This weekend was rare, neither Raudel nor I had any prior commitments or plans. It was an entirely open weekend, free to do whatever we wanted, sleeping in included!
Always looking to explore and take photos, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to venture out and try some long exposure photography right here in Austin, Texas. It is something that I was interested in, yet had never done, and something we had never done together. It also presented itself as a great date night idea, so it was a win-win hehe.
In the most basic nut shell, long exposure photography is simply taking a photo over a long period of time. This is accomplished by slowing down (and I mean really slowing down) the shutter speed on your camera. Typically when we’re taking photos, we want our shutter speed to be fast, like hundredths to thousandths of a second fast. This is what freezes the action, catches the moment, or stops time. On the flip side, in long exposures, the shutter is open for a larger duration of time, usually seconds to even hours, with the intent to create some sort of motion or blur, or simply gather more light into the camera in low light situations.
This is what creates those creamy looking waterfalls, surreal atmospheric skies, and stunning stars and light trails you see in some photographs.
I had done a little research on the subject so I wasn’t going in blind, but at the same time I really wanted to test myself as a photographer. I think I’m one of those people who learns best through trial and error so I had no problem sort of “winging” it. Plus I had Raudel there if I needed help (thanks babe!)
I had decided on two locations, the 360 Overlook with a view of the Pennyback Bridge (the parking along Capital of Texas Highway Loop 360) and South Congress Avenue with a view of the Capitol and the Frost Tower, with the goal of creating light trails from the moving cars (kind of cliché but whatevs)
360 Highway overlook was first on Friday night. We headed out a little before sunset so we could catch some of the sky in the background before it got too dark. Once we got to the overlook and parked on the shoulder, right off Capital of Texas Highway Loop 360, it was time to setup the tripod and compose the photo and boy was it windy that night. I found my spot, secured my camera, set my shutter speed, ISO and aperture and started shooting, adjusting my settings as needed.