On Sunday morning I went down to Austin. The two forecasts that I looked at said that the clouds would break before dawn. Driving down, I didn’t see clouds parting but I kept up hope. I got to the park and it was still cloudy, but I decided to go out on the pedestrian bridge and see what I could do. There was another photographer there doing a time-lapsed movie that I saw on instagram and it turned out really well (jayanneboza on instagram if you want to go check it out). I set up and tried to figure out something to do.
I was hoping for sunrise through the buildings downtown, but that was out of the question. As sunrise arrived, the clouds still hung over the city. I didn’t really get a good black and white as the clouds were gray and not very contrasted. I decided to try some long exposures to see what that would do to the sky and water.
The below photo is a 61 second exposure taken about 20 minutes after sunrise. There was a freight train crossing the bridge and I got a really nice motion blur effect with the freight train.
This was shot using a 10-stop ND filter and timed on my phone. I also used long exposure noise reduction on the camera, which makes the photo take twice as long to take, but you get a lot less noise. In the past I have removed the hand rail in Photoshop, but I didn’t bother this time as it doesn’t really detract. Blurring the gray clouds out with the long exposure is an improvement in my opinion as well.
Construction has finished on the tall building on the left half of the frame. It has been covered with construction cranes in my previous outings, so it is nice to see it complete. The trees are long past fall foliage peak color and are generally brown now.
I next went down the pedestrian bridge a bit to get a leading lines photo. I thought that the tree branches being partially barren would open up the scene a little and make a decent photo. I originally wanted to use the lights of the bridge lamps to dot the path across the bridge, but they shut off just as I was setting up.
There wasn’t a lot of foot traffic and I didn’t have any trouble setting up and getting the shot that I wanted. I was unsure about all of the leaves on the path, but I like the way they turned out. And I like the tall building framed in the background.
I went up closer to a lamp post and hoped to make something of the posts leading off in the distance. Unfortunately the lamps were off by now and I really would have like that detail.
In hindsight, the wide angle lens made the posts in the background compressed and fade away quickly into the background and I probably should have tried to compose this from a distance with a longer focal length. Also, if the lamps had been lit, they would actually read against the background, so maybe I will come back and try this earlier in the day when they are still lit.
It wasn’t a wasted morning. I like my blurred train photo quite a bit.
Next I will be off to go camping in Big Bend National Park out in west Texas near the border with Mexico. I plan on doing a lot of hiking, enjoying the scenery, and hopefully snapping a few photos. Thanks for reading.