Restaurants and hippies and neon, oh my!
I love shooting down along South Congress Avenue here in Austin. It's sort of the center of the "Keep Austin Weird" vibe, by which I mean it's an interesting sort of hippie part of town. It's awesome, and I love heading down there. It's just fun, and as you can imagine, it's a very popular part of town for locals and visitors alike.
There are cool shops and restaurants, lots of food trucks, some great graffiti and one of my loves - neon signs. In my early years of photography, I didn't get down here too often. I'm not sure why, but I only came down here once or twice in several years. But over the last couple of years, I have been down here many times with the camera and always walk away with shots I like. Perhaps I am making up for lost time!
By the way, I have been experimenting more and more with Pinterest, and am enjoying it. I am finding some great stuff (content) there, and have been sharing more and more of my own things there. So I created this image on the right which is "Pinterest-sized" and thus easier to pin there. Pin away my friends! :-)
I also enabled direct pinning to Pinterest with all my images, so you can just hover over an image and a "Pin It" graphic pops up on the top left corner.
I plan to keep experimenting with Pinterest and should I find enough good info and tips to share with you, I will do so here. If you are interested, you can find me here.
Anyways, back to this post...South Congress Avenue.
In my opinion, sunrise is the best time to shoot here, because you can avoid the crowds and traffic, and can literally stand in the middle of the street for a shot if you need to. I've done that many times, and will do it again. Some shots just require that you stand in the middle of the road. Don't try that in the evenings, though. You might get crushed!
But today's post is about an evening shoot I did there. I had been out that day shooting around a few spots here in town (trying to get things off my never-ending list!), and then met up with my wife and daughter for dinner nearby. After dinner, I headed out for a little bit more shooting, which is when I grabbed all these shots. It was mid-week so although it was somewhat busy, it wasn't weekend-crazy-busy.
For some reason, I don't normally shoot much at night. Usually I shoot from sunset on through blue hour, but once darkness falls I tend to call it a day. I'm not sure why, really. It's just something I have done for a long time. Anyways, I made an exception this time and I'm glad that I did. It's good to change things up and do something different at times.
While sunrise is my preference, the evenings along South Congress are pretty awesome too. Yeah, you get lots of folks in the photos, but it's still a very interesting place with a lot of photo opportunities. I tried to work around the crowds as best I could, but it's unavoidable. If you enjoy street photography then you will love it here in the evenings (especially weekends) - lots of interesting people and things going on. It's not really my thing, but I understand the attraction of it.
But what is my thing? Street scenes, neon signs and things like that. So yeah, this is a kind of heaven for me. It has all that and more. It's wonderful for HDR (which is what most of these shots are, except for the neon signs which are single exposures) and with all the colors in the area, you can come up with some pretty interesting stuff!
And if you are planning a trip to Austin, take a look at my list here on the blog for all the best spots in town - there's a lot to shoot here. South Congress Avenue is definitely on the list, and frankly, it's high on my personal list of the best places to shoot here. Be sure and visit this location if you make it to Austin!