"For the artist communication with nature remains the most essential condition. The artist is human, himself nature, part of nature within natural space." Paul Klee

Saturday, August 30, 2014


                                                                                                                              ©2014 Andy deBruyn

Several additional images from Friday's Austin walkabout.  The Frost building always looks best when there are clouds. Just a sunny day with blue sky won't do - you need the clouds.

Very cool graffiti. Graffiti seems to have a negative connotation but certainly not when
it looks like this. There's no scale here because I wanted the image to fill the entire frame.
This is roughly 7 to 9 feet high and 10 to 12 feet wide.  

Another view from the Texas State Cemetery.
One of the many colorful downtown visions.
The Frost

I brought one camera/one lens. The D7000 with the 18-135mm zoom. For any images with water or glass I added a circular polarizer to adjust reflections. Everything was handheld. Also all images are framed in camera - there's no cropping. WYSIWYG. I rarely and I mean rarely crop anything after I've shot it.

From the window of the Metrorail I saw a number of other places I'd like to take my camera...so
more to come in the near future.

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, August 29, 2014


This morning I took the MetroRail downtown for a walkabout to see what I could see.
 They keep the temperature on the MetroRail somewhere around freezing.  I'm surprised I didn't see meat on a hook. Anyway, when I got off at the Convention Center my lens immediately fogged up when I hit the street. Here's looking west toward Congress.

Under 35 looking back toward the Downtown station.

Memorial to Vietnam Veterans
While walking around I discovered the Texas State Cemetery on 8th street. The grounds are simply beautiful.   

One view of the grounds.

At the east end of the cemetery there's a hill and on top is a place where you can sit, rest, meditate, pray, become quiet or just zen out. This is the view from that spot.
Brick and mortar - Steel and glass
I walked around for three hours so more images to come.
Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


                                                                                                                             ©2014 Andy deBruyn

I took this image back in July at the local park. I just got around to looking at it today. Taken with the D7000 with the 18-135mm lens set at 48mm. Hand held ISO 200 f5 @ 1/125th ss.

Exposure-wise this is from the camera's file. I can see that the sensor (made by Toshiba) is holding down the highlights on the rocks lower right and the tree stump back at center left. By setting the camera to manual mode I was able to use the on-board metering system to keep things from clipping on either end. If I had used the P mode the camera would have been quite confused with the extreme hot spots.

BTW - having the ADC (analog to digital converter is also made by Toshiba) and the sensor designed by the same manufacturer, the processing is amazingly accurate even for a web jpeg. The amount of detail here is high so I'm quite pleased with the performance of this chip.

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, August 22, 2014


My hats off to the guys that do this kind of work. It looks brutal. What you don't see in the still shot is sometimes the machine starts to buck like a horse and the driver/operator bounces and lurches every which way. You also don't see the heat.  It's 103 degrees!

I was coming home from doing a little grocery shopping and pass by this ditch project. I gestured to the foreman pointing to my camera and pointing to the rock cutter and he gave me a thumbs up. Another thing about stills you don't experience...the noise!

I have some images where the operator isn't even visible the cloud of limestone dust is so thick.

As far as work goes my respect to the ones that make the roads, dig the trenches, and move the earth all while enduring some scorching weather.

H&T Utilities from Elgin, TX making it happen.
Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


                                                                 ©2014 Andy deBruyn

I have a fascination with orchids..one of my all time favorite flowers to photograph and just to stare at. Of course you know when I get around to shooting some tulips I'll say..."...one of my all time favorite flowers blah etc..."

I picked up this phalaeanopsis over the weekend. The top photo is from this morning- the bottom shot is from yesterday. The set-up is basically the same just the background is changed. The lighting is quite different also. Yesterday the sky was completely overcast not a sliver of sun. Today clouds were breaking up so there was ample amount of sun.

                                                                              ©2014 Andy deBruyn

Shot in all natural light on the side of my house. The left side of my house faces northerly perhaps a bit to the west. Most of the day it's lit by the northern hemisphere of light. The sun doesn't shoot down the path until very late in the day. So when it's cloudy but bright outside I have great lighting for this kind of subject.

For both set ups - there's a large piece of white foamcore to the left. That's it. For the top photo there's an underlight coming from a small cosmetic mirror held just out of frame.

Exposure was the same for both days - that tells you how much the side of the house blocks a major portion of the light. ISO 100 f2 @ 1/50th sec. Camera on a tripod tripped with cable release.
Protective filter removed but with sunshade.

The lens - I took the Nikkor 50mm f1.8 and added a 2x converter making the lens a 150mm on the DX format.  Shot in neutral setting to maximize shadow detail with color added back in post.

"It is easy to take what we see for granted and forget the extraordinary also lies in the ordinary."
Brigitte Grignet

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Cracked mud
For this morning's walk I was looking specifically for patterns and designs in nature. Now these designs that I am "seeing" or "interpreting" obviously don't exist on the own. The material is there but I am consciously arranging everything to form a pattern of sorts. I've been doing this kind
of photography since I started way back when. More than likely stemming from the influences of
Wynn Bullock and Aaron Siskind-early photographic heroes.   

For want of better terminology I call these visual collages, "found assemblages".

I don't move anything except myself and the point of view through the angle of the lens. Since I am
using a prime lens here, a 50mm, I have to "zoom" with my feet.
A lot of moving to this side then to that side, bending over to get closer..on my knees if I have to. Anything to get the desired framing. Sometimes waiting for the right light when the clouds are quickly tacking changing the quality and volume of light.
All shots with the Nikon D7000 and the 35mm lens which is in effect a 50 on this camera.
Thanks for stopping by. Click image for bigger.

Monday, August 18, 2014


Shot through the window shade.
Yesterday we went to visit family in San Antonio. For the afternoon we all headed over to the McNay Art Museum. This was my first time there and I thought it was a wonderful place.

Hey, I like gorgeous stairs
Besides the current exhibitions, the permanent collection consists of paintings by Picasso, Gauguin, Monet, Pissarro, Van Gogh and a whole host of other famously splendid works.

Anthony Caro - Catalan Smile
You can photograph most of the works that are on exhibit. The only thing I couldn't photograph
was the Paul Strand Mexican gravure series. Which was mucho awesome.
Alexander Calder

Forgot to get the name of this artist but it's a stunning piece.

One of the beautiful stairwells.
I took a lot more pictures but you can go online and see what the interior, gardens, and landscaping look like. 
The admission prices vary according to what's in the current exhibition - tickets can be five to twenty dollars. There's a free afternoon and evening. Check it out. On a Sunday it's an hour and a half drive from Cedar Park so it's not a long drive.  
Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, August 16, 2014


©1976 Andy deBruyn
This weekend started by cleaning out the office which for me is usually picking up each displaced item and turning around and placing it on the other side of the room. So at the end if the room looks different then it must be cleaned.
Came across my old negative files and held a couple up to the light. This image according to my sparse notes was shot in August of 1976 in Malden Massachusetts.  It was probably shot with the Pentax Spotmatic and a 50mm lens. I think that was the only lens I had at the time. I developed the negs in D76 with a solution of 1:1. The extent of my notes.
So I don't know what the image is depicting perhaps an institution of higher, lower or same level learning.     

What caught my eye was the framing. It's pretty much the standard way I frame reality. If I look at the recent images of the flyover or the Parmer Event Center and compare the way the image is balanced and how the utilization of frame space is used I'd have to say - it's the same. It might just be the way I see the world through that little viewfinder.

I have noticed a number patterns in my images. I'll have to pay more attention to that part of my brain and whatever or however it's doing what it's doing. That said, it's most likely something I won't be able to fathom.  Alice down the rabbit hole. A curious thing the way we get wired.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, August 14, 2014


                                                                                             ©2014 Andy deBruyn

I wanted to do something with the teal colored boards I made for a previous shoot. So keeping it on the cool end I grabbed some black plums from the store put 'em in a blue bowl and a couple of shutter clicks later...here ya go.

Took a little more time than that but it was a very easy shoot. Placed the boards on the floor - camera on a tripod looking almost straight down. Only two light sources, 1. an AB800 Alien Bee on the left shooting thru' a satin umbrella aimed down about 45 degrees. The light is at roughly nine o'clock.
2. And on the right - a silver reflector opening up the shadow side.
Slight desaturation in post.

50mm lens on D7000, ISO 100 at 1/15th ss @ f8 in manual mode.

Click image for bigger. Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, August 10, 2014


                                                           ©2014 Andy deBruyn
If you are a regular reader of my blog (thank you so much) you know that
a couple of my favorite subjects are plants and flowers. I love
people portraits too but don't get to do those as much as I would like.
Third on the list would have to be architecture. 
Austin skyline early Sunday morning around 7 am.

From the Parmer Event Center looking eastward.

The last time I shot the PEC was about 3 or 4 years ago. I forget what time of day it was but this time I was going to get there before sun up. These images were made between 6:50 (sunrise) and

My love of architecture probably comes from living in Italy for 17 years. I don't think
there's a better place on the planet than Italy to study architecture. Germany, France, Mesopotamia, many countries on the globe,  all have such beautiful architecture too - but Italy being that jutting boot protruding down into the Tyrrhenian, Ionian, Adriatic and Mediterranean seas was the perfect shape for sea ports all around. From Genova, Naples, Bari to Venice, Italy has had centuries of importing influences from all over the world. 

OK, back to Austin.

The colors here keep shifting because of the rising sun and pointing the camera north and southward.
The light hasn't flatten and neutralized yet.

If you look at my post of a couple of days ago regarding overpasses and
flyovers -  this image is pretty similiar.  Don't know if this swooping swatch
of concrete serves any purpose other than aesthetics. I shaped this photograph
by positioning the chunks of blue sky, the negative space.

Yours truly with photo bag in tow.

I started this series with my 50mm then switched to the 18-135 for ease of composition on the wider shots. The skyline shots were on a tripod, the PECs are hand held.
All Images ©2014 Andy deBruyn
Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, August 7, 2014


©2014 Andy deBruyn 
I was reading on another photog's website about his collection of older Nikkor lenses, the ones we used back in the film days. I have a couple of those myself. All of a sudden I got the urge to take just one picture with it...right then. This shot was made about five minutes ago.
It's an old Nikkor 50mm lens set to f1.4 at ISO 400 hand held at 1/50th of a second with exposure compensation at -0.3. The only light is from the window to the left.
I took the file into Photoshop and reduce it for this post. That's all I did so this is straight from the camera's sensor.
The old lenses have no built in way of "talking" to the camera whereas your digital lenses feed all the setting info to your file. 
On my older D80 when the lens was on the camera didn't know it. So no shooting info was recorded.
On most of the newer cameras (my D7000 included) you can go into a menu and list your old lenses with their focal length and largest f stop. The camera will store it and then recognize the lens and record the f stop and focal length. 

Most of you probably use the modern digital lenses recommended for your camera. But if you have some old film lenses around hey go ahead and see if they will work on your digital.

The older lenses have very nice glass and I really like the look they give to the files. I've used this lens on a lot of portraits and it does a splendid job of rendering skin tones. The only issue is it will not auto focus. You need to focus manually and keep a steady hand when clicking the shutter.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


I've added an earlier photo to this post.
                                                                                    ©2014 August  Andy deBruyn

                            I find these heavy road exchanges interesting not only because they're there to
point cars/people in the right direction (to commerce or to home) but because they remind me
of greek columns and roman aquaducts. The images of the Appia way
aquaducts near Rome look pretty much the same. Just not as wide of course.

.In order to shoot these large structures it's necessary to have a huge
side source of light...the setting sun. Also because the sun is low in
the sky it's hitting the under side, otherwise it would be totally black.
 Although the colors are enhanced in post
the original file needs to have a healthy dose of the spectrum. Here a
polarizer does the trick. I took the protective filter off and just used
the pola and eliminated one plane of glass.  

Setting sun on crushed rocks underneath structure.
 This image is from January of this year taken around the same time
of day with the setting sun. I just wanted to illustrate that
greek/roman architecture feel again. I'm wondering if the use
of the yellow tinged concrete with red trim near the highway
was actually designed to play against bright blue skies.
My guess is probably not. 

Look mom,  it's a tree!
Thanks for stopping by.