Photo of the Week: Austin Texas Capitol

Austin definitely lived up to its billing as one of the great cities in America. In many ways, Austin is exactly the opposite of what you think of when you think of Texas. The city is very liberal and open, it is artsy but not pretentious, it has small town charm but a big city vibe, the music scene is incredible and it has some of the best food on the planet. The truth is that on my time in Austin I did more indulging in the food and drink than I did photography. However, I made a point on one of my 3 nights there to head to the capitol building – which is famous for being taller than the one in Washington (everything is bigger in Texas) – and grab some shots.

I ended up having an incredibly interesting conversation with one of the guards who spotted my camera and wanted to chat about photography. Turned out that she once worked as a photo journalist for the US Army and worked all over the planet. She was so interesting to chat with that I almost missed the right light. However, I’ll take a good conversation of great light any day.

How I Got this Shot

It’s all about light. Personally, I like to shoot urban areas either just before sunrise or just after sunset. It is in this light that you get the brightest skies in photos, the most even light, and quite often a juxtaposition in light between natural and artificial. Shooting in these hours also will give your photos the colours seen in their truest form. This photo of Austin’s Capitol building was shot at about 6pm while the sunset was at 5:28pm. I had good light for another 15-20 minutes or so. The farther away from the equator you are the longer that good light will last. If you shoot right along the equator you might only get about 5 minutes of good light between sunlight and dark.