So Cal Pixels

1900 University Avenue, Austin, TX 78705 1900 University Avenue, Austin Directions
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Ben Chen has experienced his share of success in his nearly 30-year photography career?his work has been published in such publications as Cosmopolitan, The Los Angeles Times, and ESPN Magazine, and he has lent his expertise to some of the nation's largest corporations, including Procter & Gamble and The American Red Cross. In 2006, the photographer began to notice that more and more novices were purchasing complex DSLR cameras, and that gave him an idea. Chen decided to share his wealth of knowledge with aspiring photographers by creating the 4-Hour Newbie Photography Boot Camp, which teaches students how to shoot manually with their DSLRs and create artistic, professional-quality photos. Since then, more than 5,000 students in 20 cities throughout the country have benefited from these classes. In 2013, he acquiesced to student demand and created Part II of the class, which goes beyond photography basics by diving into post-production techniques. Nowadays, students can take both Part I and Part II in the same day, helping them go from student to master in less time than most action-movie montages.

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Groupon Guide

Austin Guide

The rest of the world may know Austin as primarily a music town, but there is so much more to the city. Austinites also like their unique food selections, their wild nights on the town, and are always finding ways to be creative. Whether one is ready to take a big bite out of this city, or just looking for something new to try, here’s an Austin guide to help.

It’s hard to talk about Austin music without mentioning the two biggest music-related Austin things to do: Austin City Limits and South by Southwest. The ACL Festival, which runs in October in Zilker Park, and SXSW, held in March, draw people from all over the world. Other Austin music venues of note include Antone’s on 5th Street and the rockabilly-leaning Continental Club on South Congress.

New on the restaurant scene but quickly becoming a favorite is Foreign and Domestic, a modern American diner that dishes up “comfort food” made with local ingredients. Meanwhile, Tex Mex gets a serious upgrade at Garrido’s in the Warehouse District. And satisfy your sweet tooth with a fried pie at Cutie Pies on Burnet Road.

When night begins to fall, Austinites swoop into bars, nightclubs, and taverns all over town. Among the most unique bars are the absinthe bar Péché on 4th Street, and the Live Oak Brewing Company over on 5th Street, where freshly brewed beer is a way of life. Local happy hours also make the bars great Austin deals.

Finally, a guide to Austin wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the things, people, and events that keep it “weird” and foremost is the Keep Austin Weird Festival and 5K held each June. Other off-the-wall activities include the unusual films presented at the Alamo Draft House, the “Night of the Bat” festival, and annual O. Henry Pun Off held each May. Get a taste of the real of the city and enjoy the wide variety of things to do in Austin.

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