04/15/15 1:00pm

Photo by Robert Seale of James Harden in Front of Houston Skyline

How’d the photographer get Houston Rocket star shooting guard James Harden to tower over Downtown Houston’s skyline in that Sports Illustrated spread from February (above)? Careful site selection — plus a plexiglas stage, to deal with the parapet wall:

“The editor already had a specific view in mind,” writes photographer Robert Seale, “and we referenced a rooftop fashion shot I had taken a few years earlier from that same spot. On the plus side when using a parking garage roof, you can control access which is a plus when working with a pro athlete. If we had done this out in the park, we might have gathered a crowd and needed more security guys.”

Here’s a view of the roof at the Marquis Lofts on Sabine at 150 Sabine St. just south of the Old Sixth Ward, where Seale set up the shoot:


Houston Rockets and Towers
02/13/15 10:45am

Houston Skyline Photo by Visual Contrabrand

Alice Barr and her KHOU camera crew spend an authorized-by-building-management evening on top of an unnamed Downtown hotel to feature the photography and highrise hijinx of the “rooftopper” who goes by the name of Visual Contrabrand. The photographer (pictured above) tells Barr he’s afraid of heights, and that even after climbing down, glances at some of the images he’s taken “still make my palms sweaty.” But that doesn’t stop him from finding a way to access various tall structures around town (“without destroying any property,” he says) and snapping daredevil pix with his Canon 70D.


Night Pix
08/28/13 4:30pm

Who says Houston isn’t fast-paced and funky when the sun goes down? If you’ve got a minute, check out this time-lapse video made by Spenser Harrison. It takes in all the lit-up hotspots in H-Town: Main St., the Galleria, Reliant Stadium — heck, even the Pierce Elevated!

Video: Spenser Harrison

07/26/13 12:15pm

An intrepid Redditor recently explored the vacant Oakbrook Apartments and snuck away with these photos. The 222-unit complex, currently for sale, sits on 7.3 acres at 5353 De Soto St., east of Antoine and north of W. Tidwell, right up against White Oak Bayou. Writes the creative trespasser: “The majority of [the apartments] are unsecured at this point. There really didn’t seem to be much of anything left in any of the apartments, and I went in a lot of them. Most of the drywall is crumbling and you can smell the mildew from 20 yards away. Wiring and other appliances have been torn out in most of them.”


04/23/13 1:00pm

This year’s Terrain Denali, shown here in Iridium Metallic, seems to have been redesigned with a towing capacity that borders on the seismic: Apparently, it can bring the lake in along with the speed boat and dock right into the middle of the city! A vehicle that can manipulate geography according to your desires? What will they think of next? And it’s just $34,925!

Image: GMC

03/19/13 10:00am

Looks like this mile and a half extension of a hike and bike trail leading north out of Terry Hershey Park is ready to go. Photos popped up on HAIF yesterday that follow the trail as it dives beneath the Katy Fwy. and banks west between Highway 6 and Eldridge Pkwy. along the Addicks Dam.

According to the Terry Hershey Park website, this extension now makes a continuous ride possible from neighborhoods around Wilcrest, Kirkwood, and Dairy Ashford to the Addicks Park and Ride to the northwest.

Here are a few more photos of what you’ll see:


03/04/13 2:00pm

And the celebratory stunt that the Art Guys pulled this month was walking the entire length of Little York Rd. Moving on, apparently, from their uprooting in early January at the Menil Collection, the shadowy figures Michael Galbreth and Jack Massing completed “The Longest Street in Houston” last Tuesday, walking the 29.6 miles of Little York from Mesa Road to where the concrete ends at Jasmine Crest Lane in Settlers Village.

This is some of what they saw:


02/22/13 12:00pm

The old Warwick — now Hotel ZaZa — provided one of the most beautiful views in the world, as far as Bob Hope was concerned, but that was long before photos of the Main St. hotel’s Room 322 showed up on Reddit. User joelikesmusic started a thread on Monday in which the room — booked for a colleague by mistake, apparently — is described as a “goth dungeon closet.” And the photos do reveal the room’s peculiar decor:


02/15/13 4:08pm

Ah, Friday: Why not take a stroll down Binz St. in the Museum District and have a look at what’s going on? Let’s head east from here: the corner of La Branch and Binz, near the Children’s Museum.

Our guide, Swamplot reader David Hollas, provides the photos and the observations:


07/14/11 10:01am

The scene captured last Saturday by that drone videocamera flight, showing excavation on the site of the East Downtown stadium at Texas and Dowling, plus a high-end view of Downtown’s back side . . . and a very round earth. Like a more steady ride? Here’s a still:


06/08/10 4:15pm

Got an answer to either of these reader questions? Or just want to be a sleuth for Swamplot? Here’s your chance! Add your report in a comment, or send a note to our tipline.

  • Montrose: A reader wants to know if anyone has heard of any plans for the site of Mary’s Lounge at the corner of Westheimer and Yoakum — as well as the parking lot between it and Burger King. The famous Montrose club shut down last year.
  • Riverside Terrace and beyond: When strangers just love your style!

    My partner and I are renovating our house in Riverside Terrace, and the other day a well-mannered gentleman rang our doorbell requesting our permission to photograph our house. While we’d like to presume that his request was a compliment that our hard work is paying off, we didn’t feel comfortable with the idea of a stranger snapping photos of our house. Not knowing his true intentions, we politely declined.

    Otherwise who knows where your stuff would show up?! So . . . what’s the question?

    However, I know that applications such as Google Street View capture images from the public domain and make them readily available via the internet. Are there any restrictions to what we can or cannot photograph in Houston?

Photo of 1022 Westheimer Rd.: Swamplot inbox

10/09/09 1:09pm

If you are a talented photographer — or are trying to become one — Swamplot needs your help. And if you’re a reader who just likes to snap fun cameraphone pix, Swamplot needs your help too.

We’re trying out a new group documentation project, and we’re doing it one week — and one streetcorner — at a time.

Here’s how it’ll work: Each week, Swamplot will ask readers to document a particular location in the Houston area. If you’d like to participate, just visit the location, take some terrific photos, and send them in!

What’ll that get us? A new weekly photo feature, which we’ll run on Fridays.

Interested in participating? Here’s your first assignment: