Category Archives: Univerisity of Texas

Spinning the State Flag of Texas

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On Saturday, November 2, 2012, Barb and I attended the (American) college football game between the University of Kansas and the University of Texas. It was a home game for the Texas Longhorns, and was the first daytime game of the season, so I thought it would be fun to take my camera with us.

The University of Texas athletic department has a policy of “no professional cameras with interchangeable lenses”, but I didn’t have any trouble getting into the stadium with my Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera. I had the 12-50mm f/3.5-6.3 “kit” lens on the camera, which was hanging around my neck. In Barb’s bag, I had stashed my Olympus 60mm f/2.8 macro lens.

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I took about 140 photos that afternoon before, during, and after the game. When I was culling through them to see which ones that I wanted to include in my next blog post, I still had way too many photos to show. I couldn’t help but to notice this little “story within a story”.

Before the game actually begins, and right before the national anthem is played, they bring out this huge flag for the State of Texas onto the football field.

That is one very impressive (in size) flag. But wait, there’s more!

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The students holding that flag begin to bunch it up from two opposite ends.

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Eventually, when the two groups meet in the middle, the flag naturally takes on a circular shape.

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They then begin to rotate, or spin, the flag on the field. Notice where the blue section is now, and follow it as it changes position!

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It doesn’t take them very long to get it around.

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I would guess maybe 30 seconds to do the full revolution.

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And once it’s made the full revolution, there isn’t much else left to do, but to turn it back into a rectangle.

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All of these photos were taken with the 12-50mm kit lens zoomed to 45mm (which is 90mm equivalent on a full frame camera).

Thanks for visiting my blog today!

Austin Shutterbug Club at The University of Texas

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A week ago, on Saturday, March 16, 2013, the Austin Shutterbug Club had an outing where we met at 8:30 AM at the base of the Main Tower on The University of Texas at Austin campus. The outing was being lead by John Patterson.

As John was handing out maps of the campus, and filling us in on what we were to be looking for, I snapped a couple of photos of the club members. I was the only person without a DSLR camera. I brought my Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera, with the Olympus 12-50mm f/3.5-6.3 lens mounted on it. Even though I had three great prime lenses in my camera bag, since I had also brought my little Gitzo GT1542T tripod, I never bothered changing lenses that morning.

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I had an Olympus camera, two people had Canon DSLRs, and everyone else was shooting Nikon. Many of these people are very accomplished photographers, and really know what they are doing…. Some of them asked about my camera, but I don’t think that any of them actually viewed it as a “real” camera. I realize that my photography skills are going to sway any of them to think otherwise. :-) One of the ladies had a Canon 5D Mark II, and when I told her that I also had that same camera, she looked at me in disbelief as if to wonder why I would leave that at home.

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We met at the base of the steps to the main administration building, generally referred to as “The UT Tower”. Here is a photo looking up towards the tower. Note the inscription “Ye Shall Know the Truth, and the Truth Shall Set You Free”. Well, at least you can see the beginning of it.

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Although this event was not a scavenger hunt, we were asked to take photos of patterns, windows, doors, perspective, architectural detail, textures, and extreme/unusual views. In a few weeks we will be asked to submit what we felt were our best photos in each of those categories, and some committee will select the best 3 or 4 from each, and then the entire club will vote for their favorites. As a result, I will not be showing what I consider the best photo that I took in toward each category – not at this time, anyway. Never fear, when I have participated in such events in the past, none of my photos have ever been chosen as one of the best 3 or 4 from any category.

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I decided just to have fun, and mingle as best an engineer is capable of mingling. :-)

Since it wasn’t even 9:00 AM yet, I decided to head over to the east side of the tower to see how well it was being lit by the morning sun, even though it was very overcast. (The clouds were predicted to go away by mid-morning, and they did.)

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These were my very first sighting this year of any Bluebonnets, the state flower of Texas.

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Just to the left of the Bluebonnets, I liked the textures of the rounded rocks, and the lone weed looked kind of like it was struggling for its space among them.

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At 9:15 AM, we were to meet outside of Calhoun Hall. On the south side of this building is a rather interesting walkway.

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We hung around here for several minutes. Brian Loflin, the founder and president of the Austin Shutterbug Club gave a little talk and demonstration of different perspectives of the same scene. This is Brian on the left.

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We walked to the end of that “tunnel” you see in the photo above, which brought us out into a large courtyard behind the building, and next to the Harry Ransom Center and Sutton Hall.

Sutton Hall is a rather colorful building, quite unlike any other building on campus.

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Going under the archway above the main door, and looking straight up, you can see some of the elaborate artwork that decorated the ceiling.

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It can be a bit surprising when you realize that in the center of the photo above, that there are three “curly-Q” fluorescent light bulbs installed in the hanging light fixture.

Just outside of that same doorway I thought this huge tree limb looked rather unusual. My camera was pointed almost directly into the direction of the sun, so that’s why the photo appears to be somewhat hazy.

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I walked over toward the Harry Ransom Center to get a few photos of Dobie Mall, and when I turned around I saw this photo of the UT Tower, framed by the tree limbs. The clock says that it is now 10:25 AM.

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We started heading north, and outside of the West Mall Office Building, the patterns of this modern bicycle rack in front of the elaborate ironwork covering the window seemed like it might be good for one of the things that we were supposed to be looking for.

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Directly east of there is Goldsmith Hall, which is built to surround an inner courtyard that contains 4 very large palm trees.

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That’s Kathy McCall at the base of one of the trees. She’s a damn good photographer, and so I thought I’d wander in there and see if I could learn something by watching her!

I got close to one of the palm trees. looked up, and took this photo. Maybe I’ll use that one for the “textures” category.

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We then headed over to the east side of the Student Union Building. I played around with various shutter speeds and depth of field while resting my camera on the limestone shelf. I must have taken 6 or 7 photos, but in the end, this is the only one that I kept.

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I then wandered into the building, and went up a stairwell that had lots of daylight coming in through the windows. I setup my camera on my tripod and played around in this stairwell for 5 or 6 minutes.

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I started wondering if I had become separated from the group, so I went more into the interior of the building to see if anyone else was inside.

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I ran into one of the ladies in the club, and she was looking into this meeting room, acting like she’d like to check it out. I suggested that we go for it! She was getting down low for an “artsy” shot of a row of the backs of the chairs, but I was first interested in a “whole room” kind of photo. Even though there was a lot of light coming in through the windows, I had to keep my shutter open for 8 seconds to take this photo (but I had closed my aperture to a tiny f/22 to get maximum depth of field).

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Right after I took that photo, an employee of The University came into the room and told us that we were not allowed to take photographs inside the building without first acquiring prior approval. We apologized and folded up our tripods and left. (At least she didn’t insist that we delete the photos from our memory cards!)

Back outside, we met up with John Patterson and John Sutton. Our group had dwindled to only 5 people. (We knew that we would meet up with many of the “drop-outs” at the designate lunch spot at 12:30 PM.) John suggested that we head up to 24th Street and take a few photos of the Littlefield House.

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The home was built in 1893, and later bequeathed to The University in 1935. This home has many ornamental architectural features. I liked the lines of the multi colored shingles on the roof. This architectural style is not often seen here in Austin.

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It was now noon, we were on the far north edge of the campus, and our designated lunch spot was at 12:30 on the southwest corner of the campus. On our walk to Schlotzsky’s, we passed by the south side of the UT Tower.

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After we got to the Schlotzsky’s sandwich shop, there were about 10 of us sitting at a long table. We enjoyed lively conversations about photography, the drought, where one can find wildflowers already, and one of Brian’s upcoming Wildlife Photography Seminars. After about an hour, I decided to head back to the house and get ready for the Saturday evening that I had planned with Barb.

I almost didn’t make this blog post. Although I had a fun time walking around with my camera and mingling with fellow photographers, this set of photos didn’t cry out to me that I really wanted to share them. They don’t really inspire me. They are pleasing enough, I suppose, but something is lacking. Maybe it is the absence of color? I’m not sure….

Thank you for stopping by and visiting my blog today.

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Photo Walk on the University of Texas Campus

20121215_UTexas_Walk_003I’m still trying to get into the new rhythm of how we will operate going forward at the office, but my weekends have been just fine. This past Saturday, on December 15th, before the sun came up, I was in my car headed toward downtown Austin. I wasn’t sure exactly where I was headed, but I was eager to do some of what Robin Wong calls “Shutter Therapy”.

Now Robin lives in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia – which is a densely populated city. As a result, Robin has become an outstanding “street photographer”. I am anything but that. At any rate, I was hearing the siren’s song to go out and photograph whatever seemed interesting to me at the time.

Although it had not rained in Austin since October 26th, it was drizzling enough that I had to use my windshield wipers while heading south on U.S. Interstate 35 just as the skies began to light up from the quickly approaching sunrise. The temperature was unseasonably warm – it was 66 degrees (18.9 C), so even though it was drizzling intermittently, I knew that I wouldn’t need my jacket. I decided that instead of heading to downtown Austin, I would check out The University of Texas campus.

I was glad that I had my weatherproof Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera, and the equally weatherproof 12-50mm f/3.5 -6.3 lens. That’s a “dark” lens, and the sky was dark with clouds, so I knew that even though the image stabilization of this camera is outstanding, I was going to use my small Gitzo GT1542T Traveller tripod.

I got out of the car at the Joe C. Thompson conference center parking lot right at 7:15 AM, which was 5 minutes before the official time of the sunrise.

Since I was going to be using a tripod, I set the ISO to 200, which is the lowest sensitivity that the E-M5 allows, and turned off the fabulous image stabilization. I set the mode dial to Aperture Priority, set the focus mode to Single AF, and turned on the self-timer for 2 seconds. I put the White Balance on Auto, and started walking toward the LBJ Library and Museum. I took the photo above at the official time of sunrise, which was 7:20 AM.

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I had no plan for a route. I was just going to go where my feet followed my attention.

This is from the southwest corner of the LBJ Library.

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Stairs heading down.

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Reflection of UT Tower

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There was nobody around. I literally mean nobody. The street beside the Performing Arts Center was like something out of a post apocalypse movie.

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This is where the Texas Longhorn play football. It is the Darrel K. Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium. This is the view of the northwest corner of the stadium.

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Across the street, out front of the Performing Arts Center is the interesting arrangement of bells.

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The official name of the stadium.

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At this point, I decided to do a custom white balance in the camera. I use a simple WhiBal card to do that.

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This photo was taken just after I set the custom white balance in the camera. I might just need such a photo to see how closely the camera and Adobe Lightroom agree. I also used this photo to set the white balance for the photos that I had already taken (but I didn’t do it for the opening photo).

High on the east side of the stadium.

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To take the photo above, I had climbed up to the top floor of a parking garage across the stadium. I had never been up there before, so I walked to the south while still on top of the garage. As I approached the south end of the stadium I got a pretty nice view of downtown Austin, which is about 15 blocks from where I was.

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Going just a little further, I could now see the Texas State Capitol Building, which is about 8 blocks away.

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Looking back toward the stadium, I was surprised at just how much I could see “inside” the stadium!20121215_UTexas_Walk_055

 

Here’s a view of the inside and the outside of the east side of the stadium.20121215_UTexas_Walk_062

 

This is the back side of the GIANT scoreboard, which is also a video screen.20121215_UTexas_Walk_064

 

Back down on the street, I looked back to see the garage I was on top of, and the stadium across the street from it.20121215_UTexas_Walk_070

 

Walking around the south end of the stadium, I passed the truck that carries the football team’s equipment to many of the away-games.20121215_UTexas_Walk_071

 

Pedestrian ramps on the west side of the stadium.20121215_UTexas_Walk_081

 

Time to leave the stadium, and head west on 21st Street. Across from Gregory Gymnasium, I caught this view of the UT Tower.20121215_UTexas_Walk_085

 

As I passed the Red McComb’s School of Business, this statue in front of the autumn colored trees caught my attention.20121215_UTexas_Walk_088

Another 1/2 block took me to the east side of Littlefield Fountain, which is a monument by Italian-born sculptor Pompeo Coppini.

The fountain was built with money from a $250,000 trust established by Major George W. Littlefield as a war memorial.  It was unveiled in 1933, at a time when the Old Main Building was still in use.20121215_UTexas_Walk_100-Edit

The bright gray sky and the light stone tower, with the dark live oak trees, seemed like I good opportunity to play around with the camera a bit. The photo above is an HDR photo.

A view from the side shows the cascading fountains.20121215_UTexas_Walk_127

Up the stairs to the tunnel of trees.20121215_UTexas_Walk_112

 

The main administration building is at the base of the UT Tower.20121215_UTexas_Walk_155

 

Turning around, you see the George Washington statue in the foreground, and the Texas State Capitol Building, 9 blocks away.20121215_UTexas_Walk_157

 

This is an HDR photo of the southeast corner of the UT Tower.20121215_UTexas_Walk_159-Edit

 

Architectural details are always interesting!20121215_UTexas_Walk_166

 

Rusty balls (with pennies glued to them).20121215_UTexas_Walk_169

From the East Mall Fountain, which is under renovation, I saw this view of the northwest corner of the stadium. It was 10:15 AM, so I had been out for exactly 3 hours – and my camera battery had finally ran out. After I changed the battery, I decided to try and get a better photo of the stadium from this position, but I was shooting almost directly into the direction of the sun, and the sky above the stadium was very bright, while this side of the stadium was in the shade (well, as shady as it gets on a very overcast day). The result was the rather unartistic HDR photo.20121215_UTexas_Walk_181-Edit

 

At the base of the northwest corner of the stadium, it is revealed where the “Texas Memorial Stadium” name comes from.20121215_UTexas_Walk_189

Here there is a statue of a World War I soldier, and on the wall behind him is a metal plaque (bronze ?) that has etched into it all of the names of the American soldiers that were Texans that died in World War I.20121215_UTexas_Walk_201

 

Walking across the north side of the stadium, you pass the emblem of The University mounted on the doors to the north entrance.20121215_UTexas_Walk_209

 

As my journey was coming to an end, I stopped and took another look back towards the UT Tower.20121215_UTexas_Walk_215

 

Up the stairs at the base of the LBJ Library and Museum.20121215_UTexas_Walk_225

 

My lonely Honda was waiting patiently for me, after my 4 hour walk.20121215_UTexas_Walk_231

This was certainly not my usual aerobic Saturday morning walk, but it was a fun one.  I like being a tourist in my own town.

Later that same evening, the Lady Longhorn volleyball team won the National Championship, by beating the lady Oregon Ducks in 3 straight sets. Congratulations!

Whenever a team wins a national championship, The University of Texas will light the entire UT Tower top-to-bottom with orange colored flood lights.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

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A Book of Flowers

For the last four weeks, I have been attending one of the Informal Classes at the University of Texas in the evenings. The course is titled “Publishing Your Photography”, and the instructor is Brian Loflin. Brian is also the president of the Austin Shutterbug Club that I have been a member of for over 5 years now. Brian has been a great teaching influence on me, as I have taken at least 5 or 6 of his classes over the years. Here is a link to Brian’s blog.

This Wednesday evening is our last class of this course. Our exercise for this last class is to create a book of our images, using the free BookSmart software that we downloaded from Blurb.com.

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For last week’s assignment to the class, we had to write a proposal for our book. Here’s what I submitted:

Proposal for a Blurb Photo Book, by Gregg Mack.

October 8, 2012

For our assignment for the class “Publishing Your Photography”, I propose to put together and publish a small coffee table style of photo book. This book would contain 20 photo of close-up photos of plants and flowers that I encountered during my frequent walks around my neighborhood, during the summer of 2012.

My intent would be to have approximately 35 to 40 of the books printed, where my wife and I would hand them out as Christmas presents to our family and close friends. I may even use a few of them as promotional material for my future photography business.

The book would be mostly photos, with minimal captions. This is not a scientific study of plants, and so the captions will be more of what thoughts I may have been thinking, or what photographic technique that I was attempting to use, when I took the photo. No attempt will be made to accurately identify the plant or flower.

Now to be honest, I am not certain that I will follow-through with what I stated as my intent in the 2nd paragraph. I usually produce a calendar that contains images with an Austin theme. But I had to come up with something for my class assignment. :-)

All of the photos contained in this blog post have been shown in some of my previous blog posts. I am including them again here, simply because they are the photos that I have selected to put into my Blurb book.

All of the photos in this blog post were taken by me, with my Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera. All of these photos were taken as I walked around my neighborhood, and I did not bring a tripod with me on these walks. For the photos above, I used the 45mm f/1.8 lens, and I tried to keep the aperture open to create a shallow depth of field. The smallest aperture that I used in the above photos was the one with the two cacti in it; and the aperture was f/3.2. All of the other 6 photos used f/1.8 to f/2.8, and yes that does blur the objects in the background quite nicely.

All of the remaining photos were taken while using the 12-50mm f/3.5 – 6.3 lens. The aperture on that lens is capable of opening up to f/3.5, but the widest aperture that I used on all of these next photos was f/6.0; and that is what I used for these very next two photos.

As you can see, even a lens aperture of f/6.0 can result in a very shallow depth of field, when the object is fairly close to the lens.

I do not know what the plant above is named, so I just refer to them as Dr. Seuss Plants.

This next plant is called the Pride of Barbados, and they seem to grow exceptionally well here in the central Texas climate.

Now I am not a botanist, or even all that interested in studying plants. As I result, I really do not know what variety of plants that are shown in the majority of these photos.

I do know that the following yellow flower is from a Prickly Pear Cactus that was just blooming here in mid-August.

I think this next cactus is a Barrel Cactus, but I should probably ask my instructor, Brian Loflin, as he and his wife Shirley have published a book on Texas Cacti.

For this next little purple flower, I changed my position so that the white limestone landscaping brick was in the background.

Here’s a nice red one, with a few strands of a spider web attached to it.

I don’t know what these massive yellow flowering bushes are, but they are still in full bloom 2 months later in mid-October.

The blue color in the background of this next photo is a neighbor’s swimming pool. Our neighborhood is rather hilly, so I was able to see over their 7 foot high fence, while I was standing on the sidewalk! (There is only a 4 or 5 foot area where that is possible.)

These next little white flowers were hard to capture, as they were swaying freely in the gentle breeze. Even my shutter speed of 1/320 of a second didn’t quite eliminate all of the motion blur.

I’m pretty sure that these next red flowers are from an Oleander bush. They are popular landscaping plants here, as the deer will not eat them.

And finally back to the Dr. Seuss plants right outside of our front door.

I’ve got all of these photos gathered up and put into a folder on the desktop of my laptop, and ready to take to my class this Wednesday evening. If the book turns out nice, I may actually order a  few.

If you have actually read all the way down to here, then I simply want to thank you for stopping by and looking at my photos!

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Texas Longhorns vs. Wyoming Cowboys Football Game

On Sunday, September 2, 2012, Barb and I drove to northern Oklahoma to spend the week with my Dad, his brother, and his four sisters that all met in the little town of Beatrice, Nebraska (which they grew up near). I will probably make a post of that trip in a week or so. This is my explanation for why I didn’t have a new blog post last week.

The day before we left on our 780 mile (1255 km) drive, was the day of the first Texas Longhorn football game of the 2012 season. The University of Wyoming Cowboys were the visiting team.

I have had Longhorn football season tickets every year since 1984.  Every Saturday when the Texas Longhorns will be playing a football game, I go out to our front lawn to put out our spinner. Barb and I truly believe that the faster it spins, the more points the Longhorns will score in their game. :-)

The University of Texas athletic department has a policy of “no professional cameras with interchangeable lenses”, which has always prevented me from taking a “real camera” – especially a DSLR. I have taken a camera to only a handful of games over the years. The last time I took a camera to a Texas football game, it was when Ohio State University came calling on September 9, 2006 for a night game (OSU won 24-7). The camera was a 4 Megapixel Olympus C-770 Ultra Zoom, and the auto white balance needed lots of color corrections later in Photoshop – due to the color of the stadium lights.

Now that I have the Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera, I thought that I would see if I could get into the stadium with it and a single 12-50mm f/3.5-6.3 “kit” lens. I did, and here’s my story.

We usually meet our friend Greg Ringer about 1hour and 40 minutes before the game at the UT intramural fields where we get on the bus that will take us to the University of Texas campus.

The bus lets us off about 4 blocks north of the stadium, where we have to walk past all of the tailgaters.

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Playing with my camera, I ran a few yards ahead, and waited to snap this photo of Greg Ringer and my wife, Barb, as they caught up with me.

The Darrell K. Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium is just ahead, to the south. Our seats are in the upper deck on the west side. That is at the top of the white concrete portion on the right side in this photo.

Before we go into the stadium, we go to the alumni center, which is directly across the street from the stadium.

I rarely drink beer, but I almost always have a Shiner Bock before a home football game.

While drinking our beers, I raised my camera to take a photo of the west side of the stadium, and Greg decided that the silhouette of his hand needed to be in the photo….

After a beer (or two), we cross the street to enter the stadium. They inspect every single bag that people carry in (no backpacks are allowed). I decided that I might look more innocent if I simply wore my camera around my neck, rather that appear to trying to hide it in Barb’s bag with our seat cushions. The kid at the gate did give this camera and the rather long lens a very thorough look, but he never said anything to me. I acted as if I didn’t realize that he might not allow me to enter with it. I didn’t linger around while they inspected Barb’s bag. I kept moving, and didn’t give the inspector any extra time to think about my camera. (If he didn’t let me in, I would miss at least the 1st quarter of the game while I took the round-trip bus ride back our car at the intramural fields.)

We take the escalators up to the 11th floor.

When we got to the 11th floor, we walked over the wall that overlooks the campus. The sun will be setting just to the left of this photo.

We are about 15 minutes earlier than our normal arrival time – as I wanted to allocate a little time to walk around to take a few photos. We walk to the south of the upper deck (which is on the right side of this photo), and look down onto the field from the northwest corner of the stadium.

The field, and our seats (in the upper deck to the right) are already in the shade, but the seats on the east side of the stadium are still in direct sunlight – a very high contrast scene, which is difficult to photograph nicely.

I zoom my kit lens out as far as it will go, just to see how large the players will look. I don’t expect Sports Illustrated will be calling me anytime soon….

Looking across, I take a photo of the seats on the east side, and make sure that I get the part that lists the years that the Longhorns were the National Champions. The shadow of the west side stadium lights are beginning to crawl up the seats on the east side.

Since it is still nearly 100 degrees Fahrenheit  (37.8 Celsius), we purchase 3 bottles of water. If you come down to the concession stand during the game, you can still see the game on the TV screen while you wait in line.

We head into the stadium, and walk up the 12 rows to our seats, where my crazy cousin Mike is already there. Mike is always early. Really early.

We are halfway up the upper deck, on the north 10 yard line. We never miss seeing a play, and even if we do, we can watch the replay on the giant TV in the south end zone. The clock under the TV is counting down the time until the game starts (26 minutes from now). The person in the center of the TV picture is Darrell Royal, who was the Longhorn football coach when they won the National Championship in 1963, 1969, and 1970. He was on a golf cart, waiting to be taken to the center of the field for the coin toss right before the start of the game.

Up until two photos ago, I had the ISO setting on the camera at 200, but now that everything of interest was in the shade, I changed it to 400 to gather one more stop of light.

I knew that the lighting was going to be changing on me a lot – from sunshine, to shade, to twilight, to stadium lights. Here is a look to the south from my seat that shows the evil stadium lights that I would have to deal with later.

Looking across the stadium, the shadow of the upper deck that I was seated in was quickly climbing up the seats on the east side.

People wear all sorts of strange items to show their support for the team.

Twenty minutes before the kick-off, the Longhorn Marching Band enters the stadium through the opening near the north end zone. Here they completely fill the end zone.

They begin to march, and quickly spread out and cover 50 yards of the field.

And then they get into the “UT emblem” formation.

When the band plays the Star Spangled Banner, our national anthem, we always sing out loud – and everyone else around us does too.

After the nation, the focus of attention changes to our state of Texas. We’ve got a huge state flag that they bring out and spin around before each and every game.

Next comes the school song, which is entitled “The Eyes of Texas”. The fans who are loyal to the school raise their arm and give the “Hook ‘em Horns” sign while they sing the words to the song!

With less than 6 minutes before the game begins, the TV screen shows a live feed of the team as they exit the locker room area and prepare to enter the field. All of the players and the coaches swipe their fingers across the tip of one of the longhorns mounted on the wall near the door. (Does this look familiar?)

At the end of a rousing video on the giant TV, the team enters the stadium through a cloud of smoke. The first 3 players always carry the American and Texas flags.

At this point, the stadium is really rocking with excitement and the loud cheers!

The players run all the way to the north (opposite) end zone, where they kneel for a moment in prayer, if they choose to (and the vast majority of them do).

Time for the coin toss to determine which team will get the ball first, and which team will kick-off. They help Darrell Royal shuffle from the golf cart to the center of the field for the coin toss.

Play ball!  The football season is finally under way. Life is good!

As you can see, our seats are on the northern 10 yard line, but we see the entire field just fine.

Cousin Mike sits on the aisle. People walking up and down the stairs in the aisle only block our view of the extreme corner of the south end zone, but only when we are sitting down.

(Honey, Greg Ringer wanted me to take that photo. No, he double-dared me to. Really…)

Half way up the seats in the seats above the northern end zone, they list the years that Texas won the old Southwest Conference, which was dissolved when the Big 12 Conference was formed in 1996.

By now the shadow of the upper deck has climbed almost to the top of the seats on the east side.

Since the light is diminishing in intensity, I change the ISO setting on the camera to 640.

There is still some indirect sunlight coming from the sky, but the evil stadium lights are contributing a larger percentage of the light available.

I cannot see the sunset occurring behind me, but the view to the east is rather pretty, so I take a photo of it.

And again.

Twenty minutes later, the sun had pretty much set, and only the evil stadium lights were providing the illumination needed by the players, and my camera. I performed a custom white balance in the camera, and then took a photo of my ColorChecker Passport.

Here is a photo of Texas kicking an extra point after a touchdown.

At this point, I had increased the ISO setting to 800.

Across the way, I noticed that the moon was rising above the seats on the east side, but it was hiding behind the clouds. Here it finally poked out for just a little while.

Half time. The first band onto the field during half time is from the visiting school – if they bring one. The University of Wyoming marching band made the 1044 mile trip (1680 km).

Then comes “The Showband of the Southwest” – The Texas Longhorn Band.

Here they are, in the center of the field.

The next three photos are a sequence from the same original formation, where they write a cursive “Texas” on the field.

When the half time show is over, it’s time for the players to return from the locker room, which of course is done to great fanfare.

After half time, I changed the ISO setting to 1000.

Here was a play where the ball was on the field directly in front of us. Two players later, the Longhorns scored another touchdown.

By 9:18 PM, the moon had made it above the clouds on the horizon. I used the electronic viewfinder to know that an Exposure Compensation of -1 1/3 stops was needed.

Here’s a photo from sometime early in the 4th quarter, when Wyoming was on offense.

After the game, which Texas won by a score of 37 – 17, the players meet at the middle of the field to shake hands.

Moments later, the players head over to the north end zone, directly in front of the students and the band, and the band proceeds to play the school song, “The Eyes of Texas” for the last time of the evening.

Whenever the Longhorns win by more than 10 points or so, many of the fans leave before the end of the game (to avoid the traffic). We almost always stay until the very end – no matter what the score. (I can only remember leaving early twice in 28 years.)

I played with my camera while on the elevator ride down, and decided that I needed to bump up the ISO to 1600, so that I could keep the shutter speed at 1/25 th of a second. I hoped that the in-body image stabilization would do its magic – and it did.

After walking the 4 blocks back to where the bus let us off, we get into the short line to board the bus for the ride back to the intramural fields. This next photo was hand held with the shutter open for 1/5 th of a second.

This last photo, of the bus before our bus, was taken with the shutter open for 1/8 th of a second. That is still remarkable to me, as I could never do that with my Canon 5D Mark II camera!

I know that this story was very long, with a LOT of photos, so I tried to keep the number of words to a minimum. I thought about splitting it into 2 or 3 separate blog posts, but decided this was a story that would be hurt by doing so. I doubt that very many people have actually made it this far, but for those of you who did, I thank you for reading my blog!