During the peak of our recent batch of Spring storms, I was contacted by Jeremy Hallock of the Dallas Observer. He was interested in doing an article on my photography and career. He was also keen on watching me work and was especially interested in my time-exposure work. Since I had a few things on my to-do list in Dallas, this was an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.
We decided to meet at the rooftop pool / bar of the Nylo Hotel, (which has a really cool painted baby grand piano) that would afford an interesting view of the Dallas skyline. As it was Memorial Day weekend, both Reunion Tower and the Omni Hotel were running red, white and blue displays, which proved to be quite striking at sunset. After capturing what I wanted there, we relocated to the west side of the Trinity River, which was rain-swolen to near-historic levels at the time. I had long wanted to capture the Dallas skyline reflected in the Trinity River and this was the perfect opportunity.
Read the Dallas Observer Article
Some of the photos from this shoot and interview:
I’m sure it seems reasonable we would have lots of Dallas images in our catalog – given our proximity to “Big D” and all. And while this is true, we haven’t had an actual Dallas Gallery available for y’all to peruse until just recently when some local residents asked for exactly this selection.
Our Dallas gallery contains some wonderful (at least we think so) time-exposures of the iconic skyline and highlights of the City at night, in addition to Big Tex, oddities you may not be familiar with, architecture unique to Big D and historic landmarks.
So with only minor fanfare and no big press campaign, here you go.
Click on the pretty picture for our latest Dallas image gallery:
Ever since it opened, I’ve wanted to photograph Mattito’s Cantina in Frisco. The exterior is brightly painted in fluorescent colors and the marquee is done in vivid neon. I have seen several published images of this edifice over the years and every one has left me entirely underwhelmed. Seeing it at night, the colors are most impressive. You would think a photo of it would virtually jump off the computer screen. Or off the page.
Not until today (actually last weekend…) after I braved 45 degree weather with a 20 mph wind chill to photograph this year’s installment of Jeff Trykoski’s holiday light show spanning all the Frisco Square / Simpson Plaza buildings. Since I was schlepping a 15 pound camera rig through the frigid arctic blast anyway, I figured I might as well get this little project off of my bucket list.
And so, I moseyed on up to Mattito’s and settled into place with an ultra wide-angle lens on a very short tripod, calculated my settings and tripped the shutter. And waited about half a minute for the results. Perfect. And vivid. Just what I wanted. Just to be sure, (not my first rodeo) I decided to take a couple more. I fired the shutter… and the door opens to the restaurant (not what I want) and stays that way. As (I’m not exaggerating) around 20 people exit the premises while a member of their party holds the door. It was like the clown car at the circus — except a LOT slower. I know everything seems like it’s going in slow motion when your freezing in a gale, but this was silly. I don’t think I’ve ever seen people move this slow. Two or three minutes later, the crowd has cleared in time for the third shot. And I’m done now.
I am very happy with the results of all the shots, but I felt the framing on the third was just a bit more to my liking.
And here is is in all it’s glory, soon to grace the pages of my fully-redesigned Nocturnal Visions website.
Click on the photo to see the enlargement
Update Notice: I just added several new examples to this page from a recent shoot of a gorgeous new Darling Home in Frisco. In these examples, the comparison is between my usual high-resolution professional photos and very time-consuming High-Def versions of the same location. The difference is quite dramatic, so you may want to consider this approach for the next home you list.
My Real Estate comparison page vanished into the ether when I rebuilt the website last year and since I’ve recently been shooting a lot of residential Real Estate photography, I thought this was an opportune time to rebuild that page and upload it.
So here it is.
On this page you can see for yourself the difference in professional photography compared to the “average” shots found in most MLS listings.
Real Estate photography is something many people take for granted as being unimportant when selling their home. Nothing could be further from the truth. For many buyers, their first impression of your home will be the photos they see in your MLS listing. Most of these photos are taken by your agent, who is probably not a professional photographer. What’s the difference? Browse the images on my Residential Real Estate Photography page for examples. When you mouse over each image you will see the “average” compared to what you can have when I shoot your home.
There is an enormous difference, for instance between photographing rooms with a strobe to fill in the shadows and provide enough light to get a good exposure, compared to HDR photography which uses 5 or more images of the same scene stitched together to provide amazing detail in the highlights as well as the shadows – PLUS more vivid colors and overall detail of every aspect. Combine this with an ultra wide-angle lens and you have a much more impressive view of the entire room vs. a partial room view like you get with the average lens.
Some homes look great from the outside during the day. Others, not so exciting, but at night with the landscape lighting turned on, they take on a much more dramatic quality. This requires specialized equipment and a master’s touch to capture the magic of time-exposure architectural photography – something I have been perfecting for over 30 years.
Contact me for pricing. I can photograph your home day or night and produce vastly superior results compared to what you have seen in the past. If you watch the Today Show’s Barbara Corcoran and her Real Estate segments, pay attention to the photos of the featured homes. This is all Professional Photography. it makes an amazing difference.
Residential Real Estate Photography
is one of my favorite themes. I enjoy locating dramatic examples of architecture and finding the most profound way to convey the characteristics of the structure to my viewers. My wife is a retired Realtor (Ex-Ebby agent) and has been trying to get me to investigate Newman Village for some time. I finally listened… and this page is the project as it evolves.
As time goes on, more will be added.
Some of these images will be “dynamic” – in that you can see the Before and After results of my technique. What’s the difference? Quite a bit in most cases. When you mouse over each image you will see the “original” compared to the final result after I have processed the image to my standards. The result is high-definition imagery with enhanced texture, detail and colors not found in conventional photography.
Click the following link to see the Newman Village Gallery page.
If you’ve never been to Newman Village, and enjoy upscale living, you should come on out to Frisco and take a look. The overall design, attention to detail and variety of architecture are unique in North Texas.
Well, I finally got around to updating this gallery after three recent shoots over the summer that I just had not carved out the time to process. The most recent shoot includes a pair of killer Ferraris – an F40 and a 458. Anyone who knows anything about these cars will definitely want to take a look at the photos. Also included in this shoot was a gorgeous pearl yellow Lamborghini Murcielago. Another amazing car (and a couple of pretty amazing girls) for the gallery. This shoot was done at night in Dallas, my favorite way to photograph cars. In the dark, I have much more control of the lighting. As a result, the images are quite dramatic. See for yourself.
Since I don’t sleep much (Karen says I should open up a donut shop) I finally got busy and created the galleries associated with 3 shoots for The Girls and Cars of Texas from October and November 2009. Simply click on the photos below to get to the individual galleries for Amy Fox, Tracie Fox and Ashley R.
Amy Fox was one of the models who responded to a casting call I posted for a Girls and Cars shoot in Fredericksburg in October 2009. We were headed down there to photograph an extensive private collection of amazing vehicles on a 1000 acre ranch just outside Fredericksburg, Texas. The collection included a 1951 Rolls Royce Silver Dawn, a Ferrari Dino and a 1955 aqua Chevy Nomad among others. Amy was great to work with and we got some nice shots with her.
Since we needed more than one model for this shoot, Amy recommended her sister-in-law Tracie, who was a joy to work with. We had a great time shooting with her on this trip. Some of the vehicles had been sitting for so long we simply could not get them to run. Fortunately I had allowed for this as a possibility and we brought down around 150lbs of studio lighting and battery power for this project so we could light up the inside of the enormous barn where the collection was housed. This turned out to be very useful and helped to create some dramatic effects.
Last year. we were out to dinner at Mama Emilias in McKinney, Texas. Parked outside were two amazing cars. A bright yellow 1929 Ford and a Roger Rabbit-looking 1947 Ford Panel Truck painted in a silver and purple theme, complete with purple neon ground lighting. What a cool vehicle! I just had to have these for the book, and made arrangements with the owner to shoot them one night at a local airport where we could have a controlled environment. Once again lugging out the full complement of studio lighting, cords and battery power – and a local fitness model / fitness instructor, Ashley Reese, we settled in for the evening to capture these gorgeous cars and this very nicely sculpted model in all their collective glory. Ashley was a big hit (in her nurse and schoolgirl outfits) with the “locals” and a real treat to work with. When you visit this gallery you will see why my preference is to shoot in the dark with my own lighting. The results are very dramatic.
It’s been a busy week or so, with some projects I’ve been planning for a long time out of the way. And a couple of opportunities – as well as the occasional detour or two allowing me to add some new images to my galleries.
Top of my list was the Texas State Fair. We hadn’t been there in 10 years and I wanted a shot of Big Tex for my upcoming book on Texas, so off we went this last Monday night. The fair was everything we’d remembered, but quieter – the advantage of going on a week night instead of a weekend day. If you go, be sure to try the fried Peaches and Cream. Excellent treat. We elected not to try this years headline item, the Deep Fried Butter, as I’d like not to be going in for an arterial roto-rooter procedure any sooner than necessary.
Additionally, we spent the weekend at our friends’ home on Cedar Creek Lake, which gave me the opportunity to photograph the Gun Barrel City sign (seems the classic old billboard is long gone…) and the Crandall Cotton Gin on the way back (one of our favorite stops when we’re out on the Harley.) Check it out when you’re down that way. These images are in the Texas Gallery and one update to the Flora and Fauna Gallery.
I’ve had this ‘vision’ for over a year to light Frisco’s Old Town grain elevators and photograph them. I even went out at 3am one night last year during a full moon to see if a Moonscape approach would do them justice. While it yielded interesting results, it just was not the effect I had in mind.
So I set about to put together everything (and everyone) I would need to yield the results I had seen in my mind’s eye. A quick call to Mayor Maso at The City to explain my idea and to make sure there would be no problem having a couple of suspicious adults scurrying around the site like overgrown squirrels yielded the required OK and we were off!
I knew I would need flood lights and I realized I’d need to shield the bulbs from view, partially to contain the light and minimize the “beam spread” – but also to eliminate the glare an exposed bulb generates on the final image.
To achieve this, I located new, unused paint cans, which I combined with standard bulb sockets (for the 3 lights that would have to go on top of the building) and swivel floodlight sockets with Ground Stakes to anchor 3 more flood lights into the earth at the base of the elevators.
To eliminate the inconvenience of lugging a large generator around, I purchased a large inverter that, when connected to a car battery, will power 500 watt worth of lights. The next trick was to figure out how to get six floodlights with enough output that would add up to less than 500 watts…
We switched over to CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp) floodlights in our home a couple of years ago for ecological reasons and found them to be incredibly bright, so I picked up a wad of these incredibly efficient floodlights that draw only 23 watts each. For a total of under 150 watts of power consumption, it looked reasonable we would be able to achieve the desired effect.
One Tuesday night in late July, my fried Jose Artiles and I got together with all the right components, a bit of good old American (and Cuban) ingenuity and we did it. Jose’s 18 foot ladder gave us just enough height to get me on top of the 20 foot-high roof of the building for purposes of setting 3 of the floodlights. Getting down, however, proved to be a real challenge, as the top rung of the ladder would up recessed about a foot less that the 90 degree point relative to the edge of the roof, so finding that first rung with one foot while hanging on for dear life reminded me how much I dislike ladders…
Once down from the roof, we set the other 3 floodlights and strung the balance of at least 250 feet of extension cords to tie everything together. After connecting the inverter to the engine of my 2008 Dodge Caliber and firing up the engine, we applied power, and damned if it didn’t look exactly like I had envisioned. It’s so cool when something looks the way you thought it would…
The first shot was actually exactly what I wanted, but we tried various exposures and vantage points just because it would be silly not to after all the prep work. As we were collecting and re-packing all the equipment, Jose pointed out a great shot looking straight up the towers into the clouds, which resulted in a few more remarkable shots. (Thanks, Jose)
The series of 3 images can be seen both on the Architecture page of my site as well as the Frisco page of my NocturnalVisions.net site (along with the results of many of my other Nocturnal Excursions.)
Hopefully, the City of Frisco will elect to light this classic landmark permanently one day.
Photos on my Nocturnal Visions website, but I’ve attached them here for you so see.