My Last Several Months

Over the last six months, I may not have been taking many creative images, but I have been shooting. Shooting what, you say? I had the privilege of taking an engagement photo shoot, then the subsequent wedding. Following that came multiple assignments of architectural photography. Squeezed in between, I still managed to take a trip or two downtown also.

I don’t typically do weddings. Not because I can’t deliver a technically good set of images, but wedding photography takes a good eye, the ability to adapt and solve problems on the fly, all while being creative and staying calm under pressure. The several I’ve shot have all turned out well and the clients seemed pleased. But simply put, they’re just a little stressful. With more practice, I’m sure I would relax and enjoy them for the creativity that they can afford. I have a lot of respect for those photographers that make their living that way.

I have shot architectural photography off and on over the years, but only recently have been able to photograph these subjects more often. Shooting inside mostly, the goal is to deliver an image where the client wants to spotlight certain aspects of the room or equipment. It might be unique overhead lighting, wall panels, built-in cabinets and such. While not as fast paced as a wedding, it still has its challenges and rewards.

Below is just a small sample of the variety of assignments recently.

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Houston Police Officer Memorial

The Houston Police Officer Memorial is a public recognition of the sacrifices made by police officers as they carry out their duties and, in particular, those who have died in the line of duty.  The central pyramid rises 12 ½ feet above ground level, and the four outer pyramids are inverted to sink 12 feet into the ground. Every pyramid base is 40 feet square.

The night we visited there, it was bathed in very bright blue lights from tall poles on the four corners. It made any kind of shot from a distance pretty difficult. I had to hide the light opposite of me behind the Memorial itself. The challenge here was balancing the brightness of the structure with the skyline of Houston in the background. The Memorial is located close to Eleanor Tinsley Park on Memorial Drive. If you’re lucky, you can get one of the only four parking spots available.

 

Houston Police Officer Memorial

Yellow Lotus

A year ago I visited a car show at LaCenterra, a shopping center in Katy, TX. The outdoor shopping center is full of stores guys go to only because their girl wants to go. If you’re lucky, you might get a bite to eat at one of the restaurants.

However, on this Saturday morning, they had a large car show of mainly late model cars and hot rods. There were plenty of foreign examples that you don’t typically see at the “older” car shows. Many of the cars were of the high dollar type, like this bright yellow beast that caught my eye when I first arrived. This Lotus Evora was an exceptional example of the eye candy to behold that morning.

 

Yellow Lotus by Tim Stanley

Denver Union Station Revisited

You find some of the most historic buildings, right in the middle of downtown. Time seems to standstill for them, while the rest of the city marches on. Skyscrapers grow around them, yet they remain virtually unchanged. Such is the case for the Union Station in Denver, Colorado. Or at least from the outside. The station itself has been renovated and the is the center hub for train activity in the region. The black and white treatment here adds to the period feel of the station. Visit here for other photos of this building.

 

Union Station in Denver Colorado

Cadillac Ranch

On our trip to Colorado, Alex Santiago and I were killing time driving through north Texas when we were reminded about the Cadillac Ranch, in Amarillo. We were just entering the outskirts of Amarillo and quickly had the new destination on our phone GPS.

I had seen the Cadillac Ranch in movies and videos before, so it was somewhat surreal to actually be there. What I wasn’t prepared for were how the cars are now painted with graffiti and visitors are encouraged to keep the artwork fresh by adding their contribution.

From Wikipedia:

Cadillac Ranch is is a public art installation and sculpture in Amarillo, Texas, USA. It was created in 1974 by Chip Lord, Hudson Marquez and Doug Michels, who were a part of the art group Ant Farm. It consists of what were (when originally installed during 1974) either older running used or junk Cadillac automobiles, representing a number of evolutions of the car line (most notably the birth and death of the defining feature of mid twentieth century Cadillacs: the tailfins) from 1949 to 1963, half-buried nose-first in the ground…  Cadillac Ranch was originally located in a wheat field, but in 1997, the installation was quietly moved by a local contractor to a location two miles (three kilometers) to the west, to a cow pasture along Interstate 40, in order to place it farther from the limits of the growing city.

 

The Cadillac Ranch, by Tim Stanley

 

The Cadillac Ranch, by Tim Stanley

Denver Union Station

It was our first full day in Colorado and our destination was downtown Denver. We started by taking the commuter train in from the suburbs into downtown and departed in an area full of construction. We soon found our first photo stop just a block away, the historic Denver Union Station.

In 1880, the owners of four different railroad lines agreed to build a central station at 17th and Wynkoop Streets. The station opened in May 1881. Throughout the years, it has been through numerous renovations, with a massive update completed just a few years ago. This blend of the modern architecture of the open air train hall, the historic Union Station and the Crawford Hotel make for a great visual experience.

 

Union Station, Denver, Co. Photo by Tim Stanley

Union Station, Denver, Co. Photo by Tim Stanley

Austin Light Trails

Standing in front of the University of Texas tower, look back over your shoulder and this is the view you see. Looking down University Avenue, the Texas State Capitol also towers over Austin. Beside standing out for its architectural uniqueness, the white dome lights the skyline and is hard to miss.

On a recent trip in Austin, my friends and I had been by the tower a while. Jeremy Mancuso and David Morefield were still shooting the tower, but Andy Crawford and I were looking for something else to entertain us. While having nothing against the UT Tower, we were looking for something else to shoot also and thought the light trails from the cars made for a fun diversion.

 

Austin Light Trails, by Tim Stanley.