The Texas City Dike is a 5 mile long jetty that juts out into Galveston Bay between Texas City and Galveston, Texas. The purpose of the structure is to slow the deposit of sediment into the lower Galveston Bay. It also serves to protect the low lying areas of Texas City from water surges due to hurricanes making landfall in Galveston Bay. Vehicles are able to access and drive the length of it making it easy for folks who want to fish along the jetty, people launching boats into the bay and the occasional photographer like me.
The mission was long exposure photo opportunities along the jetty. Because it was built in 1935, there are several old structures that make potentially good subjects. The dike is made up mostly of granite boulders in various sizes, some as large as a small car. There are several metal structures that direct water and/or buffet the waves coming towards the boat ramps. As I drove the length of the dike, I came upon the large concrete tube-like structure pictured above. I’m not sure what it is and what purpose it served but it looked like it had been there awhile and it wasn’t moving.
How I made the image:
The sun had been hiding behind the clouds off and on most of the morning. Although I had gotten there by sunrise and had a little color to work with, it was not enough to be interesting. A black and white image seemed to suit this subject. After setting up my tripod on the rocks near the edge of the water, I mounted my Fuji X-T2, XF 16-55mm lens and a Formatt-Hitech 6 stop ND filter. I wanted to retain some texture in the water so I went with a 5 second exposure at f/16. Silky smooth water is great sometimes but the clouds, darker sky and turbulent water added to the mood I was trying to capture.
Tonality CK is usually my go-to for my black and white conversions, this time I decided to try the old standby, Silver Efex Pro. I tweaked the original preset that started the process and created the image above. Overall, I think it works nicely.