Last week I attended a conference in Austin, Texas. Austin is the state capital of Texas and is known as “The Live Music Capital of the World.”
I was there for about three days and had a goal to get out as soon as possible after each day’s conference agenda was over. Not having a car (didn’t need one), I walked around with my 35mm film camera. Before leaving home I hand rolled ten rolls of Ilford HP5+ with around 24 frames on each roll. I shot all my exposures pushed two stops to ISO 1600 thinking most of my walking downtown would be in heavy shade or at night. Sunset in Austin this time of year is just after 8pm. In all I shot around seven rolls of film.
Walking around with no map is the way to go. I just wandered through downtown for the most part taking photographs of anything that interested me, my normal mode. The most vibrant part of the city is on 6th Street where the bars and restaurants come to life with bands playing through the open doors and windows. It’s a very different place reminding me somewhat of New Orleans on a smaller scale. Very cool.
The night before the last day of the conference I waited at the Congress Avenue bridge for the nightly departure of the world’s largest bat colony from under the bridge. There are around 1.5 million bats under the bridge that form streams of dark bat clouds over the city of Austin just after sunset. It’s an amazing spectacle, well worth watching. I posted a video at the end of this post.