As I mentioned previously, I had the good fortune to witness this year's 4th of July show in downtown Austin from the 20th floor of a residential highrise.  This was the view.  Allow me to state the obvious:  this view is awesome.  I took a whole bunch of shots of the fireworks show, but I also got some cool cityscapes from angles that I had never before seen.  I really enjoy city shots and when you can get 20 stories above it all, it makes all the difference in the world.  This was the scene while folks waited on the fireworks show to begin.  There must be thousands of folks over there in front of the Long Center, not to mention all the folks on boats.  It was cool to see it all from up high.  More shots from this spot to come... 

Fairy dust

I have to admit - I am a bokeh guy.  I just love it.  I am early in my learning but I sure am having fun with it.  Something about getting unfocused - isn't that contrary to your typical photographic advice? - is just so cool to me.  It's like here's an idea - I know that to be a great photographer you have to focus in on your subject  - pun both intended and not - but I am going to completely break all the rules of photography (and logic for that matter) and focus on - get this - nothing.   The whole picture will be blurry.  It doesn't really make any sense, does it?  Nonetheless, I like it.  So what the heck.  Here's a pure bokeh goodness shot of The Long Center in Austin, with the lights reflected in the lake.  See?  That's cool, right?

Night in the city

This is a view of Austin, taken a couple of days before Christmas, from the top of the parking garage at The Long Center.  I happened to park there by accident, and decided to drive to the top to check on the view.  It turns out there was a performance that evening, so the garage was pretty full, and since I was trying to park there anyways it made sense to head to the top.  Well, this is the view.  I really liked it.  It was crazy cold so I was happy to get my shot done and back in the car!  Although I like night shots that include light trails from passing cars, I did not get any as it was pretty quiet out that evening.  Nonetheless, I sort of like the deserted feeling of the shot, with no passing cars.  It's like they lit up the city for me to take shots of it!

This is a 3 exposure HDR shot at f/6.3, with exposures of -1, 0, and +1.  I created the HDR in Photomatix and then made adjustments in PSE and Topaz Adjust.

The Long Center


This is The Long Center for the Performing Arts in Austin.  It's a great place and we make a point to go at the very least to see The Nutcracker every Christmas (though there are many great events here).  I enjoy looking at the building because it is unique and from this angle I think it looks sort of like a spaceship.  I was hoping for some dramatic skies on the morning that I took this, but as you can see it was perfectly beautiful outside, so who could complain about that?