José in Austin). No fleeting glimpses of the mysterious Marfa Lights this time, but I’ll return to hopefully see that and much more in and around this amazing and beautiful place.
A place I once called home — if only for a brief time — I had not returned to San Francisco to visit in over a year. Driving up from L.A. for the weekend earlier this month to spend time with friends and family was long overdue and made me remember how much I enjoyed living in the Bay Area. These new photos are the product of several long hikes over the course of that weekend spanning the Mission, North Beach, SoMa, and South Beach neighborhoods.Telegraph Hill in San Francisco
Obtaining permission for a shoot in the L.A. subway is an irritating process, to say the least. It required at least fifteen phone calls to the MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority), faxing several ridiculous permission forms that I’m sure no one even looked at, and engaging in mind-numbingly irrational arguments with both MTA officials and even a few subway drivers. Eventually, I received the required permissions for a brief shoot in October 2002 of my favorite station at the corner of Hollywood and Highland.
|Hollywood and Highland Subway Station||Hollywood and Highland Subway Station|