Confidence bolstered by my relative success with the trees, I decided it was time to take my camera to town. I used to think that my Hasselblad was heavy, but it is nothing compared to hauling around the Crown Graphic and its long legs. (I can't imagine what 8x10 or larger would be like; I might need a caddy. Volunteers are welcome.)
Austin, Texas is changing. I have written about the demise of Old Austin more than once, and lamented it in my heart almost daily since returning nearly 6 years ago. The only constant in life is change, but it is still painful to see sometimes. With the good - formerly "dangerous" areas of town are full of trendy bars and restaurants - comes the bad - funky, fun, character-filled areas are being mowed down for high rise condos, plus everything is more expensive and crowded. I have made a small effort over the past couple of years to photograph some of the older areas that are targeted for new growth; Burnet Road is one of them. I blocked the sidewalk for a solid five minutes making this shot, and I was thrilled with how it came out. When I told my dad that I didn't know what to photograph with a large format camera, one of his answers was "shoot things where you want a lot of detail." This was definitely one of those moments.
Next, as in directly after I made this photograph, I set off for the water. Texas has had a LOT of rain this spring - too much, all at once, in true Texas fashion. I have photographed the greenbelt with sorrow for a few years now, exploring the various stages of drought. I could hardly wait to see Twin Falls; last fall it was dry as a bone, but I expected a lot of joyful rapids on this visit.
I was not disappointed. The hike in was a humid, slippery, treacherous mess, with me in flip flops navigating a narrow trail; I had the camera on my back and carried the tripod under my arm. If people wondered what I was doing, they concealed it well. Austinites love the water - I feel like we have a special relationship with it, since usually we are despairing over the lack thereof - so I treated many, many swimmers to my photographic tribulations. Setting up in an area crowded with trees, rocks, and mud was a fun challenge. I put my face to the ground glass, breathed deep, and looked. These two are a sample of what I made.
Now, sadly, the Arista EDU film is all used up; this was the last of it. I am on a new path with Tri-X 320, and so far it is taking me places that I love! More to come. . . . .