The Austonian

The Austonian is a residential skyscraper in downtown Austin, and a cool looking building in my opinion.  At 683 feet tall with 56 floors, the building is the tallest in Austin and the tallest all-residential building in the state of Texas (take that Dallas and Houston heehee).  It also happens to be the tallest all-residential building west of the Mississippi.  Pretty cool for a sleepy little hippie town like Austin.  Guess we're not sleepy or little anymore - but we're still hippie, so that's good.  Despite all the growth that Austin has experienced, we continue to maintain that same old vibe we have had for years - a laid back town, lots of arts and entertainment, great outdoor activities of all sorts, and a tolerance for all types of things from traditional to eclectic (and we have a lot of eclectic!).  Keep Austin Weird is the town motto, and it fits.

Night falls on Austin

Taken on my recent photowalk in downtown Austin with all my Flickr buddies...had a great time.  It is hard to beat taking photos, talking with great people about photography, and a beautiful evening.  We wandered around the edge of the lake (technically the Colorado River) for a bit and snapped a few.  I also did this same scene in HDR, but feel like it didn't give me any benefits over this version, which is a single 5 second exposure at f/5.6.  Sometimes the simple approach is the best, at least for me. 

Austin winter night

The skyline here in Austin is ever-changing.  It seems every time I look, there is a new project getting started.  We have been fortunate that although the economic climate did slow down some things here, the worst of it seems to have passed over us.  The city has continued to grow and prosper, which is both a good thing and a challenging one.  Future growth projections for this area are still strong.  But, at the root of it all, Austin is still a cool, laid-back, hippie sort of town - and that is a wonderful thing.

The project underway that you see on the left (with the 2 cranes) is the W Hotel and Residences, which will also host a new stage for the long-running music show Austin City Limits.  The other project, which literally towers over the rest of town, is The Austonian.  It is nearly complete and will be the largest residential development in Texas (and probably other states too!).  It is a beautiful building.  I am looking forward to these both being finished, so that I can come back and get a shot of the skyline of Austin without any cranes in it.   

This was a 4 exposure HDR (-2, -1, 0, +1), shot at f/6.3.  The exposures were 3 seconds, 5 seconds, 10 seconds, and 28 seconds.  After those 4 it seemed I had enough light to work with.  One of my goals for 2010 regarding my photography is to improve my HDR processing skills, and in particular to ensure that my nighttime HDR shots come out well.  I feel like this shot is a good step in the right direction.

Fall sunrise in Austin

We are finally getting nicer temps down here in steamy Austin, which is nice.  I love this time of year and the fall weather is the biggest reason why I do.  This shot shows the Austin skyline on a recent morning.  You can see that The Austonian (the big one on the right with the crane on top) is nearing completion.  I believe the one in the middle under construction is the new W Hotel and Residences.  The W will also include a new home for Austin City Limits, the popular music show filmed here.  The trees in front prevent you from seeing Town Lake (aka Lady Bird Lake) which has a great hike and bike trail around it and runs through the middle of downtown.  Austin is a cool town, if you get a chance come check us out.

Austin skyline in B&W

This shot of Austin was taken earlier this summer.  There has been a lot of construction, with new high-rise developments continuing to go up.  At some point when this development is complete, I plan to go back and get a nice HDR shot of the future Austin skyline.  Meanwhile, you will continue to see cranes at work.

Sunrise on the Austin skyline

This is the Austin skyline, taken from the Lamar Street pedestrian bridge at about 7:15am on a recent weekend morning.  The sun has yet to peek out from behind the buildings, so there is still that early morning warm glow that makes you feel good.  The building boom continues in downtown Austin, with the new W Hotel and Residences under construction (though not seen in this photo) and of course The Austonian, which is that large one sort of in the center.  Some of these condos go for several million dollars - where are people getting this money?   

Good morning, Austin

Austin has a nice skyline in my opinion, and it is growing more almost everyday.  You can see the cranes at work in the distance.  The large building going up is The Austonian, a 55 story residential tower with luxury condos and some amazing views.  When finished later this year, it will tower over everything else in town.  Austin has grown a lot over the years, and folks have moved here from all sorts of places, but we are still a cool hippie town at heart.  The town motto is "Keep Austin Weird" which is a plea to support local businesses.  I think it makes a difference and helps us maintain our uniqueness.