ROAD TRIP-DAY 2-HOUSTON

Day 2 got off to a late start only because of leaving Dallas so late. Yes, I know, 10:30am is not exactly prime time for a photographer. But it gave me time to catch up on my rest and re-group.

Not being familiar with Houston, I desperately drove around, ignoring or failing to see all manner of traffic signs and signals. (Oh, yes, I was one of THOSE today.) This is what happens when you (meaning I) have to look at the surroundings and don't have a driver. 

Nonetheless, I stumbled into some very upscale neighborhoods and managed to only be questioned twice about my activities. Both occasions were rather pleasant, actually.

UPDATE: All the images below were added 8/20/14, as I've finally come back around to finishing the processing that, for technical reasons, couldn't be done on the road. I'm going to leave the images previously uploaded intact so you can see both versions. I think you'll notice a marked difference in the duplicates, especially in the shadow detail and holding highlights without blowing them out. Your comments are always welcome. Please make them here, not on Facebook.

Very Modern. Yes?

I suppose an all-white house helps with utilities during the summer.

 A bell tower. To call the neighbors? I'm not sure. But I like it.

A bell tower. To call the neighbors? I'm not sure. But I like it.

This house reminds me of the rigging on a sailing ship.

They just don't want to sell, I'm told. 3 or 4 houses down from the Sail House, above.

There was a taqueria next to a Shell station that will have to wait until later because I had to shoot it as a stitched panorama. Kinda cool, though. . . even though I had to shoo off a customer to slightly out of frame.

Sunrise Taquitos / Shell Station

Later in the day, I found a whacked barbershop with the stripes not only on the barber pole but all over the building.

Joe Lee's Barbershop

I stopped to take a photo of a remarkably beautiful statue of Christ in front of a church and was promptly stopped by a poor, lost soul who needed directions and thought I might have the answers she sought. Look higher, I told her.

Statue of Christ

Later, I unknowingly circled back to a spot I'd been at previously and photographed an ad hoc memorial to someone who had been killed on a bicycle. Sad that.

Late in the day. I started circling downtown Houston in order to get a skyline shot of the city. Driving through a lower-end neighborhood, I came upon a great view with only a fence and some low obstructions in the way of a great shot. I pulled over, got out of the truck and suddenly realized that my "obstruction" was actually a cemetery, probably an old one. I took some test shots and climbed a curb to see over the fence. 

I had no footing for the tripod so I rigged a lash to the fence with a bungee cord to steady the 'pod and it was solid as a tombstone. Serendipity is your friend in photography and dumb luck was with me. I couldn't have found a more perfect composition if I'd planned it. And I didn't. I'll leave the meaning for you to decide.

Houston Skyline

And, finally, as the sun sets, we bid a fond farewell to Houston. This last building, I think, is a town home. Perhaps, a business. It's hard to tell in Houston because of the lack of zoning laws. Behind me as I took the photo there is a TV station. Nonetheless, I knew I had to shoot it as soon as I drove by. In spite of having to wait for a couple of people who couldn't have cared less that they were making me wait on dinner and, possibly, ruin a shot with great light by standing around talking on their cell phones, I outlasted them both and came home with the goods.

From this angle, this looks like a very blocky, very stubby wing. On end. A town home, I think.

Headed to Austin tonight and I'll probably stay in the car at a rest area. Wasn't too bad last time. It can work in a pinch.

More tomorrow from Austin, Texas, the city too weird to grow up. Gotta love it! Later!

BTW, if you ever get to Kingwood, TX, stop in at Wise Guys Pizza. Delicoso!