Category: Nature

2010: The Emergence Of The Phoenix | A Year In Photos | Part 1 of 3

February 20th, 2011 Permalink

2010 has been an amazing year. There has been so much love, so much fun, and so many photos. Friends and loved ones have come and gone. Seasons have run their courses. We took a plethora of photos. To give you an idea of the scale of the amount of work we did, our camera […]

2010 has been an amazing year. There has been so much love, so much fun, and so many photos. Friends and loved ones have come and gone. Seasons have run their courses. We took a plethora of photos. To give you an idea of the scale of the amount of work we did, our camera was clicked over 130,000 times! We also created over 400 gigabytes of digital image data. We’d like to take you on a month by month recap of our work this year and wethink it might take a while, so let’s get started. :) To avoid confusion, I’ll tell you now that descriptions will be posted under the relevant photo.

January

January was tough month for us. Just settling in after a difficult and expensive move, photography was not entirely in our focus. Still fresh on the scene, we had a lot to learn about our selves and our gear.

January 31 2010 – One of our favourite bands, The Blue Hit, played at Stubb’s BBQ indoor stage. The show was great and although there wasn’t much light, we managed to get a few good shots. This one is from the balcony. The Blue Hit was playing in support of their new album Move In. Amanda’s mom had just come to stay with us for a while and the content of the album seemed eerily relevant.

January 18, 2010 – This image was the first image we’d ever sold. The Ballet Austin sign you see in the center of the photo was manufactured by our dear friends at Building Image Group. Charlie Jones, President of Building Image Group has been of immeasurable support to us. He probably is one of the single most important reasons we’ve been able to achieve the success that we have achieved so quickly. He’s given us indispensable advice, paid us generously for our work, introduced us to tons of important contacts, and welcomed us into his family. Thanks Charlie. :) The photo is a High Dynamic Range image of the Ballet Austin building with very dramatic clouds over a yellow and blue sunset. You can also see a waning moon in the upper right corner of the image.

January 24, 2100 – We helped our lifelong friend Erika celebrate her 24th birthday by having a party on her and Kyle’s apartment deck, then dancing the night away at The Highball!

February

February, the month of Love and one of our favourite months. We began work on developing our scented candle company, Lit Candles in February of 2010 and thus we didn’t do much photography. Attempting to start two businesses at once proved to be extremely challenging but we somehow muddled through and gained notoriety in both the candle and photography fields.

February 12, 2010 – We purchased our first macro lens, the Tokina 35mm F2.8 Nikon Mount and promptly took close up pictures of everything we could find. This is a UV spectrum CFL bulb otherwise known as a blacklight. Blacklights are a key component in our studio work.

February 13, 2010 – Continuing the exploration of the capabilities of our macro lens, we ventured into the neighborhood. Behind our house there is a large abandoned, rusting earth mover. Normally people would consider it an eye-sore but it has become, in our minds, an irreplaceable monument. When we first moved to this house, we went to examine this hulking, lifeless piece of construction equipment and we found life all around it and even inside of it. There is a pretty good size tree growing right through the middle of it! We decided it needed a name and thus we dubbed it Brutus. And so it was. This shot is a closeup of some of the scratches in Brutus’ metal body. It’s titled Ancient Wounds.

We also experimented with infared photography in the early part of 2010, a style we will surely explore further in 2011.

Where there’s white light, there’s also a rainbow. :)

This one is titled Life On The Edge Of A Canyon

By the end of February, Spring was just beginning to peek out from the dull browns of Winter and things were notably calmer.

March

March is when things really began picking up for us in regards to photography. The weather got warmer and things got greener and we spent more time outside. We began experimenting with time lapse video and made a short clip of us working in the garden, along with some other scenes. Unique flowers and plants are things we enjoy photographing and there were lots of them to be seen in the spring of 2010.

March 1, 2010 – Gabe began working in downtown Austin every day in this month and architecture became a much more prominent component of his life. This image is of the J. J. Jake Pickle building on 8th street in downtown Austin.

We love to explore the detail of nature!

4 PM on 7th Street, Austin, Texas

In March, we were delighted to find that we had a mature peach tree that was preparing to fruit! Peach blossoms are absolutely breathtaking.

April

April was a pretty quiet month but there were a few fun birthdays! We continued focusing on Lit Candles development in April and even began producing production units with laser etched labels!

Further Down The River | Zilker Botanical Gardens HD Timelapse Preview

October 13th, 2010 Permalink

This video is comprised of around 6,000 still images taken in June and September of 2010. This stubborn video has been in production since June 2010 and I finally got it all stitched together and looking good. I had a lot of trouble rendering this puppy correctly but I think that I learned enough about […]

This video is comprised of around 6,000 still images taken in June and September of 2010.

This stubborn video has been in production since June 2010 and I finally got it all stitched together and looking good. I had a lot of trouble rendering this puppy correctly but I think that I learned enough about the inner workings of the software to counteract my anger about it.

Making these time lapses are some of the most enjoyable things we’ve ever done. To sit alone or with your special someone in the garden early in the soft morning light with the company of a still pond and lotus blossoms makes everything feel right in the world.

We had this song, Aqueous Transmission, in mind while we planned and captured the time lapse sequences. Just listening to it with your eyes closed makes you feel so peaceful. We wanted to convey that feeling in the video and create a tribute to one of our favourite songs.

So as for the video: My computer at home sucks so bad that I wasn’t able to fully preview it. I’m not that happy with the quality in this version but meh, when I finish the whole thing it will be better. :) If anyone has any tips for using Adobe Media Enocoder, I’d be delighted to get some tips.

Almost Home | Austin, Texas Landscape HDR Photo

June 30th, 2010 Permalink

While traveling to my home, a place I draw great inspiration and comfort from, this is the vista that you see as you near the end of your journey. Always a delightful sight near sunset, the misty hills of West Austin and Bee Caves are still in this photo. This was taken just after a […]

While traveling to my home, a place I draw great inspiration and comfort from, this is the vista that you see as you near the end of your journey. Always a delightful sight near sunset, the misty hills of West Austin and Bee Caves are still in this photo. This was taken just after a storm system made it’s way across central Texas yesterday and dumped 11 inches of rain.

Emerald City | Austin, Texas Rainbow HDR Photograph

June 29th, 2010 Permalink

Buy Print We had massive storms in Austin today. It rained all day long and I walked around downtown all day with my socks soaked. Have I ever mentioned how much I love having dry socks? I do. It’s fantastic. Anyway, it rained. Hard. I had to work late too and that’s never fun. I’m […]


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We had massive storms in Austin today. It rained all day long and I walked around downtown all day with my socks soaked. Have I ever mentioned how much I love having dry socks? I do. It’s fantastic. Anyway, it rained. Hard. I had to work late too and that’s never fun. I’m glad I did today though because had I rushed home the way I normally do, I would have never gotten the glimpse of a rainbow on my way home as the clouds were breaking. When I first saw it I thought “oh cool, a rainbow.” I wasn’t particularly thrilled about it and wasn’t planning to photograph it. However, I kept watching as I drove further south on Mopac and watched in amazement as the rainbow grew brighter and changed position with my perspective as I traveled. I knew that I couldn’t pass up the shot when I approached an overpass reaching over the highway. I exited and impatiently hurried the unreasonably slow driver in front of me out of my way and made it to a place where I could park my car. Grabbed the camera and tripod and started shooting away at what turned out to be a double rainbow reaching directly into the city. I took a few shots and I guess people saw me on the road below because more and more people started coming up to the overpass to take photos with point and shoots and camera phones. On my way home I stopped and grabbed a few photos out on Southwest Parkway that I plan to publish in the next few days. :) Hope you like it!

Dekay

June 24th, 2010 Permalink

Buy Print Hello everyone, Amanda here again! So, Gabe has been talking lately about how it irritates him when people claim to hate HDR because it isn’t ‘pure’ photography or some nonsense. I’ve been thinking about it more and more as he brings it up, and I still can’t understand their viewpoint. These photography ‘purists’ […]


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Hello everyone, Amanda here again! So, Gabe has been talking lately about how it irritates him when people claim to hate HDR because it isn’t ‘pure’ photography or some nonsense. I’ve been thinking about it more and more as he brings it up, and I still can’t understand their viewpoint. These photography ‘purists’ as they are called have quite a negative view towards the post-processing of photographs. There seems to be some sense that a truly great photographer should be able to take pictures that are absolutely amazing straight out of the camera, with no need for post-processing. This is the purist’s opinion. But the problem with having an opinion about an art form (which photography most certainly is), is that no two people will be the same artist or share the same vision of ‘art’. No two photographers will take the same picture, even if it is of the same subject. Because photography is an art form, the question is not how immaculate of a photo you can create with a single click, but rather, what kind of amazing final image can you present to the viewer after extra work in the dark room (or nowadays, the computer)? Without post-processing, HDR images would not even be possible, as they require a program to stitch together multiple different exposures. The sorts of things that an HDR image can capture, that a normal lighting photograph can not, make a huge difference in the overall light quality of the photograph. HDR lighting is more ethereal and glowing. It provides a more magical feeling, giving reality a surreal edge. As a photographer, having this kind of power over light in a given photograph is exhilarating, and really enables the artist to create his own, personal and unique art. Below is the unedited (no post-processing) version of the above photograph. Which one do you like better?

Sunday at the Zilker Botanical Gardens | Austin, TX | 6 Photos

June 21st, 2010 Permalink

This weekend Gabe and I (yes, this is Amanda speaking for the first time!) went to the Zilker Botanical Gardens in Austin, TX. We got up nice and early and made it there when the morning air was still cool and refreshing. Here are some of the shots we got! I’m going to start off […]

This weekend Gabe and I (yes, this is Amanda speaking for the first time!) went to the Zilker Botanical Gardens in Austin, TX. We got up nice and early and made it there when the morning air was still cool and refreshing. Here are some of the shots we got!

I’m going to start off with my personal favorite of the set of photos we edited. This image is two separate edited images cropped and arranged together in such a way as to highlight the striking similarities between them. The top image features a butterfly dining on a lovely Echinacea, while the bottom image shows a brilliantly blue dragonfly resting on a water lily. If you know the exact species of any of these insects or plants, please let us know in the comments!

This next picture was something we captured as we first entered the garden. This Kapok tree was situated in the parking lot just outside of the entrance, and its spiky bark caught my eye. The colors are slightly enhanced, but the bark was truly a greenish-blue color. Really wicked looking.

This next one just takes my breath away. The lotus is such an amazing flower! That seed pod in the middle is like something out of a fairy tale, and you can just barely see a little bee hiding in the back. This beautiful flower was part of the prehistoric garden, definitely one of my faves.

These little guys were also in the prehistoric garden, right next to the huge waterfall. I really loved the brightness of the pollen in these flowers. I could imagine what an easy target that would make for a bee on the lookout.

Several of these beautiful Easter lilies lined the pathway into the prehistoric garden. I love the flecks of yellow pollen on the white petals. And check out the awesome spider web in the upper right corner! That’s some cool shit!

Last but certainly not least, this pseudo (one image) HDR of the pond in the zen garden is tough competition for my favorite photo of this set. I only wish more of the water lilies had been in bloom.

We also took several time-lapse videos of the gardens, for your viewing pleasure. We hope you enjoyed joining us on our visit to the Zilker Botanical Gardens!

Zilker Zen Garden from White Hot Phoenix on Vimeo.

Mystic Turquoise

June 21st, 2010 Permalink

This horse lives just down the road from us in a nice green pasture with a couple of cows. I saw him standing under a tree one day last week on my way to work and I had to stop and shoot a few frames. I followed him around the outside of the pasture and […]

This horse lives just down the road from us in a nice green pasture with a couple of cows. I saw him standing under a tree one day last week on my way to work and I had to stop and shoot a few frames. I followed him around the outside of the pasture and finally got a clear shot near some trees. I feel like all he’s missing is a horn to look like a unicorn! Amanda put these awesome colours together on the edit.


 

Talking Shit About A Pretty Sunset

June 6th, 2010 Permalink

Talking Shit About A Pretty Sunset Originally uploaded by whitehotphoenix Blanketed opinions that I’ll probably regret soon… April 26, 2010. Bee Cave, Tx source: http://www.whitehotphoenix.com


Talking Shit About A Pretty Sunset

Originally uploaded by whitehotphoenix

Blanketed opinions that I’ll probably regret soon…

April 26, 2010. Bee Cave, Tx

source: http://www.whitehotphoenix.com

Beautiful Pollution

June 5th, 2010 Permalink

Beautiful Pollution Originally uploaded by whitehotphoenix Lake Travis at the height of the 2009 drought. Custom alternative colouring. The water in this area was approximately 60 feet lower than full levels. Download to get the full effect. source: http://www.whitehotphoenix.com


Beautiful Pollution

Originally uploaded by whitehotphoenix

Lake Travis at the height of the 2009 drought. Custom alternative colouring.

The water in this area was approximately 60 feet lower than full levels.

Download to get the full effect.

source: http://www.whitehotphoenix.com

weekend

May 22nd, 2010 Permalink

I took this photo a few weekends ago. Amanda and I took a day trip to Waco, Texas and went to the Cameron Park Zoo there. This little guy was huddled right up next to the habitat glass.

I took this photo a few weekends ago. Amanda and I took a day trip to Waco, Texas and went to the Cameron Park Zoo there. This little guy was huddled right up next to the habitat glass.