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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Capitol Stars

They say the stars at night, are big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas. Though Austin is deep in the heart of Texas, its downtown lights prevent you from seeing many stars. But there are many to be found around the Texas State Capitol building on the fence, the building itself and the state emblem everywhere you look. It’s a beautiful building and the details at night come alive under the bright lights. The lights may not be from the stars, but it still shines bright.
  

Though Austin is deep in the heart of Texas, its lights prevent you from seeing many stars. But there are many to be found around the Texas State Capitol building.

 

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Rooftop on Sixth Street

Many cities have an area or street that is know for its night life and entertainment. Whether it’s live music, dance clubs or sports bars, it’s the place where the “in” crowd go on most any night of the week. When in Austin, TX, that place is the seven blocks of Sixth Street between Congress and IH 35.

With historical houses and commercial buildings dating as far back as the late 1800’s, they now house numerous bars, a variety of live entertainment venues, tattoo parlors, art galleries, cafes and upscale restaurants. One of the “must see” places is the elegant Driskill Hotel. Live music of every genre abounds with something for everyone’s musical taste. If dinner is your destination, you can find most any type of area specialties, such as Tex-Mex, ribs, chili and ribs, or steak, seafood, cajun-cooking, and even deli. 

Don’t spend the night in Austin, without a trip to Sixth Street. 
  

Many cities have an area or street that is know for its night life and entertainment. When inAustin, TX, it's Sixth Street. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.

Soldier Chang

Every War Horse needs a soldier to lead him into battle. At the P.F. Chang restaurant in Austin, they both stand watch over their area, ready just in case battle calls.

This was another quick iPhone photo with the Pro HDR app that I like so much. This is a good example of looking for a subject in a place you might not think about or somewhere you take for granted. Try looking at your world through fresh eyes, as if you are seeing it for the first time.
  

Every War Horse needs a soldier to lead him into battle. At the local P.F. Chang restaurant, they both stand watch over their area, ready just in case battle calls. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.