Growth of Austin, 2013 to 2017

While putting together my most recent film, I spent some time re-shooting and processing old and new footage to see how the skyline has grown over the past 3-4 years. Here are some comparison gif files (use the slider to compare):

2014 vs. 2017, Pfluger Bridge

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2013 vs. 2017 from Mopac/Bee Cave Rd

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2014 vs. 2017 from Lou Neff Point

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The Green Flash

Usually when photographers talk about the green flash, they mean something entirely different from this:

If you happen to be looking, there's about a 30-40 second window where the rooftop lighting of the Frost Bank Tower is just warming up. This makes the roof panels glow green until their color balance gradually stabilizes and they turn white. I always thought it was cool, and it's one of those things I would never have noticed had I not been a timelapse shooter.

Congress Avenue, Abandoned

I stepped outside early this morning and saw that low well-defined clouds were rolling over town, their features illuminated by the city lights below. I decided it would be a good time to test out a new skyline shooting location I'd discovered, but not before feeling the need to clean the low pass filter on my camera sensor and get rid of a dust bunny that popped up in the middle of my last shoot.

This otherwise mundane camera maintenance task gave me a chance to try out a new item I picked up last week, the Pentax Image Sensor Cleaning Kit, O-ICK1. To start off, let's just say it turned out to be a bit of a disappointment. After seeing a recent F-Stoppers review of an identical product sold under a different brand (and not yet available through that vendor), I was sold on the idea of this potentially easier dry cleaning method. This little rubber-cube-on-a-stick didn't work nearly as well for me as it did for the F-Stopper reviewer. There were a great deal of dust specks that showed up clearly at f/32 that I could not remove with the Pentax tool, no matter how many times I blotted it back and forth between the low pass filter and the little sticky sheet. Before I began my cleaning attempt, I managed to somehow blow an oily speck of some sort onto the filter with my rocket blower, and the Pentax tool did nothing to lessen its appearance. After messing with it for a few minutes with only marginal results, I got out my bottle of Eclipse and a sensor swab and did my usual wet cleaning routine. Two swipes and the sensor was almost perfectly clean, and it got that difficult oily speck on the first pass. I suppose I'll keep it around for later attempts -- maybe it works better on some types of dust than others (like pollen), but it's definitely no replacement for a good wet cleaning.

Anyway, back to my little photo trip -- as I was making my drive across town I noticed the clouds had become very diffuse in the 15 minutes I spent on my 3:30AM sensor cleaning misadventure. I decided to check out the shooting location anyway, and snapped a few unimpressive test shots before heading home. On the way, I was amazed at the total lack of activity downtown, specifically on Congress Avenue. I had done a lot of downtown night shooting before, but never on Congress at 4AM, a time at which there were no buses, and the only traffic appeared to be a few early morning delivery trucks.

I managed to snap a few shots I thought were interesting, mainly because I could stand in the middle of one of Austin's busiest streets without fear, giving me a perspective I'd been unable to shoot from before.

Prints of both photos are available for purchase on the Shop page.

Monday Evening Stroll

I was out for a walk last night with my trusty sidekick, Bella, when I observed clouds starting to form above the Colorado River just west of town. Feeling a gentle breeze out of the west, it was clear that these conditions would make for an amazing sunset. I ran home and grabbed my camera and rushed over to one of my favorite spots on the east side just in time to catch a few nice shots in the last moments of the day.

I love the silhouette of the Austin skyline; I'm excited to see how it will look in another 10 years.

A Misty Night at Mount Bonnell

Last Saturday night I spent many hours shooting various spots northwest of Austin for an ongoing project and, exhausted, I stopped to snap a few panoramas from Mount Bonnell on my way back into the city. 

It was a cool night, made even cooler by a fast moving front that brought in low hanging clouds and intermittent rain and drizzle. The bright city lights scattered upward creating a cathedral-like ceiling of clouds above the downtown skyline and West Lake Hills.

Click the thumbnails below (beware -- they're large images!).

Prints of the West Lake Hills photo are available for purchase on the Shop page.


Late last night I found myself down at Auditorium Shores where the lake presented ideal glass-like conditions. I had planned to go to bed early to get back onto a "normal" sleep schedule, but conditions like this are fairly rare, especially on winter nights where it's warm enough that your fingers don't go numb after 20-30 minutes of exposure (I really need better gloves)!

I spent a few hours shooting hyperlapse footage and finished off by snapping a quick nine image panorama of the Austin skyline that I would like to share with you.

Prints are available for purchase on the Shop page.