Evening in Austin's Bouldin Neighborhood / by Nicholas Doyle

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Neon signs feel very iconic Austin to me. It’s one of the subjects I was most excited to photograph on this trip. So I went out almost every day at twilight to hunt for some. Here’s a small selection from South 1st Street in the Bouldin neighborhood of south Austin.

It took a long time for me to realize just how much I need to underexpose neon signs in order to preserve all of their color. I used to capture them as a white blob with a colorful glow. So there’s a tip for you about how to avoid that tragic fate with your photos of neon signs, and lights in general.

I don’t know if it was just the popular look at the time, or if it’s a thing that people who are fairly new to photography do, but I used to overexpose my images a lot. I feel like there’s a trend with photographers toward shooting more and more natural looking images the longer they shoot. Or maybe that’s just what I see because that’s what I’m interested in.

I was talking with Moiz recently about my photography vs the more abstract or heavily edited images others produce. He described my work as “non-fiction” by way of book analogy, which I really enjoy.