This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending a wedding for fun. Normally when I arrive at a wedding I get there an hour early, packing multiple bags of photography gear, dressed in a tie and jacket with my green tea in hand and a wedding photography schedule to work from. However this weekend I got to relax at a wedding, which was kind of nice to do. I had the privilege of enjoying myself which meant I could interact with guests and the couple without constantly racking my brain about where the best shots were and what would be happening next.
The wedding was a small one, here in Austin at a place called the Zilker Clubhouse, which is located west of Zilker Park, accross Mopac. It is a small stone building that includes a simple patio that overlooks downtown Austin. The location is somewhat remote and quiet and makes you feel like you’re going camping (sort of). But when the sun begins to set, the truly beautiful view of downtown Austin’s lights begins to reveal itself. As my wife, myself and the rest of the guests finished dinner at our tables on the patio, a big orange (burnt orange by some accounts) moon began to rise just above the downtown Austin skyline, kind of like the dot that is placed just above the lowercase letter “i” – except much larger than normal. There was a rush of photo enthusiasts over to the banister to get a great skyline shot, and lots of “Ooos” and “Ahhhs”. I must admit the full moon made things feel all-the-more magical.
When it was finally dark and the toasting was complete I headed over to get a photo myself. I knew that it would be tricky because there was almost no light outdoors other than some dimly-lit, overhead lamps and the ambient moonlight, which means I’d need to complete the shot with a VERY slow shutter speed. In order to do this one normally needs a tripod. I improvised and found a table that gave me a decent view of the Austin skyline as the moon ascended. I not only captured a few shots of the skyline itself, but one that I liked of a couple who were having a romantic moment gazing off into the wonderful view of downtown Austin.
At any rate, I just wanted to share a few photos. I didn’t even bother packing a flash unit for the event, so I don’t have any of my standard, artificially lit shots to share; just some good ‘ol, home grown snapshots using the tried and true photo techniques. I must say that my photos don’t do the view that we saw any justice, though. That moon was awesomely beautiful and big.
And one more thing worth noting. I took several shots through my 50 mm lens and what the camera was capturing was not at all what I was seeing through my human eyes. I have read that the human eye is close to 50 mm focal length of a lens; I can’t say that I’ve experienced this though…
Technical details: the panoramic shot of downtown itself was shot using my 5DMii with a 50mm lens (not ideal for this situation, I know, but I get tired of carrying the larger lenses), approximately 2s shutter speed, ISO 500 and F9.0 aperture. The couple shot was approximately 1/50s shutter speed, ISO 6400 and F2.8 aperture.
15 photographs of 15 places that I’ve photographed weddings in and around Austin, Texas. These are some of the more well known wedding spots in Austin. I frequently get asked by brides where I’ve photographed weddings around Austin. Of course there are many more places that I’ve photographed over the years, but here are some of the more popular and well known locations for weddings in and around Austin, Texas…
1. Star Hill Ranch – Near Hamilton Pool in west Austin, it’s a remake of an old west town, complete with a main street lined with old churches, bars and other antiques – amazing!
2. Driskill Hotel – Austin’s most famous historic hotel, since the 1800s on the famous 6th Street in Downtown Austin.
3. Villa Antonia – Italian villa-style in the Texas Hill Country – a superbly popular wedding venue.
4. Avery Ranch – North Austin hot spot that’s affordable and on a golf course!
5. Austin Woman’s Club (Chateau Bellevue) – Historic event location located in the heart of Austin – filled with antique furniture and design from the early 1900s.
6. Canyon Of The Eagles – Best kept secret in Burnet, Texas, just north of Austin – featuring unrivaled privacy and sweeping lake views of Lake Buchanan.
7. Renaissance Hotel – The most fantastic hotel in the Arboretum in North Austin.
8. Vintage Villas – A beautiful venue in the Hill Country overlooking Lake Travis.
9. Casa Blanca – Southern plantation-style mansion on the banks of the San Gabriel River, just north of Austin.
11. Chapel Dulcinea – Austin’s famous “free” wedding chapel, located in South Austin.
12. Angel Springs – New premier, secluded wedding location in Leander/Cedar Park area.
13. Green Pastures – Austin’s oldest and most famous “world class” restaurant – a classic venue that includes peacocks and acres lush, green vegetation.
14. Kindred Oaks – Another hidden treasure in Williamson County (north of Austin), featuring solace in a rural setting that makes you feel at home.
15. Mercury Hall – South/Central Austin’s original restored early 20th century church, placed among oaks – quiet in an urban area that is close to downtown.