Monday, March 31, 2014

Just Was Thinking BBQ

Well, it was just supposed to be a quick motorcycle trip up the back roads to Lockhart Texas for some BBQ. Only going to be gone a couple hours, but then it turned into an all day affair.

First, there was the obligatory Starbucks stop to look over my back roads maps, but then came the farmers market next door in the parking lot, where I met the nicest people selling their produce, soaps, and breads. Got to talking with some of them in between the customers that came up to get their fresh produce and other things for
their larders. 

After that, about 25 miles out of town, I just have to stop to check out the old laborer's shack, now sitting abandoned in the middle of a farmers field. Got a lot of great shots of that one. There was just something about it that kept me there for 45 minutes.

At last I was on my way, but them in Fentress, I crossed the river and saw kyakers and river bathers just having a great time. It was all a whirlwind of activity for me, and I can’t keep the names straight, but it was the joy that everybody was having, with kids laughter ringing out, along with the squeals of horror on being presented with their first live fish pulled from the river.

After that, I actually made it to Smittys where I had the best part of the day ... 2 Dr Peppers, some ribs, and some brisket.

But wait, there’s more ... On the way home just
had to stop and grab some shots of that old car sitting by the side of the road.....

Finally about 8 pm I get back home. Tired but Happy.

Here are the pics ......

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Running Wild - A Lesson in Joy and Abandon

I recently attended a meeting of a group of men where the question was posed, “What would you do if you were given permission to do it?” , and under  a clear and cool Texas sky, when I witnessed a series of high energy turns and ramp jumps, I knew I had discovered a group of people who had indeed given themselves EXACTLY such permission.

A BMX freestyle rider sails high as
he makes his turn back to the ramp.
Note the message on the billboard.
I had received an invite to the Rad Rides sponsored, FunDay, at the White Rabbit in San Antonio, from a friend Bobby Burge, who although 40 something, was a BMX stunt rider and had been for many years.

There were the traditional jump riders and also something that was like a different kind of bicycle ballet called flatland which is a freestyle BMX riding style performed on smooth flat surfaces that do not include any ramps, jumps, or grindrails.

It was amazing to watch the riders varying in age from abut 14 to maybe 50 or so, sail and balance on bikes that seemed to have some kind of self contained power source, as they just kept on going and going, and it was hard for me to see how the riders could balance at such slow speeds and maintain such fine control.

Although one might think that an event such as this would be
Flatland rider Bobby Burge checks out
the run of his front wheel.
somewhat rough around the edges, after mingling with the participants I discovered that they are "acting their permission", which in this day and age is important to sanity.  As a contemporary author says, when one looks around most churches today, one sees men that are B O R E D and that the reason for this is the they have lost their way and forgotten to understand that they were meant to Run Wild. At this event, Running Wild is exactly what was happening, and it was, in its own fashion, Saturday Mass at the Church of the Permission.  Even the stage MC, who went by the name of Charles, delivered the message to the participants and the crowd that life is meant to be enjoyed, as he praised a young boy named  Ruben, who was making his first run at flatland riding.

Local artist Aaron Casas of Casas Ink,
and wife Megan exhibiting Aaron's custom art tee's.
In addition to the riders, I also ran across local artist Aaron Casas and his wife Megan, originally from Houston but now entering the San Antonio artist scene, who were exhibiting some of their “permission” in the way of custom art tees. After talking with them I discovered that they too were Running Wild and making their own reality in the way of their business Casas Ink.

What a great day to see that in San Antonio we have such a group of multi-talented people that each in their own way is “ Running Wild”.

The set of images are at KoenigPhotoArt at the gallery named "Flatland.".

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Ride-Ride-Ride ~ Part 1

If you want to get your adrenalin flowing, and your heart pumping, and your spirits lifted, then all you need to do is get yourself a bike, get yourself some friends, and join a cycling club such as the one I ran across last week at Lifetime Fitness 218. After that, you will know what cyclists  mean when they talk about the freedom to “just be”.

This was my first cycling shoot, and I had no idea what to expect, but I figured that it could make for some good spring color and flash, what with all the chrome and brightly colored jerseys. I had previously shot running events, and if it turned out to be anything like those, then it would be a lot of fun and get me some great shots.

I was not disappointed. I showed up in the parking lot at the front of the Lifetime Fitness at about 7 am and after a while the riders started showing up. I first met David, an avid cyclist who essentially has a day job at Solers Sports  just so that he can be around something he loves and so that he can ride ~ ride ~ ride.

I asked how far the group was going to ride, and he told me that they had laid on a 30 mile and a 60 mile course. Holy Crap Batman! Considering that the bike I used to ride was a 30 pound Sears 2 speed (Stop and Slow) which my mother made me use to get to piano lessons 45 years ago, I was pretty impressed. Sure , I remember the exhilaration of going down the hill on Borgfeld at the intersection of Borgfeld and Blanco, but I also remember the hell of getting only 1/3 the way up the other side and having to get off and walk that f&(& bike up the rest of the way, cursing my mother and those piano lessons all the way.

As the group assembled, I went down track about 1/4 mile to set up to get some shots of the pack as they went by on a gentle curve at the bottom of the traffic circle @ Ridgewood Parkway. I saw them coming down the slope and then there was this whirring noise that got louder and louder - it was almost like a covey of quail on a flyby, but instead of birds flying by, it was the cycling pack, the sound being made by the overrunning of the sprocket gearing as the set up to make the gliding turn.

So then, how long did I have to take shots ????? ABOUT 2 SECONDS and after that I was looking at their backsides as they slipped into gear to make the climb after crossing the bridge

Oh Crap - this was turning out to be a fast action, sport photography gig. Making my way to my car, and starting to head out after them, I hear a lone overunner and looking to my rear, I see a lone late-start rider. As I made the turn and started the climb on the upgrade after crossing Mud Creek and could not see any of the riders ( it had only been a minute), I thought to myself,  “Man, this poor guy will never be able to catch them”. Slowing down, I had him hop his bike to the bed of my truck, and we set out after the pack.

Do you know where we finally saw them??? At the intersection of Redland Road and 1604! Passing them, we drove ahead about 3 miles and offloaded where he was able to join the pack.

Again - I was amazed at how F A S T these riders moved.

I continued to be amazed as I drove ahead of the group to set up for some shots on the upgrade at Green Mountain Road and 1604. I remembered how I struggled with my bike of the upgrades and figured that they pack would have to slow down and that I could better frame my shots. W R O N G! These people go just as fast uphill as they do on the flats, and in about 20 seconds the string had passed by and I must have taken too long to regroup, because I lost them and was not able to make contact again until, coming by one of the riders on the way back, I saw that they needed some help adn so stopped my tail on the group.

Some Observations
They move fast
They travel in a safety pack
They travel to the right and did not take up entire lanes
They are colorful
Cars are a major danger, especially with the cell phone and texting nowadays
They have a ride leader that sets the pace and shepherds the safety aspects of the ride
They have a trailing secondary that brings up the rear
Intersections are tricky and can be dangerous/deadly
An auto could run into problems trying to pass on an upgrade and misjudge the distance required and riders must always be ready to bail if the car has to get back into the lane due to an overhill car coming to view.

Would be nice if the drivers ed courses required a bike safety orientation.
A bike safety “school” such as they have for motorcycle ( Motorcycle School)??

Shameless Plug
If you would like to hire me to do sport action photography art at you next event, my wife would be happy. I will make you a good price ... but not too good.

Go to KoenigPhotoArt to see more images and book a shoot.


Friday, April 26, 2013

For a Good Cause


Sunshine Cottage ~ School for Deaf Children
Hildebrand and Devine Road ( under the water tower)

Last weekend I had the chance to do “On Spec” photography at the Sunshine Cottage 5K Run & Ramble held at OP Schnabel Park in Northwest San Antonio.

I must admit that when I arranged for the gig, I had what is likely the stereotypical view of deafness, in that I thought that I would be around a group of children that were unable to communicate and interact in the normal way, and who’s horizons would be limited to a tragic life of signing for everything that they wanted to communicate.

How wrong I was! As I walked into the school to pick up the pre-race packet, I was assaulted by packs of kids transiting in between their classes and their recent outdoor Fiesta season activities. And what were these little munchkins doing?? They were carrying on chatter conversations between themselves, and with their teachers, and the only signing that was going on was when the teacher  held out her hand to guide one of the little ones in the right direction... which apparently was away from the playground.

Located right “under” that big water tower at the intersection of Hildebrand and Devine Road, across from Trinity University/Alamo Stadium, the Sunshine Cottage is a wonderful place that promotes early identification and intervention of hearing impairment in children, and for me, stepping onto the bucolic hilltop campus, made possible by the generous and generational gifting from individual and corporate sponsors, such as Wittigs, The Ear Institute of Texas, the Ear Medical Group, and many others, began a weekend of what I can only describe as a  spiritual renewal.

Touchy ~ Feely
To understand why I have included reference to the spiritual aspect of what was supposed to be a normal photographic assignment, maybe I should point out that in a previous life I was one of those hard driving “suits”, who ran a small business, and was only concerned with the nuts and bolts of getting the jobs done.

All that touchy-feely stuff was for those weirdo folks who sat under big trees trying to provoke the spirits into enlightening them. Heart Energy, 1st Chakra Grounding, Water and Fire Element ... Love and Compassion ???? What the heck do “those” terms mean??

As I left the school with my info material in hand, I had this strange feeling that something special was happening and when I got to the race venue the next morning, I got that same vibe, for here were the kids doing their “kids” thing again, and sure, while of them had cochlear implants and other devices to assist them, that did not slow them down one bit from being ........ KIDS.

Over there, in between the picnic table was the little pink-caped Princess,  twirling in her unicorn and fairy world, without a care in the world and so happy
The Little Princess
that she could experience the “ Just NOW”.  Over there was the little one with her thick glasses awry on the bridge of her nose and her jacket agog, outpacing her mom as she made her way to some place that had caught her fancy. Then there was the mom standing by the side of her almost-teenage boy as a loving mother hen, close by but not too close. While nearby there was the other loving mother standing close, but not too close, to her almost teenage daughter. Then, of course, there were the Sunshine Cottage Staff, Connie, and Sara,  and volunteers such as Missy herding everybody to their proper places at the proper times and running everything with military drill team precision.

Oh man, what had I walked into?? Yes, I am supposed to be “just a photographer” but there was this infectious energy that emanated from everything. The kids, the parents, the volunteers, and even the people that had come out to race - like one of my friends Rick Klamm, a local who “just likes to run”.

Love and Compassion ???? What the heck do “those” terms mean??  Duh... Like, how about 
Sunshine Cottage School for Deaf Children!!!

Race Event Photos for participants can be found at 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

More on the Upcoming Urban Art [ContentUnderPressure] "SprayFest"

OK, all you that are into this amazing art form. I have just gotten information about the event and you can read more here & here.

If you act quickly you can get some VIP Passes Comp from the organizers.

Featuring murals/productions from FX crew, I Wuz Here/CBS, 4 Burners, IWS crew, & Few and Far. CUP 2013 will feature 35 well-known graffiti/mural artists from all over the Nation. There will also be live musical performances, a few VERY SPECIAL guests, b-boy expo, a gallery reception, a meet & greet pre-party, panels/workshops, and food vendors within the two block event grounds.

The epicenter of the event will be the PaintYard @ 525 San Pedro and after the walls are bufffed out, wxpect to see some amazing art by some amazing artists.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Girl in the Electric Blue

It didn’t take long for me to find something to shoot today. At The PaintYard, the place where street and aerosol artists get their supplies, I encountered Phillip (a.k.a. War) a San Antonio artist, doing a lay-up on the back wall of the store. I had been down a few days before and there was nothing on the wall behind the dumpster, but there it was today, the girl in the electric blue bikini staring at everybody that walks the rear streets.

The PaintYard and Owl Cleaners area at 525 San Pedro, just down from Night Rocker Live, is a masterful blend of modern figure art mixed in with character art of another sort, usually a lay up of just the writer’s name or name of his crew. Shouting out in bold colors and jolting styles, this area is a Mecca for writers and fans of this form of urban art.

Hoping to see more of the genre at the spray art festival this May.

War ~ Send me the info on the festival and I will post it here.