Underneath the Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge

Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge

Nikon D90, ISO 400, f/18, 3 secs

I’m finally back to blogging. After being away for a while and trying to find my way back into the world of photography, I’m here and promise to put more stuff up. I’m back in the Corpus Christi area. After college, I found a job down here and am having a great time living in a city again. I loved West Texas, but for a night photographer, the city lights are a playground. You will be seeing more stuff from Corpus Christi in future posts. I have two pictures in this post. Hope they satisfy you for now.

The Harbor Bridge is the iconic landmark in Corpus Christi. A couple of years ago they re-lit it with LED lights and now it looks as beautiful as ever. Normally you take shots of it from the front, but I’ve done that so many times, I wanted to try something different. The great thing about this area, is that it has easy access and there isn’t much traffic. If you are in the area, I highly suggest you take a stroll down here and snaps some shots at night.

I used a sturdy tripod and I suggest you put some weights or have something that can block the wind because you feel that good-old Texas breeze here and it’s no joke. Of course I used the clarity tool in post-processing to help out with the little bit of movement I did have. It wasn’t much, but I love the new tool from Lightroom. I did leave some of the light trails from the lighting around, because I liked it and it reflected my own personal style.

Since my tripod has a ball-head, I positioned it horizontal to get a different look. The bridge does change colors and since it is silver, the colors respond differently with the sky. It’s industrial down here, so you have a lot of ambient light that gives an orange glow in the sky. I focused on the pink, purple and blue lighting to bring out the best in the Harbor Bridge. Of course, try different colors, but I found those to work best for me. I also suggest white balancing the bridge with the tungsten setting. It makes it easier to get the natural colors you want.

So next time you are here, try shooting the bridge on a different angle. Until next time, keep shooting!

Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge

Nikon D90, ISO 400, f/18, 3 secs

Garage shoot set for the evening…

Selena Photo Shoot - AJL3 Photography

This past Thursday, I met up with Selena, one of the local models in San Angelo. Along with my friend Jason Archer, another local photographer with an impressive knowledge of photography, we set out to one of the seldom used parking garages. This one is partly abandoned and the bottom is used for public parking.

The above photo is of a lighting set up we arranged near the entrance to the garage away from any oncoming traffic. We busted out the Alienbees for this particular shoot. I used the PLM system and Jason used a beauty dish and a blue gel set up. We synced our connections and started taking pictures.

Since it is already dark in the parking garage, we have a good control on how the lighting will look like. Except for a few openings, the majority of the parking garage has very little light coming in.

Selena Photo Shoot - AJL3 PhotographyAs you can see towards your left, we positioned Selena at some particular angles to get some nice catch light from the sun rays setting around the garage. We exposed for the lighting behind us and then used the rest of the fill light to light up Selena accordingly.

This is a rather easy set up. With the PLM system, we set one Alienbee right on top of her, to give her hair a natural shine and to cover up any shadows from the left. With the beauty dish with an AlienBee, that was facing on the other side of Selena opposite the PLM system. This gave her the soft light and glow on her dress.

Of course make sure you adjust accordingly with the sun setting, we lost light a lot faster being in an inclosed space.

The last picture below is one of my favorites. We had Selena pose for us leaning down and then with just using the beauty dish gave her a shadow that glowed towards one part of her face. The PLM system was shooting away in the distance giving her some rim light. The blue gel gave off a hint of more blue in the photograph, for a darker and mysterious feel.

I did have the trouble of her eye looking too much like a cat, so instead of Selena looking at me, I had her look away, allowing the other white part of her pupil to be seen and it looking a lot more natural.

And as you see in the picture below, since the sky in the background was already going dark, it was a better choice to go with a faster shutter speed to make sure we had a good sharpness on Selena since half of her body would be in the shadows.

Of course I would like to thank both Jason and Selena for working with me on this photo shoot. It was nice working on a personal project. Let me know in the comments what you think of these photos.

Selena Photo Shoot - AJL3 Photography

Football season approaches…

ram helmet at sunrise rt 960png

Football Season is almost here. We have about 50 days left until the pigskin flies. Yesterday night, I was working on some promos for our upcoming tailgate events. These promos will be used for flyers and social media. I’m also going to break down how I did these shots. The main focus point is the ASU Ram helmet. The colors shine great, and I was able to get a nice catch light on the edge of where the yellow meets the blue.

This was not an easy shoot to set up, since I was working on an inclined hill and wanted to get more of the background in rather than the fencing. As you will see in the final shot, I think I managed it with a little help from Adobe Photoshop.


To illustrate how I made this, I used the Online Lighting Diagram Creator to help create an illustration. First I had the sunset already setting, and I took this around 9 p.m. to get those nice lights. I was lucky to have a lot of cloud coverage that gave a misty tone in the sky. The flower pot is my placeholder for the helmet. I used an Alienbee Flash B800 on the right. It was right next to the helmet angled about three feet above it, but not aimed straight at the helmet, but a little off.

I then used my SB-800 flash and remotely triggered it myself near the helmet. I set my camera on a timer and then ran to fire off the remote flash. The camera was on the bottom of a four-foot hill on a tripod looking up at the helmet. This helped to give me more sky rather than fence. Of course, at the LeGrand Alumni and Visitors Center, we have excellent places to stage photo shoots. This rock garden at the top of the hill divides the land from us to the fields. It was the perfect place to give us a West Texas football feel.

ram helmet at sunrise rt 96

The picture itself was shot at 200 ISO, which I normally like to use around night, to take out as much grain as I can. I set it to one-second and the aperture to F14 to keep that nice dark background in the back. As you see at the top, I had a lot of lighting to work with on my Alienbee Flash which I kept at 1/8th power.

This was a fun shoot, and I really enjoyed the end results. Since the helmet has some dings and looked a little beaten up, I cleaned it up in Photoshop. Also, since the front white part that says “RAMS” was glowing because of the light, I burned it in Photoshop to give it a more natural color. The only major part of Photoshop I used, was just adjusting levels and exposure to give it the natural shine. I will be using this technique for future shoots. Nothing says Texas like a good old-fashion sunset!