Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Corpus Christi Part 2

I forgot to mention in the previous post that the first thing we did after arriving in Corpus was check-in at our hotel and then be forced to kill time waiting for our room to be ready. This was painful because the plan all along was to get into the room ASAP and watch the San Antonio Spurs versus the Utah Jazz in Game 1 of the NBA Western Conference Finals. The sailboat photo was taken during our wait, but it was the only thing that turned out OK because I was in a state of high anxiety. The TV picture was really crappy, so it was hard to see exactly what was happening. The Spurs won, and then we drove the rest of the way to the coast in a much better mood for the rest of the photos I posted on Monday.

An A-4 Skyhawk painted in Blue Angels livery is a teaser at the entrance to the aircraft carrier USS Lexington, on permanent display in Corpus Christi Bay.

A pair of the Lex's anti-aircraft guns were also on shore display. We had just eaten a seafood (and chicken-fried steak) dinner in a restaurant right next to the Lexington, and I was getting anxious as the sun went down.

Here's the Lex at night. It's nickname is The Blue Ghost because it was the only big ship to wear it's particular blue shade of paint during WWII, and the nighttime lighting plays on that theme.
The access pier is silhouetted against the ship--you enter on the hangar deck well below the flight deck.

This bridge spans the ship channel that leads to Corpus Christi's port facilities. It doesn't look as big as it really is--the largest ocean cargo vessels can pass under it with ease, and when you're driving over it don't look down.
The high winds typical of Corpus Christi were the worst on this photo. For the others I had my tripod on solid ground (parking lots and concrete walkways) and could hold it down against the 30mph gusts. This time I was in a grassy field and my previous technique would only sink the legs into the earth. This picture isn't sharp at all, but was the best of seven.

Looking back towards downtown CC from the same spot where I shot the Lex.

It's a curious phenomena that acceptable depth of focus changes at night.
Shooting this same scene during the day I would stop down the aperture for max depth, but at night when I need as much light as possible to combat digital "noise" I never hesitate to open it up, and I don't think the results suffer as much as one would think from a purely theoretical viewpoint versus actual experience.
Possibly, softer focus is more acceptable at night since there are already items in the frame that are blurring from motion, like the water and clouds in this shot.
I will entertain other theories.

Whatever the reasons, I'm not complaining.
Shooting at night has a huge range of technical problems and physical dangers that I gladly accept to get photos like this and the ones that will appear here in a few days.


Bruce said...

Nice views of Corpus, Keith. They make me want to get there soon. Of course, I'm always saying that about San Antonio too. :-(

KeithAlanK said...

Hit the road, Bruce! Travel does wonders for my photography, and I'm hoping that '07 or at least '08 sees me making the trip up to your neck of the woods.