Morning on the Pedernales River

I love photographing rivers - they're just so peaceful, you know?

I think the sound of running water is universally liked, unless you need to pee really bad that is, then you hate it.  But you know what I mean.  It's so soothing and tranquil - it instantly relaxes me.  Even in the midst of some busy-ness, the soft sound of running water immediately has an effect.

I assume that is why I enjoy shooting along rivers, or at least partly why I like it.  When the water is still (say, a big, wide, slow-moving river) then you can capture some great reflections, and I love those.  This is usually something I find in cities.  Here in Austin is a great example.  Portland is the same.  It's pretty common, of course.  So when I travel to a new city, I am always looking for a river near the downtown to try and get some sweet reflections.

But out in nature it's great to shoot too, even when reflections are not possible.  I was out one morning down on the southwest side of Austin, off towards the hill country.  I had been at Hamilton Pool and upon leaving there, decided to head over here to the Pedernales River (that's pronounced Purd'nalis for any non-locals reading this) to grab some shots.  I was loving the awesome sky that morning, and glad I made the stop.  It's great to enjoy scenes like this without even seeing another car go by.


This is from Pedernales Falls State Park, which is about 30 minutes west of Austin.  It's a great place to hike and take pictures, and generally just enjoy being outdoors.  When I went there was a lot of water, as you can see, and it made for some fun picture-taking.  It has been about a year already - boy does time fly!  Anyways, hope your week is off to a good start!

Swift currents

Pedernales Falls State Park - outside of Austin, TX

This is a beautiful place to visit, with lots of cool water shots you can get, interesting rock formations to photograph and climb over, and of course just enjoying being out in nature.

The quiet whispers of nature

I was out shooting one morning with my friend Pete Talke (see his awesome work at and en route stopped at this wonderful little spot to catch the sunrise over the Pedernales River, which winds its way through part of the central Texas hill country.  Sunrise is a favorite of mine for shooting, with the soft light and all that, plus I find it fun to be out in the middle of things when the world around me just seems to be waking up.  It’s almost like everything is new and I am there seeing it for the first time, before anyone else gets to see it.  Maybe that sounds corny, but standing in the middle of nature with no intrusions from the outside world is blissful, just pure awesomeness.  The only noises are those quiet whispers of nature, the river currents passing by, and the soft clicking of a Nikon.

Sunrise on the Pedernales

One morning recently I went on a photowalk with my good buddy Pete Talke - check out his stuff if you haven't yet as he does great work.  Anyways, we were going on a tour of Westcave Preserve outside of Austin.  It's a beautiful place and I will share some photos soon.  Pete told me that there is a nice spot to stop and photograph the Pedernales River (that's pronounced purd-nal-us to those not from around here) so being an early riser and a nature guy, I headed out so I could catch some of that soft morning light.  It was a beautiful morning and nature rewarded my earliness with some nice clouds too!  I really enjoy being outdoors, somewhere remote, and holding a camera.  It's like the perfect storm for HDR!

This is a 6 exposure HDR taken at f/11 with exposures from+2 to -3.  I merged them in Photomatix and made my typical adjustments in PSE and Aperture.