Hamilton Pool near Austin, Texas

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    At last, the final version of this image (until I learn some new tricks)! Hamilton Pool is one of the best kept secrets in Central Texas. It took me 10 years to find it but I'm very glad I did. The place is a spectacular circular swimming hole half covered over by the massive remains of the previous cave's roof. It's pretty tricky to photograph and this image is actually a composite of 4 shots taken with different exposures.

    I spent a day last week at a fabulous Photoshop seminar by Ben Willmore during which he spent the time talking about various post-processing techniques. Armed with these new tricks, I got back to this image and have now got it to a point that I am happy with it.

    For those interested in what's changed, I've added a play-by-play account on my blog here.

    Now all I need is to find a cloud that isn't burned out and drop that in..... :-)

    EDIT 1/25/11: OK - I couldn't leave that sky alone. You can find the next (dare I suggest "final"?") version here.

    Note: This image isn't available for licensing via Getty Images since it already has active licenses. If you are interested, please drop me a FlickrMail.

    Prints of this image are available on ImageKind or Altered Perspectives.

    I would greatly appreciate your vote in the 2013 Photoblog Awards. Thanks!

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    mothernature photography, Bull Snook, and 353 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    View 20 more comments

    1. DaveWilsonPhotography 59 months ago | reply

      @bishop_s Thanks! The easiest way for me to tell you where this is would be to ask you to click the map link under "Additional Information" on the right of the screen (assuming you're not viewing this via Flickr Mobile, of course). The picture is geotagged.

      Hamilton Pool can be found about 20 miles south west of Austin. Head out highway 71, turn left on Hamilton Pool Road and keep going until you see the signs for the parking lot on the right. It's further than you think so don't turn back too early.

      --
      Seen on my Flickr home page. (?)

    2. bish_s 59 months ago | reply

      Thanks, David... will certainly look the place up when I am in Austin.

    3. subarcticmike 57 months ago | reply

      fav'd your thematic (!) image (!) a while ago
      stopping by to add
      all your learning of new tricks
      well worth the effort
      kudo's!

    4. the 4 headed lion 54 months ago | reply

      one of the best swimming spots around

    5. Andy Q. Huynh 53 months ago | reply

      Thanks for sharing your secret location, I'll have to pay a visit someday. Beautiful color and composition.

    6. Y~L .... [deleted] 52 months ago | reply

    7. Edison Zanatto 52 months ago | reply

      Very beautiful !!!

    8. ladigue_99 (away for two weeks) 42 months ago | reply

      fantastic capture, great post production as well
      gorgeous place!

    9. chicscapes 35 months ago | reply

      holy crap. this is awesome. i am going to visit austin just for this pool. thanks.

    10. charlesdcrowley 29 months ago | reply

      Very beautiful. I went there numerous times when I lived in Austin. It's a nice swimming hole when the water flow permits, it''s probably dried up at the moment. There is some footage of it in Tree of Life. Also visit West Cave Preserve, another collapsed grotto being returned to a pristine state as much as possible, with native species being replanted and so on. Visit both by all means if you can.

    11. ! . © Angela Lobefaro . ! 24 months ago | reply

      Incredible locations, I love the colours and clarity very much!

      (discorevered Stumbling...)

    12. Metalog 24 months ago | reply

      Excelent !!

    13. Taiyo 03 16 months ago | reply

      Hey Dave, i use to go there in the mid-60's when it was a very funky swimming hole. Hadn't been back until a few months ago when i was visiting my Mom in San Antonio and decided to go and take a few photos. 'Twas dried up or at least dripping so slowly that i only knew it to be a falls from my past experience. And the surrounding growth had grown up so much i don't think the shot you are showing is available. Maybe i'll put some of my shots on my Flickr page. Thanks Dave.

    14. DaveWilsonPhotography 16 months ago | reply

      I was lucky and took this on an afternoon after a couple of rainy days when the creek was flowing well. The pool was also shut to swimming due to high bacteria levels, hence the absence of other people. I've not been out there in a couple of years but I'll definitely go back if a similar day appears this Spring!

    15. spirit_raindancer 15 months ago | reply

      Wow, that's quite something.

    16. rogra1606 9 months ago | reply

      Wow! This is superb. Thank you.

    17. whisperlite 9 months ago | reply

      I had a particulary hard time processing this view of hamilton when i took the shot , but had no problom re processing it with new skills .. A graduated filter will do the trick in one exposure , but multiple images work best .. Well done ..

    18. DaveWilsonPhotography 9 months ago | reply

      I'm not sure I could get this shot with a graduated filter. As far as I can remember, there's about a 6 stop change in exposure from the bright section on the right to the dark section on the left. With a 3 stop filter, you could possibly tweak the image in Lighroom or wherever without seeing too many artifacts in one or other of the sides but you would still be left with the fact that there isn't really any clean, straight line between dark and light meaning that some dark areas would be affected by the filter too. I need to go back and retake this sometime and I'll definitely be using multi-exposure techniques again next time because I reckon they give me far more flexibility to get the image right later.

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