Oh What Fun It Is To Ride

Pedicabs are a popular way to travel the downtown streets of Austin in the evening. They make interesting subjects for panned photos and it's hard to resist snapping a few attempts while I'm waiting to cross a street. Panning shots are hit or miss - you nail it or you don't. This was a lucky catch recently that I really like. December in Austin. Not really that cold but we put on jackets anyway and pretend that there is a winter nip in the air and maybe we'll see that white Christmas. Probably not. This passenger did appear to be enjoying her ride on a cool night through the Warehouse District and I found her smile to be contagious.

Night Rides

I had just finished watching a flick at the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz on 6th St. in downtown Austin one Tuesday evening. Being a weeknight, the street wasn't as crowded as it typically is on Friday or Saturday. The street is closed during peak party times to allow the inebriated masses to wander freely without fear of being hit by cars. Since Tuesday is a fairly quiet night on "dirty 6th" the street was open to traffic. Bikes and pedicabs are popular in the congested downtown area these days. You also see a good number of motorcycles on warm nights. I saw a few small cab-like carts that I have never noticed before.  

Having my pocketable Fujifilm XF1 with me, I lingered outside the theater a little while and snapped a few images of folks riding by. I love the energy and motion in these shots. While that  compact camera isn't the greatest in low light it worked fine for these panned captures. When you're dragging the shutter like this almost any camera with manual control can work. You can shoot at a lower ISO with the longer shutter to keep noise down a bit. I personally don't mind graininess and sometimes add more grain in post. I also don't fret too much over getting a pan shot's subject in perfect focus. The abstract feel of some of the blurrier shots often appeals to me. It's more about mood, gesture, and texture than critical focus.

North Lamar

I took a stroll down North Lamar in Austin with my good friend Tony a while back. It's not unusual for us to wander the streets of Austin with our cameras. This particular area was a little different though. The challenge was to find interesting subjects in a rather bland looking part of town. Tony and I had done this sort of thing before and we found that while you might have to look a little harder than, say downtown Austin, there were actually plenty of things that drew our individual interests in a seemingly mundane area. As I'm usually inclined on outings like this, I kept things simple. One camera, one lens. I enjoyed some good conversation while wandering about, letting the night and minimal lighting inspire us to take a closer look at those things that we take for granted in daylight.






Fujifilm XT-1 with XF 35mm 1.4 lens, Classic Chrome.

Hey! You Gonna Eat or What?

No, I'm not asking a question. That's really the name of one of the food trucks parked at The Picnic trailer food court in Austin. I was downtown running errands recently and decided to check out the Hey! You Gonna Eat or What? bus that I'd heard good things about. With a reputation for rudeness and a short menu of artery clogging fried cuisine, I wasn't sure about this at first. Well, I was pleasantly surprised. I'd heard the Monte Cristo is amazing so I ordered that from a surprisingly friendly and chatty guy at the window. If the warnings on the bus were any indication, I was expecting to be yelled at by an disgruntled musician running on 3 hours sleep after a dive bar gig on 6th. Maybe they only yell at tourists and hipsters. 

Another surprise was that owner and chef Eric personally delivers your food to your picnic table, dressed in kitchen attire like you'd expect to see in a ritzy steak house. Between the line and the queue of orders ahead of me, it took over half an hour for Eric to deliver my plate of fried goodness. He explained the details of my order's ingredients and preparation like a waiter serving a fine wine. Was it worth the wait? Heck yeah it was! Sorry, I didn't take a photo of my lunch. I'm not that guy. Go get your own. You gonna eat it or take pictures of it?

A Night on Burnet

I met up with my good friend Tony for a short photo walk right before Christmas. He was flying out on Christmas Day and it was nice to hang out a bit while enjoying a shared favorite activity - walking around the city at night with a single camera and a fast prime lens. We chose a stretch of Burnet road in Austin that has a few interesting businesses and some colorful lights. You gotta have some light coming from somewhere at night after all. It was a fairly calm and quiet night for being just a couple days before Christmas. We walked, chatted, clicked, dined. Due to the holiday business and illness (damned cedar fever!) I just got around to processing and posting these.  

Images taken with a Fujifilm X-T1 and XF 35mm f/1.4 lens. All are camera JPEGs in the new Classic Chrome film simulation with the exception of the Chinese restaurant, which was converted from raw with Astia simulation in Lightroom.


The Austin Drink and Click group had an event at Fado in downtown Austin recently. I'd never been to a meeting of this group before and this particular event was interesting because Fujifilm reps were there with a bunch of gear that folks could try out. I braved the heavy rush hour traffic in a light drizzle to see if I could maybe get some hands-on time with a couple of lenses I'm interested in. The gathering was much larger than I expected and since I'm not really at home in a packed crowd I ended up just wandering around the bar. The inside of Fado was oddly quiet in comparison to the bustling patio where the group had congregated. The ambience of the warmly lit bar ended up being more alluring than the latest gear to demo from Fujifilm and Westcott.  I enjoyed the warmth and relative calmness of Fado on an otherwise quiet weekday evening.  

Images were taken with a Fujifilm X-T1 and XF 23mm f/1.4 lens.