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First Impressions of my Black Bridge Internship

As some of you may have noticed, there’s a new gallery live on my website. It happens to be titled Black Bridge Motors Internship (link down below). Here you’ll find a constantly updating gallery of photos I’ve taken over the course of my internship at Black Bridge Motors. The reason I bring this up is to talk about the internship itself, and how awesome of a place Black Bridge happens to be.

For those who have been to a Caffeine and Carburetors in the past few years, I’m sure you’ve heard of Black Bridge Motors. They’re a fairly large classic car restoration garage just outside of Norwalk. They specialize in Land Rover Defenders, but happen to build a lot more too. Some of my favorite builds are the “Shop Truck”, a Military D110, and believe it or not, an LS3 swapped Jeep. These are some of the most spectacular builds I’ve ever seen, and have had the pleasure of shooting them for the past few weeks.

When I first got to Black Bridge I was fairly overwhelmed. I know close to nothing about fixing, let alone restoring, cars, so I really didn’t know what I was in for. However, the guys at the shop truly are some of the nicest people on the planet. Straight from day one, if I was even the slightest bit confused on anything, instantly I’d have some help. Learning my way around the parts area and finding parts for the techs was not an easy thing to do, but with their help I was able to get through it. On top of that, I was even able to get my hands a little dirty. From doing an oil change, to just cutting rubber, I’ve been able to help on a decent amount of projects. On top of all of this, I’ve spent a lot of time working on my photography and editing skills.

Sometime in my first week at Black Bridge, a professional photographer named Joe (@joehadams) stopped in to give me a lesson on how to take “sales shots”. Obviously, my main focus for photography happens to be artistic shots. However, when trying to sell a car, there are certain protocols to take, and certain angles that are necessary. The first thing Joe taught me was how to actually change my focus settings. Typically I keep my camera on auto focus with Area mode set to auto, but Joe taught me how to skillfully use single-point. The next “lesson” was on auto bracketing. Auto bracketing is super useful for a high contrast shot. For example, if one part of the frame is super lit, but the main focus is totally shadowed out, you can use auto bracketing. What this does is it takes three shots. One perfectly exposed, one under exposed, and one over exposed. This allows you to go into your editing software and create an HDR Merge. This combines all the photos into one clear and crisp photo.

Using these techniques over the past few weeks has dramatically changed my shooting capability and even my style (just a little bit). I was able to use these techniques on a project I am currently working on, that is honestly quite stressful, but a load of fun. Essentially, I’m working on compiling a book for the techs, that lays out the framework of a classic Land Rover, and then a restored one. This allows the techs to remember how things looked and how they were mounted. This is useful for a lot of different scenarios. For example, if a customer wants an LS3 swapped D110 again in the future, the techs can look back at this book and see how far the engine mounts were welded, where they were mounted, how things were bolted, and what parts they needed. This is crucial in the building process. It speeds everything up and reduces waste on useless parts. The one challenge about this whole project is the fact that I know pretty much nothing about what I’m shooting. So having the team look at my shots and tell me what they do and don’t need is absolutely critical.

All in all, my internship is absolutely crazy. It’s fun yet challenging. It’s a fantastic learning experience, and I cannot wait for the rest of the weeks to come. Make sure to check out the gallery for an updated selection of my best photos.

Click here to view my Black Bridge Motors Internship gallery. 

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