BLOG Posts by Will Swinnea - swinneastudios


The Pennybacker (360) bridge in Austin, Texas.

If you have spent any relative amount of time in the Austin area, you have seen and heard about this bridge. In fact more than likely the most photographic scene in Austin, Texas. For those who don't know , the Pennybacker bridge connects the south and north sections of Loop 360.

Being that is photographed so much , does not mean it cannot be captured again, and again. That's the great thing about photography is capturing that special moment in time that can not be duplicated.

The funny thing about this photo was that it was captured on a Monday morning, which isn't exactly the time of day to have a heavy amount of traffic. On this day it was. This heavy traffic flow might have been because of SXSW, but who knows.

Before and After

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The Austin, Texas skyline at blue hour : 2014

I'm always looking to find more unique and different angles of the Austin skyline, and this is one of them.

Recently I was at Auditorium shores near downtown Austin, Texas, wondering amongst the trail looking for something a little more different than just the old regular skyline shot.

To my surprise I found these yellow wildflowers blooming along part of the hike and bike trail. This finding ultimately led me on deciding to make this the composition for the photo. Thanks for looking.

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"Stevie"  The Stevie Ray Vaughan statue in Austin, Texas. 

This photo is one of my favorites to date. Iconic scene located just off the hike and bike trail here in Austin, it is a site I have been trying to get down for awhile. I feel no matter how long someone has been doing creative work ( in any field), always find time to improve on ones craft and overall skills.

A goal for me this year is to "improve" by returning to a lot of Austin locations for better results, then showing them to you.  Now, back to the storytelling.

I usually do my photography in the morning, just before and after dawn.  It's very peaceful and usually there is not a lot of traffic, save the daybreak joggers. 

The difficult part for the composition was keeping the bronze statue's dark green weathering lit long enough and from enough angles for the rather long exposure. Another challenge was timing when the building cranes in the background would stop so the finished work would not have phantom light trails.

For lighting, I used a reliable Nikon SpeedLight off the camera, opened the shutter, and bathed the statue in flashes from various angles.  For the cranes, when the hook starts dropping, the crane arm and its lights are still until  the workers on the ground secure whatever it is the crane will lift.  You still get crane lights, but not crane light trails. 

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Longhorns and Texas bluebonnets(2013)

It's about that time of year again for Texas bluebonnets to make their annual appearance. For now though, here are a few Texas Longhorns grazing in a bluebonnet field located in and around Llano, Texas.

Last year was a big disappointment for the fact we received absolutely little to no rain in the winter months of 2012. This year it is the complete opposite and I remain quite optimistic that this year's Texas bluebonnets will look more like spring 2012, as opposed to 2013.

My first Before and After comparison on the photoblog!

Before and After . Texas Longhorns and Bluebonnets.

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Bryce Canyon National Park: The iconic Hoodoos Amphitheater.  

From the Navajo Loop trail overlook, one can see the trail continues down into the amphitheater/canyon in Bryce Canyon National Park.                         

The dark blueish-gray skies are cause by a closing afternoon rain storm.This is one of my rare non-HDR photographs, that was completely processed in Adobe Lightroom 5.

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This photo of Hamilton pool comes from November of 2013.

From what I know(and been told) This unique grotto was formed from many years of erosion, by the help of a underground river that collapsed and helped form what we now see as Hamilton pool. There is a trail that circles all (if not most) of Hamilton pool and the grotto. Hamilton pool is located about 45 minutes(about 23 miles west) from downtown Austin, Texas. Btw this is a HDR photograph, I selected the photographic mode in Photomatix, which gives this photo a more "natural" look.

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Located in the Inyo National Forest (Ansel Adams Wilderness) is the hundred foot waterfall, known as Rainbow Falls. I spent the previous night, camped out near Devil's Postpile National Monument. With the luxury of camping out the night before, I was able to a great vantage point for my morning outing with this landscape. I ended up spending close to four hours at this specific location, until the full rainbow that gives this beauty it's name finally appeared.


Welcome to the photo blog! I have been messing around with the idea of starting one of these, and we'll here it is! My goal is try to post (share)as often as I can. I will also every once and awhile, share a "before and after" screen shot of one of my photos in progress. Below is the first blog post (The "Mittens") from 2013. Stay tuned for more!


"The Mittens" Monument Valley

Located on the Colorado Plateau, these sandstone buttes known as the "Mittens" stand tall for every visitor it meets. This photo was taken just a few minutes before a heavy thunderstorm rolled in, as indicated by the background. The majority of my photos are Landscapes, and I will be trying to capture more of these spectacular beauties in 2014.

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