Beep Beep


Road runner creeping near us while camping.


Texas Haze


Here is a herd of bison at Caprock Canyons. They are so unperturbed by the heat.

Tis’ a proper summer, indeed


Burrow owl in a West Texas field.

Buffalo Way


Caprock Canyons is a pretty cool park to visit in Texas. It has a large buffalo herd on park grounds, and extraordinary views almost anywhere  you hike. A bit windy though, so make sure you have wrapping sunglasses.



Caprock Canyons, Texas.

Sunset on the Pedernales

Foggy Woods

Laurel Falls


Taken at Laurel Falls, Smoky Mountain National Park, one foggy morning.

Early hours


Smug couple


I’m stepping away from the expansive landscape tonight to the close up. The above is an orchid, and can’t help but see a smug couple at the center. Have a great week.

Sunset in the Balcones

Dusk in the Hills



Too often when doing sunset timed landscapes photographs, I focus on getting that last starburst of sun before it retreats into the horizon. Over time I have actually enjoyed the afterglow, that twilight time before it goes dark. While serene, the quietude didn’t last long as what sounded like a hundred coyotes started in with their howls on the hilltop to the left. My truck was parked at the end of that gravel trail, roughly two miles away, so I had to get going.

Prickly Pear II


We’ve had a mild winter without a hard frost. The green already out in February is surprising.

A snake crossing


I was hiking down a trail when I froze in my tracks over this great, fearsome snake that was crossing. He must have reticulated an entire 10 inches. Here he is below standing his ground and about to unleash his hell. 20160218-2-Edit-1

Dusk in Hill Country


Photo here was grabbed at the end of hike through the Hill Country area in Texas. Behind me was a near full moon rising that I think added some good light.



Unnamed creek (to my knowledge) found running through Balcones Canyonlands, Texas.

Prickly Pear

On the inside


Was messing around with the seed head of a dandelion. The complexity of the seed head can wreck havoc on the focusing motor. I thought the somewhat back focus came out interesting here.

Fat Tuesday

In honor of Fat Tuesday, here are some fat rocks.


Little River


Little River spot found in the Smoky Mountain National Park.



Species was found in the Natural Bridge Caverns in Texas Hill Country.


Galaxy of Suns

“When the peacock has presented his back, the spectator will usually begin to walk around him to get a front view; but the peacock will continue to turn so that no front view is possible. The thing to do then is to stand still and wait until it pleases him to turn. When it suits him, the peacock will face you. Then you will see in a green-bronze arch around him a galaxy of gazing haloed suns. This is the moment when most people are silent.” – Flannery  O’Conner.


Tired Of


This goat was tired of my shit…and from this look, most likely everyone’s.

Searching For A Network (II)

Tis the season…

Cheers to this holiday season.


Texas Haze

Austin 360 on Summer Night

Brushy Creek


Small fall near Brushy Creek, Cedar Park. Only encountered one snake and one gigabahgillion mosquitoes.

Definitely dinosaur bones…

Obviously a found brontosaurus at Bull Creek in Austin, Tx.


Wordless Wednesday

Mount Bonnell


Quiet summer dusk on Mount Bonnell in Austin.

Sunset on Lake Austin

Pedernales River Panos



I haven’t done panoramic photos in quite some time, and I am definitely out of shape in the process. Both of these were suppose to be much wider but I must have not lined the individual shots up correctly. When I tried to stitch them together in Photoshop, it was a hot mess. So I had to drop out some frames to get them to work. Both of these are roughly 5-6 stitched images. The top one were a series of long exposures take before dawn. The latter was about 45 minutes later…testament to how quickly light changes in the early morning.

Wordless Wednesday

Pedernales #6

pedernalesPedernales Falls again. I took several from this angle at different exposures, and decided to go with the slightly underexposed as it brought more color to the photograph. Have a great weekend.


Dawn at Pedernales Falls


This is one of those earned photographs. I woke at 4:30am and hiked about 2 miles in the dark by myself to find this spot a bit above the falls. Totally worth it.

Willow Loop Wildflowers

A few snags taken from a drive around Willow City Loop, a scenic drive near the town of Fredericksburg, Texas. I moved to Texas in the dead of winter, and heard much about the wildflowers of spring. Come spring time, they lived up to the stories. At the peak, it’s hard to find any area not teemed with the wildflowers, especially the blue bonnets (which seem to be closer to purple than blue in my opinion…but blue-bonnets does sound better than purple-bonnets or lavender-bonnets).





Green VW



Old bikes off a sidewalk in Fredericksburg, Texas.

An Old Shed

In the evenings, I have been attempting to run down the energy of our Labrador with a combination of running and exploring the wooded areas near our house where he can go off leash. Below is a forgotten farm shed I had came across before, but returned today with a camera…and dog, who is usually nervous and did bark and raised back hair once towards something that bothered him…that I couldn’t see. A bit unnerving.

Also of note, Lightroom rolled out it’s new update, and this time included it’s own HDR and Panorama merge (always had to pump out to a plugin or Adobe Photoshop before). I AM DIGGING the HDR merge in the new release, and highly recommend to those seeking a more natural “exposure fusion” approach to bracketed photographs. I like most HDR, but most often, shoot in brackets to get the full dynamic range, to get what you can’t get in just one shot. Before HDR programs, I use to load my bracketed shots into layers in Photoshop, and then mask and brush between those layers to get the full range of light…the HDR. It was tedious and took a great amount of time, but I found you could teeter on the nexus point of perfect exposure and the surreal. Going too far into the latter has given “HDR” some bad rap. What I love most about the Lightroom HDR Merge is that it retains the control of RAW. In other words, files aren’t converted into TIFFs or JPEGs before entering an HDR processor. What this means is when the HDR is sewn together, you still have much leeway for adjusting exposure, white balance, tone curves, color levels, etc. It’s like it spits back to you an HDR file in RAW format (actually .DNG). Then you can apply any preset you have created or go slider pulling. In the below, I went to a preset I use that mutes the tones, warms the image, and drops the exposure a bit. Both were bracketed shots at -2/0/2 @ f11. Again, I really dig the natural approach in the new Lightroom update. So check it out if you like more of that “exposure fusion” look.



20150421-10-HDR-EditOh, and in my absence, I have finally dedicated the time to building a website. Check it out at It’s still a work in progress, but finally moving forward.

Perndales Falls


I think all of us, on this hemisphere, is a bit tired of the winter.  Above is another from Perndales, and I can’t wait until spring offers a bit more color.

Wordless Wednesday

A passing through


If I can get away with one more…

These egrets were never-leavers. They stayed the whole year. Pelicans, a litany of ducks, and smaller waterfowl would teem this peer on the river. These egrets would fly, swoop, and roost with all of them. But then they all went home. It warmed up, and the summer suffocated the air, The egrets could still be found at the peer.

Weary traveler



Continuing my black and whites, a heron at dawn on the edge of a horseshoe lake. I was happy to slip in on this guy, but he didn’t seem happy about much at all.

Give the crowd everything they want


This is another old, and hopefully not a redux. I can guarantee if it is a re-post, the image didn’t look like this as I did a good bit of editing to get it to this point…and it’s one of my favorite black and white pieces I’ve done to date.

Like my previous post, I enjoyed the composition but it teemed with distracting elements. I removed most of them, and when finished, liked the way it added enhanced the spotlight of the elephant. Of course, by removing the crowd elements it evokes a sadness, a depression to the subject.

Gesture without motion


I captured this one from my father-in-law’s horse farm a few years ago. The horse was standing at the entrance of the born, and probably wondering why I had not given him any feed yet. Maybe. Horses always give me the evil eye no matter what I am doing.

This is another photography I kept but never touched. I probably kept it because of the horse’s presentation. The original had the blackness of the barn, but many other distracting elements. I enjoyed processing this one as it demonstrates less can be more, and with the processing tools we have now, it’s to easier to simplify a distracting original.  I converted to grayscale, dropped the exposure, and then cloned out the stuff that was distracting. Then I went ahead and cloned out everything save for the horse. This one seemed to be about expression, and not the ancillary barn ropes, posts, etc.

What came over that hill


I have been spending some time cleaning up old photographs down in the photo basement. Not a real basement, but that directory on your computer that is tantamount to a real basement of boxes spilling over with junk you either don’t know what to do with or of stuff you find valuable even though you can’t explain the reason. Since I moved to Austin, it’s been nice to explore the new geography and fresh photography frontiers, but with that lingering mess in the basement, it’s hard to focus on the new. But in most arts I’ve dabbled in, the adage proves true—art is never finished. Only abandoned.

 I have a room I want to decorate with black and white photography so I have been perusing those bloated, misshapen boxes. Above is an elephant from a zoo (I honestly don’t remember the one) I pulled this one from the archives, and I’m not sure why I haven’t processed it previously. Texture has always been an element in photography I’m drawn to, and elephants seep it in leathery folds.


© 2014 Tom Coghill Photography, All Rights Reserved

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