8.17.2019

Walking the lake instead of downtown. Using a prime lens instead of a zoom.

A view of Zach Theatre's main stage from the Hike and Bike Trail.

As of now next week is fully spoken for. We have portraits to shoot in Knoxville, TN. A video project to complete at UT Austin, and a photo assignment after the Friday show of "ANN." I've been swimming in a pool that's too hot and I figured I'd take a break, change the scenery and get my exercise this morning with a long walk around the Hike and Bike Trail that surrounds Lady Bird Lake (which is also the Colorado River). I've talked about running and walking on this trail in my blogs for about a decade but I haven't really shown many images of the actual trail so I thought I'd take the "eccentric" camera out of a spin this morning (Friday) and give you some idea of what the trail looks like.

Plus, I thought I'd play around with captions; just for fun. For the curious camera lovers out there the "eccentric" camera is the Pentax K1. I attached the 50mm f1.4 AF lens to it and just blasted away at the scenery. It's kinda fun and kinda retro to hoist and operate an "old school" style DSLR once in a while. The whole experience has its PROS and CONS. Sadly, no pre-chimping. One actually has to commit to an exposure and the REVIEW the image afterwards to make assessments. Very primitive indeed. 

It's an interesting contrast for me since I spent time at the museum yesterday with the X-Pro2 and the 35mm f 1.4 lens which is a whole different photography/gear experience even if the lenses are a relative match for angle of view..... 

One nice thing about such a weather sealed camera body is that I need to wipe the sweat from my hands off the body but will probably just take the camera into the shower with me.....Do you think I'll need a lens or body cap on the front????

This is part of the Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge which crosses Lady Bird Lake. The bridge runs north and south while the river runs west to east. It's a beautiful bridge and even has gardens and flower boxes along the edges. It's nice to be able to cross the lake without having to do so with a line of stagnant cars in rush hour. Very civilized and one of three good pedestrian options for navigating the north/south transit of the lake/river.

This is the Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge as seen from the Hike an Bike Trail on the south side of the lake.
The view from the area below the Pfluger Bridge looking west to the Lamar Blvd. Bridge which used to be the only convenient north/south bridge for cyclists, walkers and runners. And a dangerous option it was....Narrow walk ways butted right next to lanes of fast moving cars. And yes, a number of pedestrians lost their lives on that bridge...



A view of the newest downtown construction project, recently completed. 
This view is from the Pedestrian walkway on the First St. Bridge. 
That walkway is totally separate from the part of the bridge open to cars. 
At the south intersection of the river and First St. are a bunch of water fountains, out door showers and a large dog park. It's a hub for so many runners and walkers....


This is a view of the "Jenga" tower from the north shore of the lake. I'd never seen this particular view of the building before but I've become a bit fascinated by the project. It's so odd to see a building that looks so .... unbalanced?

When I first started running the Hike and Bike trails some 45 years ago there were far fewer trees, and the trees that were there were much shorter and smaller. Now, if you are running the five mile loop on the trail you'll have shade from the big, mature trees for about 1/2 of your walk. It really makes a difference when that "feels like" temperature settles in around 110 degrees for days a a time. 
Because, really, you can't just give up on your running....

Part of the city's old power plant which has been unused for many years. 
It would make a great studio but it's only zoned for municipal use. 

This is a circular ramp way that allows runners and bikers to descend from bridge level to train level without having to use the stairs. It's kind of cool that it's covered with ivy now. Nice place to stop and hit more water fountains. This is on the north side of the lake.


When it's not 96 degrees at 8:15 in the morning the trail is utilized by many more people. Today was a light day but I'm guessing it's because everyone is getting ready for their kids to go back to school next week. Traffic coming soon.


This (just above) is a historic site. Just past the arch of the bridge is the spot on the trail where then governor, George W. Bush was nearly run over when a speeding garbage truck lost control and jumped the curb, barely missing him. George W. Bush was a regular trail runner back then. 
Lousy president but turning out to be an interesting and quite likable fine art painter.

This is a view of the Lamar Blvd. Bridge from the opposite side. I'm always a sucker for the reflections.

From underneath the Lamar Bridge, looking south.

On the north side of the trail and heading west.


There's a five mile loop that runs from the Mopac Expressway to First St. and then back to Mopac. Mopac and First St. are the book marks for this but the Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge is kind of in the middle of the two. You have longer options. There is a part of the trail that goes over to IH35 and is about 7.5 miles and a longer loop that goes all the way to a dam in east Austin. That's a 12 mile loop. 
If you go from Mopac Bridge to Pfluger and back you're at a bit less than 3 miles. 
When I was younger and in better shape we'd do the 12 mile loop. Now, as a point of pride I won't go less than the five mile loop. Maybe when I turn 80 I'll pare it down to the three mile route....
But maybe not.....


Looking west from the Mopac Bridge. That's the part of town where the real money lives. 

Overpass grafitti. 

Electric scooters are banned from the trail. That's a great thing. Now there is a pilot program being run to slow down the bikers so the danger of pedestrians and bikers intersecting at blind corners is cut down. Funny to see a radar speed thing on the trail. I tried to run toward it but could only get it to 8 miles per hour. I'm not a moving hazard....

That's the trail I've been walking and running for nearly 44 years.
I hope it is here forever. Now it's Ben's favorite running destination.
He's been on the trail since he was a tiny guy in a baby jogger thingy.
I tell him to keep the habit up so he can run fast when he gets ..... more mature.

14 comments:

TBan said...

Looks like the architect for that building played just a bit too much Jenga.

Coasting said...

Nice set of images I do like the colour profiles coming from the Pentax very nice to my eye

Mark the tog said...

That building is but the latest in a number of that sort going up in the world. The inventiveness of architects these days is remarkable. As an architectural photographer I wish I lived closer to the hotspots that have these projects.
I might not get the gig to shoot them but I will still shoot them and be happy for it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the wonderful tour of the running/walking trails of your fair city.

DavidB

Dave Jenkins said...

Some of these photos are among your very best of Austin. (I especially like the upside-down skyline between two trees. Have you considered doing a book about Austin?

TMJ said...

Urban is interesting, thanks for the images, Kirk.

Yesterday, we were in Helmsley, about 20 minutes north of us in North Yorkshire. I was having a very mechanical day: 6 speed gear change Mini Cooper with extra large wheels/tyres (Shirley, my wife's). Leica M6 Wetzlar and 50mm IV Canadian 'cron plus HP5+ in the important bit.

Anyway, in the parish church, looking at the local arts exhibition, was a list of previous vicars, going back to 1029, in the same building we were in....

Mark Bridgers said...

Fujifilm X-H1 Mirrorless Digital Camera w/Vertical Power Booster Grip Kit https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079PTJ7RT/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_KvAwDb8H4YSET


In case you want a spare x-h1mor two. $999 with booster grip!

Michael Matthews said...

Fuji X-H1 with battery grip and two spare batteries now $999 at B&H. Use the store credit card and they’ll rebate state sales tax to you AND pay it to the state (some exceptions may apply, varying with state tax law). No tax avoidance guilt. Win/win/win, no?

Ken said...

I must say that I enjoy this group of photos much more than the usual lifeless, abstract accumulation from your usual walks. It's the green and other signs of life on planet earth. Doesn't matter which camera you use. I'd rather enjoy your photos than the equipment you use. Thanks for this series!

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

Hi Ken, What a wonderful backhanded compliment. It so makes me want to continue posting stuff....... (and for the "hard of understanding" that was dripping with sarcasm!!!).

Maybe it's time to take some more time off from the blog....

Ray said...

You're taking too much time off from VSL, are you out cornering the market on X-H1's? Hurry back.

Michael Ferron said...

I drool over the magnificent houses in the hills over looking the river's west side. (Being from New England originally I refuse to call most of it a lake ;)

Ken said...

Ha! Kirk, sorry if it sounds like a left handed comment, but it wasn't that at all. I've had comments before, and we've had brief exchanges regarding same, about the city subject matter that you often photograph. Not even so much that they are abstract and somewhat sterile construction environments, as they are constantly repeated. I really like this group of photos and mentioned that the compositions as well as the "life" made a big difference. I know you photograph people too in your casual walks, in addition to the people you photograph as the mainstay of your professional work, but it's the skyscrapers against sky that we see a lot of. The trees, walkways, grass, water and people combined are much more enjoyable to me, personally. Of course, the blog is your site exercising your style and you can and should post whatever you want that largely depicts what you enjoy photographing, so you should never stop.

Michael Lunceford said...

There are a lot us Pentaxians who are not that fond of the 50mm f/1.4 lens. Seeing your photos helps to re-enforce that view for me. Nothing wrong with your images, it's just that once you have used the Pentax Limiteds, it's hard to be satisfied with less. For landscape shots, the 50mm f/1.4 images tend to be a little murky (in comparison). I can talk myself into thinking that indoor, portraits in natural light have some ephemeral qualities, but then I have to work too hard mentally. My own comparison using this lens on the job is that it is not the best option. I look forward to your reading about your experience with the 100mm macro, which I think produces Limited quality images. I would also recommend the DFA 50mm f/2.8 for outstanding performance, but it is also a macro and you may not want another one. However, sometimes my kit on a particular day consist of the 31mm f/1.8 Limited, DFA 50mm f/2.8 macro, 100mm f/2.8 macro, and if I think I will need the reach, the DA* 200mm f/2.8 lenses. (The 200mm is based on full frame design and produces gorgeous images.)