iPhone

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.

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Ledge Stone

Sunset off the back deck at Ledge Stone, yesterday.

Jack Nicklaus and Carlton Wade

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.

Be my focus group…please

covers

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?

A day in the life

I started this blog on the suggestion and encouragement of the talented team at Fosforus.  In terms of ROI, it has been a homerun.  Off the charts.  The only investment has been time posting entries, and I’ve had actual cash return.  So big thanks to WordPress and to Fosforus.  That said, I think I’ll join the rest of you bloggers out there who use these things to tell people about your day (no, I’m not making fun of you…I repeat, I join you).  Today started out with trip to the dump.  1-800-Got-Junk is not effectively marketing themselves if they’re not using an image like this with a caption that reads something like, “You’ll Never Get The Smell Out of Your Nostril Hairs.”  You think Hell has fire and stuff?  Mine has six inches of foul-smelling slippery grey mud.

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Then, I drove back downtown.  Probably shouldn’t be snapping photos on a 70-foot flyover at 55mph.

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I saw a bad wreck at the intersection of MLK and the I-35 access road.  I hope everyone was okay, and by the look of that Prius, I bet they are.  Astounding structural resilience.

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I drove past the Capitol and thought about all the people I know who’ve worked there.

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Then I saw this in a parking lot in Sunset Valley.

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Then I drove back downtown and noticed how far along the W Hotel is coming.

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When I got up to Congress, I saw a small herd of those Segue tour people.

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And one of them wiped out.  I couldn’t help laughing.  Sorry.

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Then I went south on Congress to shoot some of those traliers that sell food, but got there to find that they’re not open on Mondays.  Shit.

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So I went home.

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Oh, and today is my birthday.

Deeper inside

crclubhouse2 Here’s the main dining room in the clubhouse, which looks out across the first fairway and 40 miles of Hill Country up toward Sisterdale and Luckenbach.  They were beginning to move in the furniture while I was there.  You Cordillera Ranch members sure are going to have a nice place to eat/drink/settle bets/whatever.  Not sure, but I think Mike Marsh is responsible for this incredible building.

Inside

crclubhouse1

Here’s a peek inside the clubhouse at Cordillera Ranch.  More to come..

A new day at Cordillera Ranch

cordillera_ranch_2009The clubhouse is almost ready to open its doors.  I’ve always loved everything about this place, but I had no idea how nice the clubhouse would be, and how well it wraps up the whole property.  I shot this one last Tuesday morning around 7:30 from the road coming in.

So what if I’ve never made par on it…

Cordillera RanchTough hole to play, but I love the way the par-3 13th at Cordillera Ranch photographs.  I even put a shot of it from 2006 on my business card.  I hate business cards.

Progress and separation

cordillera-ranch-2009Just got back from a day trip to the incomparable Cordillera Ranch.  Shot a few, played the course and shot some more.  The clubhouse is coming along and should be finished out by the end of the year.  The course looked incredible, and the greens were even better.  I don’t claim to know stimp readings, but I’d guess theirs were running about 12+.  I played poorly, so I won’t tell you what I shot, but I played the day before the first round of the Valero Texas Open, and three PGA Tour players were there playing right behind us:  Jim Gallagher, Jr., Jimmy Walker and Mike Heinen.  The wind was blowing a steady 15mph and gusting to 30.  The course was playing hard and fast, and I mentioned those greens.  Heinen shot 65 and broke the course record by three.  I want to think he’s lying, but I doubt it.  I just can’t believe someone is that good.  Or that there’s that much separation between me and the average Tour player.  Scratch that.  Heinen hasn’t been on anyone’s radar in over a decade, so he might not even be considered average, but anyone who even came close to breaking par at Cordillera Ranch last Wednesday is far better than average.

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.

Perspective

cordillera_hole16Last year while I was shooting around Cordillera Ranch, I felt like I couldn’t get the perfect shot of the 16th hole.  I still haven’t.  It’s an amazing par-3.  Tough, beautiful, and unlike any other hole out there.  I’ve only shot a few frames with something else in the picture, and this is one of them.  Looking back, I think if I’m asked to shoot it again, I’m going to take a model.  The golf cart and the guy about to hit his bunker shot really show how big this hole is.  Without them, it’d be tough to tell how deep that canyon really is.

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.

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.

Apologies

For contributions that result in another billboard on I-35.  Although, if something is going to compete with the view, I think this one actually helps.  That’s Marc DeWall there, my model, standing on the third tee at Cordillera Ranch.  (I posted about this earlier, and I’m glad this one made it all the way through.)  I shot this one under the direction of Trish McCabe-Rawls of Creative Noggin, for San Antonio-based KGB Texas.

A few thoughts on this:  The agency wanted to show “the uniqueness of the golf course” on a billboard.  They wanted to include a person, too.  Tall order, for sure.  A billboard has a very short amount of time to get its message across.  Mere glances by distracted drivers busy saving their own lives. Very few have the ability to arrest the viewer, and even fewer contribute to hard cash changing hands.  I suppose they have their place in the smelly darkness of “branding,” but I’m not an ad guy.  I simply don’t know.

The uniqueness of the golf course at Cordillera Ranch rests firmly in three places:  terrain, turf quality and condition. TERRAIN: It’s in the Hill Country, but there are no screwy lies and cliffs and other undesirable qualities of Hill Country golf.  TURF QUALITY:  Bossman David Hill and his team researched grasses and picked out the best for playability and aesthetics.  CONDITION:  There is no better in Texas. Some may be as good, but not one is better.

So back to the assignment.  Marc is a very nice looking guy, he looks like a golfer (because he is one…a damn good one).  The third hole shows the terrain, the turf quality and the condition.  All of it is real.  That is not a composited photo.

Looking back on this, I think we knocked it out of the park.  But again, I’m not an ad guy.