iPhoneography: Live oak tree with Tillandsia air plants

13 02 2019

Photographed at Mission San José in San Antonio, Texas

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

IMG_6928

 





San Antonio sunset

17 02 2017

I photographed this beautiful sunset last night in my sister’s neighborhood.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved. iPhone 6s / Snapseed app border

debbie-sunset-lorez





Prickly pear cactus

11 02 2017

Prickly pear cactus (Opuntia) growing on the roof of living quarters in Mission San José, San Antonio, TX

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved. iPhone 6s / Snapseed app border

Roof Cactus hirez.jpg





Altar at Mission San José Church

11 02 2017

iPhone 6s / Snapseed app

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Mission San Jose Altar.jpg





Mission San José

10 02 2017

Portrait of my father standing in the doorway of the church at Mission San José in San Antonio, TX (shot with iPhone 6s, Snapseed app) © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

dad-doorwaymission-hirez





Cloudspotting

11 11 2015

Perhaps it’s the lack of tall buildings to block the view, or maybe the weather patterns are different in the region, but the skies in Texas are just spectacular (and nearly every day they offer up something worth photographing!). I shot a plethora of sky vistas and cloud formations while I was in Texas for my niece’s wedding in October. This one caught my eye in the parking lot outside a Vietnamese restaurant in San Antonio. I immediately saw a face and thought, “Einstein!” I shared the image with my FB friends and the conversation took flight. My favorite response was from my FB friend and fellow blogger, Erik Gauger. He described in detail what he saw and then used his creative skills to bring the figure to life. (FYI, I’ve blogged about Erik’s gorgeous, award-winning photography/narrative/nature/travel website, but in case you missed it, check it out here: http://www.notesfromtheroad.com/)

iPhone 6, processed in Snapseed © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Einstein Cloud webCloud Conversation





On Assignment: Bathroom remodel by Cross Construction

23 05 2013

Remodel by Cross Construction, San Antonio, Texas

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Ackles Bathroom





On Assignment: Kitchen remodel by Cross Construction

23 05 2013

Cross Construction, in San Antonio, Texas, remodeled this sleek and modern kitchen, which is completely different from the previous kitchen I blogged about.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

RedKitchenCollage





On Assignment: Kitchen remodel by Cross Construction

23 05 2013

Cross Construction, in San Antonio, Texas, remodeled this beautiful kitchen for a client who needed their home modified for special needs. The term is called “aging in place,” and Craig Scott, owner of Cross Construction, is a certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS). He received his certification from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). I photographed six beautiful homes in April and will show more photos shortly.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

AgeInPlaceKitchen





Leaf-footed bug on Prickly pear cactus

1 05 2013

Leaf-footed bug, order Hemiptera (thanks, Brian K. Loflin, oh bug man!) on a Prickly pear cactus (Opuntia)

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

BugOnPricklyPearCactus lorez





Carousel horses

7 10 2012

I’m revisiting my Polaroid transfers made from some 35mm slide images I shot of the old carousel in San Antonio in Brackenridge Park. My dad told me the carousel was dismantled and sold years ago, so I went in search of information about the exact details and where it was moved. I found an article by Marian L. Martinello, a retired professor from UTSA College of Education and Human Development in San Antonio. Her article, “Inquiry as Detective Work: The Case of the Carousel,” describes this beautiful carousel in great detail and gives a bit of the background on its origin, so I thought it would be a perfect accompaniment to my Polaroid transfer photos. You can read it by clicking this link: Inquiry as Detective Work: The Case of the Carousel. I’ve contacted her to ask her if she knows what happened to the carousel and if she responds, I will share the results in a future post.

I sold enlargements of the carousel horses, along with some scenic transfer images, to Polaroid to hang in a gallery in their headquarters years ago (well before the company met its demise). I was contacted by someone involved in acquiring Polaroid-related images after he had seen my transfers on a website. My dad generously matted and framed all the pieces that were shipped to Polaroid. It wasn’t a huge windfall (I think I was paid about $700 or so for eight framed pieces, shipping included), but I was so honored to be part of the exhibit. Wonder what became of the images after the company shut down?

Want to learn more about the Polaroid transfer process? Click here to read a posting I wrote in October 2007, complete with links to various sites that offer tutorials and tips on creating transfers.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





The (not so) Orphaned Images Project: Kindergarten graduation day

22 01 2012

From kindergarten through fourth grade I lived in San Antonio on 155 Farrell Drive in a little white ranch style house. My dad closed in our tiny carport to make a den (and did the same thing in the next house) so we would have more room. Our front porch was long and narrow, flanked by a low brick flower bed full of deep purple Wandering Jew plants.

Directly across the street lived “Aunt Opal.” I’m not sure why we called her “Aunt,” because she wasn’t a relative to any of us in the class or on Farrell Drive. She operated a kindergarten out of her home and had 11 kids enrolled when I attended. She, along with my father, were the first two people to encourage me to draw when they saw my creative potential. I remember one of my first drawing assignments was to draw a rose using colored pencils. Aunt Opal showed us how to draw the petals with a series of crescent moon shapes grouped together. I think I still have that drawing somewhere—temporarily misplaced in a safe place completely unknown to even me, of that I’m sure.

At left is my class graduation photo. I’m in the front row, second from the left, with my mouth hanging open. I certainly don’t look like the brightest of her students, but I’d truly like to believe I was. (Girls in front—as it should be!)

Aunt Opal wore June Cleaver-like, flowered dresses in polished cotton, accessorized with a single strand of pearls, big pearl button earrings, and dark cat-eye glasses. She had perfectly coiffed hair, sparkling blue eyes and looked a bit like the TV character Hazel. She always drank Tab after school was let out for the day. I know this because I shared one with her on more than one occasion while waiting for my mother to come home from work to walk me from school across the street to our house. Ah, my first diet cola—let’s blame Aunt Opal for our affinity for them now, shall we?

After driving by that house a few years ago, I blogged about 155 Farrell Drive in “Pressed between the pages of my mind,” here. You can read about how my younger sister and I staged pool parties in our back yard, sold lemonade to neighbor children and how I didn’t learn to ride a bike until I was eight years old. That same plant-filled brick flower bed was where one Valentine’s Day, my classmate, Darren, dropped off a box of chocolate for me, rang the doorbell, then ran away. I’ve been scaring boys away ever since!

I was taken back to that time again recently when I came across the two photos below in a dresser drawer in my parent’s guest room. Now you get to see that Aunt Opal was just as I had described her—perfect coif, polished pearls, sensible pumps and all. Below that photo, I’m on our front porch in front of the flower box, proudly holding my first diploma.

Want to learn more about The Orphaned Images Project? Learn about the origin of the project here. Visit the site at  http://orphanedimages.wordpress.com/





The skies really are bigger in Texas…

28 12 2011

I discovered this one above the local Target store at 8:00 a.m. the day after Christmas and couldn’t pass it up!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Wide open spaces…

12 07 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





The Orphaned Images Project: A gathering

6 03 2011

Is he asking her to dance with him? To marry him? She seems hesitant. Suspender man seems to be admiring her assets. Several of her friends are smiling and laughing in the background. Do they know something she doesn’t know? Will she say yes?





The Orphaned Images Project: Texas bride

29 01 2011





Re-post: Mission San José

29 12 2010

Originally posted on December 8, 2008

On Saturday my father and I went on a photo field trip to Mission San José, one of the five on “The Mission Trail” that runs along the San Antonio River. The most famous of these missions is The Alamo, formerly named Misión San Antonio de Valero, and intended to serve as a home to missionaries and their converts in this region. Today it is commemorated for the role it played in the Texas Revolution.

In 1718 Franciscans and Spanish representatives established the first mission. The purpose of the mission was to acculturate and Christianize the native population and make them Spanish citizens. The largest one, Mission San José, is known as the “Queen of the Missions,” and was founded in 1720. It was almost fully restored to its original design in the 1930s by the Works Projects Administration. The mission was named for Saint Joseph and the Marqués de San Miquel de Aguayo, the governor of the Province of Coahuila and Texas during that time. It was founded by Father Antonio Margil de Jesús, a prominent Franciscan missionary. It is still an active parish with mass held on Sundays.

I have photographed this mission several times over the years and all of my previous images are on Fuji slide film (in pre-digital times; remember those days?). It was a joy to photograph it digitally this time, especially inside the chapel and the living quarters where light was scarce and the instant feedback from digital capture was much appreciated!

EPILOGUE: My father and I just returned from a foray at Half Price Books & Records on Broadway. He picked up a copy of “Texas Sketchbook: A Collection of Historical Stories from the Humble Way,” published by Humble Oil with text by F.T. Fields and illustrations by E.M. Schiwetz. I flipped through it and in the front was an essay about Mission San José. Here’s an excerpt that I found interesting and timely—since we just visited San José this past weekend:

Like all missions, San Jose has its share of legends. At the proper time and under the right conditions, one is supposed to be able to hear ghostly conversations at its “Window of the Voices” and catch the soft tread of sandaled and moccasined feet within its walls.

But perhaps the saddest and most romantic of legends about the place concerns a young Spanish nobleman, Don Luis Angel de Leon and his fiancee, Teresa. Leaving Teresa in Spain, Don Luis journeyed to the New World. He planned to return to her, but was killed in an Indian raid and buried in the mission cemetery. News of his death reached Teresa just as she was gathered with others to celebrate the casting of new bells for San Jose. Grief-stricken, she removed a gold ring and cross Don Luis had given her and flung them into the metal from which the bells were to be cast. As she did so she prayed that the bells might take a message to her dead betrothed. Legend has it that the bells delivered the message when they first rang the Angelus over Don Luis’ grave. And from that time forward, the bells of San Jose were marked by a particularly beautiful tone.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

missionsanjose






Nessus Sphinx caterpillar?

24 10 2010

After over an hour of research, I have concluded that this might be a Nessus Sphinx (Amphion floridensis) caterpillar. I photographed it in my parent’s front yard in San Antonio, Texas. I’m concluding from my research that the caterpillar is about 3-4 weeks old and is looking for a place to pupate. If I’m correct on my identification, the moth will emerge from its larvae pupae looking like this one here. I photographed it last night with my camera phone (you can just imagine how not stellar those images were). My dad charged the battery in his Nikon D40x overnight and I was able to use that this afternoon to capture this (much better) image!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Playing with Actions: Mission San José

3 03 2010

Next, I applied some of the Totally Rad Actions to an image I shot of Mission San José in San Antonio, Texas. Learn more about the mission and see more photos in my August 12, 2008 posting here.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.






Martha & Corinne

26 11 2009

I photographed Martha and her daughter, Corinne, last December down in San Antonio when I was visiting my family. While I posted the “glamour sessions” with all my “models,” I didn’t post any of the mother/daughter duo shots. You can see the results of those glamour sessions posted here. Martha flew up two weekends ago to join us for our first-ever Tapas Party. She now has a whole new gaggle of friends in the D.C. area!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.






Thrift store couture

20 01 2009

As I mentioned in an earlier posting, I just recently stumbled into the wonderful world of (designer brand) thrift store fashions! Yes, I knew they sold clothes at Goodwill and Salvation Army. I just didn’t think there would be such good pickins’! I found Mom her very first Ann Taylor garment and the Tommy Hilfiger shirt at a Salvation Army in San Antonio in December. Dad and I went in to look around and I decided to check out the clothing. Mom stayed in the car since she’s more a Chico’s/Coldwater Creek/Talbot’s clothes-that-have-never-been-worn kind of gal. Thrift stores don’t usually appeal to her. She would soon be changing her tune when we got back to the car.

This thrift store is in a nice neighborhood, so the donations were a little more upscale overall. When I got back to the car, I tossed the two blouses over to Mom and she was really surprised at the name labels and the condition the clothes were in. And on Wednesdays at that store, all clothes are 50% off the regular price! We went to lunch and then skedaddled back to the store so she could check it out. I asked her if she wanted a cart and she said, “No, I’m just looking.” A few minutes later, my arms draped with all her finds, I scored an empty cart and we filled it up.

Of course I bought my fair share of stuff—my major coup was finding linen shirts (for me) from Chicos, one of my favorite stores. And I bought several of the shirts that you see in the glamour shots I posted here. I bought the black Indecent Proposal-like dress for just $4 (5th row down); the stretchy lace tops (6th row, right and 7th row, left) were just $1 each; the deep blue satin blouse (9th row, left) was $1.50; and the best bargain was the beige satin blouse at the bottom of the collage. It was just 25 cents!

A few days later we were near Randolph Air Force Base and Dad took us through a “questionable” neighborhood to a thrift store he frequents. Mom stayed in the car and I ran out and held up stuff for her to approve. I bought her the form-fitting black knit Adrienne Vittadini jacket (modeled below) and a short embossed suede jacket, both for half price—$2.00 each! I also found a microfiber dress and jacket for her sister Evelyn—just $4 for that fashionable frock. And the best part—all proceeds from that store go to help animals at the local shelter!

From that point on, any time my dad announced he was going to a thrift store, I was right by his side. I had way too much fun in December!

And Mom—thanks for humoring me and modeling for these shots. You’re such a good egg.

AND NOW FOR SOME LATE-BREAKING NEWS….my mom called me this afternoon to report that she and my dad went to the Salvation Army and Goodwill after lunch. She found a beige silk Ann Taylor blouse (tags still on it—$78 retail) for $2 and a pair of Talbot’s white capri pants for $2 at the Salvation Army. At Goodwill she found a pair of dressy black Ann Taylor pants for just $3. Hmmm…I do believe we have a thrift store convert!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

momdiscountclothes





Holiday party at Brooke Army Medical Center

24 12 2008

Mom and Dad invited me to go with them to a Christmas party on December 18 in the Nephrology/Dialysis Clinic at Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) in San Antonio. I was privileged to serve as an unofficial party photographer. The top photo in the collage below is of the clinic’s staff. I offer my very heartfelt gratitude to the doctors and nurses who are taking exemplary care of my mother. Happy holidays to Dr. Reynolds, Dr. Bucci, Dr. Barnes and all the staff members and patients and their families that I met at the party. A special note to Rita—love those red shoes!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

bamc-party-collage





A shout out to Brynn at Willie’s

20 12 2008

brynn-willies1My sister and I went shopping with our friend Fred a few days before Christmas and stopped to have lunch at Willie’s (really, really great food!). Debbie and I were wearing the earrings I made from glittery tree ornaments and Brynn, one of the waitresses, stopped us to comment on how cute they were. She wasn’t our waitress, but I called her over and asked her which color she liked (my turquoise ones or Debbie’s lime green ones). She said she liked both, but the teal was her favorite. I took them off and told her they were her Christmas present (I had just made them that morning, so they were only gently used!). She returned later to model them for us. I told her how to make them and she said she was going to make them for Christmas gifts for her family. Great meeting you, Brynn!





More of those big Texas skies…

10 12 2008

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

texasskiestoo





Mission San José

8 12 2008

On Saturday my father and I went on a photo field trip to Mission San José, one of the five on “The Mission Trail” that runs along the San Antonio River. The most famous of these missions is The Alamo, formerly named Misión San Antonio de Valero, and intended to serve as a home to missionaries and their converts in this region. Today it is commemorated for the role it played in the Texas Revolution.

In 1718 Franciscans and Spanish representatives established the first mission. The purpose of the mission was to acculturate and Christianize the native population and make them Spanish citizens. The largest one, Mission San José, is known as the “Queen of the Missions,” and was founded in 1720. It was almost fully restored to its original design in the 1930s by the Works Projects Administration. The mission was named for Saint Joseph and the Marqués de San Miquel de Aguayo, the governor of the Province of Coahuila and Texas during that time. It was founded by Father Antonio Margil de Jesús, a prominent Franciscan missionary. It is still an active parish with mass held on Sundays.

I have photographed this mission several times over the years and all of my previous images are on Fuji slide film (in pre-digital times; remember those days?). It was a joy to photograph it digitally this time, especially inside the chapel and the living quarters where light was scarce and the instant feedback from digital capture was much appreciated!

EPILOGUE: My father and I just returned from a foray at Half Price Books & Records on Broadway. He picked up a copy of “Texas Sketchbook: A Collection of Historical Stories from the Humble Way,” published by Humble Oil with text by F.T. Fields and illustrations by E.M. Schiwetz. I flipped through it and in the front was an essay about Mission San José. Here’s an excerpt that I found interesting and timely—since we just visited San José this past weekend:

Like all missions, San Jose has its share of legends. At the proper time and under the right conditions, one is supposed to be able to hear ghostly conversations at its “Window of the Voices” and catch the soft tread of sandaled and moccasined feet within its walls.

But perhaps the saddest and most romantic of legends about the place concerns a young Spanish nobleman, Don Luis Angel de Leon and his fiancee, Teresa. Leaving Teresa in Spain, Don Luis journeyed to the New World. He planned to return to her, but was killed in an Indian raid and buried in the mission cemetery. News of his death reached Teresa just as she was gathered with others to celebrate the casting of new bells for San Jose. Grief-stricken, she removed a gold ring and cross Don Luis had given her and flung them into the metal from which the bells were to be cast. As she did so she prayed that the bells might take a message to her dead betrothed. Legend has it that the bells delivered the message when they first rang the Angelus over Don Luis’ grave. And from that time forward, the bells of San Jose were marked by a particularly beautiful tone.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

missionsanjose






Verklempt under big Texas skies

2 12 2008

Never heard of the word verklempt? Click here and here for a point of reference. I first heard the word uttered by Mike Myers, in character as talkshow host Linda Richman from Coffee Talk on Saturday Night Live. The word definitely comes in handy when I need to describe how something takes my breath away!

I shot these with my little Nikon Coolpix L14 point-n-shoot that I carry in my purse. This is my fourth Coolpix, by the way, and I highly recommend them if you’re looking for something small to carry for snapshots. All of these images were shot within the last week and most were shot through the car window at stop lights! Ah, these wide open Texas skies…few buildings to mar the view…rolling hills, sweeping vistas, and beautiful cloud formations appearing almost every day. Bliss!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

texascloudcollage





Wild Texas skies

13 10 2008

I shot this with my point-n-shoot Nikon Coolpix in July and just now discovered it on an SD card while I was archiving images this afternoon. We were driving around running errands in San Antonio and I shot this through the car window. It looks like an alien hovercraft, doesn’t it?

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Died and gone to (50% off) cactus heaven…

29 01 2008

suc·cu·lent: (of a plant) having fleshy and juicy tissues. a succulent plant, as a sedum or cactus. having thick, fleshy, water-storing leaves or stems.

___________________________________________________________

After packing up the car (floorboard to roof) this past Friday, I insisted that we leave open space in the back seat for our trip to the Kactus Korral (http://www.kactus.com/), in Harwood, Texas. Taking an alternate route back to Virginia, we stumbled onto this place in 2006, about 70+ miles from San Antonio. The best part of our 2nd trip? Everything was 50% off this time around! Heart pounding, steps quickening, I was in (deeply discounted) cactus heaven! And to top it off, everything I bought fit exactly into its allotted space in an already full car.

Although the Kactus Korral (some Texans take liberties with spelling, don’t they?) is primarily a wholesale nursery, they are open to the public. They have the healthiest, most interesting and diversified selection of cacti and succulents I’ve ever seen in a nursery. If we had more sunny windows in our townhouse (and uh, more space in the car), I would have bought one of everything (especially at 50% off). This place is very out of the way, across some railroad tracks, down a two-lane road. And just like the first visit, we had the greenhouse to ourselves. I bought just over a dozen lithops, or living stones (for about $1 each!). They germinate quickly from seed, but are very slow growing—not ready for transplanting until they are about a year old.

Lithops is drived from the Greek lithos, meaning stone-like or stone appearance. As the “stones” mature, they split open, revealing babies (sometimes of a different color, too)…and they continue to split, forming little colonies. In the wild, these flowering plants occur mainly in the western, drier areas of South Africa.

http://www.plantzafrica.com/plantklm/lithops.htm

(http://www.lithop.supanet.com/

I just love these unusual plants. If one is good, a dozen (plus) is gooder!

Obviously I bought more than just that dozen lithops (it’s not my fault). I was so very tempted by the “crown of thorns,” available in various shades of apricot, yellow, red, pink, and white. This plant’s botanical name is Euphorbia millii, and is also know as the Christ Crown. This common name refers to legend that a crown of thorns was placed on Christ’s head at the crucifixion. Originally from Madagascar, these easy-to-care-for plants seem to bloom continuously all year long. I have two miniscule ones but they are not as lush as the specimens at Kactus Korral. So, with great hesitation, I refrained from adding one to my collection. One other thought occurred to me during this agonizing decision making process—purchasing even one (and who could choose just one color?), would mean leaving behind a suitcase or…gasp—a box of gardening books!

http://bexar-tx.tamu.edu/HomeHort/F1Column/2006%20Articles/AUG6%20Euphorbiaceae.htm

Michael and I were amazed at how large their pencil cactus (or milkbush) plants were. Several were over nine feet tall! These plants are also a member of the Euphorbia family, Euphorbia tirucalli. I have one that is about two feet tall (picked up in Louisiana when we drove down to Texas for Christmas), but after reading about the cons of this plant, I’m rethinking its placement right now. Note: If a plant is classified as a Euphorbia, it will have poisonous sap (crown of thorns included, but the properties of poison in each plant vary from species to species. Poinsettias, for example, are also Euphorbias, and aren’t as poisonous as most of us think (according to vets writing on the subject online), but they are irritating to the mucosal tissues. Some Euphorbias are very poisonous, though.

http://www.arhomeandgarden.org/plantoftheweek/articles/Pencil_Cactus.htm

Kactus Korral is a wonderful place to shop, and with its rows and rows of exotic, twisty, otherworldly, prickly, hairy, spiky, medusa-like, and colorful plants, it’s also a dream place to shoot graphically-rich shots, as you can see. Some shots looks like miniature landscapes with rows of “skyscrapers” and “crowds.” I shot these with my little Nikon Coolpix L3 compact camera (couldn’t get to my “pro” cameras buried in the back of the car).

I am especially enamored with the “non-cacti” succulents, of which Kactus Korral had several kinds (lithops, aeoniums, crasulas, aloes, echeverias, and astrolobas, to name a few). Here’s a great site with an extensive inventory: http://www.gosucculent.com

To learn more about growing cacti, check out this site: http://cactiguide.com/growcacti/

And remember, all cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.


kactuskorral.jpg