Congress Avenue: Austin’s Front Door

Congress Avenue Blue Hour - Austin, Texas

Congress Avenue Blue Hour – Austin, Texas

For my third and final urban blue hour landscape, I present Congress Avenue, Austin’s main downtown north-south street. I consider this the quintessential downtown view. It’s like Austin’s front door. You see the ever-growing skyline, flanking the street, which runs directly to Texas State Capitol.

This is my second attempt at making this composition, this time with a 40mm equivalent lens. I own only two lenses for Fuji GFX 50R, the 50mm f3.5 (40mm equivalent), and the 63mm f2.8 (50mm equivalent). While there is only a 20% difference in focal length, it made all the difference for my intended composition.

Congress Avenue Blue Hour - Austin, Texas

This is the original photograph I made with the GFX 50R, about a month before the first one. As much as I tried, I couldn’t frame this to my satisfaction. When using the 50mm equivalent lens, I kept on backing up, even going past the end of the bridge. Even so, notice how the street lamp interferes with the tall tower left of the center?

By contrast, the 40mm equivalent shown at the top, not only has a broader perspective, but the lamp post doesn’t impinge on the building. I’m actually closer to the tower (count the number of street lights on the bridge), but you can see more of the skyline. That’s the difference a mere 10mm can make

Some say that you can zoom with your feet to compensate for different focal lengths, but that’s not always true. The environment dictates what you can do, and the compression effect of different focal lengths can change the dynamics of the photo.

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6 thoughts on “Congress Avenue: Austin’s Front Door

  1. Atmtx, in my humble opinion both pictures are excellent. I entirely agree that the idea of zooming with your feet in most cases is not a good one, exactly because of the reasons you point out; however, the longer lens has a nice perspective, and the street lamp is not so intrusive.

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