The Texas State Capitol building

This is the Texas State Capitol located here in Austin and it’s a hell of a big building and lots of fun to shoot.  If you follow my page on FB, I shared an iPhone pic last week from my photo outing here.  I have taken innumerable shots of the Capitol over the years, and have never really liked anything that I have gotten.  That’s ok really - we all have our own albatross, if you will.  It’s just that THIS albatross is the most famous building in Austin, and everyone else has great shots of it haunted me, sort of.

Finally, after several years and multiple attempts, I am proud of this shot.  It’s still not the  fully dramatic sunset that I want to get here some time, but at least the light is decent and the skies are somewhat interesting.  All my previous shots have been under crappy light and bland, boring skies - so in comparison, this one is pretty stellar.  :-)

Anyways, now that I finally have a decent Capitol shot I feel a little lighter and happier about the whole thing.  Funny, I never really knew I felt that way until now.  Regardless, that’s one more Austin spot off my list!

Sunrise on the Oklahoma Capitol

When I was in OKC for business, I got up early one morning to see if I could catch the sunrise, and I also wanted to see about getting some shots of their Capitol building.  I like Capitol buildings, and I like morning light, so it made for a great combo.  Only problem was that it was really cold!  Anyways, I did manage to get a few shots in and around the Capitol, which is a nice place, and upon my departure I was rounding the building from the back when I saw this scene.  I just had to get it.

Arches and marble

The inside of the Indiana Statehouse is very impressive.  I took a 30 minute detour through it when I was in Indy a while back and was glad that I did.  It just screams HDR.  There are 3 levels and all this marble, and all these columns and arches - it's worth a visit, camera in hand or not.  It is not a large structure - being from Austin I am used to a huge Capitol complex like ours - but it is beautiful and I am glad I squeezed in a few moments there, and doubly so that I had the camera!

Top of the Statehouse

Downtown Indy is rather likable, at least to me.  There are a lot of fountains and memorials and some cool buildings to shoot.  If you get a chance, swing by their State Capitol building too.  It’s really nice, but of course I am partial to these sorts of things.  After snapping a bunch of shots of the interior, I turned around and fired off one more while walking away.  Unfortunately, it was late in the day and the sky was cloudless and colorless...but nevertheless I like the dome.  Domes are cool.

Approaching the Colorado Capitol

Due to all my recent travels (San Diego, Dallas, Tampa) and general life-and-work-busyness, I had almost forgotten about a few of my trips earlier this year such as Denver, Indy, Kansas City and San Fran - and all the photos I took on those trips.  Heck, I even have lots of Austin shots still to get to.  Plus, with my new software purchases I have become a little distracted, playing around with them and having fun.  So, I am trying to go back and work on some images that have been just sitting there in my Aperture library, like this one - just waiting for some attention.  I tend to take Trey Ratcliff’s advice and not process everything immediately after getting back from a trip.  It’s fun to find little surprises in your photo collection that you had forgotten about.  What about you?  

I took this earlier in the summer up in Denver.  I got up really early one morning and experienced a wonderful blue hour and sunrise while walking around the State Capitol and other parts of downtown.  I still maintain my opinion that morning is the best time to shoot when in urban areas, especially if they are popular with tourists.  Tourists are usually up late at night, so in the morning you get great light and no crowds!

The Indiana Statehouse

I have been to Indianapolis many times, but not until my trip last week did I ever go inside their State Capitol, the Indiana Statehouse.  When I arrived, I first had to go through security, but they let me know that it was ok to take photos inside, so I was glad to hear that.  I proceeded down a hallway, and then the interior opened up and I nearly dropped my camera.  It is gorgeous.  The interior is 3 stories high and I walked all around, taking shots here and there and generally just enjoying the heck out of it.  What a beautiful place.  This shot is on the 3rd floor which as you can see had these cool skylights in the ceiling, allowing in some light and providing a nice blue color to contrast with the bright golden tones all around.  Having such a wonderful State Capitol in Austin, I sometimes forget that other places have equally stunning and interesting Capitol buildings, so if you ever get to Indy be sure and spend a little time at their Statehouse, and bring your camera!

Blue hour, golden dome

As you can probably tell from many of my recent posts, my new favorite time to shoot is blue hour, either morning or evening.  I love the color blue anyways and the light is so soft that it just makes everything seem extra peaceful.   In the case of this photo, it was morning and I was in Denver, CO.  Denver is a nice town and I have been there before on business, but have never really seen the downtown area until this week.  I spent the first half of this week up there and really enjoyed it.  I was there for work, and didn’t have much time for photography, but was able to squeeze in a 2 hour photo walk Wednesday morning (you get lots of time to shoot when you wake up at 5am!) before I had to go mountain biking (rough day, huh?).  I had read about their State Capitol and it seemed as though the building and the surrounding area were worthy of a photo excursion, so I got up early to get ahead of the sunrise and headed out.  It was about a 10 minute walk from my hotel so I got there just in time to set up for this shot - my first of the morning - and blue hour was in full swing.  If you were curious what the Colorado State Capitol looks like at 5:45am on a beautiful summer morning - this is it!

I have a bunch more shots from this trip and will sprinkle more of them in as I get time to process them all.  Thanks for stopping by!

Darkness on the Texas Capitol

Last night was an interesting experience.  Trey Ratcliff of fame hosted a PhotoWalk around downtown Austin.  This is essentially a meet-up of a bunch of photo enthusiasts, and we walk around, take pictures, and talk about photography.  Probably sounds boring to some of you but it is great fun.  Trey is a great artist and his popularity resulted in over 100 people at the event.  I am sure it looked crazy with all these folks with cameras and tripods, like some tourist event gone awry.  Anyways, we headed from the Driskill Hotel up to the Texas State Capitol and I fired off a bunch of shots. This is the first one I have had time to work on but wanted to post it and thank Trey for hosting a fine event.  He was like the Pied Piper of HDR, walking around with all of us in tow.

Texas State Capitol, 6am

I got this shot at 6am on a recent morning. The sky started really dark and prior to dawn turned this amazing deep blue color. So for all you folks that are smart enough to sleep in, here is what it looks like in the wee hours of the morning. This is a single image, 30 second shutter speed.

Texas State Capitol

This is our State Capitol building here in Austin, Texas. It is constructed of pink granite and is actually 14 feet taller than the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. I caught this image early one morning as the sun was beginning its ascent. I liked the angle of the shot since it incorporated the statue of the cowboy and the cannon, both things that have been widely used in Texas. :)

In a 2008 poll of the American Institute of Architects, it was ranked the #1 State Capitol. Though difficult to see, the statue atop the Capitol is called "The Goddess of Liberty".