The Tree Over the Pennybacker Bridge

Climbing the path up to the ridge overlooking the Pennybacker Bridge in Austin is a test of patience and firm footing. But once you reach the top, the view makes it all worthwhile.

Along the top growing up through the rocks is a tree that leans over the edge. While it makes a great overlook, it is nothing you want to climb. As the sun sets, the lights below and in the distance begin to glow. The quiet stillness of the evening air makes for a great moment to reflect on the day and appreciate the beauty of the many colors below.

Easy does it on the path way back down to the highway.

 

 

Cars travel over the Pennybacker Bridge at twilight over Lake Austin, while boats cruise by underneath.

Formula 1 Slideshow

This fall I attended my first Formula 1 event at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, TX. It is a first class track and if you ever have an opportunity to attend an event there, you will not be disappointed. It is a challenging sport to shoot, as the targets are moving extremely fast. It also requires longer telephoto lenses to bring the action in close, which only makes it harder to shoot.

This image behind the paddock between curves 18 and 19 is a good example of using a slightly slower shutter speed and panning with the car to create the blur that gives the sense of motion and speed. I hope you enjoy the slideshow below of more images from that day. Most of these images are not in my print gallery, so contact me if you have an interest in obtaining one.


Formula 1 Up-Close

I’m usually the last person to find out about things. For example, did you know that there is an awesome race track in Austin, TX?  This is the real deal. The Circuit of the Americas is something I never thought I would see, much less in Texas. Last week, I was fortunate to spend a day at the track for the US Grand Prix. Here is a brief description about the track from their website…

Circuit of the Americas is a multi-purpose facility that hosts prestigious racing events, including the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix™.  It is the first purpose-built Grand Prix facility in the U.S. Built around a state-of-the-art 3.4-mile circuit track with capacity for 120,000 fans and an elevation change of 133 feet, the facility is designed for any and all classes of racing. Circuit of The Americas is ideally situated on a 1000-acre site in southeast Austin, approximately two miles from Austin Bergstrom International Airport, with scenic views of downtown.

While it is not a cheap sport to watch, much less to participate in, watching it at this track is a thrill. With many vantage points for photographers and fans alike, everyone will enjoy a day at the races.

I took this image behind the paddock between curves 18 and 19. With speeds up to 200 mph on the straights, here they were only going about a 100 mph, since they were slowing down for a curve. Using a slightly slower shutter speed and panning with the car creates the blur that gives the sense of motion and speed.

 

From the behind the paddock between curves 18 and 19.  Photo by Tim Stanley Photography

Presidential Documentation

I would imagine that Presidents generate a lot of paperwork. Considering the number of letters, briefs, reports and the bills they sign into law, it has to be quite the job to collect and mange those for the presidential library that is sure to follow. Living in Texas, we are fortunate to have several within driving distance. Last summer, our family visited the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, TX and recently visited the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin.

While not visible in the Bush Library, the LBJ had a multi-story viewing area where visitors could see bookcase after bookcase containing binders of documents from Johnson’s term in office. While those floors are not open to the general public, they can be visited by appointment for historians, researchers and others.

I have driven by this building many times when visiting Austin over the years, and am glad we finally took the time to visit it. Tickets are very affordable and the exhibits only takes a few hours to go through. Even if you are not a Democrat, you will still enjoy the visit ;-)

 

While not visible in the Bush Library, the LBJ had a multi-story viewing area where visitors could see bookcase after bookcase containing binders of documents from Johnson's term in office. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.

Texas in Lights

My family went on an overnight trip to Austin, just to spend some time together. Our goal was to visit at least the LBJ Library, which we did, but we also visited the Bullock Texas State History Museum, whose purpose it is to tell “the Story of Texas.”  Both museums were great for different reasons and well worth the time spent. The Bullock was more grandiose, and the price of admission reflected that, but you won’t be disappointed if you decide to go. There are three floors, an I-Max and second theater to enjoy also.

This view from the third floor looks down on a large neon light illuminating the foyer within the museum exhibits.

 

This view from the third floor of the Bullock Texas State History Museum looks down on a large neon light illuminating the foyer within the museum exhibits. Photograph by Tim Stanley Photography.

The Pennybacker Bridge at Twilight

“The Pennybacker Bridge in Austin, Texas, is a through-arch bridge across Lake Austin which connects the northern and southern sections of the Loop 360 highway, also known as the “Capital of Texas Highway.” Wikipedia

I had seen a few photos of this bridge and wanted a chance to shoot it next time in Austin. That opportunity came recently when my friend and I attended a weekend conference. We arrived just before sunset and hiked up a steep rock path to the top of the overlook. Normally, this would not had been a problem, except for a sore knee that had been bothering me for the previous week. Taking my time, I finally made it and it was worth the effort.  It was fun trying different exposures and waiting for the traffic in both directions to hit the bridge at just the right time. We did have to wait for some sight-seers to move, but most left as the sun set, since there was no lighting up there or on the path. Not to worry though. These “boy scouts” had flashlights and made a safe downward return.

 

The Pennybacker Bridge at twilight over Lake Austin is lit by the light trails of cars in this time exposure. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.

A Small Part of Austin

Almost every large city looks cool at night. The bright lights against the dark background of the night sky give it a majestic feel. Put a river or ocean in front of it and it looks even better.

This is just a small part of the Austin, Texas skyline just after sunset. The sky looks almost black to the eye, but the accumulated light during the time exposure gives it a slightly brighter blue.
 

This is just a small part of the Austin, Texas skyline just after sunset. The accumulated light during the time exposure gives the sky a slightly brighter blue. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.

 

 

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