Posts Tagged: europe

Best of 2012 | Places

I don’t normally do blog posts with 30+ pictures, but I also haven’t done a “Best Of” post in a long time. Actually, I didn’t even do one for 2011, so it’s been quite a while. Anyway, since my Adobe Lightroom tells me that I took approximately 10,000 photos in 2012, I’ll be splitting up my Best of 2012 blog post into 3 entries: “Places,” “Artistic,” and “People.”  It was too hard to put them all in one post, especially since my wife and I got the opportunity to travel to Europe last March (we left a year ago today).  The below images were hand selected for the “Places” category – as you’ll see, a lot of them are from England or France, which was expected!  I never even really did any blog posts about our trip to Europe – there were just too many pictures and too many stories.  Overwhelming.  Maybe I’ll still do that in the future, but not right now.  A few pictures from Austin also made the cut at the bottom, but unfortunately none from Chicago – still my favorite place to photograph, but I didn’t get back there with my camera very much last year.  Alright, enough words – enjoy the pictures.  I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that I took the equivalent of 416 rolls of film last year.  Crazy.

Tower of London


Tower Bridge – London, England


Tower Bridge – London, England


View of downtown London from Tower Bridge


The London Eye


Big Ben (and bus)


Big Ben and Parliament


The Radcliffe Camera – Oxford, England


The Radcliffe Camera – Oxford, England


Notre Dame – Paris, France


Ceiling of Notre Dame – Paris, France


Inside Notre Dame – Paris, France


Ceiling of the basement chapel in Saint-Chapelle – Paris, France


Main cathedral in Sainte-Chapelle – Paris, France


Sainte-Chapelle – Paris, France


The Eiffel Tower




The Palace of Versailles


The grounds behind the Palace of Versailles


The Arc de Triomphe


Sacre Coeur – Paris, France


Bohemian Market – Paris, France


St. James Park – London, England


The National Gallery – London, England


Millennium Bridge & St. Paul’s Cathedral – London, England


The London Eye (foreground) & Big Ben and Parliament (background) – London, England


The London Eye


The London Eye


The Texas State Capitol – Austin, Texas


The Texas State Capitol – Austin, Texas


Fourth of July fireworks over Austin, Texas


Downtown Austin, Texas


St. James’s Park | London, England

I haven’t had a chance to post NEARLY enough of the pictures I took during our trip to Europe earlier this year, but I thought it would be a good time to put up two of my favorites from our last day in London. I just debuted my new homepage at, and the address for my blog has changed to  Also, if you notice any differences on this page, I actually changed the layout of individual blog posts – the page is now wider to allow for larger images… because this blog is really all about the photos.

Anyways, back to the photos.  These were both taken on the same bridge in the middle of St. James’s Park as we were walking to Buckingham Palace for the changing of the guard.  It was a crisp British morning.  People were feeding squirrels; several strange types of birds were hanging out near the water; and lots of visitors were milling about, like we were, enjoying the park before getting caught up in the crowds near the Palace.  The colors and reflections in the water made for some pretty nice scenery.  I really like this first image because you have three layers of content – nature in the front, classic British architecture behind that, and the modern London Eye in the distance towering over the landscape.  Hope you all enjoy the new blog layout and the new pictures!

Rent or Buy

Some of us photographers don’t have the “capital” to be able to purchase all the gear that we want.  We have our one camera body, several lenses, and some other equipment – a few flashes, stands, and a handful of memory cards.  But to get professional shots at specific events, such as a wedding, you need professional weapons and know how to use them.  Am I ready to purchase a Nikon D7000 ($1,200 MSRP), a Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II ($2,400), and a Nikon 85mm f/1.4 ($1,700)?  No way – especially since I don’t do enough paid photography to get a good ROI (return on investment) from said purchases.  I’m at that point where I could only justify improving the gear I own if I were to start marketing myself in order to book more shoots.  So instead of buying the gear I need, here’s a little secret.  Okay, it’s not really a secret, but websites such as,, and come in really handy in these situations.  You can rent pretty much anything you need from them, use it for the allotted time, and then ship it back when your rental period is up.  Last time I rented, I used LensRentals, but this time I chose to use BorrowLenses since their prices are cheaper.  I’ll get to use all three of the items above ($5,300 MSRP) for 4 days.  Total cost including shipping was right around $200.

The point of this post is this: renting gear can be a good option.  Even if you don’t have an event to shoot; if you simply want to give a camera body a test run; if you’ve always wanted to create a really cool fisheye image; or if you’re not a photographer yet and you want to shoot with a friend who is – try renting some gear!

Also, as a bonus, I wanted to post an image for your viewing pleasure that has nothing to do with this post: the Tower of London in (moderate) HDR.  Processed with Photomatix Pro and Lightroom.  Thanks for reading!