The Bus Stop

The Bus Stop

 

Downtown Austin is a special place for me. Not just because I was born here, but also because it has been part of my life at various times. I really do enjoy the mountains & beaches, but I am city person at heart. There is something about the concrete & steel along with the movement & activity. When possible; it is where I go to walk, process things, and find a calmness amid chaos. As a street photographer, downtown is the gold mine where I dig and search for photographic gold. I love being there at sunrise to see the city wake up from its slumber. To see the sun’s rays, begin to shine on city streets, and buildings while leaving sections in dark shadows. To see people, begin their day before some of us even wake up.  I still have a fear of photographing people closely, but have improved over time. The XF23mm (35mm FF Equivalent) is on my camera most of the time, and the wider field of view forces me closer to my subjects. To be more intimate, and in the space they occupy. There are techniques to get closer such as “shooting from the hip.” Although, I have used that technique I prefer to use my viewfinder, and not try to hide my shot when possible.

As in the image above. There is a good possibility they began their commute when it was still dark. Buses are something I am familiar with. In elementary & middle school, I would cut across town on the city bus. Stopping sometimes to visit Lammes Candies on Congress Avenue to get red licorice rope. It’s a Starbucks now. Later in life I had to ride the bus to get around at times, and I would pass through downtown each day to get to work & back. I know that riding the bus has its drawbacks, but if you want to meet real people I recommend you ride the bus on occasion. As I walked pass the bus stop I paused and took a couple of shots for this image. I like how the people are standing next to each other along with the lines of the street & buildings. It nice to capture that moment, to briefly be there in the moment, and then continue in our own directions. Is this photographic gold? No, not really. But it a genuine moment in world of fake people, and moments. I will take it!

Details:

 

  • Fujifilm X-Pro2, XF23mmF1.4 R
  • ƒ/5.6
  • 23.0 mm
  • 1/250
  • ISO 250
  • Edited in LR6

 

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Reflections of UT

Reflections of UT

Last month I participated in one of the many photowalks held around the world for the Scott Kelby WorldWide Photowalk event. It’s always great to get out for these photowalks when I can. Usually, you get to meet new photographers and are challenged to see beyond the obvious. The walk I attended covered a portion of the University of Texas campus here in Austin. While it is somewhat obvious I found this shot at a large fountain located next to the LBJ library. The fountain was turned off which provided a nice reflective surface for the background. The main focal point is the UT Tower located near the center with DKR stadium on the left, and the Bass Concert Hall on the right.

Austin is constantly changing, and that is my appeal for the image itself. To document the here & now. Who knows what this view might look like in the next 20 years!

Details:

 

  • Fujifilm X-Pro2, XF23mmF1.4 R
  • ƒ/13.0
  • 23.0 mm
  • 1/500
  • ISO 200
  • Edited in LR6

 

 

Two Step Time

Two Step Time

This is another shot from our trip to Nashville this year. I was able to get a few shots downtown after the concert we traveled there to see. You never know what you will come across so you have to keep observing your surroundings. In this case, a young couple going out for the night. Not a white guy, and a black girl but just a couple appearing  to be true to themselves. Authentic!

I would have loved to chat, and get to know them a little. I bet they have an interesting story. I can only hope that in some way the pictures that I take tell a part of the story.  Or at least make you wonder. Perhaps, in this case that we might not be as racially divided as we think.

Details:

 

  • Fujifilm X-Pro2,XF23mmF1.4 R
  • ƒ/1.4
  • 23.0 mm
  • 1/125
  • ISO 2000
  • Edited in LR6

 

NashVegas

NashVegas

This is from our second trip to Nashville, TN. We took a stroll down Broadway after seeing Tim McGraw & Faith Hill concert at the Bridgestone arena downtown. It’s Saturday night. The place is alive with the glow of neon, live music, and party goers. The area is very similar to the 6th street entertainment district (Dirty 6th) in my hometown of Austin. But has more neon, and is open to traffic among other things. Walking around you see a diverse group of people and characters. It’s amazing what you can hear and observe.

I wasn’t able to get a good shot of Broadway at night when we visited the first time. There is only so much time, and my wife was patient of enough to let me roam a bit looking for images after the show. I managed to get this shot in as a couple was walking by. It would have been nice to have a wider lens but it worked out overall. I like the mood, and feel. As I have said before. Nashville does not disappoint. If you get a chance to visit then do so! You won’t regret it.

Viva NashVegas!

Details:

  • Fujifilm X-Pro2, XF23mmF1.4 R
  • ƒ/1.4
  • 23.0 mm
  • 1/125
  • ISO 200
  • Edited in LR6

 

Barista Parlor

Barista Parlor-3

I am all about going local when possible. This especially makes sense when going for coffee. Call it being a snob, hipster or what have you but nothing beats a really good local coffeeshop. Starbuck’s has managed to do this for the mass markets by providing an experience, and consistency. But generally, local shops offer so much more. They offer a unique experience, and a craftsman like approach in converting beans to flavorful goodness.

This brings me to traveling which I love to do. I make it a point to map out ahead of time the best local coffeeshops located in whatever city we are going to visit. On a previous post, I talked about my wife and I making our second visit to Nashville, TN. This brings me to Barista Parlor; a local coffee shop located there. I read about this shop before traveling to the city the first time, but wasn’t able to pay a visit. Luckily, we stayed at an Airbnb nearby by this time.

The coffee shop sits in a repurposed garage, and maintains it’s industrial feel. A brightly colored exterior, various vintage motorcycles on display, and a wide selection of vinyl records help create the feel. But ultimately, its the people & coffee that put the cake under the icing. My wife had a flavorful Chemex brew, and I had a delicious cappuccino along with our breakfast choices. It was amazing!

As expected, this place did not disappoint! I purchased a t-shirt as a souvenir, and snagged a few pictures to remember this gem by. If you ever make to Nashville then a visit to this place is a must!  Below are a few more shots.

 

 

Details:

 

  • Fujifilm X-Pro2, XF23mmF1.4 R
  • ƒ/5.6
  • 23.0 mm
  • 1/500
  • ISO 800
  • Edited in LR6

 

In the Fountains

In the Fountains

My wife and I recently visited Nashville, TN for the weekend to see Tim McGraw & Faith Hill in concert. This is our second visit to Nashville in a couple of years, and we have become fond of this particular city. There is just so much that appeals to us. My wife likes to call the city; Austin’s older & more refined sister. But, obviously more conservative. For me of course, this presents a great opportunity to capture images. We have stayed in different sections of town each time, and have been able visit new places each time during our stay. Both the typical tourist attractions, and but best of all the local spots.

On the last day of our stay we visited Bicentennial Park near downtown. We missed it the first time, and had the opportunity to visit on our last day. The park is filled with historical information, memorials, and quotes that commemorate Tennessee’s history. A point of interest is the Rivers of Tennessee Fountain. This area contains 31 vertical water fountains, one for each of the predominant waterways in the state. The river walk is accented with a bowed and arched granite wall with inscriptions about Tennessee waterways. It was a very warm afternoon, and there were families from the surrounding communities visiting the fountains. Their children having fun, and playing in the water.

I managed to get a few images in this location, but to me this particular image was unique. It was real moment. A mother with who I can only presume are her children taking advantage of the fountains. I observed the scene for a few moments. She appeared tired, and frustrated. The children didn’t seem to notice or care, and  were content in their playground. I tried to get closer, but I didn’t want to agitate the mother or draw attention to myself. Maybe next time.

Details:

 

  • Fujifilm X-Pro2,XF23mmF1.4 R
  • ƒ/5.6
  • 23.0 mm
  • 1/2000
  • ISO 200
  • Edited in LR6 & Luminar

 

 

The Silos

The Silos

On a whim my wife and I decided to drive up to Waco, Texas one afternoon to visit Magnolia. For those who don’t know this happens to be the market created by HGTV Fixer Upper’s Chip & Joanna Gaines. My wife, like many women, is a fan. She had visited before but was interested in going. I looked forward to possibly getting some shots. The site is a repurposed cottonseed mill, and it houses a home decor store, food trucks, bakery, garden, and play area. With the shows popularity it has become a tourist destination in Waco.

I have to admit we picked a bad day since the temperatures were hovering around 100 degrees in the afternoon. This is a typical summer in Texas, but with all of the white reflecting the sun everywhere it was hot! After touring the place we got some treats from the bakery and tried to keep cool in the shade. I would have liked to walk around the area to get more images but after being there for a few hours it was time to pack it up. I don’t expect that I would ever go back, but it was interesting to visit. It’s always interesting to see historical and industrial components used past their purpose in the modern age.

Details:

 

  • Fujifilm X-Pro2, XF23mmF1.4 R
  • ƒ/5.6
  • 23.0 mm
  • 1/2000
  • ISO 200
  • Edited in LR6