Austin's Republic of Texas Motorcycle Rally!
Every June, the Republic of Texas Motorcycle Rally is hosted here in Austin, and it's quite an event. I saw on the news that about 40,000 bikers rode into town for it this year, and some 200,000 folks packed into downtown for the events and festivities. It's literally a full weekend of motorcycle enthusiasts, all congregating here for a loud but fun weekend. It's pretty cool.
It's also the largest bike rally in Texas, and the 5th largest in the country - so yeah, quite a sight. As you can imagine, it's a very popular weekend for photographers to get out and shoot all these awesome bikes that are lined up on literally every street, although the center hub of activity is really around 6th Street in downtown Austin, which is sort of our party street. There's even a big parade down Congress Avenue (our main drag downtown) and it's pretty fun to shoot.
But this year, I didn't make it out for any of the evening shooting. I was actually headed downtown on Friday night for something else, but with all the traffic and congestion due the the ROT Rally, I didn't make it. Live and learn, I guess.
But on Sunday, with the Rally wrapping up and it being Father's Day, I knew I could get up and head downtown really early to find some shots - so that's what I did. I went to several spots around town (and will share those photos in future posts) but hitting 6th Street for the remnants of this biker weekend was high on my list.
I was not disappointed.
Gone were the traffic, congestion and crowds, which is great with me. I don't like those sort of things when I am out taking photos. But as I suspected, I did find some bikes still there on 6th Street, and even a few bikers, even though it was not even 7am yet. I guess there are die-hards in every group.
So I wandered around 6th Street, enjoying the relative quiet and solitude of an otherwise very busy place. And I took some pictures too, but I guess you already knew that, didn't you?
Note: These photos are all 3 exposure HDRs which were taken with my new Olympus OM-D EM-1. I love that camera - it's working well for me. All were created in Photomatix and then several filters were selectively applied in Color Efex Pro. Final touch-up was done in Aperture. From a processing standpoint, these are a little strong in terms of the application of HDR. But hey, they're motorcycles - it just seemed appropriate! :-)