Saturday, April 5, 2014


Austin is one of America's fastest growing cities and is now the 11th largest city in the U.S.  That's good in that the growth creates local prosperity and a more vibrant community.  But this growth has its drawbacks, most notably to a visitor in the form of traffic congestion.  Austin is now ranked as the fourth worst city in the U.S. for vehicular traffic.  It is interesting to compare Austin with my hometown of Milwaukee.  Austin's greater metropolitan population, at 1.8 million, is only slightly larger than Milwaukee's 1.6 million.  But there is a vast difference in activity, particularly in the downtown area.  This is particularly noticeable in the form of new construction.  Austin has already developed a more impressive skyline than Milwaukee's, and there are several additional large office and residential towers currently under construction.

I haven't really attempted to make a concerted effort to capture Austin's modern architecture, in part because of the difficulty in parking in the downtown area, another symptom of its growing pains.  But in wandering around the downtown area, I have managed to collect a few images that I thought I would post here.

First is an evening shot of a portion of the skyline taken from too close a range.

Not particularly good except for the time of day and the fact that it features one of the more interesting of the modern office towers.  In fact, I found myself shooting this building on a number of occasions, as in the following.

This shot really doesn't have much going for it except that the building's glass facade was mirroring clouds similar to those posed behind it.  Here are two more shots taken in later evening.

OK, enough of that building.

I seem to have a compulsion (and not a particularly helpful one) of shooting repeating architectural patterns, even if the image doesn't seem to contain anything of interest beyond the pattern.  Following is an example.

Mildly interesting at best, perhaps because it was being lit by the late afternoon sun.  However, in this case I was able to redeem the matter a little perhaps by positioning the building behind a couple of trees that were just beginning to bud.

The lighting against the building was not as warm (because of the oblique angle of the shot), but the trees at least created some interest and context.

Following are a few more shots.  The first is of a building under construction.  I liked the contrast between the two sets of reflective panels.

And finally a couple of unorthodox shots, the first is of the city's tallest structure, at least currently, at perhaps 60 stories, a condo development, I think.

And the second is of another residential tower that I decided to shoot at an angle.

I guess my thought was to convert an otherwise mundane shot into an abstract.


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