All the rain in Austin

We have had quite a bit of rain in Austin lately!

I do love Austin, but man the summers are hot and dry - and they have been especially dry over the last few years.  We've been in a serious drought for quite a while, and no one was really expecting us to make up a large part of the difference any time soon.

Then the storms hit central Texas.  And they hit HARD.

And admittedly, they have been tragic in many ways.  There have been incredibly sad reports of houses floating down rivers - with the families in them - and there are still people missing.   People have lost their belongings, their homes, their lives.  It's terrible, and I feel for them all.

But I suspect you did not come here for an update on the central Texas flooding.  

As a photographer, I look for the beauty all around me (and obviously am not belittling the terrible experiences that some are having).  Not everyone finds the same things beautiful, and that accounts for our differences in taste.  But I think everyone loves the look (and probably the sound) of flowing water, and who doesn't love a waterfall?

In other words, there is a silver lining in all the recent rain we have had here.  In addition to our lake levels rising considerably (though our largest local lake, Lake Travis, is still about 18 feet shy of being full after rising over 30 feet recently), even the small local creeks are flowing well.  The water is everywhere, even in the "wet weather only" spots.  It's great to see water flowing in our creeks again.  

My favorite local trail/creek system is Bull Creek, which is near my house and the subject of all of today's photos.  When I go out for a trail run (which needs to be more often, Jim!), this is where I go.  We go here on family hikes too.  It's a wonderful little spot.  Not too small to be easy, but not too big to be overwhelming.  I have been here so many times that I feel like it's mine.  It's my home trail.  It's my go-to.

Do you have a spot like that too?

So the other morning I headed out, intent on getting some photos of the waterfalls there.  It was an overcast day - as most of them have been lately - and I knew it would be great for photographing the water.  I never want bright sunshine when I shoot, and especially don't want it reflecting off the water.  That's hard to work with, and sort of ruins the photos for me.  Ok, totally ruins it.  :-)

I also slapped on my variable ND filter, and just did the long exposure thing on all of these photos.  I know it's a bit of a cliche when photographing moving water, but that's only because it looks so good.  Everyone does it because it kicks ass.  Right?  So I did it too - cliches be damned!  Besides, you have to shoot what you want and how you want to shoot it, every time you go out.  You have to please yourself first.  I've done waterfalls without the long exposure, and they just don't look as good to me.

Most of these are 15-50 second exposures.  With the filter and the overcast day (and in some spots I was under trees, further darkening the scene), it just worked out really well.  Or at least it did in my opinion - but it's what I wanted to do, and frankly I was just happy to be out shooting!  

Hope you enjoyed the tour of my favorite local Austin trail, and please send some good thoughts/prayers/whatever you believe in to those who have lost so much in the recent floods.  I've been really fortunate that no one in my family has been affected, but so many have.  My sympathies are with those families.

Thanks for stopping by today!