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Living in Texas my entire life and studying about the history of this great state from when I was young has been a great experience.  Most Texans have great pride in their state, and I consider myself to, but it was quite surprising that I never saw the iconic Alamo until I was 19 years old.  (I know, SHOCKING!)  Well, now I have been on three different occasions in the last six years, and I have fully decided that I would much rather visit the Alamo at night time from now on.

The Alamo

The first and second time I visited San Antonio, we visited the Alamo during the day, which was nice, but have you ever tried to take a front on shot of the Alamo during the day?

There are a couple of things that make this difficult:
A.) It’s usually hot, and in July, REALLY hot.

B.) There are way too many people around to really make a picture worth it, and I don’t really like a bunch of people crowding up my pictures of iconic landmarks.

So, I have decided that I much more prefer to photograph the Alamo in the dark, which might sound strange to many people.

The Alamo

There are some great benefits to photographing this place in the dark:

A.) It’s not near as hot, unless it’s late July or August, but then it’s only about 95 degrees vs. 105.

B.) There are a LOT less people in your shot, matter of fact, pretty much none if you want it that way.

C.) The lighting is amazing!  There is spotlighting on the Alamo itself, so there is no need for a flash at all and you don’t have other things distracting from the main focus of the picture, ie: grass, trees, a gray sky, etc.

This last spring break I traveled to San Antonio for a couple of days with some great co-workers of mine and we visited the Alamo pretty late at night.  Unfortunately, we ran into some brothers from Minnesota who thought Texas was awesome, but they had had quite a bit to drink, so they kept talking forever, but the lighting was spectacular. I used my trusty point and shoot camera, the Canon G11 on manual mode and just adjusted my exposure and white balance. One of my co-workers liked the shot below so much that I printed an 8×12 for her birthday and framed it for her new apartment, and she  loved it!

Another great place I have been pleased with photographing at night was the Texas Capital Building, shot with the same camera on a whim at about 1:00 in the morning:
Texas Capital Building

So next time you visit an iconic landmark such as the Alamo or the Capital building, think about changing the style up of your photographs just a bit by going at night, you might be pleasantly surprised by the results!