Merry Christmas

2016 Driskill Christmas Tree - Austin, Texas

2016 Driskill Christmas Tree – Austin, Texas

It’s been several years since I shot and posted a picture of the Driskill Hotel Christmas Tree. And since my last posting in 2013, the Driskill went through a major lobby remodel. It’s a lot brighter than before. Whereas in the past, the lobby was moody and even a little spooky, the refresh has brought a modern and less stodgy feel. Here are all my photos of the Driskill Christmas Trees, over the years.

They still use period furniture, but lighter weight and more streamlined. And yet, with all the changes, I sort of liked the old Driskill. It had a weight and presence that seemed more historic. Plus, the Christmas lights made the space glow in the way that is no longer possible. This year’s Christmas tree is beautiful, however — full and symmetrical. The trees vary a lot. Some are slender, some even a little scrawny and some are wide and plump.

The brighter lobby is easier to photograph. While I used HDR again, like in my previous photos, It’s probably not necessary. The dynamic range is no longer as extreme and the details in the stained glass dome were easy to capture. I’ve used a variety of cameras, over the years. This year, I used the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II and the versatile Olympus 14-150mm f4-5.6 lens. You can see I’ve changed my framing. While I opted in the past for a super wide-angle up close, this year’s 32mm equivalent gives more of a natural, slightly wide, perspective.

Compared to yesterday’s post from the Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, The Driskill is a class act. No crazy architecture required to make a statement. Just understated elegance. A great place to celebrate the season.

Merry Christmas.


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2 thoughts on “Merry Christmas

  1. Despite the remarkably similar color palette, the Driskill adheres to a level of taste far above Caesars Palace. And the Driskill isn’t bankrupt! Which raises again the question: what level of incomptence does it take to run a casino into bankruptcy? Maybe it’s somehow related to architectural decor.

    1. Vegas is such a wacky place, I don’t know if the normal rules apply. Lots of competition too. The Driskill is unique in Austin, which certainly helps.

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