First Hummer Of The Season

We had ZERO hummingbirds in the spring. Very disappointing. Donald Ray Burger keeps a log of Houston hummingbird sightings going back to 1993 and when I read that he had his first fall sighting on August 5th I decided to put the feeders out. Today we spotted two hummers. One male and one female, both Ruby-Throated. It was late in the afternoon, but I setup the tripod real quick anyway and caught my first photo.

Hopefully I’ll get some more shots before we head out on vacation. Even better, maybe they’ll still be here when we get back!

Oscar Meyer Wienermobile

I was running a quick errand to the H.E.B. to pick up some postage stamps and lo and behold, the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile was parked out front. I don’t know exactly why, but I get kinda silly when I see this thing. Of course I didn’t have my camera with me since it was a quick errand. I went ahead and bought the stamps and then ran back home and asked Cynthia if she’d be interested in taking a whimsy break.

I grabbed my camera and we headed back over to the H.E.B. and had a nice visit with the drivers of the Wienermobile who are known as “Hotdoggers.” It was really quite fun and silly, but we learned quite a bit about the ongoing Oscar Meyer marketing campaign and some facts about the Wienermobile.

They still give away little plastic wiener-whistles!

*Photographer’s Note*
The first two photos were taken using the Lensbaby Composer mounted on the the A850. The Lensbaby Composer creates the selective focus effect you see in those images and is a fully manual lens. The third photo was taken using the 16mm fisheye and the last photo was taken using the 100mm macro lens.

Mik Miano – R.I.P.

I have just learned that Houston artist and good friend Mik Miano passed away.

A prolific artist, his metal sculptures are major part of the interior architecture or Rudyard’s British Pub and he’s the designer of the Houston Press Music Awards trophies in 2008 and 2009.

There’s a Facebook group called I can now post pictures of Mik for posting pics and memories of Mik for those so inclined.

The Wild Peafowl Of West Houston

Off Memorial Drive between Kirkwood and Dairy Ashford reside the wild peafowl of West Houston. Peacocks and Peahens roam the yards and streets, putting on a show and making a racket. Their call sounds like a baby crying out or a cat in severe pain. Some residents describe their call as “sounds like somebody being murdered.”

Overall they seem oblivious to the human residents and the occasional gawkers like myself who drive down to see them.

Apparently the population of about 50 birds are offspring from a pair that a landowner gave his wife more than 30 years ago. From what I understand, most of the residents like the birds.

And this one particular Peacock had no problem at all with me taking his picture as he presented himself, in all his glory, to any Peahen who cared to have a romp or a gander.

Brennan’s Houston

I shot this on request for my friend at Studio RED Architects who were strongly involved in the rebuilding of Brennan’s here in Houston. You might recall that Brennan’s burned down during Hurricane Ike.

Shot from across the street using the A850 and the Zeiss 24-70mm.

21 second exposure at f/13.

The neon sign wasn’t finished before the grand opening and if you look closely, the gas lanterns are also not complete.

Rediscovering An Old Friend

When I first got into shooting with a digital camera, I picked up the Sony A100 and the 50mm f/1.4 lens. Due to the crop sensor on the A100, the 50mm translated to a 75mm focal length making it just a little too tight for the kind of photography I was doing so it really didn’t get all that much use. A shame, really. This lens is fast and sharp and the images were outstanding. Even so, I found myself leaning on my Sigma 30mm f/1.4 for that added wide focal range (equivalent 45mm on the cropped sensor) that allowed me to capture more of the scene I was shooting.

Now that I have upgraded to the full frame Sony A850 the Sony 50mm f/1.4 is finding its way back into rotation and I am reminded of how great this lens is.