A couple of months ago I was hiking around the Pedernales Falls near Johnson City, Texas and happened upon this flow of water bubbling from an underground source and running back into the Pedernales river. I looked high and low but couldn’t find any sign of where the water originated from. It must have started somewhere upstream in the falls in a spot where the water flows underground before being forced back to the surface. It was an amazing set of very little rapids and makes a curious photograph to look upon.
Happy Monday morning to everyone and happy first day of school for all you Texas kids!
Here’s another shot I took of Gorman Falls at the Colordao Bend State Park near Bend, Texas. I look forward to visiting this wonderful location again this October. Hopefully the drought will have abated by then and Gorman Creek will be flowing freely.
Here’s another shot taken last weekend in Goliad, Texas at the Mission Espiritu Santo de Zuñiga, a beautifully reconstructed Franciscan mission from the 1700’s. For every mission there must be a bell to call folks to worship and this is no exception.
I decided to try a little different approach in post processing on this image. I had taken this image using a Singh-Ray warming polarizer, so not much really needed to be done in post. I originally envisioned this shot as a black & white or duotone image and began the RAW conversion in Lightroom 2 as I normally would by correcting the exposure, adding some contrast and tweaking the luminance of the sky slightly.
The image really started to look nice with the warm details of the Mission set against the deep blue sky and white clouds as you can see here.
I almost stopped right here and gave up on the idea of a B&W or duotone image but then I remembered a simple little Photoshop trick that I’d learned from one of Matt Kosklowski‘s videos on Kelby Training.
I cloned the background layer and converted it to grayscale using Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro plug-in filter with the “Soft Sepia” option. Then I simply set the new layer’s opacity to around 28% to give the finished imaged a warm, high contrast but desaturated look. I also lightened the bell just enough to bring out the highlights on it. This is a really simple way to add a little contrast and color to a black & white or duotone image and took about 5 minutes in Photoshop CS4.
Here’s one of the first shots taken last weekend in Goliad, Texas at the Mission Espiritu Santo de Zuñiga, a beautifully reconstructed Franciscan mission from the 1700’s. A stone outside reads:
“Site of the Mission Nuestra Señora del Espiritu Santo de Zuñiga. First established at the site of La Salle’s fort on Garcitas Creek, Victoria County, Among the Coco, Cujanes, Karankawa and other indian tribes in 1722. Moved to Mission Valley, Victoria County, on the Guadalupe River among the Jaranames and Tamiques in 1826. Located on the present site in 1749 for the same indian neophytes. Secularized in 1794. Here Franciscan friars attempted to civilize and Christianize even the cannibalistic indians of the region. Erected by the State of Texas 1936.”
I received a wonderful email a few days ago from a reader asking where were my favorite locations in Texas for landscape and nature photography. Since I’m right in the middle of planning a Texas Hill Country Photo Safari for the fall, I thought I’d use Google Maps to give you an idea where I’ve taken some of the shots you’ve seen on this blog.
Texas boasts some of the most beautiful and well maintained state parks in the country and I’ve spent many happy hours wandering them with my camera in hand. Some of my favorites are:
- Monument Hill State Historical Site – La Grange, Texas
- Buescher State Park – Smithville, Texas
- Bastrop State Park – Bastrop, Texas
- McKinney Falls State Park – Austin, Texas
- Pedernales Falls State Park – Johnson City, Texas
- Longhorn Cavern State Park – Burnet, Texas
- Inks Lake State Park – Burnet, Texas
- Colorado Bend State Park – Bend, Texas
These are some of the locations I’ll be scouting the week of June 14th and most will be included in the Texas Hill Country Photo Safari planned for this fall. If you’re a landscape or nature photographer located here in Texas and would like to join us for this scouting trip or for the safari in the fall, just drop me an email!