Incredible Stonework

Here’s a closeup showing the incredible skill and workmanship of the stone masons who built the Kreische Brewery in the late 1860 s. Can you imagine the time and effort it took to fit each of these stones together to form an arch for the window and door?

Incredible Stonework

The Old Stone Brewery
Copyright 2008 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shots taken with a Canon 40D hand-held, EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM at 53mm, f/13 at ISO 200 on SanDisk digital film. The HDR file was made from three RAW images tone-mapped in Photomatix Pro. All other post capture processing was done in Lightroom 2 and Noise Ninja. Click on the image above for a larger version.

Posted in Photography Tagged: Canon 40D, Photography, Texas Hill Country

Hill Country Landscapes Book Coming Soon!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I’ve completed the work on my first book and sent it off to the printer. The first proof should be here by December 3rd and the first run available by December 15th. The book includes 46 of my favorite images from the Texas Hill Country along with the location where each one was taken. I’ll be selling this right here on my blog for $45.00 plus shipping & handling.

Hill Country Landscapes Book

I’ve had a lot of fun putting this together and there’s a special treat for serious amateur photographers in the final pages. Taking a cue from Wyman Meinzer’s books, I’ve added a section detailing my exact settings for each image presented in the book including camera, exposure and filters used. It’s my hope that this information will help other photographers enjoy the incredible photographic opportunities available in the Texas Hill Country.

Posted in Photography Tagged: Landscape Photography, Photography, Texas Hill Country

Gorman Falls

For more information on the history of Gorman Falls please visit Flying Hats over Gorman Falls by Jack Matthews. The following excerpt is used by permission of the author.

Gorman Falls is located in San Saba County, along the Colorado River, downstream from Bend, Texas, and above Lake Buchanan. Since 1984, Gorman Falls has been managed, fortunately, by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. An artesian spring, ejecting about three-hundred gallons a minute, provide hand-cramping cold water for the falls. The spring is about one-quarter of a mile up from the falls. The sound of the waterfall is loud, a low roar, back down by the cliffs, as you walk under a canopy of sycamores, cottonwoods, and pecan trees that give shade, plunging the ambient temperature ten degrees or more. The temperature change is so vivid, it is like opening the refrigerator in the house after working outside in the heat. It is no wonder that the Comanche, the working cowboys of the Gorman and Lemons Ranches, planned their day to be close to the falls when toil eased at mid-day or stopped in the evening, so that the cool air and artesian water might ease their muscles or give good medicine to the tribe.

I know of these things, maybe not the Comanche camp, by listening to my grandmother who tended the chuck wagon for her husband who managed cattle for the ranches. My grandmother, Effie, took me to the falls many times, always pointing out on the downhill slope to Gorman Falls, “That’s where we camped and set up the wagon, built a fire right there.” And, I would look and see bleached rocks and junipers, a clearing in the trees, and, yes, the remnants of a fire, her fire, many layers below. I thought of the cowboys who herded cattle, sitting down and eating beans, cornbread, and beef that my grandmother cooked. She was not that tough of a woman, of a person, to fix grub on the ranches, but she did. She followed my grandfather because she loved him and would cook for him and his pardners, as they tended cattle in the blazing hot, anvil-hard earth, Texas sun. Gorman Falls, with its cool, artesian water, was Beulah land, paradise, relief beyond belief, for them, for me.

Gorman Falls

Gorman Falls – Bend, Texas
Copyright 2009 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II set on manual (M) using an EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens tripod-mounted. The exposure was taken at 35mm, f/14 for 1.3 seconds at ISO 100 using a Singh-Ray LB Vari-ND-Duo neutral density filter. All post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3 Beta. Click on the image above for a larger version.

How To Get this Type of Shot: An image of water cascading down with that smooth, almost silky look to the water.

  • The real key to this shot is the location. Gorman Falls located in the Colorado Bend State Park near Lampasas, Texas is one of the most beautiful spots in the state to photograph. Its well protected location offers a pristine look at one of Texas’ secret hideaways.
  • As with most running water, the key is the long exposure (greater than 1 second) that creates the smooth, silky look. You have two choices in how to achieve the long exposure; a) use a very small aperture like f/22 or b) use a neutral density filter.
  • A wide-to-medium telephoto lens is a good choice for a shot like this since it allows you to capture many different shots from one spot.
  • A good sturdy tripod is a must in a situation like this. I recommend a carbon-fiber tripod for this shot since you’ll be lugging it several miles under the Texas sun to get this shot.
  • As before, the final key for this type of shot is setting your camera’s long exposure noise reduction to “ON”.
  • Shooting at Gorman Falls is best done in the early morning when the light just begins to filter through the trees. Spring and Fall are usually the best times of the year to capture great shots at the falls although a few brave souls have been known to visit during the heat of a Texas summer.

Posted in Photography Tagged: Canon, Canon 5D Mark II, Colorado Bend State Park, Gorman Falls, Photography, Texas Hill Country, Texas Landscapes

Gold Rush

I did NOT recolor this image in Lightroom or Photoshop. I did NOT change the white balance from “daylight” to “cloudy” or crank up the saturation to enhance this image. All I did was get incredibly lucky to have the perfect late afternoon sun hitting these limestone falls AND reflecting off the clouds overhead to create a wonderful golden glow to work with. Like my previous image taken just a bit later, this shot was one of those wonderful accidents of nature, when everything comes together.

You can’t plan for it. You can’t practice for it. And you can’t depend upon it happening. All you can do is say a prayer of thanks for the opportunity to capture it and share it with others.

Gold Rush – Austin, Texas
Copyright 2009 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II set on manual (M) using an EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens tripod-mounted. The exposure was taken at 40mm, f/16 for 2.5 seconds at ISO 100 using a Singh-Ray Vari-ND-Duo neutral density filter. All post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3 Beta. Click on the image above for a larger version.

Posted in Photography Tagged: Canon, Canon 5D Mark II, Landscape Photography, McKinney Falls State Park, Photography, Texas Hill Country, Texas Landscapes

Sunset in Kingsland

It’s been bitter cold here in Texas and I’m getting tired of wearing sweaters every day. So here’s an image taken last fall at one of the best spots in the state to capture a sunset, looking west over Packsaddle Mountain. I’m going to keep posting these “warm” images until the weather breaks or I run out of shots, whichever comes first.

Sunset in Kingsland

Sunset – Kingsland, Texas
Copyright 2009 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II set on aperture priority (Av) using an EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens tripod-mounted. The exposure was taken at 45mm, f/13 for 2 seconds at ISO 100 using a Singh-Ray 3-stop (soft) graduated neutral density filter. All post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3 Beta. Click on the image above for a larger version.

Posted in Photography Tagged: Canon, Canon 5D Mark II, Landscape Photography, Photography, Texas Hill Country, Texas Landscapes

Driving around Inks Lake

Inks Lake was created in the 1920′s as a means of flood control along the Lower Colorado River. It’s the second of six such lakes that make up the “Highland Lakes Chain” here in central Texas, created by the Buchanan dam to the north and Inks dam to the south. It was built by the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) during the Great Depression and provided employment for 1,500 workers during its construction. The state acquired the land in the 1940′s as part of a public works project sponsored by Lyndon B. Johnson when he was just a US Congressman.

The geology of the area is truly unique with pink, granite-like outcrops called “Valley Spring Gneiss” pushing their way up through the surrounding limestone. These outcrops support a unique ecology of wildflowers, grasses, mosses and even ferns. Inks Lake State Park is a place that you could explore and photograph for years and never run out of interesting sights to see. In the springtime when the wildflowers bloom, the area comes alive with color and that’s why Inks Lake is always one of the stops on the Texas Landscape Safari.

Inks Lake

Inks Lake – Burnet, Texas
Copyright 2009 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 50D set on aperture priority (Av) using an EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens tripod-mounted. The exposure was taken at 24mm, f/11 for 1/50th of a second at ISO 100 using a Singh-Ray 2-stop (soft) graduated neutral density filter. All post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3 Beta. Click on the image above for a larger version.

Posted in Photography Tagged: Canon, Canon 50D, Inks Lake State Park, Landscape Photography, Photography, Texas Hill Country, Texas Landscapes

Texas Landscape Safari – Spring 2010

Texas Landscape Safari

We still have a few spots open for our Texas Landscape Safari workshop scheduled for April 24th – 27th, 2010 in the beautiful Texas Hill Country. Now that the winter rains have returned and refilled the aquifers, the rivers and streams should be running beautifully by April and provide some wonderful shots for our attendees. Each attendee will also receive an autographed copy of my Hill Country Landscapes book with detailed information on how each shot was taken.

Here’s a quick look at what we’ve scheduled for this workshop. You can click on this image to be taken directly to our Google Map for the workshop.

Texas Landscape Safari Map

We’ll be shooting at the following locations and the conditions look favorable for getting some great landscape shots in the Hill Country this spring.

  • Colorado Bend State Park – Bend, Texas
  • Inks Lake State Park – Burnet, Texas
  • Scenic Overlook – Kingsland, Texas
  • Enchanted Rock State Natural Area – Fredericksburg, Texas
  • Pedernales Falls State Park – Johnson City, Texas
  • McKinney Falls State Park – Austin, Texas

To register or for more information, please contact me via email using my Contact Me page.

Posted in Photography Tagged: Colorado Bend State Park, Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, Inks Lake State Park, McKinney Falls State Park, Pedernales Falls State Park, Texas Hill Country, Texas Landscape Safari