Merry Austin Christmas

I hope you had a nice Christmas; I did. A couple of days after Christmas, I went downtown at around sunset to shoot some pictures of the Christmas tree in front of the Texas Capitol. It is a large tree with light patterns that change every couple of minutes. I wanted to frame it with the capitol in the background.

I first cranked up the ISO to walk out in the crosswalk and take some test frames. My plan was then to set up my tripod and go out to the middle of Congress Avenue during the crossing period and get a couple of shots. Below is one of my high-ISO test frames and I think that it came out well, though you can see the noise in the sky as I didn’t apply any correction in Lightroom. This is one of the few times when I find that I need a faster lens than f/4.

Capitol Building Christmas Tree in Austin Texas
Nikon D750 + 24-120, f/4; 55mm, f/4, 1/125s, ISO3200

A few minutes later I took a similar shot on my tripod. As you can see, the light patterns are different and I didn’t quite get it lined up properly with the capitol dome. There is also a lot of glare from the traffic light on my lens, but nothing to be done about that.

Texas Capitol Christmas Tree in Austin
Nikon D750 + 24-120, f/4; 48mm, f/4, 1s, ISO100

The below pictures are the reverse angle with some of downtown in the background. I did have to wait for people to move out of the frame as there were a lot of people walking around.

Texas Capitol Christmas Tree in Austin
Nikon D750 + 24-120mm, f/4; 38mm, f/4, 3s, ISO100
Texas Capitol Christmas Tree in Austin
Nikon D750 + 24-120mm, f/4; 24mm, f/4, 0.8s, ISO100

I toyed with the idea of HDR, but that wasn’t really doing anything for me.

Lastly, I wandered down Congress a block and did the shot from the middle of the street again. This time the tree fills much less of the frame. I was able to get out of the way of the traffic lights to reduce the red glare in the shot. The sky is mostly black by this time.

Texas Capitol with Christmas Tree in Austin
Nikon D750 + 24-120mm, f/4; 65mm, f/4, 1s, ISO100

Merry Christmas from Austin Texas. I have had a good year blogging and will continue on in the new year. Thanks for reading and please leave a comment if you like.

5 thoughts on “Merry Austin Christmas

    1. Thanks, it is very nice to hear these comments. I enjoy doing this sort of thing because it gets me out of the house and interested in something besides work and kids, not that I don’t like those things.

      I didn’t spend much time chasing Christmas lights this year. Georgetown, to the north of Austin, is usually nicely decorated around the courthouse. I did want to see about this tree and the capitol though. I think I generally got what I wanted with the last shot, but it could have been earlier before the sky went black.

      Liked by 1 person

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