Shot at High Noon

So I got a call from my pals out at UT Golf Club yesterday, needing a shot of #12.  I dug up this one and thought about what a handy tool HDR has been for me and golf.  I shot this one at high noon a few years ago.  Before, shooting a golf course at any time other than “the golden hour” was a bad idea.  Noon was out of the question.  Not anymore.  You real estate marketers remember this when you’re told you can’t shoot in the middle of the day.

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Infor

So in case you’re wondering why I’ve been so silent over the past few months, above is a big part of the reason.  Infor sent me on a 10-city photo tour shooting their actual customers, and we’re on city seven.  Great job, great people to work with and if this doesn’t wear out my shutter, nothing will.  Tens of thousands of images into this thing, I still can’t call it work.  Thanks to everyone who has provided support and assistance through this bigtime shoot.  Onward.

Holy…

So I went out and dug up the shots I’ve posted here on this blog over the last couple of years and found which ones were clicked the most, along with a few that Google ranks the highest when searching for things I think are necessary to find me.  If this is the collection of what represents me as a photographer, I’ve got some work to do.  My tagline for the coming year:  “Shoot More Skin in 2010.”

Truth and deception

truth

I like the truth, mostly.  Especially in a photograph.  But there are times when the truth gets in the way of the sale, without being deceptive.  Mike Nolen at Falconhead Golf Club asked me to come out and shoot the newly landscaped 17th hole, which you see here.  The best shot seemed to be from up on the hill left of the tee, but from up there, you get a good view of Lake Travis High School back there behind the trees.  You don’t see it from the tee.  But you also don’t see the surface of the green from the tee, which makes it a visually intimidating shot.

The point here is that while the top photo isn’t completely truthful, it shows the landscape better because the viewer isn’t distracted by something else.  I wonder which one you like better.  I know which one I do.

The 17th hole at Falconhead

falconhead17

Yesterday.

Golf

sky_creek_ranchHeaded back to Sky Creek Ranch just north of Fort Worth to shoot some new golf landscapes and their new restaurant.  Can’t wait to play the golf course.  Exceptional design and condition.  You old Barton Creekers will remember Sky Creek’s golf course superintendent, Stephen Best.  If I owned a golf course, he’d be on the short list of guys I’d pick to grow grass.  Stay tuned for some shots of Stephen’s handiwork.

Bridges on the Park

clb-8So I was going through the stock today and stumbled across this one of the lobby at Bridges on the Park, shot last summer for CLB Partners.  Really wish I had some dry powder about now.  I’d pick up a unit or two.  That’s a great spot.

My book

book

So for those who don’t want to click through the whole blog and sit through my ramblings, click here to see a random sample of some images from the past year or so.  Shots from assigments, directed shots, personal stuff.  Chase Jarvis, at one point, asked readers to send in their opinions as to which ones in his portfolio they liked (and disliked) most.  I’d sure appreciate some feedback from you.  I like them all, so if you only want to tell me which ones suck, that’s okay, too.  Thanks for any input.

Grey Rock Golf Club

greyrockgolfI played Grey Rock this morning with a friend from Laredo, and I’ve got to say, it just keeps getting better.  The greens were as good as they’ve ever been in the 16 years I’ve been playing there, and the service today was incredible.  Especially good for people having to work on Christmas Eve.  Great job out there, everyone.  I look forward to playing more in 2009.  At Grey Rock, for sure, but also to getting in a round or two at Laredo CC in the spring.

John Deere

johndeereStumbled across this last night while out trolling for image thieves.  First, congratulations to the Hill Family and everyone involved with Cordillera Ranch for this recognition.  Well deserved.  Seems a division of John Deere is doing something called the 18 Most Beautifully Brutal Golf Holes, and they sure got it right when they picked #16 at Cordillera.  Beautifully brutal is the most appropriate description I’ve heard yet for that one.

Thoughts on golf course photography

texas-golf-hdrBefore you other photographers get all pissy about lens flare and HDR and all the other stuff that’s “wrong” with that shot there, allow me to assist amateur shooters in their quest to take better golf landscape shots.

I’m a golfer.  And I’m not the kind to hit lots of fairways and greens and play robo-golf, like today’s Tour players.  I’m like my pal Roy Bechtol, who claims “it’s boring in the fairway.”  I’d rather have a chance to hit a great shot from a tough place than have a chance to screw up an easy one.  The photo there reveals a little about my shooting style.  Sometimes when I’m shooting design features on foot, I’ll circumnavigate a green, looking for the place I’d most likely find myself with a lob wedge in hand.  You know, the only spot where you CAN’T make par unless you sink a 30-footer.

Back to Cordillera Ranch

cordillera14I haven’t been there in a few months, but I stumbled across this shot of the par-4 14th, one of my favorite holes there.  A short one, with a small green and lots of cool features up in the landing area and around the green.  I’ve only played a few Nicklaus courses, but I doubt he’s ever done a better job fitting a GREAT GOLF COURSE into the terrain so well.  Maybe because he and Jim Lipe had such a good team on the ground there with David, Charlie and Chris Hill, and with Mike Sheridan.

More Downtown Austin golf

Downtown Austin Golf Course

Downtown Austin Golf Course

Another thing:  In Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio, there’s an old private golf club smack in the middle of the city.  Why not Austin?  Austin Country Club began that way (at the now 9-hole Hancock Park), but now sits way out in Westlake.

Downtown Austin golf

Butler Pitch & Putt Austin Texas

Butler Pitch & Putt Austin Texas

Yesterday, I was talking with some bigshot ad execs from London, New York, Los Angeles, Seattle and some other places.  They were in town for some sort of conference about real estate marketing?  They were blown away by Butler Pitch & Putt.  They seemed to think that Bridges on the Park has a huge advantage over other downtown real estate developments, simply because of the little golf oasis that sits across the street.  I’ve always been a fan of Butler, for lots of reasons.  Price, proximity and personality among them.