When we last explored downtown Austin through the A Changing Austin monochrome series, we were leaving Rainey Street. We had just finished portraits of the Rainey Street Bars — quieter than usual — during the pandemic. We pick up the series today just north of Cesar Chavez Street (1st Street) near the Austin Convention Center.
Today, I feature two very similar photographs, exploring the equilibrium of key elements — a bare tree, a curvy skyway, and a tower under construction. Like the rest of this series, it is meant to document Austin’s hyper-growth in 2020, but I wanted to create a more artistic balance with these two photos.
The structural tree is the defining element around which I wanted to balance the neighborhood. I made the first picture, up top. Clearly, the tree strongly dominates.
A few minutes later, with a slight change in position, I made this photograph. While the tree is slightly de-emphasized, I like the balance of elements better.
The diagonal near the tree in the first photo also adds more visual tension, while the second is more harmonious. I think they both work. It is a matter of taste which you prefer.
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