1.17.2021

The "Peter Lindbergh" book that Mike Johnston recommended over on his blog. I'll stick in a link with my review.

Caution! This book weighs about seven pounds.
It's 483 pages of photos. 
And it's good. 

 Mike Johnston at the Online Photographer Blog wrote about the publication of Peter Lindbergh's huge retrospective (post humous) book of photographs here:  MJ's Getting His Fashion Groove On. He had featured an image of Lindbergh's office or home about a week ago and then he came across the new book at Amazon. Mike opted to cut a few corners and order the smaller, paperback edition of the book but being ever cavalier about all things financial I just started hemorrhaging money and placed an order for the full Monte. The large, ponderous, heavy and beautifully printed hard back version. It was still a relative bargain while on sale for only $50 and change. 

I got it yesterday, pulled up a comfortable chair, turned on the good light, poured a glass of the nice wine, and spent an hour going through the book. I'll go back again and again since there is so much here. Nearly all of the images are printed full page or as double trucks and the paper they are printed on is thick and beautiful. I've always been a big fan of Peter Lindbergh and this book is a wonderful addition to my collection of superstar photographer monographs. Taschen Publishing did a great job with this book!

Will you like the images? I don't know. The book had me when Lindbergh combined Kate Moss and Rome. Almost everything is in dark, moody but lovely black and white. I'm glad I ordered the book but I've got to distance myself from MJ's site or I'll soon go bankrupt. Too many good suggestions....

Since he is to blame, if you are a big Peter Lindbergh Photographer fan and want to order the book I'd suggest using the link above to go over to Mike Johnston's site and order from his links. You won't pay anymore for the book. You'll help Mike stay on the keyboard. And I don't offer links to Amazon or B&H anyway. 

So many beautiful people. So much photography.

Big fun with nicely printed paper. Enjoy. 

It was beyond time to get out of town and chill out somewhere else. So I did. I don't want to surprise you but I took a camera along for the ride.

 


I'm spending way too much time in my office. I blame the lockdown. I blame the economic conditions, but really, I just blame myself for not being more proactive with my time. I woke up bored this morning and that's never good. I skipped my usual swim practice and slept in till nine. That's a bad sign. So, after breakfast I grabbed a black Fuji X-100V and an extra battery and pointed the car West. 

My first stop was Johnson City, birthplace of a great president, Lyndon Baines Johnson. Man, he got a ton of work done and bills passed for a one term president. Just an amazing amount of very good legislation. I've done a lot of research about his life and career (we produced two plays about LBJ at Zach Theatre) and I'm sure most people don't know that he pushed through 87 major pieces of legislation and got 84 bills passed, which gives him the record with a 96% success rate. And most of the bills didn't do anything to destroy the middle class or raise taxes on less affluent people. In fact, it was almost a golden age for fairness. 

Johnson City is still small but its proximity to Austin means it's growing up and offering more sophisticated visitor amenities. There are several very decent restaurants, a science museum and a lot of art galleries and wine tasting rooms. The architecture all around town is classic Depression Era Texas Modest. With some buildings featuring embossed tin ceilings and layers and layers of styles. It's also home to a sometimes client of ours: The Pedernales Electric Cooperative

I made some photos of LBJ's boyhood home, a location which further reminded me that at one point in our country's history a person could rise up from a middle, middle class, rural childhood to become president of the United States of America. It's fun. And you can walk right up and touch the house, if that's what you are into. I touched it with my camera. Then I headed over to Blanco, Texas which is about 10 miles South along Hwy. 281. 

Blanco has a nice state park with a river that runs through it but I was more interested in the old courthouse. It's now a visitor center, and a charming young woman named Riley welcomed me and gave me some local perspective. I'd shot stills for a movie production that used this courthouse as a location for three or four days. That was about 25 years ago. Since then the location has been used by a number of other feature films. In fact, it's the go to place in Texas if you want to do a period courtroom scene but can't afford tens of thousands of dollars in location fees. It was fun to see the space again. I'll chalk the visit down to scouting for one of the law firms we provide photos and video to. They'll love it.

One great find today was a new coffee shop in Johnson City. That was the one thing that kept the town from getting an "A" from me as a destination; no good, local coffee. Now the Johnson City Coffee Company is going full steam (intended...) and serving great coffees and pastries. I sampled their medium roast, drip coffee along with a lemon, blueberry scone, freshly drizzled with fresh, thick creme. Delicious and well done. 

So funny though, when I walked up and ordered the woman at the counter said, "I recognize your voice. Did you used to swim in the Masters at Western Hills Athletic Club?" I said that I did and she said, "I thought so. I'm Nancy. I used to swim with you all there." I remembered her in flash. So hard to be sociable these days with everyone hidden behind masks.... Nancy and her family own the new coffee shop. They'll do well. She was always a disciplined swimmer.

I'm thrilled with the new shop. Finally, a way station between Austin and Fredericksburg, Texas (or Marble Falls) with great coffee, a good rest room and a wide selection of above average pastries. Better than the fare at Starbucks and located in exactly the right spot. Well, at least for everyone driving through the hot spots in Central Texas. 

The camera I took was the Fuji X-100V. The black one. It had fewer than 100 shutter actuations on it when I left. Now it has 396. I set its white balance to the little "sun" icon and kept it there all day. I tried to stick with f8 for most stuff but I did bounce around on apertures when I went into the courthouse. And when I photographed the big ceramic deer. I find the image files to be wonderful; especially when I use the Astia Soft setting in full sun. All good there. Now a recommended camera. At least, it's recommended for me.

Blanco Courthouse Interior. 


Blanco Courthouse, exterior. 

Vast amounts of outside seating at the Johnson City Coffee Company.  Maybe bring a chair in case it gets crowded. Bring two chairs if you are traveling with a spouse. Or fight over one chair. 
Whatever.

Hate to get out of your car? They've got a drive through on the other side.



This is a detail of a building I found just outside of Johnson City. 
It's like a super-modern Quonset Hut but beautifully designed. 
I had to pull in and walk around it a couple of times. The next 
few frames are different angles and magnifications. 


















Courthouse in Johnson City. 



who wants to pay for premium electricity?
What do you get if you pay extra?

Gate to the LBJ boyhood house. High security, yes?





The observant among you will notice that I finally got a haircut. 
Belinda tells me I look meaner with short hair....