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Entries in Austin (20)


Barr Mansion

At blue hour, I snuck away from shooting a wedding with a friend to get a shot of the Barr Mansion.  All the wedding guests were at the reception hall behind the mansion.  You can see the lights from it through the porch on the left.  I love wrap-around porches like these.  

I shot five exposures bracketed and masked parts of the images from various exposures to achieve this image.  For example, the windows are from the darkest exposure. The lawn and sky are from the brightest exposure since I shot this after sunset.  In escence, I manually pieced together a high dynamic range (HDR) exposure.  I had first tried using HDR software to create the image, but was not happy with the results, so I scapped it and began masking the image.  I'm glad I did.  

Photograph ©2013 Alex Suárez. All rights reserved. Click image to view a larger version.



I enjoy experimenting when shooting.  Often times, you get awful, unusable results, but it's very satisfying when your experiments yield something that makes the mind wonder and brings a smile to your face.  (Click the picture to view it larger.)

Photograph ©2011 Alex Suárez. All rights reserved.

What you see here is an image of my daughter from our recent photo session.  You can see the first image here.  We took a different approach in shooting this one.  Instead of having her progress directly from right to left ending with a rear curtain sync flash pop, we had her twirl around and I manually popped the flash at a moment of my choosing.  I then let the exposure continue a bit to fill in the frame some more.  

What are your thoughts?  Is this kind of photography too "out there" for your tastes?  Which image do you prefer?  Why?


Alexandra Gándara

I had the pleasure of photographing the beautiful Alexandra Gándara for a few minutes last week on a breezy hilltop near the Palmer Events Center in Austin, Texas.  Alexandra is a dancer who moves quite gracefully.  We plan to shoot together again in the near future.  
Strobist info: 
• Flash with CTO gel on white shoot-through umbrella, camera left for the first two images, camera right for the third.
• Bare flash with CTO gel behind subject used as rim/accent light on right side of subject.
• Both flashes trigged via PocketWizards.
Photograph ©2011 Alex Suárez. All rights reserved.
I desaturated the background (and the dress a bit) in the next image to separate Alexandra from the environment.  I was a bit reluctant to share this image in the same post as it will invite comparison when I feel the image should stand alone, but here you have it anyway.  
Photograph ©2011 Alex Suárez. All rights reserved.
I'm not pleased with the light and the crop of this third image, but I'm sharing it with you because I loved the pose.  This was one of the first shots I took of Alexandra at this location and it was before we moved the key light around to the other side.  Moving the light solved the problem of the shadow of her nose being cast across her right eye.  The crop is too tight for my taste as I would like a bit more space to either side.  One of the reasons I plan to shoot with her again is that, even with bad lighting, Alexandra proves that it is difficult to take an unflattering shot of her.  
Photograph ©2011 Alex Suárez. All rights reserved. Thanks again to my friend Steve for finding Alexandra and inviting me along to shoot with them. We always have fun assisting each other as we take turns shooting. 

I'm Famous!

 Photograph ©2011 Alex Suárez. All rights reserved.

Well, no, not really.  

Sunday evening I was walking around with a couple hundred of my closest photography friends at Trey Ratcliff's world-record-setting SXSW photowalk.  People immediately thought we were paparazzi and were asking us what celebrity we were stalking.  It occurred to me to ask everyone within earshot to crowd around and point their cameras at me.  I wanted to get the sensation that I was a celebrity.  Unfortunately, they were all too well behaved and didn't crowd me as tightly as I had hoped.  But this is what it looked like to have tons of cameras pointed at you.  

Anyway, thanks to all the fun-loving photographers who spontaneously played along for this shot.  I think everyone had a great time on the photowalk.  I know I did.



Holly Street Power Plant

This past Friday I was able to join a great group of, mostly HDR (High Dynamic Range), photographers on a fun adventure.  Thanks to Mike Connell (read the backstory here), we had the opportunity to tour and photograph the decommissioned Holly Street Power Plant.  The power plant is set to be deconstructed in a matter of months.  

This first image I feel properly conveys the amount of rust I saw at the power plant.  I was struck by the sign and the realization that people must crawl into that opening.

Photograph ©2011 Alex Suárez. All rights reserved. Click image for larger view.


I arrived late and only had about an hour to photograph the place.  I mostly concentrated on details details here and there.

Photograph ©2011 Alex Suárez. All rights reserved. Click image for larger view.

I had never heard of a "flame scanner" but it sounded cool.  

Photograph ©2011 Alex Suárez. All rights reserved. Click image for larger view.

I would love to get the opportunity to go back and shoot there again before this bit of Austin history disappears forever.