If you have ever been to Austin, you've probably made it to 6th Street (or at least part of it).
6th Street is the big, popular party street in downtown Austin - sort of like our version of Bourbon Street. It's lined with bars and clubs, and on weekend nights (and frankly, weeknights too) you can find lots of live music and countless opportunities to get a drink. It's fun.
But the section of 6th Street where most of this happens is actually West 6th Street. That's the well-known, popular, crowded section of it. However, the street itself actually crosses under the Interstate and continues heading East for a ways.
That eastern portion of the street used to be pretty much nothing, back in the day. But with the ongoing growth of the city and the proximity to downtown, it was just a matter of time before this area started getting gentrified. For years it was just a bunch of run-down looking sort of stuff. Nothing fancy, and to my knowledge, rarely visited by anyone.
But that's changed quite a bit, and more and more restaurants, bars, clubs and shops have moved in over here, and it's a pretty cool spot. In fact it's really cool. It still retains that old Austin laid back vibe and hippie charm, and it is a little grungier than the core 6th Street area that everyone else goes to. For me, that's part of the attraction.
Last Friday night, there was a huge Drink & Click event held just a couple of blocks away from here, and coincidentally it was also the day that the huge SXSW festival kicked off here in town. So, concerned I would be stuck in traffic for hours trying to get there, I left home in the early afternoon and planned to meet up and shoot with my friend Mike Boening of Mirrorless Minutes, who was in town for the Drink & Click event.
We wandered up and down East 6th Street for a while, and today's pics are the result of that walk. I had been here on and off over the years to shoot, but things have changed much since my last visit, and I have to admit I found this quite enjoyable. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but I like a bit of grunge and grit when I am out in spots like this.
Also, I pushed the pixels a little bit in processing, as it felt like the right thing to do, considering the subject matter. I shot all of these with my prime lens, the lovely and talented little 28mm f/2 and I processed everything in Aurora HDR Pro, which is my latest software tool and let me tell you, it's incredible. You can watch me give a tour of the product in a video here: