Rock Climbing at Tepuzas, Mexico

So this past Sunday I went rock climbing with two of my buddies. I hadn’t been climbing on a natural wall in about 6 months, so it took me a while to start trusting the rock again. After the first route and a couple of falls, I finally got my confidence back. It is an amazing feeling to be high up from the ground and trusting your life on just a rope and a harness. I definitely missed that adrenaline rush haha. A couple hours later, my fingertips were already raw and couldn’t keep going, so we called it a day. Definitely going to have more climbing trips this summer.

-ERG

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Dog Show (Expo Canina 2012)

So I just got back home to Mexico last weekend, and it has just been amazing to see my family and friends again. A bunch of friends were already graduating, so Friday and Saturday were dedicated to some crazy celebrating. Sunday I spent the whole day with my family and we decided to go to the Dog Show. We mainly went to see the Doberman portion of the show, since we’re looking for a male to breed our beloved Kisha with (and I think its going to be the sepia male thats in the picture to the left), but the whole show was great. There were sooo many crazy breeds and it was just fun to walk around and pet as many dogs as possible haha.

-ERG

Experimenting with HDR photography

I’ve just begun to explore the world of HDR (high dynamic range) photography, so I decided to dedicate a whole day shoot dedicated to learning the basic techniques behind it all. The process involves taking a picture at different exposure times (all of the following pictures were taken at 5 different exposures) and afterwards combining them into a single image. This technique gives the pictures a whole different feeling. Both the dark and bright areas of the picture are better represented. A good example of this is the following picture Halestorm and I took inside the dome of Austin’s Capitol building:

Some photographers just think that HDR is the devil and that its cheating. I guess it kinda is, since you get pictures that are virtually impossible to get with a single aperture and shutter speed.

The problem related to HDR is that its becoming the latest photo customization fad because of the availability of the technology. On Photoshop CS5, theres even a button called “HDR toning” allowing you to apply the effect onto a single picture almost instantaneously and effortlessly.

I feel like the technique should be used when some areas of your image are really dark/light when compared to other parts. This is when a normal dynamic range just doesn’t cut it. Applying HDR to these situations will give you an image that more closely represents what the human eye would see naturally.

During my HDR investigation, I came across some really ugly and grossly overprocessed HDR images, which are why so many people despise the technique. I suggest giving Trey Ratcliff‘s stuff out. It’s amazing how vibrant HDR pictures can become if you do it right (and this guy definitely knows what he’s doing).

So some photographers swear by it, and others shun upon it. What do you think??

-ERG

Roger Waters – The Wall live

So Pink Floyd has always been one of my favorite bands, and Ernesto has been madly in love with them ever since I’ve known him. When we found out Roger Waters was coming to Austin, we immediately bought tickets. Since we’re poor college students, we could really only afford the seats in the very back… but it still blew my mind.

  

I felt like this event was more of a mind-blowing show than a concert. The first song alone (In the Flesh) was full of exploding fireworks, amazing projections, and special effects like I’ve never seen. The whole show definitely has an anti-war emphasis and has very powerful imagery. For example, during Goodbye Blue Sky, B-52 bombers began to drop “bombs” shaped as religious crosses, Mercedes Benz symbols, Shell logos, dollar signs, and many others. The following quote was then projected on the wall:

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed.”

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My favorite song was definitely Comfortably Numb, where the guitarist appeared above the wall (which was slowly constructed brick by brick during the first half of the show). It was the most insane guitar solo I have EVER seen live. Check out the epicness of min 5:50 (i didn’t take this video):

-ERG

Reggae Fest

The weekend of April 20th was the 3-day Austin Reggae Festival. This was our 4th consecutive year going to this event, and as usual, it was a blast. Amazing music, fun people and great weather.

The best bands of the weekend were New Kingston (Jamaica), Tidal Waves (South Africa), Cas Haley (Texas), Grupo Fantasma (Texas), and of course Collie Buddz (Bermuda):

-ERG

Greenbelt

Spring finally arrived in Texas, and in order to celebrate the great weather my roommates and I decided to go to Austin’s amazing Greenbelt. It was Adrian’s Bday and Ernesto had half the day off, so we took 3 of P Terry’s amazing double cheeseburger combos (obviously with extra P.terry sauce, grilled onions, and jalapeños), a couple towels, and some music. Awesome afternoon

-ERG