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.


lakecliff_2009I stopped by the 8th green at Lakecliff Country Club on the way home from my D-Crain shoot on Tuesday and got this one.

Front yard envy

D-CRAIN Design & ConstructionSo 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.

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.


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


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.


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


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


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


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


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


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.


So I went home.


Oh, and today is my birthday.


malverde1231Loyal CW blog readers will remember the prototype of D-Crain‘s “planted wall” I shot for them at their offices back a few months ago.  Well, it’s now up, in place and thriving upstairs from La Condesa on the patio at Malverde (website not up yet) in what Eric Sutherland from Fosforus calls Fancytown, just across the street from the new W.  (Try the Malverde Margarita…especially if you’re into Mai-Tai’s and drinks like that.)

Love and separation

gentlemans-courtI love the people responsible for the design and construction of this “gentleman’s court” at a private residence here in Austin.  Love them.  They are kind, talented, fun, creative, inspiring and do incredible things with metals, stones and all things green.  This little piece of work here is just one example of what separates them from the pack.

My 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.

Planting stuff in the ground is so yesterday

planted-wallWhile all the other landscape designers are playing in the dirt, innovators like Dylan Robertson and his team at D-Crain are moving up.  Literally, like, up walls.  Here’s a sample of one of their “planted walls” over at the D-Crain HQ.

Umlauf Sculpture Garden

Here’s that shot I promised of the wedding area at Umlauf, designed and built by D-Crain.  Those of you who saw it before know what an improvement (and what a good fit) this is.

I’m a bear. Not the gay kind.

Studying the current economic landscape and how it affects me, you and other people I understand, I’ve come to realize that in business, I’m inherently bearish.  I run a bare bones photography company.  I undercharge, overdeliver and do things other photographers seem to turn their noses up at.  In the realm of “good, fast or cheap…pick any two,” I seem to mostly deliver on all three.  At my expense, of course.

I’m lucky that I can do business that way.  Most can’t.  I think my revenue growth is to blame for it.

I’m also lucky that I’ve seemed to fall upon the payroll of a few good clients who do business the same way, and we’re all in decent shape, despite the looming ___ession.  Fosforus is one, D-Crain is another, Wilmax yet another. All three are full of caring, giving, creative people who care about their clients and don’t give a shit about the trivial internal issues that drive most small businesses into the ditch.  Hopefully they see me in the same light.  Some of my previous clients don’t call anymore, and I couldn’t be more thankful.  Maybe we just didn’t fit.  No hard feelings here.

The bottom line is that my business model is one that will survive tough times.  It may not reap the benefits of the best of times, but I’m not sure that’s a bad thing.

More from D-Crain

More landscape artistry from Dylan Robertson and his team at D-Crain.  I’m sure people hire them for different reasons, but it’s their insane ability to fit their designs into any environment that I find extraordinary.  Stay tuned for a shot of the wedding area they did at Umlauf Sculpture Garden.