Wading Giraffes

I’ve had this image in my head for a while now. I’m not sure where it started, but I remember that I photographed the ocean in Hawaii last year. Once I had the idea, I started collecting giraffe images where I saw them. Some of the giraffes here are from Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and some are from the San Diego Zoo (which, to me, feels a lot bigger than Animal Kingdom).

This was a fun personal project I came up with, and I might do more animal shots like this in the future.

Wading Giraffes


Ice Cream For Walgreens

This time of year, it’s about 105 degrees in Austin. Spending any significant amount of time outside just drains my energy. A few days ago, while downtown, I swung by the Cow Tipping Creamery bus near the U.T. campus. This is some of the best ice cream I’ve had in Austin, and I started to feel my internal temperature drop a few degrees after the first few bites. I highly recommend that place if you are in the area.

Speaking of delicious frozen treats, here’s an image from a shoot I did for Walgreens a few months ago. This is Joel Quintanilla (or “Q”, as he’s known at work). Q works at a Walgreens store in New Braunfels, Texas, and has the distinction of having sold the most of Walgreen’s “Delish” brand of ice cream in the country. With this heat, I’m not surprised (although I bet someone in El Paso or New Mexico came in at a close second).

We photographed him at his store for Walgreen World magazine, and we had fun setting up stacks and stacks of empty ice cream containers for this image. Surprisingly, only one real container of ice cream was opened for the whole shoot (we did a good job of making it last).

Walgreens Ice Cream

Expedition Central America

I have a friend that runs a company called Enzoology Education. You might have heard of the company’s innovative elementary and middle school instruction program Exploration Nation on Ellen, Today, NBC News, Scientific American or Time Magazine. I’ve done some shoots for them in the past, and always look forward to the next project with them.

Enzoology is a social enterprise that creates inspiring science instruction featuring real kids doing real science research. The program’s hosts do some pretty big things but now, in partnership with humani.tv, EARTH University, Rio Indio Lodge, Bushmaster Survival School and others, they are doing something global in scale that will have real impact on kids everywhere. Check out this video:

In April of 2013, a team of kids, Special Forces veterans and surgeons will travel from around the world to San Jose, Costa Rica to begin a 14 day scientific expedition through the jungle that will culminate in setting up a surgical clinic for the Rama indians in Nicaragua.

During this 14 day expedition, Enzoology will produce a series of lesson programs that illustrate the message to our future innovators that:

Science and innovation is the tide that lifts all boats

 Here’s how you can help: 

1. Go to www.ExplorationNation.com/contribute to contribute to this cause. You’ll get great rewards ranging from a lifetime subscription to Exploration Nation for you and a school of your choosing to actually going on the expedition with the team. Or how about seven days of Spec Ops survival training in the jungle?

2. Next, please send this message to your friends. 

3. Finally, get the message out on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc. Hash tag include: #TeamXN #STEM

I’ve been following the progress of Pete and his team since they started on this project last year. If you can contribute in some way, please consider it!

A Pirate Birthday

Earlier I posted some pictures of the incredible Black Pearl/Queen Anne’s Revenge from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Coincidentally enough, my 4-year-old is about to turn 5, and he wants a pirate theme for his party. So I took the opportunity to use the images for a ‘party poster’ (I have a habit of doing this. Check out my other kid’s Star Wars poster).

Here’s a cropped version of the image. To see the full uncropped version in all of its pixel glory (1MB), click here.

The pirate thing has been with Trevor for a while. Here’s his 1-year-old birthday image I designed back in 2007:

There Be The Black Pearl

While on a trip to Oahu, I came across this beauty. It’s the actual ship from all of those Pirates of the Caribbean movies. While it was the Black Pearl for the first three films, it became Blackbeard’s ship (known as Queen Anne’s Revenge) for the fourth film.

The ship is quite impressive. It’s sitting inside a fenced-area dry dock along the coast of Oahu (map and directions below). The detail level is amazing! I was able to get about 30 feet or so away from it, and you could easily make out all of the skeletons, design, and more that went into this incredible ship.

Talking to the locals, it sounds like this ship is waiting for Disney to decide what to do with it. My vote would be to either make another movie or move the vessel to a theme park or the nearby Disney Aulani resort. It’s so visually striking that people would enjoy taking a look at it.

All of these shots were taken with a Fuji X-Pro 1.


If you ever find yourself on Oahu, getting to the ship is quite easy. Here’s a Google map of its location:

View The Black Pearl in a larger map

What you need to do is to park where I’ve marked the pin, and then walk towards the boat landing to the beach area. Then, walk along the beach to check out the ship. Since beaches in Oahu are all public, you are free to walk along them. The parking area is a public-ish boat landing, and there were kids playing there when I visited. The entire walk takes about 5 minutes.

Gateway to the West

The Gateway Arch in St. Louis is an incredible structure to say the least. At 630 feet high, it’s the tallest man-made monument in our country. And it also holds the record for the largest stainless-steel monument in the world.

To get to the top, you sit in a somewhat-cramped ‘pod’ (which looks like something straight out of 2001). It’s about a 4 minute ride up to the top. You can stay up there as long as you want (although the crowds made it easy for us to bail after about 10 minutes).

The way it was constructed was incredible (and here’s the matching wiki article that you’ll want to check out). As each pre-fab piece was assembled, construction platforms and cranes moved up the spire to the next level. So, each completed section was used as the work area for the next section.

In that wiki article, check out the ‘Stunts and Accidents’ section. Especially the 1992 stunt where a dude climbed the exterior with suction cups. Crazy. I want to do that.

Here are some shots from my visit. They were all taken with a Fuji X-Pro 1. Next time I’d like to bring my own lighting ;)

Having a little cinemagraph fun here.