I had the chance to go downtown for an evening walk, and ending up by the Lavaca Street Bar located between 4th & 5th streets. Looking across the street I saw a construction site wrapping up for the day. The various cranes stood silhouetted by the setting sun. The downtown construction boom continues as an average of 100 people a day move to Austin.
I was born in Austin, and have seen it transition over the past 40+ years. We lived just east of IH-35 off E. 15th street and I went through downtown each week to get to & from school until junior high. I can recall taking a picture of downtown with my Kodak Disc camera in the late 70’s from the IH-35 frontage road off 11th & 12th streets. Not sure what happened to the photo, but maybe it will resurface someday. Austin was simpler to live in back then. Yes, we were (maybe still are?) the Live Music Capital of the World which is something that I couldn’t appreciate as a kid and young teen. Other cities in Texas seemed have more attractions than Austin. Dallas had Six Flags, Houston had Astroworld (Now closed), and New Braunfels had Schlitterbahn for example. We had Zilker Park, Barton Springs Pool, Town Lake (Now Lady Bird Lake) and AquaFest.
Yes, much has changed!
Austin became the “perfect storm” for growth as the technology & creative industries began their presence in the city. Companies like IBM, Motorola, AMD, and Sematech were part of Austin years ago, and led to companies like Apple, Google, Facebook having operations here. In 1987, the SXSW Music Festival (which grew to include the Interactive & Film portions) had their 1st event, in 2002 Austin City Limits started their annual music festival, and in 2012 F1 Racing came to Austin at the Circuit of America’s track. People came to visit, fell in love with Austin, and began moved here. They haven’t stopped since.
It’s bittersweet for me.
As Austin explodes the cost of living has made the cost of living skyrocket, and the traffic during rush hour is a slow death at times. Thankfully, we still live in one of the safest cities to live in despite it’s growth. So the cranes that dominate the skyline will transition into new buildings filled with new people. There are those who can live in these new towers, and those like myself who can only look up at them. Perhaps, at some point things will even out, but until then we appreciate the good over the bad. It could be worse! Detroit anyone?
As for the image. I am still trying to work on situations when light is stronger between background/foreground subjects. Trying to expose for the highlights but maintaining some detail in the shadows. This is part of learning my gear, and how far I can go. Practice, Practice, Practice! That seems to be the key to growing in this passion. One thing for sure is the Austin skyline will change, and provide new Urban Landscape shots in the future. Just trying to grow with it.
Fujifilm X-Pro2,XF23mmF1.4 R
- 23.0 mm
- ISO 200
- Edited in LR6