Houston From Above

I have always loved mountains. I suppose it’s their size and grandiose nature of them. But, alas, I have never lived in a state where I could enjoy them. Sure, I’ve traveled and visited folks that live near or on them, but those limited visits are just not enough.

The next best thing around my area is the great skyline that Houston has to offer. A great skyline is something to take in, especially at night. Last year, one of my daughters and I went downtown and visited the Chase Tower. It has a great observation area on the 60th floor to enjoy a great view of Houston from above.

Since I have never worked in an office building downtown, it felt strange looking down on the city for a change. The visit if free, but only open during regular business hours, so unfortunately no sunset shots here.

Houston from Above, by Tim Stanley

Looking West, by Tim Stanley

Release the Kraken

Sailors have long told tales of a large sea monsters that could pull down large sailing vessels, never to be seen again. While such animals may not actually exist today, it may have been possible in prehistoric times. An octopus or squid back then would have been measured by yards, not feet.

This very large specimen hangs from the ceiling in the Morian Hall of Paleontology at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. While it might not be “the” kraken of old tales, it no doubt would bring fear to any poor sole that it happened to seek out for dinner.


One Hot Horse

The Ford Mustang has a long been one of the most popular American performance autos.  Take this great platform and add some extra performance enhancements that go past the factory options and you have some serious muscle.

Roush Performance offers parts for the Ford Mustang, among other vehicles, a-la-cart or you can have them build to suit. Either way, you come away with a horse with plenty of attitude and the power to back it up.

You better hang on tight.


One Hot Horse. A Roush Mustang. Photoe by Tim Stanley.

A Dinosaur Panorama

One area of photography that camera phones have made easy are panoramic images. Creating one using a traditional camera yields much higher quality images, but takes considerable more effort. You have to use a tripod to steady the camera, take multiple images, then stitch them together using computer software.

As part of the Houston Museum of Natural Science’s Pixel Party, I was able to shoot a panorama in the Morian Hall of Paleontology. It’s a great place take in the large exhibits of dinosaurs many of us dreamed of as kids.

This is a partial of the original image. I had to crop out a portion on the left, only because the head of the brontosaurus was backlit by a large ceiling light and couldn’t be seen. When shooting, it was dark and hard to see fine details on the camera’s small viewfinder, but next time, I’ll have to pay closer attention.

Though it may not appear that large on this blog, be assured that panos have more detail than a single prints. In this case, the original file is over 18,700 pixels wide, meaning it would make a great large wall print.


A pano of the Morian Hall of Paleontology at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Photo by Tim Stanley

Mission Concepción Doorway

As you enter to the left in the Mission Concepcion in San Antonio, Texas, an arched doorway leads to a small room waits for worshipers to light a candle and pray. There is a sense of reverence and history as you wander through the old missions. Trying to imagine what life must have been like when they were built helps you to understand the importance of faith and prayer the early settlers must have had.


Mission Concepción Kneeler And Crucifix. Photo by Tim Stanley

Just Rusting Away

Behind Thunderbird Southwest  lies the Bone Yard, a collection of old cars that have been “put out to pasture.”  When my brother and I visited last fall, we found that it stretched out much farther than we had time to check out. With every old classic we did past, we wondered if someone might come along one day and decide to make that car their “project” vehicle. There sure were lots out there to choose from too. This little old Nash Metropolitan just needs a little paint, some new upholstery and away you go. Maybe.


Pleasure Pier Sunrise

On a recent business trip to Galveston, the schedule was busy and I had very little free time to explore around the island. Since my day was busy, I rose early to shoot a sunrise at the Pleasure Pier. Fortunately, the weather was nice and the earlier fog dissipated just before sunrise. It was nice to venture out, if only for a short time and watch the dawn of a new day.


A Pleasure Pier sunrise in Galveston, Texas. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.