AUSTIN COMMUNITY COLLEGE
n Journal of Images
ART 1301 – PAULA KING
I have lived in Austin, Texas my whole life and rarely have I had the opportunity to
venture downtown and take a look at the true beauty it has to offer. When I first read about
this assignment I was set on choosing “Night Light” for my topic, but when I went to take a
picture of the capital I realized that there is so much more to downtown that I would have ever
thought and I wanted to share its true beauty and uniqueness with everyone. People from all
over the Nation talk about Austin and all that it has to offer so I decided it was time that I
take a deeper look.
I decided to make my first adventure to downtown focused around the capitol. After
all, Austin is the capitol of our state! I had always heard that the capitol is beautifully
lighted at night so I wanted to see if I could capture the lighted vision using only a digital
camera and my desire to explore. As you can see by the picture I was able to shoot, the only
real way to take a picture of the capitol is by standing in the middle of the street. Since its
location is set around 15th and Congress, this proved to be a bit more difficult than I
imagined. Still, I was in awe of the amazing architecture of the capitol and how the many
lights around it clearly defined the massive sky above it. For the first time in my life, I
understood why my grandfather, who is a photographer, has always spoken of the essence of
downtown Austin and the beauty of the capitol. As I went on my way I slowly ventured down
Congress Avenue and headed toward 6th street where I was immediately filled with crazy
ideas for photos, from an electric sign for a tattoo shop, to a bold and unique sign for a
theatre. There were so many wonderful and beautiful opportunities for a photo. However, I
knew if I wanted to capture a real essence of downtown Austin I would have to come back
during the day to see the city streets from an entirely different perspective. Before I headed
home for the evening I was fortunate enough to stumble on to a group of bike riders
performing in the parking garage of a bank. It was very exciting to watch and even more so
to capture through the lens.
When I returned downtown the next day I was so excited to continue with my
adventure on discovering Austin and everything it had to offer. I started on 6th street and
decided that I would make my rounds. It was a very different experience in the light. There
were so many people on the streets that I was constantly being distracted, but at the same
time I was very amused. From Esthers Follies to the scenery paintings on the walls, I thought
about all the opportunities in front of me. I first came upon The Driskill Hotel, a sight I will
never forget because each piece of the building was designed so perfectly. It truly was an
amazing sight to see. I had heard so much about the hotel, but had never had the opportunity
to explore it. I wondered inside and asked the concierge for permission to take pictures and
when he surprisingly said yes I immediately took that as my golden ticket to explore the
entire hotel. As I was walking away he gave me a brochure and said I should read it before
continuing. Anyone who has lived in Austin long probably knows about the haunting
stories of The Driskill. The idea of it being a haunted hotel did spook me a bit, but now I had
an entire brochure that spoke about why it got that reputation. I decided not to read it until
after I was out of the hotel and safely back in the comforts of my own home. Oddly enough, I
was able to push ghostly thoughts out of head as I began to explore the incredibly beautiful
hotel where the attention to detail was not overlooked in one single area. I was in awe of the
lines in the windows and doors, the ceilings decorated with enormous glass arrangements to
take place of chandeliers, the elegance of the staircases and the overwhelming sense of this is
how the other half must live. I knew as I walked out the doors that it would be years before I
would be able to live like that, but the appreciation I took away from its beauty, I felt would
hold me over until then.
There were many other sites and oddities throughout the downtown area that I am
sharing through this project. If I had to sum up downtown Austin I would say that it is
unique, beautiful, busy, and at times sad. There were homeless people on every corner,
especially on 6th street and as I passed them by I wondered why no one was helping them.
There were rows and rows of bars where people were beginning to pile in to celebrate the end of
their days and there were some people that seemed to be going nowhere, just wondering around
like me trying to explore what Austin has to offer.
The Driskill Hotel is a very famous and haunted hotel
located in Austin. The lines demonstrated in this picture
are from the door to the entrance of the hotel.
There are many styles of lines demonstrated in this
picture, from vertical to horizontal, they all come together
to make a beautiful sight.
This picture was taken from the inside of The Driskill
Hotel. Throughout the hotel you can often find designs
much like this one located on the ceiling in place of a
This glass stain painting was among the prettiest because
of the use of color that was displayed.
While driving down 6th street there are several things that
will catch your eye, like the sign for Esthers Follies. The
shape of each letter and the whole word combined offer
such a site for the eyes. It is obvious in this picture that
the word is not a flat billboard, but instead a two
This sculpture stands alone on the busy sidewalk
to the street of Congress. It is a very interesting
sculpture because of its mass and the location of
This picture was also taken from The Driskill Hotel. It is
said that this design and texture for a ceiling top is a
replica for the olden days. Most buildings used to have
ceilings of copper and offer a design similar to this one.
The city of Austin is full of lights and they become even
clearer at night. This photo is of a Tattoo shop located right
off of 6th street. The value of the color shown through the
words and the bird are only truly depicted because of the
time of day.
The Capital is one of the biggest attractions to Austin.
The unique design of the Capital clearly defines the
massive amount of space completely surrounding it.
~ UnItY ~
This sculpture is entitled „Vibrancy‟ and it is used to
represent the uniqueness of Austin. Looking at the unity
of color and design on first glance the beauty is unclear,
but when you take a deeper look you can see that the
guitar stands for the true beauty of downtown Austin
and all its crazy and fast speed life.
The beautiful architectural design used on this amazing
building is located in downtown Austin and can be seen
from almost anywhere. The variety of the design and the
shape of each corner are the factors that help to make this
building so appealing to the eye.
This picture is of a window located on the outside of The
Driskill Hotel. The angle in this picture helps to
demonstrate how perfectly balanced the window is.
This drawing is located on the side of a building in deep
downtown Austin. I was driving by on my way to the capital
when it caught my eye. At first glance you immediately see
the word „Cash‟ because it is emphasized through the white
letters and the black outline, but when you take a deeper look
you notice that Johnny Cash is painted two times behind the
word to form the background.
This drawing is also located downtown, but right off of
6th street. There are several cases where scale is shown,
from the buffalo up front to the ones in the back and even
the cactuses that are close compared to the ones further
back by the car. I find it so interesting that a flat
painting can have so many dimensions.
When I first arrived downtown, I immediately went into
the Driskill Hotel and fell in love with their grand
staircase and the rhythm of each beautiful step as one
connects to the other in style and grace.
Leaving downtown Austin I stumbled across a hangout
spot for local bikers. The movement of each biker as he
attempts a new trick is easily captured in this wedding.
Index of Images
Line. Driskill Hotel. Austin. Texas. November 4, 2008
Color. Driskill Hotel. Austin. Texas. November 4, 2008
Shape. Esthers Follies – 6th Street. Austin. Texas. November 4, 2008
Mass. Downtown – Congress. Austin. Texas. November 2, 2008
Texture. Driskill Hotel. Austin. Texas. November 4, 2008
Value. Downtown – 6th Street. Austin. Texas. November 3, 2008
Space. Downtown – Capital off Congress. Austin. Texas. November 2, 2008
Unity. Downtown – 6th Street. Austin. Texas. November 3, 2008
Variety. Downtown. Austin. Texas. November 4, 2008
Balance. Driskill Hotel. Austin. Texas. November 4, 2008
Emphasis. Downtown. Austin. Texas. November 3, 2008
Scale. Downtown – 6th Street. Austin. Texas. November 4, 2008
Rhythm. Driskill Hotel. Austin. Texas. November 4, 2008
Movement. Downtown – Parking Garage off 0f 6th Street. Austin. Texas.
November 2, 2008