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

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Scenic View of January travels…

Nikon D90, ISO 400, f/7.1, 1/1000 sec

Nikon D90, ISO 400, f/7.1, 1/1000 sec

I have not blogged in over a month. It has been a crazy few months for me, as far as getting ready to move and planning for a wedding. So hopefully a few eye-catching images will make up for my blogging absence.

And per request, I am starting to put my data file on the image. I don’t think you were able to see it before, but now instead of me saying it in the blog and confusing everyone to death, I’ll just put it under the picture.

The Christopher Columbus statue underneath the Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge is a gorgeous statue. It’s kind of hidden away in a nice area of Corpus Christi I had never seen. There was a lot of construction in that area for the longest time, so I avoided it. It seems that all of the construction is officially finished and it offers a nice scenic view of the bay and under the Harbor Bridge. If you are in the area, it’s a good place to take some shots of your visit to Corpus Christi. There is plenty of parking and it is right next to the Museum of Science and Natural History.

Nikon D90, ISO 400, f/8, 1/1000 sec

Nikon D90, ISO 400, f/8, 1/1000 sec

Near by, I was also able to take a few pictures of the Heritage Village. I have done a few photo shoots here, including my most recent back in August. This is a nice place for pictures. If you need family portraits or senior portraits, this place offers a number of background options. And if you are not satisfied with those, there are plenty of other places close by that offer just as many backgrounds.

Nikon D90, ISO 400, f/7.1, 1/2000 sec

Nikon D90, ISO 400, f/7.1, 1/2000 sec

In the midst of all my travels in Corpus Christi, I also payed a visit to Rockport, Texas. Rockport is about a 30 minute drive from Corpus Christi and is a small coastal community that centers around fishing and shrimping. It also has a large art culture. I went there to work on wedding stuff, as our reception will be at the Texas Maritime Museum. This is a beautiful building and I wish I would have taken more photographs, but here is one to check out. Anyone in the area, I urge you to visit this place and admire the gorgeous architecture of the building.

Nikon D90, ISO 800, f/13, 2.5 sec

Nikon D90, ISO 800, f/13, 2.5 sec

And finally, here is an image of the Menger Hotel in San Antonio, Texas. I had to take a picture for work, to use in advertisements for an event we are having here in February. I got a great shot on a Sunday evening with the hustle and bustle of people going back and forth from the historic hotel. I was also blessed with a deep blue sky, which are normally my favorite natural backgrounds to use.

Of course the challenge was lighting everything evenly, and it still is darker at the top, but I think I got some great light out of the photo as a whole.

The Wichita Theatre!

Wichita Falls Theatre - A J L 3 Photography

Had some fun this weekend shooting in Wichita Falls, Texas. We went to the theatre downtown and I was able to snap some pictures since the houselights were on. Rarely does this happen in Wichita Falls when ever I visit. Normally, the lights are off, so this was a big hit to get all the lights on.

We were able to take pictures across and under the Wichita Theatre Performing Arts Centre. The above picture of the theatre was where the entrance used to be, but since it is not used anymore they just turn the lights on when there is a performance. The building right next to the actual theatre has been converted into a theatre itself and combined with the old one. This allows for more space and a bigger crowd.

Wichita Falls Theatre - A J L 3 PhotographyOn the left, you can see an above view of the theatre with the sign slightly cut off. It reads ‘Wichita’ in neon letters that change colors. A lot of this has some LED’s installed giving it a newer look. You can still see where all the old tiles and theatre setting are and what has been retouched. For most part it is still looking like the original theatre.

It was a fun shoot, and I’m glad I’ve finally been able to get the lights with this beautiful theatre. It has been a long waiting game. Let me know what you think of the photos in the comments. Also, below is the last photo of a larger image of what the theatre looks like. Overall this theatre design looks retro, but feels brand new. It’s a great contrast to all the old buildings in the city.

Wichita Falls Theatre - A J L 3 Photography

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

Blue and Gold Homecoming Time…

Angelo State University Homecoming - AJL3 Photography

This past week was a thrilling time at Angelo State University. For me personally, there was a lot of work. Four months of work all rolled into one week where we would be hosting alumni from across the states. There were plenty of campus activities going on too, including them wrapping the ram in blue and gold paper. This is a shot I’ve been wanting to try for a while, so the paper treatment on the ram statue really gave me a great opportunity.

The real challenge, was making sure the paper, which was gold, didn’t look orange. As you can see on the bottom the way the light glows from the ambient light, it gives an orange glow. This is what I was trying to avoid for the paper on the ram. The best way I did this, was on my white balance, I used the kelvin settings. White balance has a lot of great settings, but when you really cannot get what you like, think about adding blue or reds in by using the kelvin setting. In this case, I added a lot of blue and lowered the kelvin settings almost as low as you could go. This gave me a natural yellow gold color on the ram, and still allowed the ambient orange light to shine through.

Angelo State University Homecoming - AJL3 PhotographyOf course, I wasn’t able to attend all the events going on during the week. For the most part, I just enjoyed them, and didn’t always bring my camera. On the left is one I took at our Ram Jam, a tailgate party before the game.

It was a nice look at people preparing some tailgate food. There were more than just those few tailgating. In total, there were about 2,300 people at the tailgate party. Many of them arrived early and left late.

The clouds were giving me some great diffusion, and here the tent gave me enough diffusion to shoot at a shutter speed of 160. I alternated my shutter speed from 160 with tents and out in the open, I shot at 320 to 400. The clouds helped a lot and I didn’t have to raise it more than that for this Saturday event.

Angelo State University Homecoming - AJL3 Photography

Of course Ram Jam had a lot of other things going on. Here is a picture of the San Angelo Nature Center showing off one of their many reptiles. They showed off two different snakes to the students and community and were able to touch the snakes.

Angelo State University Homecoming - AJL3 PhotographyEarlier on the Friday before Ram Jam, I shot a few test shots and was able to come up with this gem of a picture. I used a tripod for this one, allowing me to have a natural glow that the flash would not have been able to recreate.

The decorations gave a good contrast with the blue wine glasses and the surrounding background gave everything an orange hue for that more homey field.

I left the exposure open for about 1.5 seconds to 2 seconds. The aperture was set to f8 to give a more sharp look instead of possibly having a bokeh effect on the back wine glasses. This also allowed the front wine glass to be pretty clear. A little sharpening in Photoshop cleaned up the little bit of blur I had from pressing the button as I set the camera to take a long-exposure shot.

There were some interesting shots this week, and many were different. I tried to use different skills I had this week, and I think I succeeded.

I finally have time for some personal photo projects, so look for new posts in the next few weeks.

Angelo State University Homecoming - AJL3 PhotographyAdded Photo: The photo below is a new photo I added. Went back to see what else I had from Ram Jam. Had an excellent picture from the Angelettes, the Angelo State dance team that performs with the ASU Band. I love the colors from this picture. The sun coming towards me always gives me a problem. At this point, it’s about location. You don’t want lens flare unless you like those. If you’re not a fan of them, just position yourself to where you know from any angle the sun will be blocked by something and no lens flare. It was just a good crisp picture of the many events that go on during Ram Jam.

Worldwide Photo Walk in San Angelo!

Scott Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk - AJL3 Photography

Tonight was the sixth annual Scott Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk for photographers everywhere. I was part of the San Angelo group that had about 35 photographers. A lot of fun as usual. It had just rained so there were a lot of good reflections and the river was also running.

I got to see a lot of fellow photographers that I have not seen for a while. Mostly because I haven’t been able to attend our photography meetings due to working and traveling around Texas. It was a joy to see everyone on the first real cold day for a Texas Autumn. First time I had to put some cold weather clothing on.

The photo above is of a truck that has been transformed into mosaic art. The skeletons in the window represent the Muertos theme found around the area and prominent in Mexico. I was very pleased the way this photo came out. I dodged and burned the front part a good amount in Photoshop until I got the lighting I liked. In the initial phase, I left this on for a 10-second exposure and used a Nikon SB-800 Flash on the passenger’s side and then ran to the left and fired it again at the bed of the truck. This helped with the end results, since I had available light rather than just a dark silhouette.

Scott Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk - AJL3 Photography

Continuing the walk along the Concho River, we could see the lights under the bridge. It’s a new thing that San Angelo has done, and it looks spectacular at night. They recreated this area and connected the two part of the river so it’s one giant trail. They added a lot of pieces including new walking paths, washer pits and giant Chess boards. We took this at a low point on the bridge that separates the river. In the distance you can see Celebration Bridge, where we started off the photo walk.

The water was moving because of the recent rains. It gave the river a nice effect with more of a misting effect that is normally not there when the river is still because of the drought we are currently in. I also adjusted my kelvin settings at around 3750, to give me a nicer blue, but still bring out some nice ambient light to give it that good contrast. On the left I decided to leave the bright lights in to give it a more complete look of what San Angelo has done. I burned it a little in Photoshop, to give it a little richer look.

I’ve been wanting to shoot this spot since they installed the lights in July, but they are rarely on, so tonight was a perfect opportunity to see them all lit up.

The last shot is on the bottom, of a string of lights, that are found inside the actual park. They light up the area real well, and this is before it started to really get dark. I have a new tripod that is sturdier, so it helps with vertical shots. This is a really nice place, and I’ll be back again, to get some more interesting shots. Good job San Angelo, you did great!

Scott Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk - AJL3 Photography

Angelo State in Arlington, Texas!

AT&T Stadium - AJL3 Photography

Enter AT&T Stadium! It has been a while since I posted, mostly because of the busy schedule school and work have kept me under, but I’m back for one post before the end of September. This post is from September 13th and 14th, when we went to Arlington, Texas.

I was there for work, since we had a group going to the Rangers Ballpark and then a university game at AT&T Stadium the next day. The above photograph is looking over the mini river that divides the two venues. From the pathway it was fairly easy to take a shot of AT&T Stadium. I held still for this one, not using a tripod. There is a lot of light out there, allowing me to use a faster shutter speed. Since tripods are frowned upon in the ballpark, I didn’t have it before hand. I didn’t feel like walking all the way back, since it was a good mile from where we parked, so I just handheld it. Came out better than I thought too.

AT&T Stadium - AJL3 PhotographyThe next day, we hauled ourselves to the AT&T Stadium parking lot. We had a tailgate set up with other teams from the Lone Star Conference. Everyone was packed like sardines, and I really don’t think AT&T Stadium was made to be tailgate friendly, but we managed.

I didn’t have much time to photograph the event, as me and my fiance were working the tables and giving out ASU memorabilia.

We had a big turnout for the event, with about 600 people attending. Our area gave out hot dogs, chips, cookies and drinks. The picture to the left is part of the line where students and alumni lined up to grab something to eat before the game. Behind here is a Wal-Mart, which was beneficial to us when we ran out of things, but also awkward that it’s so close to the AT&T Stadium and Rangers Ballpark.

AT&T Stadium - AJL3 Photography

This was a fun photograph I captured from one of our alumni and her future Ram in Angelo State colors. This is just natural posing and natural light at its best and my favorite colors blue and gold are in it. For this one, I was already shooting at 125 and had my aperture open at 7.1 for a good medium. These two pictures were shot at the same settings, and had the aid of a tent to help create some natural diffusion from a bright and hot sun.

After the tailgate, we made it into AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys. Inside, we had access to a lot of the area including the Miller Lite room. It was really dark, and I wasn’t allowed to bring in a lot of stuff including a flash to help me out, so I couldn’t manage as many shots as I would have liked. I did try my best to save a lot of my photos, but it was pretty dark in most places, and everyone was moving, so even at a low shutter speed, I had some good blur going on.

Here is a picture of the famous star that is in the Miller Lite room, where the home team tunnel begins.

AT&T Stadium - AJL3 Photography

Underneath this star the home teams runs through the entrance and onto the field. We had a great view to the field and the whole experience was a lot of fun. I would love to go and do another photo shoot in the AT&T Stadium with all my gear one day. Until that day comes, I will work on perfecting a way to take some better low-exposure photographs without any aid.

And here is the last photograph for this blog. Our team, the Angelo State University Rams faced off against Colorado State-Pueblo in the Lone Star Conference Football Festival. We were the last game for the evening, and while we lost, it was still a thrilling game. There is a lot of promise in our team. Go Rams!

AT&T Stadium - AJL3 Photography