I've posted before about walking along Burnet Rd in Austin at Night. It's not particularly interesting during the day, at least to me. It takes on a different look at night when light is sparse. Things that seem mundane in the daylight become intriguing in the subtle brushes of light from manmade sources. I enjoy the calm and quiet of an evening stroll while observing what the interplay of darkness and light choose to reveal.
There was a time when I would try to coax every last bit of detail out of scene - from the brightest highlights to the darkest shadows. Lacking well lit scenes, I often used to take multiple exposures and mash them together such that you could peer into every nook and cranny if you so desired. It's interesting how things change with one's sense of aesthetics over the years. More often than not these days, when I'm out photographing for myself I'm inclined to seek out a scarcity of light. Those areas of darkness with just enough light to carve out a form. That's when things get interesting lately. It doesn't matter if the rest of the scene falls to blackness - more the better if it does. Maybe I've seen too many washed out black and whites lately. I'm taking things noir. Blacks crushed. Don't be afraid of the dark.
I met up with my good friend Tony for dinner and a few drinks last week. We didn't really plan on taking any photos that night. It was more about hanging out, venting about some things, laughing about others. Being that we are both photographers we just happened to have cameras with us - imagine that. After dinner we took a brief walk down Burnett road. It's not the most exciting bit of Austin. It was dark and quiet - eerily so in some places. We each found a few things of interest on this mundane stretch of road. The search for something interesting in poorly lit ordinary areas like this is challenging and distracting - in a good way. It takes my mind off of my cares and worries. It makes me happy.
Images were captured with a Fujifilm X-T1 and XF 35mm f/1.4 lens.
I met my buddy Tony for some dinner and conversation last night. Yes, it was Super Bowl Sunday but I had little interest and catching up with a good friend sounded like a better way to spend the evening. We took a brief stroll after dinner and decided it was a bit chilly for the walk. A hot beverage at a local coffee house sounded like a better idea. It was kind of an eerie neighborhood to walk around anyway.
Images captured with a Fujifilm X-T1 and XF 35mm f/1.4 lens. Classic Chrome simulation in camera, black and white conversions in Lightroom.
I'm not usually much for street photography. It feels...weird to me. Maybe I'll get over that some day. Little outings like I had recently on the pedestrian bridge over Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin seem to encourage me in this area of photography. I was down there to take some shots of the super moon and I decided to linger a bit after darkness set in. There was a bit of activity on the bridge. A drum circle thumped rhythmically, as if in concert with the crickets along the banks of the lake. A couple lingered, intrigued by something on a smart phone. One fellow was walking around on his hands. It was a fun mood and I decided to capture a bit of it. I liked this spot and I think I'll return some other evening. Maybe I'll even take a drum along.
I took this image while on a nighttime photo walk with a couple of friends recently. Near the dark porch of a local business I found this small puppet swinging in the breeze. It was too dark to get an accurate autofocus lock on a moving target. I snapped a few shots anyway and I was intrigued by this one. It is focused just enough to make out the important details. Being out of focus gives a certain hint of mystery to the subject I think.
These days when I read what photographers have to say about their gear there is almost an obsession with sharpness. I've been there myself, fretting over the most minute details in my images. Lately though I find myself more attracted to images such as this. The subject out of sharp focus but something endearing is there nevertheless. Critical focus is indeed overrated or at least optional in some cases.