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.
So on the way back from lunch at Casino el Camino yesterday, I saw this on the dirtiest, stinkiest, most disgusting sidewalk in North America (6th Street, Austin, Texas) and see this. If it were a Pepsi top, I think the same old thought would come to mind: “People are thoughtless pigs, littering on my street.” Maybe even if it were a Budweiser top. Maybe. Definitely if it were ANY light beer. But Coke has brand power with me like no other. I wonder why. Because I’ve never, in 44 years, had a bad experience with it? Or maybe I have, and it still didn’t prevent me from buying it again.
Living in a restaurant-rich town like Austin, one of the most commonly asked questions for business lunchers and couples looking for a place to have a nice dinner is, “Where should we go?” Consider The Carillon at the AT&T Executive Education & Conference Center. Chef Josh Watkins is one of the most brilliant creative culinary minds in the business, and he continues to amaze and impress me with the things he does with the most simple ingredients. I shot a bunch of his stuff last night, and the best part? The team and I got to eat it all afterward. Tough job, those food shoots. Big thanks to Chef Watkins and his staff, and to Keith Purcell, Terrence Moline and Delia Huang for all the help.
So I finally got an iPhone, and as much as I like it, I’m astonished by the quality of the photos it takes. I say “it,” because there are no settings. It’s all automatic. This is the first photo I took with it, today, on 6th Street. The only Photoshop work done here was to cut the file size in half. Incredible. Those people there at Apple may just have a future in computers and stuff.
So you’ve finished a full day of executive education and you’re like me in that you like to eat and drink more than just about anything else. Gabriel’s is your spot. Full bar, tasty grub crafted by Chef Josh Watkins, a great view of the tower and a bunch of cool old Longhorn memorabilia everywhere. The AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center is easily the best kept secret in Austin meeting space. Unless you’re an Aggie.
Most of you thought you’d see those two names right next to each other, high up on a yellow British leaderboard. Gotta go, Jack’s jet arrives at ABIA any minute. He’s flying me down to play an exhibition at Lost Tree.
Fosforus is in the planning stages of next year’s food craze for the Texas State Fair, and I believe we’ve got a finalist here with “wearable food,” for those of you who have had enough fried this-and-that. Recipes vary, but this particular one here is a cheese-baked ciabatta roll, buttered on the inside for easy slip-on. Special thanks to hand model Will Wade.
From a consumer marketing standpoint, here’s a good reason to avoid aerial photography of golf courses, at least in the Hill Country. I don’t care who you are. You can’t tell me that this shot does anything for anyone (except maybe a developer or a homebuilder.) I hate the word “standpoint.”
So just down the road from where I shot ol’ Larry Trader lies another piece of landscape artistry from Dylan Robertson and his team at D-Crain. I still haven’t been able to get my brain around what I like about their work, at least in terms of a tangible explanation, but I love what they do to a canvas of dirt. I shot this home last year, before all the plants were in the ground, and there was a real power to the stark beauty of it. Now I love it even more. The textures, the encroachments, the colors, and the hard edges of the hardscapes combined with the ethereal flow of the grasses and the plush zoysiagrass lawn.
I’m not sure if he was ever in the PGA of America, but the late Larry Trader managed Willie’s golf course for years, doing all the stuff that golf pros do. I ran across this shot of him I got back in 2004, a few years before he died, and it remains my favorite portrait. Probably because I knew Larry, and we’d spent a couple of hours together on this day talking about Willie and Evel Knievel and Ray Benson and Ear Campbell and Coach Royal and all the things that happened out there at Pedernales and on the road. And because I know that he bummed that very cigarette there off my friend Mopar, who today will give a few golf lessons at Ascarate Park in El Paso. I never asked Larry what happened to that finger.
Just got back from a weekend shoot at Cordillera Ranch. They opened their new clubhouse, which is, in keeping stride with the way they do things out there, BAD ASS. One of the above shots will make the cover of Cordillera Ranch Living, and while the final pick will be up to the editors and art directors, I ask you: Which one do you like best?