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.
I stopped by the 8th green at Lakecliff Country Club on the way home from my D-Crain shoot on Tuesday and got this one.
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.
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.
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.
A few guys from the golf staff at UT Golf Club on the 18th tee. This hole, in my opinion, is the best closing hole in the Austin area. And all the times I’ve played bogeyed it, I always thought to peel a draw off that right fairway bunker. GM Steve Termeer (there in the white cap) says no. The correct line is at the left bunker. Who knew? I guess it pays to listen to a good player.
A peek into the bar at UT Golf Club.
Been out to see the new clubhouse at UT Golf Club? Very nice. Here’s a shot from the hall that connects the main lobby to the golf shop. Stay tuned for more.
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.
Congratulations to everyone at UT Golf Club for finally getting in the new clubhouse. And for the rest of you, go take a look at it. Really, really nice. Some of my photos are hanging up in there somewhere. This one here of the par-3 2nd hole isn’t one of them, but looking at it brings a few things to mind in the spirit of teaching golf photography in the Hill Country.
First, mornings are a crap shoot. The light is usually perfect, but maintenance crews making tracks in the dew can ruin a sublime golf landscape. Also, remember to dress well. By “well,” I mean be prepared to experience the proverbial witch’s tit. At least in the spring and fall.
Second, don’t let anyone tell you that you need a ____ing ladder. This is just my opinion (which is the most important one on this blog), but the best golf photos are from the ground. Isn’t that where golfers are?