night photography

Commercial Hotel Night Photography Albuquerque San Mateo Inn

Commercial Hotel Night Photography Albuquerque San Mateo Inn

Lightning in Commercial Hotel Photography Albuquerque

Almost one month to the day I returned to the San Mateo Inn for more commercial exterior photography, this time at night! My first shoot was all during the day with clear blue skies overhead. For this second shoot right after sunset, the clouds were rolling in and a storm was approaching. I was working as fast as I could with my new Sony a7R IV mirrorless camera. In fact this was the very first shoot I used it for! I could hear the thunder and see the lightning, and in a happy accident, during one long exposure photo of the front of the hotel, I caught a sharp bolt of lightning! I got the remaining photos I needed of the pool and front sign, and was back home safe and dry before the actual rain started. Thank you to the owner, Yvette, for braving the storm with me and watching my back as we were very close to the road to get some of these shots.

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Ft Union Drive In Starry Skies Astrophotography Las Vegas New Mexico

Ft Union Drive In Starry Skies Astrophotography Las Vegas New Mexico

Astrophotography at the Drive In

As best as I can remember, for the first time since I was a kid, I saw a movie at a drive in theater. The experience was great (the movies were not)! This was part of an ultra-rare, full weekend off, out of town, not part of a photo job holiday. It was me and Jessica and our dogs Kiki and Artie all in the M3 with the top down completely under the stars, looking up at the big screen. And the stars! They were so bright and vivid! Not since I spent the night at the bottom of the Grand Canyon did they look as vivid to me.

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Fireworks 2019 Balloon Fiesta Park Albuquerque New Mexico

Fireworks 2019 Balloon Fiesta Park Albuquerque New Mexico

Fireworks Photography in Albuquerque 2019

For the first 4th of July in a long time I had my camera out on a tripod using bulb mode and an index card to capture multiple fireworks burst in one exposure. Setup in a wide open field at Balloon Fiesta Park in Albuquerque, New Mexico I had a clear view with little wind to blow smoke into the frame, but on the other hand not much of a foreground to set the fireworks in. My step-by-step guide for making fireworks photos goes into even more detail about how and why I like to photograph fireworks. Still, I was pleased with the images I was able to make even from a good distance away.

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Frozen Midnight in Albuquerque New Mexico Snow Photography Black & White

Frozen Midnight in Albuquerque New Mexico Snow Photography Black & White

Frozen Treetops Over Dark Pools

Right on time to the weather forecast, snow began falling at 5pm on a Friday. By midnight it was a frozen landscape like I have never seen in Albuquerque, New Mexico before. There was not just snow cover, it was as if the trees and ground themselves had become snow leaving only dark ponds to contrast with all that white. I went out with my tripod to make these long exposure (5, 15, 30 second exposures) in black & white around my own apartment complex grounds.

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St. Raphael Festival Modern Midway Snell Isle Florida 2013

After 10 seconds, a swinging ship on a pendulum looks elliptical at St. Rafael Church Festival Snell Isle Florida - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/16 ISO 200 10.5 sec tripod mounted with cable releaseEven though I merely observe, come the start of every October I find myself looking forward to the St. Raphael Festival that transforms a soccer field in the middle of a Snell Isle neighborhood into a carnival.  What really amazes me is how fast it comes and goes.  Sunday night at 8pm the festival is full of people on the rides.  By 9:30am Monday morning every ride is already packed up and loaded onto a truck.  It is only open for three days.  How fast it appears then disappears adds a lot to its mystery for me.  It just does not seem possible.

Of all rides, the ferris wheel holds the most nostalgia for me - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/16 ISO 200 2.3 sec tripod mounted with cable releaseAgain this year I did not go on a single ride.  I did, though, continue my custom of eating deep fried Oreos.  They warmed my insides for hours after.  

St. Raphael Festival in Snell Isle Florida is a mystical neighborhood carnival - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/16 ISO 200 1.4 sec tripod mounted with cable releaseWhere does the carnival go after it leaves Snell Isle?  I am very curious about that, but would not want to know the answer.  It occurred to me today that this could be its last stop of the year before winter, and that is why everyone packs up so quickly because vacation starts as soon as they finish.  As much as I like this annual visit, for many reasons I hope I am never here to see it again.

Shinjuku Tokyo Japan light trails

The view I had walking home at night when I lived in the Shinjuku area of Tokyo, Japan - Nikon D80 f/29 ISO 200 5 sec tripod mountedThis is a photograph from my archives, taken back in October of 2008 at the start of my DSLR shooting from when I lived in Tokyo, Japan.  I lived in the heart of the city, Shinjuku, and getting home required walking over a pedestrian bridge with a great view, day or night, but especially at night.  I brought my Nikon D80 with me and a tripod I had just bought allowing me to make light trail images like this one.  Note that the brake lights appear on the left side of the road, as Japanese drive on the opposite side to the U.S.

Nissan GT-R 360 Forged Wheels Ybor City Tampa Florida Car Photography - part 2 strobist night shots

Nikon GT-R with custom wheels in Ybor City Tampa Florida black & white - Nikon D300 Nikkor 80-200mm @ f/5.6 ISO 200 1/60th tripod mounted with cable release - strobist: SB-800 in shoot through umbrella to frame right & SB-600 same setup to frame leftIn part 1 of the Nissan GT-R in Ybor City shoot I did for 360|Forged wheels, I featured daylight images.  Here in part 2 are late evening to night car photographs made using strobist techniques.  Thanks to help from the owner of the GT-R and his friend, I was able to make these bonus shots during the shoot with very specific light placement.  Basically, instead of my speedlights just being on light stands, the lights were able to be used upside down pointed at the wheels or areas of the car I thought best highlighted the GT-R. 

Nissan GT-R front quarter panel view Ybor City Tampa Florida Car Photography - Nikon D300 Nikkor 80-200mm @ f/5.6 ISO 200 1/60th - strobist: SB-800 in shoot through umbrella to frame right & SB-600 same setup to frame leftFor the above shot I achieved the black background by first aiming the two speedlights only at the car to manage background light spill, and then using Photoshop to turn any visible spill to pure black.  In reality, this shot was made in the same spot as the first photograph in this post.

Nissan GT-R Tampa skyline street strobist image Tampa Car Photography - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/8 ISO 200 1/8th - strobist: SB-800 in shoot through umbrella to frame right & SB-600 same setup to frame leftWhere in the first two photographs the lights were both pointed low toward the Nissan GT-R, in this shot one light was held high above the hood of the car (see setup shot below).  Another light was used along the rear quarter panel and driver's side to let shadows be created for showing the different lines of the car's design.  The slow 1/8th shutter speed was used to pull some light out of the Tampa skyline for the background.

Nissan GT-R Ybor City photo shoot strobist setup, not seen is another strobe to frame right