Friday, May 13, 2011

Places: Williams Tower Water Wall

The Williams Tower Water Wall, also known simply as the Water Wall, is frequently considered Houston’s most photographed location. Located by the Galleria shopping center, near Richmond and West Loop 610, it is an imposing sight with a 64 feet tall semi-circular wall of flowing water, surrounded by hundreds of live oaks which isolate it from the passing traffic and offer a glimpse from the street.

The Water Wall used to be private property and was previously owned by the Transco Tower. However, despite what you may hear or read on the Internet, the City of Houston purchased the fountain and surrounding land (for $8.5 million) in December 2008, and converted it into a public park. Therefore, as with any other public space, non-commercial photography is allowed.

Be careful when visiting the Water Wall. Parking is not allowed on the streets surrounding the park, and your car will most probably be towed. What starts off as a pleasant outing could become a very expensive and troublesome endeavor. Your best bet is to park inside the Galleria’s free parking garage, and walk from there. As this parking space is intended for visitors to the shopping center, try to be courteous by parking away from the mall entrance, and by visiting if possible on weekdays, when there is plenty of space.

You can normally find quite a few people visiting the park at any time of the year. There are also always at least a few photographers with brides, quincea├▒eras or couples, or simply capturing the beauty of the view. Be sure to try different spots around the fountain, as both the outside and inside offer interesting and worthwhile views.

Where: 2800 Post Oak Blvd, Houston, TX 77056
When: It is best photographed during the early morning or evening hours when the light isn't so harsh, and the trees create interesting shadow patterns.
Price: free
More info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerald_D._Hines_Waterwall_Park

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Seen Around Houston

Houston is an incredible city, where something amazing is happening all the time. And sometimes we are there to capture it. Each month we will share an image we find interesting.

This month we have a guy riding a bicycle.  Can you guess where we took it, and what it's about? See our answer next month.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Photography 101: Lighting

Hello, and welcome to our first edition of photography 101. Here we will share our knowledge and experiences to help you take better pictures.

The first step is light. Without light there is no photography. In fact, the word
photography comes from the Greek photos and graph├ę
, which mean "drawing with light". Whenever you press the trigger on your camera you are capturing and recording the light coming from your scene. The first thing you must therefore do is understand where this light is coming from and make it work for you. The quantity, quality and direction of the light sources will all affect your final image.
Forget about rules like “always keep the sun at your back” and “use a flash when it is dark”, and instead start looking at how the light falls on your scene. Is the person’s face dark, fully illuminated, or somewhere in between? Are the shadows harsh or soft? Is there any glare or nasty
reflection?
Learning to see light is the first step to better photographs. With a little bit of knowledge and some practice you will soon begin noticing the improvements in your photos.

Next month we will discuss the light meter in your camera, why your images sometimes come out too bright or too dark, and how to attain a perfect exposure.