November is here, which is just about my favorite month with all the anticipation of holidays and cooler weather to come. The Austin area got its first freeze of the season on the morning of Halloween, which is quite remarkable. Seems like I generally remember sweating on Halloween. But, Halloween was a big success this year as I got rid of all my candy. All the kids had to do was come up and ask me for candy, and I handed it to them; weird holiday.
It was also a very heavy week at work and Friday night I was mentally exhausted. So, Saturday morning, being up before 6AM as I often am on Saturdays for some reason, I decided I needed to grab my camera and get out before the sunrise and enjoy shooting some photos.
I headed downtown with no particular site in mind, except that I didn’t want to shoot from the pedestrian bridge again. I thought that with the cold morning, there might be a nice mist on the lake which would photograph well if I got down close. There was a slight mist, but nothing dramatic.
I found a place along the jogging trail where the tops of some rocks are exposed and I set about trying to use this as an interesting foreground. To really get what I wanted, I would have to set my tripod in the water and likely get my feet wet. I wasn’t in the mood for this on a morning that was just above freezing, so I got back a little where my feet could stay dry.
I tried a couple of different focal lengths to try to figure out what would work. The first photo below is shot at 26mm.
The next image was shot at 20mm and 5 minutes later and is actually an HDR merge to preserve some color in the highlights.
There is probably too much junk in the foreground of the 20mm shot, even though I think I got better color using the HDR merge.
I gathered my gear and walked down the path a bit, dodging the dozens of joggers going up and down the trail. Walking around with a backpack, I wonder if they thought I was a homeless guy. The horizon was getting orange with anticipation of the sunrise, so stopped in a clear area near the lake to try to get a silhouette against the orange horizon. There was still the remnants of a mist on the lake and the wind hadn’t picked up yet to disturb the water.
It wasn’t long before the wind picked up and disturbed the water and ruined my reflections. I have found that this generally happens just before dawn. I was hoping that the mist would take on more of a golden glow, but I don’t think it was thick enough on this morning.
I then packed up my gear and slung my camera around my shoulder and went for a hike down the lake. Near the 1st street bridge there is a palm tree (?) and the sun was just beginning to peek through some buildings, so I decided to try to get a sun star through all of this and I was quite successful. I’d like to eventually get this effect through some of the building downtown, but I think that the sun is rising too far south for this right now.
Just stopped down the aperture to f/14 and tried to hold the camera just to get the edge of the sunlight.
At the end of my hike, I found some yellow flowers near the water with some of the buildings in the background and took a few photos. The flowers were in shade, so I brought them up in Ligthroom.
I had been wanting to look at this place to see what the view would be like for a sunset, but I think that it is too full of plants to get what I want.
It was a nice cool morning for a hike. You’re never really alone down along the lake as it seems like there is always someone jogging past you. And the nice thing about the early morning is that it is easy to find a parking place.
Thanks for reading and have a nice November.