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Posts from the ‘photography’ Category

Western Art in the Briscoe Museum

Saturday was bitterly cold with a wind that cut through jackets and made me wish for my motorcycle jacket. The morning was to be devoted to local gallery tours; we decided to walk the 900 feet from our hotel to the Briscoe Museum of Western Art.

We all got to claim senior status and therefore a reduced entrance fee–although if we had been service men/women our entrance would have been free.

tim20cherry20rabbit-mTwo large galleries were full of contemporary Western art —no photos were allowed–although I did get this shot of a rabbit by Tim Cherry. If I had the money or the place to showcase this piece—but I didn’t so I will content myself with this photo.

img_7938-mw20h20dunton20painting-mOf interest was a small painting by W.H. Dunton whose title for a rather small painting was quite striking—a paragraph long title for a rider on a horse galloping across the plain. Interestingly the local Stark Museum of Art in Orange Texas posesses over 200 pieces of his work. He, along with other western artists of that era, also illustrated magazine covers and books.

In the afternoon we settled down to an entertaining critique session with Judith Trager. Creative people that we are, one attendee removed her belt as a splash of color on a monochromatic piece.

An evening banquet followed with a lively auction of the small pieces contributed by the members. There was much rivalry and last minute bidding–all to fund future events.

Viewing the Alamo

alamo-mThere was a very long line waiting to get in to see the Alamo; the line looped back through a covered area and was halted by a photographer at the entrance.

Inside, people chattered and pointed–and if you stood in one place, you heard the same comments repeated but by different people and in different languages. They marveled at the number of places the defenders claimed as home—Ireland, Wales, Scotland, North Carolina, Kentucky–and more. Flags of each state and country were displayed around the periphery of the building and we all took turns peering into the rooms cordoned off.

alamo201-malamo2011-mOutside were lovely old live oak trees, a small rivulet with giant carp all hoping for a tidbit of bread, benches, and blooming prickly pear. alamo208-malamo205-m

Outside on the plaza were stands with soft drinks and ice cream. The Menger and the Crockett Hotels were nearby as well as the Wax Museum.

No matter the details of those final hours in whatever version people care to claim as factual, it is an awe=inspiring place—so lush and green–and the entire complex quite large–not the dusty single building in a vast plain with nary a tree to be seen.



Early Morning Discoveries

I had thought I might catch a sunrise behind the Alamo but I admit to being distracted and then there was the building that somehow blocked my way–I had to turn on my GPS on my phone to find my way back to the hotel.

In the meantime–what do you think about this?


I suppose the delivery driver had other stops and no time to wait for someone to receive all of this–Not perhaps the photo tourism image one might have of San Antonio

San Antonio Walk About

door20of20cathedral-mConference morning activities followed breakfast punctuated by greetings–putting faces to names of people I had read about, ‘talked’ to via internet and handing out of business cards.

My afternoon and evening were free as I had not signed up for breakout sessions, thinking I would like to settle myself somewhere on the Riverwalk and just enjoy the day. However, I am not a cold weather sitter on metal benches–and so I opted to walk.

What time in San Antonio would be incomplete without a visit to the Alamo. The streets were filled with newly graduated AirMen–(and a few women) in their crisp light blue shirts and dark pants–all with parents or sisters or girlfriends all roaming about–all smiles, nervous, proud.  I caught up with one nice young man and his two sisters–both shivering in their light jackets–they were from Pennsylvania and had dressed expecting much warmer weather.

I wandered by the Cathedral–the first mass celebrated on the day appointed to Saint Anthony–thus giving the city its name, the Bexar County courthouse which was humongous and imposing in red brick and skepp topped domes,courthouse-m courhouse20view-man immense archive building, the hemisphere tower, and then the Alamo. I took a lot of photos, and then bought post cards to replenish my stash for future postings. Three living history sites were set up with men dressed as Alamo defenders displaying and discussing cannons and riflery.

waterfall-m Directly in front of the courthouse is the Liberty fountain. Nearby are beds of roses both red and yellow. These beds are not near this fountain but the petals from the red roses were placed in the fountain’s layers–an interesting custom as it seemed deliberate but I could not find anyone around to ask.




This week’s assignment was “half”.

I thought of a lot of ‘half’s’. Half-done, half built, half eaten, half grown, and so forth.

With just a meager breakfast of one piece of toast, food was on my mind–and so half an apple on my kitchen table.

Sylvia weir Week 9 Half

Pages and pages and pages

Sylvia Weir Week eight Pages

Last week;s assignment was ‘pages’. While my home is littered with all sorts of books and magazines and pieces of paper everywhere–I always try to think of something not quite so literal as taking a photo of a book. This is the inside of the dumpster that collects newspapers for recycling.

This city has not yet thought about the idea of trash over-taking us or of saving of resources..everything has to be not just cost-effective but income producing. At one time we had blue recycle containers in which we placed all our recycleables to be picked up at the same time as our regular trash. The regular trash was converted from trash cans we bought at local stores to city trash containers that were designed to be automatically picked up by a set of arms that reached out–thus saving the backs of the sanitation department. With the recycleables–they had to bend over to pick up the items and sort them into appropriate bins—not exactly a back-saving endeavor.

Because this was not profitable–the activity ceased–to be replaced by huge dumpsters placed in one central part of the city for those of us who wanted to conserve resources to self deliver and self sort—not particularly hard but does require a bit of time.

Someone decided that perhaps recycling should begin again–but now the recycleables can be placed in a special container bought at a fairly steep price and the cost of picking up the recycle-ables added to the monthly garbage fee. I don’t see many of these containers along the streets.

Too bad they don’t invest in a system that sorts trash as Houston does.

Minimally Dancing


Old metal buildings provide a wealth of interesting shapes, colors, and textures. I took a lot of photos of this old tin building–although technically it is probably not tin.

This last week’s prompt was ‘Rhythm’. The gallery is full of interesting photos with everyone’s idea of what constitutes rhythm.

And–taking photos when you see a good spot–an interesting view–the photos I took of two old frame houses, their windows, and roofs are all that remain of them now–they have been demolished by a local ‘developer’ so the land may be turned into another marketplace instead of a space of green with azaleas and dogwoods in bloom. Another paved area to diminish this area’s ability to process our plentiful rain.

At a minimum

Sylvia Weir Week Six Minimalism

Last week’s assignment was Color explosion–and the group had so many experiments with photoshop techniques it was hard to choose just one that was particularly interesting.While I think doing all the manipulations and setting up photo-shoots can be quite creative, I far prefer looking around me for something to photo.

Last night while we were waiting for the last honeybees to return to their hive so we could take them to their new home, I found this old metal building nearby. It was fenced off and unfortunately the surroundings were far too swampy for me to walk around it but I did manage to get some photos–one of a lovely broken window that I may use as a prompt for a fiber piece—or not.




Blurred imagery doesn’t really appeal to me–it suggests someone (mostly me) moved while taking the photo. I far prefer clear photos without a lot of fancy photoshop work. I do use a few features–a stamp clone erase technique to simplify photos from telephone lines and the hanging mechanisms of my quilt art-works. I also will do a bit of cropping but try hard to avoid it by changing where I am standing, zooming in, or moving an offending object.

This photo was taken in the arboretum greenhouse of some statuary near a small waterfall. It is always humid and misty in there, and the waterfall adds its own mist. I’m not sure I am happy with the resultant photo but given that I am not going to deliberately blur a photo by moving–I do enough of that–it is my offering for Week Two.

ThisSylvia Weir Week Two Blurred week is obsessive-compuslive–either an example of–or something that drive that person mad.

Rounds and Hoop-de-doos


Although Christmas Eve began with mist and fog and generalized dreariness, by noon the sun was shining , the yard was no longer muddy, and we were all eager to get out of the house. It was a perfect time to capture something involving ’round’.

Two hula hoops used to live in the trunk area of the ForeRunner until backing up one day into a crepe myrtle tree–surprisingly sturdy—necessitating the removal of all the dog toys, bowls, water jugs and so forth to replace the broken window–may I add my assistance in holding the window while nuts and bolts were tightened was quite essential to successful completion of the task. It rather reminded me of medical school days in which I was assigned to hold a Retractor so the surgeon could see and provide an educational experience for me—I could see nothing–but I did get some strong arms.

On to the project.

I set up my tripod–still not used to it but I won’t be if I don’t use it.

8-20but20where20is20toby-mDogs ran out eagerly–everything is their favorite thing to do. But they discovered a very naughty squirrel leaping from tree to tree–not where it was supposed to be–maybe the neighbor’s tree out of their sight? This job needed a lot of barking and jumping up to try to catch that squirrel–never mind us standing over there with husband holding hula hoops and me behind my camera.

7-20now20dora20has20it20down-mEventually they did come to see what we were up to—Dora being the first to give it a try. It was a hard concept–why jump through two hoops when you can jump one and walk through the second? She managed a few jumps but then Toby had discovered the large purple ball was not doing anything–and needed chasing about.

10-20toby20is20chasing20the20big20purple20ball20around20the20yard20with20dora20encouragement20of20constant20barking-20the20hulu20hoops20take20a20rest20to20gather20their20courThe hula hoops were set aside, no doubt wondering if those barking creatures were going to return.

12-20this20is20so20easy-mSomehow that ball got stuck somewhere and Toby was ready to jump. She also could not figure out why anyone would jump through two hoops but then she watched Dora and knew she could out-perform–so sailing through both hoops as fast as she could both forwards and backwards–Foolishly I had not set my camera on sports mode but I managed to get a few good shots.

1820but20no20more20jumping20until20we20both20get20a20treat-mHaving shown off her superior athletic skill, she promptly sat down by one hoop, Dora came over to sit on the other side—and the message was clear—Where is our reward for doing this jumping thing?

If you wish to see more shots of this adventure–this is about as exciting as we get these days–they are on my smugmug site here: