All Aglow

The University of Texas Main Building aka the UT Tower was designed by the French born, Philadelphia architect Paul Cret and construction was completed in 1937. Cret was trained at the famed École des Beaux-Arts, or School of Fine Arts in Paris. Cret designed twenty buildings on the campus. The illumination of the Tower  is attributed to Carl J. Eckhardt Jr., head of the Physical Plant in 1931,  who supervised the construction of the Main Building Tower. Eckhardt devised a lighting system to take advantage of its commanding architecture to announce university achievements. Beginning in 1937, orange lights were used to symbolize important events at the University; by 1947, standard guidelines for using the orange lights were created, and these have been updated since. Today there are many different options for lighting, including a darkened tower to signify solemn occasions. An orange tower with office windows lit to form the numeral "1" is used for national championships in NCAA sporting events. (1)



  1.  University approves new policy for lighting UT Tower On Campus.Accessed December 1, 2005.

How To Make An Entrance

A great city knows how to greet people and make them feel welcome and special. Downtown Austin is just that kind of place and the Ann Richards Bridge aka Congress Avenue Bridge is the firm and friendly handshake that draws you in and over the Lady Bird Lake portion of the Colorado River. The bridge is six lanes wide with generous sidewalks and impressive views of the sunrise, high-rises and one of the largest urban bat colonies in the USA emerges from underneath the bridge at sunset. 

How To See Like a Bird

Every photographer possesses is a distinct vision of how they wish to portray the world but shares a common set of limitations like what kind of tools they have access to or can afford to purchase. We recently created the Downtown Austin Photo website using the SquareSpace platform because it is the right tool for communicating and showing our archive and vision of downtown Austin. We also started using a tool called a quad-copter, drone or unmanned aerial vehicle to provide a bird's eye view of downtown Austin.

This tool solved several limitations we have encountered over the years photographing architecture in the urban environment and hill country of central Texas. The most routine dilemmas we encounter in the field is that the point of view we want is obscured by a tree, light post, sign post,fence, wires or requires special access. Another limitation associated with accessibility and point of view is that of topography. The ability to get above the visual noise and free of the ground plane has really freed up our ability to realize our vision of a place.


This bird's eye view of Lady Bird Lake and downtown Austin skyline at sunrise is an iconic image that we have wanted to create for decades. Although we have created numerous beautiful downtown Austin skyline portraits from the ground, the shore, high-rise terraces, and rooftops, we were always limited in some way that was beyond our control. The only limits to creating this image was our imagination.

What tools are helping you realize your vision of life?