Thursday, March 29, 2012

Friday, March 23, 2012

Bluebonnicator: March 23, 2012

The flowers are great out there!  The weather is great out there!  If you're planning on getting out to see some bluebonnets, you won't have to look very long or hard - they're everywhere!

There are some great field along 290 on the way to Brenham.  One of the best is just after the Brazos river bridge after the Washington County sign.  There are also some AMAZING fields on the right just before Chappell Hill and on the left near Winkelmann, Texas (the place that looks like a ghost town just before Brenham.)

Get outside this weekend and enjoy some fresh air and take some photos of the kids!

This week the Bluebonnicator is at 85%!

If Mad Men Were a Nintendo Game...

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Bluebonnicator - March 15, 2012

What a difference a couple of weeks and some good rain makes!  Two weeks ago, the flowers were sparse, but now they're coming up almost everywhere you look!  Some really good, thick patches are starting to develop and they're getting thick enough now to start taking pictures of the kids in.

I still haven't seen any whole fields of either bluebonnets or Indian paint brushes yet, but after the good rain the Brenham and Washington County area had in the past week, it can't be long now.  In addition, there are some great other colored flowers, too, such as deep purples, lavenders and LOTS of yellow flowers.

The flowers are starting to get really good, so start planning that family trip to get out and see them.

This week's Bluebonnicator stands at 50%.

This would be a good time to remind everyone about some general guidelines:

1. Don't trample the bluebonnets. Try to step only in the areas between the bluebonnet plants. It might require you to what I call "the bluebonnet hop", butit will keep the plants looking great for everyone.

2. Don't pick the bluebonnets. Period. Get some seeds off the bottom of the plant instead and grow your own! Besides, it's against the law to pick the bloom.

3. Don't go romping through people's yards and fields to take pictures without permission. It really, really makes the locals mad when "city folks" come up and go on quarter mile hikes into their pastures to take their family's picture in the bluebonnets. It's private property, and it's just rude. Most times, if you'll just ask permission it will be okay, but there are plenty of great photo opportunities on public land. The state makes sure of that.

4. Watch out for fire ants! The same kind of soil that is great for growing bluebonnets is also prime for fire ants. Watch out! [and watch out for snakes, too!]

5. Ask a local. As I said before, there a lot of great photo places to take your family's photo in bluebonnets. And a lot of them are very easily accessible, but might not be able to be seen from the highway. Ask a local where some great shots can be had as you buy some Blue Bell ice cream or a sandwich or an antique from their shop.

6. Don't cross a fence. I've heard a lot of stories since we moved up here about tourists crossing fences. Some stories involve getting chased by bulls, some involve broken fences and some involve animals getting loose. But every one of the stories involved trespassing and ticked off the land owner. I've been guilty of this in the past - I admit it - but now I know better, and I'm letting you all know, as well.

7. Have a great time, outdoors. Get outside and enjoy the spring air and the sunshine. You can't see the bluebonets from your living room couch, folks. Unless you live in Brenham, that is. ;)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Debt Limit Explained

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

10 Things Every Serious Photographer Needs to Know

From this excellent episode of The Grid by Scott Kelby:

  1. 1.Look at other current photographers' work
  2. 2.Stop over thinking
  3. 3.Find the right camera for YOU
  4. 4.Great photos aren't found in the menu
  5. 5.Lighting: Break out of your mold
  6. 6.Rent a lens first
  7. 7.Get good at photoshop or find somebody that is
  8. 8.Once you go pro, shift to business-focused mindset
  9. 9.Understand what online forums are really for
  10. 10.Stop posting works in progress if you want to be taken seriously
  11. Bonus tip--- If you want to have great landscape photos, do what most folks aren't willing to do

The Story of Keep Calm and Carry On

Amazing story and a beautifully done video.

Friday, March 2, 2012

On the Birth Certificate

I'm a heavy Photoshop and Illustrator user, and I've been saying the same thing since last spring about the president's alleged birth certificate.

It was obviously built in Illustrator based on the the layering of the pdf.  Then there's also the matter - which this video doesn't even address - of the continuation of the security pattern past where an effect has been applied to make it appear as if a page from a book has been scanned.  It was obviously intended to be cropped, but wasn't.

There are a lot of things wrong with this document.  The findings of the Arizona law enforcement team further confirmed my suspicion that something is rotten here.  I'm not saying that there isn't a genuine birth certificate somewhere, but I find it interesting that it was put out as a layered PDF, not as a standard JPEG and that the actual paper copy has never been produced.

And if there has been some work done to the document to clean up an old document to make it more readable - which is completely understandable given the nature of the document -  why would the entire document be recreated in such a way?  What would be the point?  And then, where is the "before" to this "after" document?

Bluebonnicator Report: March 2

It's the return of the Bluebonnicator!

The Bluebonnicator is designed to tell you how the bluebonnets (and the equally awesome Indian Paintbrushes) are looking before you hop in the car and drive more than an hour only to find that you should've wait a couple more weeks.

So without further ado:

The bluebonnets are starting to pop up in and around Brenham.  The great rain we got in February has really made everything green, and the warm temperatures in the past week have started bringing out the wildflowers a little.

The flowers patches that we've seen still aren't picture worthy, unless you want to take pictures of your kids behind just one or two flowers.  And what's interesting is that the flowers aren't popping up yet in some of the places where they are traditionally the best.  Where we've seen them are in people's yards (and a really great patch in the sand volleyball court at the Brenham aquatic center (which isn't open yet.)

Best to wait a couple of weeks before planning that wildflower photo trip as this week, the Bluebonnicator reads only: