A Midnight Fog

In a city with over 300 sunny days per year, a pervasive fog shrouding the entire region is quite rare. Such conditions descended upon Austin in the early hours of March 4th, 2015.

Conditions were calm and visibility varied from 200-500 yards depending on local ground moisture.

The Long Center produces a faint glow in the midnight fog.

On a clear night Lou Neff Point in Zilker Park offers one of the best views of the Austin skyline. Move the slider below to compare foggy conditions against a clear night.

fog_before fog_after

The Great Lawn in Zilker Park, still moist from a light evening drizzle, produced a dense and static ground fog.

The Zilker Park Great Lawn shrouded in fog at 3AM.

A giant Zilker Park tree against a backdrop of fog at 3AM.

Shooting through the Rain

During one of the rainy weeks in December I made a few attempts at shooting some footage despite the weather. Because of the extra glow in the atmosphere, the lighting, especially as the sun sets, can be an interesting change from a normal cloudless sunset.

This shot is the last frame of a hyperlapse I was shooting:

I particularly like this moment because of the gradient of colors in the sky. The sun had previously set to the left, and the receding scattered blue was moving across the sky, mixing with the orange light from the sodium vapor street lamps that began to dominate the atmospheric glow.

Seconds later I had to abort because my light and pleasant drizzle had turned into a torrential downpour, the likes of which I'd never been caught out in before. My improvised oven-bag-and-tape rain gear would just not do, so I hurriedly packed it all in and made the long 1 mile walk back to where I parked. I definitely discovered the limits of my "water repellant" outer shell and wound up soaked to the bone. This was the first serious rain test of my rucksack, which I'm happy to report did quite well! Aside from the rain that got in during loading, everything inside was dry despite the outer shell being completely soaked.

Fun fact: I recently learned the technical difference between rain and drizzle -- take a look at a puddle; if the water droplets hit with enough energy to create a splash, it's rain. If it just creates a ripple and gets absorbed without ejecting any water, it's drizzle.


A Bridge through the Clouds

The Quadrantids meteor shower was a total bust here in Austin; the radiant point was below the horizon during the predicted peak and a light cirrus layer to the north and a full moon made sure I wouldn't see any stragglers.

However, the silver lining is that my planned shooting site up at Lake Travis gave me an early warning to a layer of lake/river fog flowing through the Colorado River valley from the north and I was able to make it to the 360/Pennybacker Bridge just in time to capture it.