Favorite Austin photography spots with the Nikon D610

I knew I would be in Austin this past weekend and because of that, I wanted to make sure and order the Nikon D610 a few weeks before that. As previously posted, I owned the D600 for over a year, so the controls were not a factor as the two are nearly identical; however, this would be the big test to see whether the D610 would have the same annoying sensor spot issues as the D600 hand. In short, the D610 was flawless. I shot at f/8 and above many times and not one single spec of dust or oil. I think the D610 is the perfect camera for my photography needs – mostly urban and nature. Austin is the perfect city for both.

This was actually the last picture I took in my trip. It’s the north side of the State Capital at sunrise. I was there in the previous afternoon and it was the worst time to be on the north end of the building as far as lighting, but early in the morning was perfect. Free parking would end at exactly 7 am (and I wouldn’t have time to run to the meter and come back) so this picture was taken at around 6:50 am, about 25 minutes before sunrise on a partly cloudy morning. If I would have left just 10 minutes earlier, the sky would have been black.
Texas State Capital at Sunrise
I don’t think I could come close to taking this picture with my old Nikon D90 and not just because of not having a wide enough lens for DX. The capital building is much brighter than the underground lighting and quite a spectacular scene to see in person. The extra dynamic range really makes this picture. The spot before that was the Bullock Texas State History Museum:

Bullock Texas State  History Museum early in the morning

Bullock Texas State  History Museum early in the morning

The Pennybacker /Loop 360 Bridge was also on my list of places to visit for the sunset the day before. It’s not the spectactular picture I was hoping for, but it’s a breathtaking view in person. Most people go to the other end but I wanted to capture the setting sun. I ran into a lady who lived in the area and she told me the trail behind there had some nice views too but someone had put a block with “private property” on there. She didn’t think it was legit as she had lived there for a long time and suspected kids had done it so they can do “other things”. She was dead on because as the sun had set, I saw a group of High School looking kids going down the trail.
The Pennybacker Bridge at sunset

The other end is much more popular. Both sides are kind of dangerous if you’re a moron who gets too close to the edge. I saw a few of those too.

The Pennybacker Bridge in Austin, Texas

Before that, I was at Town Lake/ Ladybird Lake area. It’s always a great spot whether it’s cold and rainy like last time or this time when the weather was perfect:

Town Lake

Town Lake

I finally got to see the Oasis as well. Another breathtaking view, but the actual commercial area looked like a ghost town
Oasis on Lake Travis

The State capital is always a great spot during the day time too. You can go inside and see things up close. No matter what you think of Texas politics, this is a beautiful and majestic building.
Texas House of Representatives

Texas Capital Rotunda

Texas Capital Rotunda

This was just a full weekend of photography. Before going to Austin, I was in Houston for the Hermann Park Kite festival.
Hermann Park Kite Festival

Again, shooting at high fstops in blue skies and not a single spec of dust.


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