Sunday Morning Downtown

It’s Sunday morning, the first almost cool Sunday morning of Fall, so I decided to head to downtown Austin with my camera gear just before sunrise and explore a bit. Sunday mornings are very peaceful downtown, and you can park where you want and have the run of the place. Mainly just joggers and a few guys like me running around with cameras.

My first goal was to go down to the park across Lady Bird Lake from downtown and try to get some nice reflections and the deep blue predawn sky. The wind was very calm and I was hoping this meant I would get some nice reflections in the lake. The shot below is a 15 second exposure at 16mm. The sky is deep blue with the sun just beneath the horizon and the 1st street bridge lights are reflected across the water.

Downtown Austin before dawn

I wandered down under the 1st street bridge to try to get the skyline reflected in the lake. I thought framing the building with the under-structure of the bridge would be a nice contrast, especially as my sky is mostly blown out in this picture. The lights of downtown reflect nicely in the lake.

Downtown Austin before dawn

I went up and down the shore a bit and was stymied by trees, so I went across the bridge to see what I would find. The sky was overwhelming the buildings at this point as the sun is nearly on the horizon so I decide to do this picture using HDR (4 exposures). I like the way this turned out with the bright yellows just above the Congress Avenue bridge, and the building reflected across the lake.

Downtown Austin before dawn HDR

This was as high as my tripod would go and I still caught a little bit of railing in the picture blocking the bottom of the reflections.

I also got a close-up of the Frost Bank tower framed by some other buildings that I thought turned out well.

Downtown Austin

I walked around a bit more and decided to get in the car and head up and down Congress Avenue as it has the Capitol on one end and I like to photograph it. Another nice thing about Sunday mornings downtown is that there is very little traffic. I can go out in the crosswalk during a red light and shoot several pictures without a lot of cars in the way. This first shot is from across the Congress Avenue bridge, South of the Capitol.


And this next one is closer to the Capitol. You can see the street is mostly vacant at this hour. The morning sun is above the horizon and illuminating the East side of the rotunda. This also gives you an idea of how well synchronized the traffic lights are downtown.

Capitol Building in Austin Texas at sunrise

I also took a close-up of these windows reflecting the morning sky, attempting to capture a repeating pattern.

Building in downtown Austin

That was my nice Sunday morning in downtown. Leave a comment if you like.


More Austin skyline pictures here: Austin at Dawn and Austin Skyline


5 thoughts on “Sunday Morning Downtown

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