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.

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.

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.

Name that golf course

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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.”

Lakecliff

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.

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.

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

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Yesterday.

Bentgrass in Texas

sky_creek_ranch_2009I told you about Stephen Best and his crew at Sky Creek Ranch Golf Club in Keller.  Here’s a shot of the plush spread of bentgrass, just yesterday.  In July.  In Texas.  Remarkable.

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.

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.

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.

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.