For more than 40 years I have volunteered my photography for Habitat for Humanity. On the morning of 9/11 I was in Washington,DC on my way to a Habitat build in Washington D.C. not too far east of the U.S. Capitol Building. As I was driving to the build site I was unaware of what was going on in New York that morning. As I arrived at the Habitat build site I could see many people upset and not knowing what to do. They came to me and surrounded my car to listen to the radio. As we were all catching up on the news we all heard a loud explosion. That was the Pentagon. We did not finish our build that morning. It was several more months before that home was finished. Today 18 years later I was at a Habitat for Humanity Williamson County build in Taylor,Texas. All these years later we were all remembering where we were on that day 18 years ago.
I made another photography trip on the Amtrak Texas Eagle this time from Temple to El Paso,Texas. I have been using the Temple Texas Amtrak Station as my home base. It isn't the closest to my home but it is the easiest to get to.
My trip to El Paso went through San Antonio. I arrived in San Antonio around 11pm in my sleeper car. I decided to get the bedroom so I had a private compartment with a restroom, desk and electrical outlets. The Texas Eagle that I was on was switched at 2am from the north south track to the east west track on the Sunset Limited to El Paso and beyond. When I woke up the next day I was almost to Del Rio,Texas.
It's fun meeting and photographing new people. There are many folks who are interested in photography and what I am up to taking photos for Amtrak. I was actually invited to speak at a camera club in Austin,Texas so I guess that will work out in the next several months.
I like to shoot in Aperture Priority but on the train I am shooting more in Manuel Mode or Shutter Priority. I need to use higher shutter speeds and with the Manuel Mode I can manage the many diverse lighting situations I am encountering. I remember when I was President George H.W. Bush's White House photographer it was alway a challenge to get a good exposure being on a black runway underneath the shiny Air Force One. In that situation I actually started using Auto Program Mode because I didn't have the time to take light meter readings. Remember in those days I was shooting film. Now on the Amtrak I have the time to play around with composition a and exposures.
I saw a beautiful sunset outside Alpine,Texas the other day. Taking photos from a moving train through a dirty window is a special challenge but with the Manuel Mode I have so much more control when shooting with my Nikon D810. I find my iPhoneXmax also comes in handy many times. My finished product after I turn in my photos is primarily social media so I am good with file size.
I think my next trip will be up to Oklahoma City so I can ride on the Heartland Flyer.
I was recently contacted by Amtrak to do photography on some of their trains. The only trains I have been on are the Amtrak from Washington DC to New York City and the Walt Disney World Railroad in Fantasyland. Recently I visited Oahu in the Hawaiian Islands and road the Pineapple Express at the Dole Plantation. Other than that trains have not been on my radar.
Now I have been studying all I can about Amtrak and have taken my first trip on the Texas Eagle from Temple,Texas to Longview,Texas. I rode coach because I was not really sitting but making my way around the train meeting and photographing passengers and Amtrak staff. I have several more trips coming up and hope to do more in the future. It has been funny now that I am talking about trains how many people have their train stories or want to go with me on my trips.
March 2019 I co-hosted with the Williamson Museum the first highly successful Georgetown Texas Photography Festival. We are now planning the second GTPF for March 21,2020. There are plans to expand the number of featured photographers and to hold some photography classes. This should be a fun event again this year. In 2019 we had over 700 people attend from all over the State of Texas.
This week I started the Georgetown Texas Photography Festival web site. We didn't have that last year relying only on Facebook and Instagram for our primary outreach . Thanks to the Williamson Museum for reaching out to their media contacts to help spread the word.
We were fortunate to have some corporate support from Precision Camera, Nikon and CharlesDenyer.com.
The George & Barbara Bush Foundation hosted "An Inside Look at the American Vice Presidency" at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library in College Station,Texas. In attendance were Vice President and Mrs. Pence, Vice President Dick Cheney and Vice President Dan Quayle. The 3 Vice Presidents stopped by President Bush's grave site to pay respects. Doro Bush Koch and her son Sam greeted the Vice Presidents.
The first Georgetown Texas Photography Festival has come and gone and is now in the books. It is estimated that at least 500 plus people attended. There were people from Ft.Worth, Dallas, Houston, Longview, San Antonio, Fredericksburg, Pflugerville, Belton, Liberty Hill, Boerne and of course Georgetown,Texas. I am sure I missed some of the cities represented but it was impressive to see so many photographers and photo enthusiast in one place.
A special thank you to all of the volunteers. Without their help this would have never happened. I especially need to thank The Williamson Museum and Executive Director Mickie Ross and Museum Curator Ann Evans who were instrumental in making the Georgetown Texas Photography Festival even happen. Christine Tomaszewski kept me on track with the many reality checks and reminding me what the important issues were that needed to be done first. Thanks to all y'all for making my dream a reality.
The featured photographers showed some amazing photos and truly brought the Georgetown Texas Photograhy Festival to life. Rudy Ximenez was in the Mesquite Creek Outfitters. Rudy's dynamic personality wowed our guests with his photos and stories. Carol Hutchison and her husband Doug showcased Carol's photos from their book "Behind the Texas Badge". They are both great people and were a huge asset to the festival. Carols photos will be on display all the month of March 2019 in the Williamson Museum. If you get a chance drop by. Earl Nottingham who is the Chief Photographer for Texas Parks and Wildlife was certainly one of the highlights with his beautiful photos of Texas. Todd White not only displayed some of his fashion photography but brought along a few models for anyone to photograph. That was fun for sure. Todd also produced our informational video about the Georgetown Texas Photography Festival. That video alone reached over 3000 viewers. Thanks Todd for stepping up in-spite of your busy schedule. Harrison Funk, what can I say, when you say "Rock Star" you have to think about how Harrison has captured some of the most iconic images of Rock Stars. Thanks Harrison for your participation and friendship. Now Linda Nickell in a class of her own with all of her Instagram friends and followers. Thanks Linda for showing a lot of young women your great photos and inspiring them to step out on their own. Linda brought her crew along and was a great part of the Georgetown Texas Photography Festival.
Precision Camera and Video were gracious enough to support us with their presence and ideas. Really can't thank them enough for their support. Nikon USA and Brein Aho showed the new Nikon Mirrorless Z6 and Z7 cameras. Brien helped many photographers by answering hundreds of questions. Thanks Brien. I think you said I could borrow a Nikon some time. I'll give you a call.
We are now planning a bigger and better Georgetown Texas Photography Festival 2020.
Precision Camera and Video featured the Georgetown Texas Photography Festival in their social media. Thank you. Precision Camera and Video will be with us at the festival on the square in Georgetown,Texas March 16,2019.
The first Georgetown Texas Photograhy Festival will be held March 16,2019 in historic Georgetown,Texas. Below is a map to the locations of the invited photographers which includes Harrison Funk, Todd White, Rudy Ximenez, Linda Nickell, Carol Hutchison and Earl Nottingham along with the locations of Precision Camera and Nikon. Starting at 8am March 16 I will lead a photowalk meeting on the Main Street side of the historic Court House.
We are moving fast forward with the first ever Georgetown Texas Photography Festival. Our social media friends are following us and sharing the information about the Georgetown Texas Photography Festival March 16,2019 on the square in Georgetown,Texas. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook. Hope all y'all can make it out.
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