Rights of Spring

#MonochromeMonday – I love black and white photography. It simplifies. It focuses. The lack of color can help focus your attention on the shape, form and texture of the subject. I often put my camera’s viewfinder in black and white mode. The camera still records all the color information but I can compose images with less distractions.

"Rights of Spring" is the original piece in the Rockport Sculpture Garden dedicated in September of 2000. It was created by @kentullbergstudios. I took this photograph on a foggy morning in February by the Harbor in Rockport, Texas. I used a Nikon Z5 camera using a NIKKOR Z 24-70mm ƒ/2.8 S lens (1/60 sec at ƒ/4.5, ISO 100, 51mm). I edited the image in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.

Corpus in Silhouette

Missing the ocean. It’s been almost three weeks since we left the coast of Texas. While I am enjoying the lack of humidity and the desert vistas, I miss getting up in the morning and driving to the harbor see the sunrise. Even if the sunrise is underwhelming, the sounds of the ocean, the departure of the fishing boats and the everpresent birds make the trip enjoyable. I will be back.

I took this photograph last month in Ingleside on the Bay, Texas. It was taken with a Nikon Z5 camera using a NIKKOR Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR lens (1/400 sec at f/4.8, ISO 100, 130mm). It was edited in Adobe Lightroom.

Copano Bay Sunset

Last week, I wrote about the principle of layering. Another principle for creating strong photographic composition is to use framing. As the name implies, another element in your photograph creates a border to draw your attention to the subject of your photograph. Often frames in photos are not this obvious and complete, but can be as simple as a tree branch in the foreground that partially frames the main subject. 

This was taken from under the north end of of the Lyndon B. Johnson Memorial Bridge near Fulton, TX. It was taken with a Nikon Z5 camera using a NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S lens (1/500 sec at f/5.6, ISO 100). It was edited in Adobe Lightroom.

Comin’ At Ya

Northern Mocking birds are common in the Rockport area. They have a beautiful song and were once kept as caged birds for their melodies. I was photographing this handsome bird when he took off toward me. I’m glad I didn’t notice the evil look in his eye until after I got home and was going through the pictures!

I took this photograph earlier this year at the Ivy Lane Bird and Nature Site in Rockport, Texas. It was taken with a Nikon Z5 camera using a NIKKOR Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S lens (11250 sec at f/5.6, ISO 560, 400mm). It was edited in Adobe Lightroom.

Sunset of Progress

Texas leads the nation with over 16,000 turbines installed. I was discussing sunsets with another photographer in Rockport. The conversation led to his favorite places to take sunset pictures that wouldn’t have wind turbines in them. I don’t know. I guess I would rather have visual pollution rather than air pollution. Your thoughts?

This was taken just after sunset on February 3 on Cape Velero Drive in Rockport, Texas. (Nikon Z5, 1/500 sec at f/5.6, ISO 500, 400mm)

White Pelican

American White Pelicans have beautiful black feathers that are only visible when they unfurl their wings. While their body is squat, their wings can span 9 feet! Look at the top of the bill of this bird and you can see a plate or "horn" forming. After breeding and laying eggs, this will fall off.

This was taken at the Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center in Port Aransas, Texas. (Nikon Z5, 1/500 sec at f/7.1, ISO 100, 400mm)

White pelicans soar high,
Over Gulf waters they glide,
Texas coast in sight.

~ A haiku by ChatGPT

Best Catch in Town

I may be wrong, but I think the Rockport area leads the world in bait stands per capita. Open early, often busy and smelling terrible, these businesses support a huge community of saltwater fishermen. You see people fishing off piers, off the shore, standing in the water and in boats. While I am not a fisherman, I love the lifestyle. #slowdown #saltlife

This was taken just after sunset last Wednesday at the Fulton Harbor Bait Stand, Fulton, Texas. (Nikon Z5, 1/160 sec at f/2.8, ISO 2000, 24mm)

Spring in the Cemetery

Several people have told us to make sure and see the wildflowers in the cemetery. They advised it isn’t mowed until after the wildflowers have finished. Okay, the cemetery? Well, wow! We found several acres teeming with pinks, blues and yellows. We also saw several mockingbirds, two yellow-rumped warblers and a golden-fronted woodpecker.

This photograph taken yesterday the Rockport Cemetery, Texas. (Nikon Z5, 1/500 sec at f/5.0, ISO 100, 100mm)

Big Birds

As we get ready to leave this area next week, we wanted to look for Whooping Cranes one more time. These magnificent birds spend the winter in the area every year and are not usually too hard to find. They were on the verge of extinction (less than 25 birds), but due to conservation efforts, there are now over 800. They are five feet tall and are a beautiful shimmery white. Also pictured are two sandhill cranes watching the big guys take off.

This photograph taken yesterday near "The Big Tree" in Lamar, Texas. (Nikon Z5, 1/400 sec at f/5.6, ISO 100, 400mm)

Sunset over Corpus Christi

Because of Rockport’s location on the Gulf, it seems to be more suited for pictures at sunrise rather than sunset. I figured there might be a better chance to see a sunset over Corpus Christi Bay. I used the Photo Pills app to find the perfect spot to catch the sun going down over downtown Corpus. We arrived there to find an island blocking the view… So, enjoy this picture of the sun setting slightly to the left of downtown Corpus. 😁

This photograph taken last weekend from Ingleside on the Bay, Texas. (Nikon Z5, 1/8000 sec at f/4.8, ISO 100, 180mm)

Wall Art made from this photograph is available for purchase on benmessickphotography.com.