Blue hour on the 4th of July

Ok, back to blue hour!  This is the 4th and final shot in a mini-series of 4 photos of the W Austin Hotel taken at various times (and various light conditions) on the 4th of July - and this one is by far my favorite.  I obviously have a bias towards blue hour, as you can tell from my previous posts, but all the street lights, building lights, soft sunset colors in the sky and everything else just made this shot for me.  Thanks for visiting!

Nature's show on the 4th of July

Though everyone enjoys the fireworks on the 4th of July, including me, it is hard to not be impressed when Mother Nature decides to kick off the evening with a show of her own.  This is the 3rd shot (out of 4) of a mini-series taken on the 4th of July from this same spot, of basically the same thing.  That is the W Austin Hotel and I was just taken by the beauty and color of the sky.  Hope you enjoy!

Golden hour on the 4th of July

This is the second shot (out of 4) of a mini-series of the W Austin Hotel taken from an adjacent high rise in downtown Austin on the 4th of July.  The fireworks show was excellent and the view was stellar.  The first shot was a full sunset shot and this one is what I would call post-sunset or golden hour.  In reality they were taken only about 15 minutes apart.  The sun had just dropped over the distant hills but there was still a nice warm light all around.  The clouds were doing some cool stuff, and were very colorful, so I was quite happy to have them hanging around.  The next shot coming in the series is a slightly different composition (this one and the first are nearly identical) - I turned to the right a bit to capture some more clouds, which were a brilliant pink color.  That shot is coming next week, so please come back again!  Thanks for the visits and support!

This is a 6 exposure HDR taken at f/10, with exposures from -3 to +2.  They were merged into an HDR in Photomatix and adjusted in PSE and Aperture.

Sunset of the 4th of July

As I mentioned previously, I had the good fortune to get on the 20th floor of an apartment building in downtown Austin for the 4th of July to watch the fireworks.  It was a great show.  But as much as I enjoy shooting fireworks, I enjoy shooting cityscapes and skylines even more.  If you look through my photostream I think you will see quite a few shots of skylines - I just love them for some reason.  Well, when I got up to the apartment I was stunned at the view.  This is looking west (obviously the direction you want to face for a sunset) but also gives a nice view of the river (or lake, whatever you choose to call it) and the new building on the right is the brand new W Austin Hotel and Residences.  It is nearing completion - at least the outside is - and is the newest addition to our growing skyline.  The primary investor is a former LA Laker known as "Magic" and the long-running music show "Austin City Limits" will have its new home there.  It just so happens that the architect that designed it is a friend of mine, so that gets me a little fired up too (for his sake) since I like to see locals "do good".  Plus, I just love architecture (which may be part of my skyline addiction).  Anyhoo, I took several shots from this balcony, overlooking the W Austin Hotel, and will share them over the coming weeks.  Essentially each composition is about the same since there wasn't much room to roam up there on a balcony, but it is interesting to see how the light changes from shot to shot, as it goes from sunset to post-sunset, to pinkish-blue and then finally full on into blue hour.  Stay tuned for those photos and hope you enjoy the view from up here!