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5 Top Tips On Photographing Bridges

5 Top Tips On Photographing Bridges - Advice on shooting the bridges that dominate our towns, cities and countryside.

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Category : Architecture
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Chain Bridge and Parliament at dusk, River Danube
Photo by David Clapp - www.davidclapp.co.uk
 

What Time Of Day Is Best? 

Early morning or late evening light will highlight textures and warmth to the scene but don't overlook bright days either as strong shadows will make statues and other detail stand out from the walls.

If you wait for the sun to go down have a play around with long exposures and capture the light trails created by traffic as it passes you by. Most DSLRs will happily create shutter speeds of 30 seconds but if you want something a little longer you'll need to switch to the B (bulb) setting. 

If you do use Bulb mode, keep an eye on your battery life as you don't want it to drain before you've captured your shot. Do remember you'll need your tripod and a remote release is handy if you have one.

Should I Use A Wide-Angle Lens? 

If you're shooting on the bridge a wide angle lens is great for getting interesting foreground detail in shot. Just remember to use a small aperture so everything in the scene is in focus. A wide is also handy for when you want to shoot the bridge in its surroundings and don't have the space to move back with a telephoto lens. If you can get down to the base of the bridge a wide angle lens will exaggerate the size of the part closest to you while the distant point of it will look like it's shrinking towards the vanishing point.

If you find you have too much sky and land dominating your wide, landscape shots of your bridges crop in and create a panorama.

Panorama New York
Photo by David Clapp - www.davidclapp.co.uk

When Will A Telephoto Lens Be Useful? 

When you want to isolate detail pick up your telephoto lens. It's also useful for when you have strong lines to work with such as bridge supports.

What Else Can I Photograph On A Bridge? 

Bridges, particularly old ones, have interesting detail that's worth a shot or two. Signs, supports, nuts, bolts and even rust can make good images.


How Can I Use Bridges Creatively In My Shots? 

You can use the bridges that stretch over roads, canals and rivers to frame whatever landscape sits behind it. Just watch your exposure if you do this as it'll be darker under the bridge than it is on either side so bracket if you need to.



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