Sunday, October 30, 2016

Texas Star, Food Booth & Midway Entrance


The Texas Star© Ferris Wheel in the back used to be, with 212 feet, the tallest in North America at one point. It was ousted of the top position several years ago, as one in Mexico was taller and now there are several in the United States that are even taller. There is one that is supposed to open to the public next year in New Jersey, and with its 630 feet, it will give you a splendid view of Manhattan.

Texas Star© is flanked by one of the many "fried" food booths at the State Fair of Texas and the entrance to the Midway section where you can go try all the gaffed games odds. I really like the combinations of colors and the framing around the wheel.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

This little pig...


This little pig went to the state fair of Texas.
This little pig fell asleep.
This little pig had it's picture taken.
This little pig saw it on the internet.
This little pig cried "Wee, wee, wee, wee!"
Til everybody gave it a like and a hype.

Free from nursery rhyme - picture was taken during my visit to the State Fair of Texas in the agriculture section for kids, where this little 6 week old piglet was sleeping and probably daydreaming.

Nobody Too Small To Blow A Horn


I discovered this little feller last weekend at the State Fair of Texas. Obviously he had won this shiny metal toy trumpet and had to check it out right at the Fair. Not having any mutes (cup, harmon, plunger) with him, he just stuck his hand into the bell to alter his sound. While the sound it produces is not the same as a professional trumpet, he doesn't seem to care. I hope he soon gets a real trumpet in some years I ran again into him and he's playing with an orchestra or leading his own band, as a famous jazz musician.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Round And Round It Goes


My wife and I visited the State Fair of Texas this weekend. What a great cornucopia of events, products, rides and yes tons of fried foods. Even though we stayed there all day, I can't wait till next year's event is coming to go shoot some more, maybe with a season pass to be there several nights, when all the lights and sounds are in full swing.

This shot is also featured in my ClickASnap, Rabadaba, 8App & Flii.by portfolios and in my Niume photography sphere blog.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Easily Scared - I Caught That Fritillary Anyway


The Variegated Fritillary (Euptoieta claudia) also belongs to the family Nymphalidae, like the Monarch and Buckeye in earlier posts. Variegated Fritillaries have 2–3 broods per year and are nomadic. Their flight is low and swift, but even when resting or nectaring, this species is extremely difficult to approach, and, because of this, its genus name was taken from the Greek word euptoietos meaning "easily scared". So I'm glad I caught this little guy.

If you know on what kinda plant he's resting, please comment - I was not able to find a natural yellow blooming (wild)flower, blooming in October in Central Texas to name it. Thanks

Sources: www.gardenswithwings.com, insectidentification.org, wikipedia
This shot is also featured in my ClickASnap, Rabadaba, 8App & Flii.by portfolios and in my Niume photography sphere blog.



Differential Grasshopper - Greeting The Sun



Differential Grasshopper (melanoplus differentialis), also called American Grasshopper is warming up in the morning sun on a decaying thistle (Cirsium), ready to greet the day.

Sources: http://www.insectidentification.org, wikipedia,
This shot is also featured in my ClickASnap, Rabadaba, 8App & Flii.by portfolios and in my Niume photography sphere blog.

Buckeye Riding On Top of Leavenworth's Eryngo


A Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia) resting on top of Leavenworth's Eryngo (Eryngium leavenworthii also known as false Thistle) on our "ranch" outside of Carlton, Texas.They stretch all the way from Canada into Central America and can even be found in Columbia and are endemic to the island of Bermuda. It is said that the eyespots on the wings are there to startle enemies, mostly young birds.

The Buckeye belongs to the largest butterfly family Nymphalidae (as the Monarchs do), which has over 6000 species all over the world.


In 2006 the USPS honored the Common Buckeye by putting it on a 24 cent stamp, which was the rate for a postcard at that time.


Sources: www.gardenswithwings.com, insectidentification.org, USPS
This shot is also featured in my ClickASnap, Rabadaba, 8App & Flii.by portfolios and in my Niume photography sphere blog.



Friday, October 21, 2016

Local Kiamichi Railroad In The Sunset



Kiamichi Railroad or KRR is a so-called Class III railroad with an operating revenue of less than $20 million (in 1991 dollars) per year. Headquartered in Hugo, Oklahoma and being a full subsidiary of Genesee & Wyoming Railroad Holding, Kiamichi "only" has a two lines totaling 231 miles.

I caught this General Motors Electro-Motive Division built EMD GP40-2 (cn 38508) on a branch line of Kiamichi between Antlers, Oklahoma and Paris, Texas in Swink, OK. The 16-cylinder engine generates about 3,000 horsepower. I got lucky as the sun was setting and producing rays surrounding the railroad right before a crossing.

Sources: Wikipedia
This shot is also featured in my ClickASnap, Rabadaba, 8App & Flii.by portfolios and in my Niume photography sphere blog.





Variegated Meadowhawk Dragonfly On The Hunt


I think this is a male Variegated Meadowhawk (Sympetrum corruptum) dragonfly. Range wise it's not unusual to find them in Texas, even in October or later in the year. Due to the warm weather - the area was "buzzing" with Monarch butterflies migrating back to Mexico, too. What throws me off quite more, is that I took the picture of this Meadowhawk on a rather arid piece of property, with no pond or lake, their normal habitat. But it rained a couple a days before our encounter, so there may have been some small water puddles around.

I like their diet, as they prefer mosquitos, moths and termites and are therefore very beneficial. The latin-greek combination name Sympetrum (together with rock) indicates that they love to sit on rocks and absorb the heat of the early day. Hunting occurs from perches on rocks or bare branches, as the picture snows.

Let me know if I mislabeled the little feller, I'm learning as I go.

Sources: Wikipedia
This shot is also featured in my ClickASnap, Rabadaba, 8App & Flii.by portfolios and in my Niume photography sphere blog.

Meeting of the Kings


Southern winds and warm temperatures into the 90s (30+ C) kept the Monarch butterflies, also called American Monarchs (Danaus plexxibus) longer in the Central Texas area than normal. The butterflies migrating in fall all the way from Canada back into Mexico to reach their winter habitat may show up in clusters of up to a dozen butterflies.

This shot is also featured in my ClickASnap, Rabadaba, 8App & Flii.by portfolios and in my Niume photosphere blog.



Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Love More


I love the rigid dichotomy between the broken glass and the graffiti as well as the contrast of the colors. And even though the whole picture has a sense of deterioration, there is hope. Just "Love More."

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Through These Doors

Mid-century modern style Municipal Annex building, finished in 1956 by architects Smith & Mills. Once home to Dallas City Hall for 22 years and the Dallas Police Department, the building these days houses the municipal courts.
Most notably, it was in this facility’s underground garage where Jack Ruby fatally shot Lee Harvey Oswald on November 24, 1963, and which still attracts curious tourists fifty years later.

Sources: Dallas City Newsroom
This shot and others are available for publication through photo agency, Dispatch Press Images, DPI. It is also featured in my ClickASnap and Flii.by portfolio and in my Niume photography sphere blog.




Thursday, October 13, 2016

Lazy Sunday Afternoon


All the sailboats are still out. Everyone is still enjoying the breeze on this lazy Sunday afternoon on White Rock Lake in Dallas. Right before the storm moves in again.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Sunset At St. Peter's


Sunset at St. Peter's Roman Catholic church in the north Texas small town named Lindsay. The church, originally build in 1903, seriously damaged in 1917 by a Tornado and rebuilt, is now part of the National Register since 1979.

 Extensive renovations in the inside and roof are now completed and the church shines in this gorgeous sunset.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Cruisin' In Oak Cliff


Beautifully restored Lincoln Cosmopolitan 1949, caught cruisin' in Oak Cliff, in the Bishop Arts district of Dallas. This car has 337 cubic inch flathead V-8 with 152 horses and either runs with 4 speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission or three speed manual transmission.

Not sure, as I was not able to talk to the owner, driver if the car was lowered, channeled to make it more of ground hugger. The value range is from about $ 10'000 to $ 50'000 at the top end, with an average of roughly $ 16'000. The convertible version is rarer and therefore more expensive.



8K Helium - Flying High & Fast


Well, yeah I'm a photographer! And I hope, that I evolved parallel with my equipment - all the way from a 16mm Cartridge Pocket Instamatic, then a fix lens 35mm from my grandpa, to my first SLR, a Mamiya something. Then the world changed when I started using Nikon - first, a used F2-A and then in 1981 a brand new F3 to go shoot the Paris Air Salon, my first "big" assignment. With my move to the US, in 1990 I upgraded to a F3-T (Titanium) and several more photo-sensitive lenses (lower F-stops, higher priced), mainly to shoot concert photography (Rolling Stones, ZZ Top, CMA Awards etc.)

No Flash policies, 2 - 3 songs to shoot brought me into the digital era (still with Nikon). And sure enough the world changed again - old watt-eating, planet warming stage lights, which actually could be used creatively, were replaced by cold LED lights - which often look terrible, digitally. Not only in still-photography, but also in the moving realm of TV and movie cinematography, where blotches of light and shadow compete against each other.

Digital post processing often reveals black tones as being unable to remain smooth, they often appear as grainy remainders of low light, high iso (film speed) and the fight to get most of the available light.

But now comes 8K shooting, and manufacturer RED just released their new 8K Helium camera backs with a huge sensor size: 29.90mm x 15.77mm (33.80 diagonal) and a pixel capacity of 8192 x 4320 at 60fps, which demands - if my math is correct - over 2 GB of storage per second. That's about 16 times better of a resolution than the standard HD with 1080, which is in common use right now.

The result is absolutely stunning. RED boss Jarred Land gave cinematographer Mark Toia the new "toy" to experiment with it. And Toia had some fun, as you hear in his commentary. Land is quoted as saying that Toia edited the 6 minute clip on a laptop during a flight, is almost unbelieveable. The result is simply stunning, but watch for yourself.



Well the 8K Helium will not appear in my sortiment of cameras to use in the near future - with a sticker price of $59'000 it's a tad above my budget, but they should start being available this month.

Sources: Screenshot from video, redsharknews.com, vimeo

Monday, October 3, 2016

Answer Is Blowin' In The Wind


Almost lost, in the middle of nowhere, well not completely, actually in Bakersfield, Texas. Population by now, around 30 spread over miles and miles of acres and acres of Lone Praire.

There is actually not a house to be found anymore in Bakersfield, when the Oil Boom bust, houses or at least their building materials were carried away to where ever they were needed. At the peak of the boom there were over a 1'000 people living here,

Bakersfield had it's own school and post office. Now a sign on the road simply alerts "No Services Ahead," the only remaining building is an unmanned gas station serving IH10 traffic going west through the desert.

But the place, as empty as it is, also demonstrates change: the slow death from fossil-based energy to environmentally safe natural resources. Windmills on the cretes of the Indian Mesa of the West Texas mountain range are part of over 40 wind power projects all over the state, making the Lonestar state the biggest producer of that energy source in the USA. By now almost 10 percent of all the electricity generated in Texas originates from wind.

The Desert Sky Wind Farm in the back, covering 15 square miles, produces up to 160 megawatts (enough energy for 40'000 houses) with 107 turbines. The electricity is fed into the City Public Service of San Antonio (now called CPS Energy), 266 miles (430 km) away. So there may not be any local services ahead, but the energy generated in this remote part of the state, keeps the River Walk's lights on.

Sources: AWEA (American Wind Energy Association), desertskywind.com,