Bridges

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by TCrowe, Jul 24, 2014.

  1. TCrowe macrumors member

    TCrowe

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    Jul 14, 2014
    Location:
    Glen Ellen, CA.
    #1
    I am a great fan of bridges. Not the overall "bridge" so much as the surreal look of the structure that makes the bridge work. Here is one that is on the front page of my store. (www.glenellenphotography.com/store). You might say that this is a flagship photo as the exposure was a bit tricky. Taken with Nikon D300 and Tokina 11-16 wide angle.
     

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  2. kenoh macrumors demi-god

    kenoh

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    Location:
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    #2
    Hi,

    I am a Geordie living in Glasgow so one bridge in particular moves me when I see it - The Tyne Bridge. Best bridge in the world. So good it was copied in Sydney - lol let the flaming begin.. :)

    On this photo, and I am a complete amateur so feel free to ignore me, but could you lift the shadow maybe on the nearside structural components and maybe get an angle without the beam in the right hand foreground dominating the space so much? I kind of feel myself trying to move to the left to see past it.

    Just my honest thoughts as a viewer, I couldnt do any better BTW.
    Ken.
     
  3. TCrowe thread starter macrumors member

    TCrowe

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    #3
    Hey, it is 2:10 AM here in California! Are you trying to keep me up all night? LOL!

    Your comments are more than welcomed by me. I am a 66 year old photographer and have been critiqued till heck won't have it. The plain truth is that I accept your critique and wouldn't have it any other way. Critique not offered is a slap in a creative persons eye. I love it as it keeps me humble and my nose straight ahead and not in the air.

    My goal in the exposure for this particular photo is evidenced in the mottled bit of light that is on the angle girder that goes up from the bottom right towards center. The darkness is, to my way of thinking,a bit foreboding. I feel it sets the mood for cold and old steel. However, I did think along your line before I settled on this lighting. Yes, I can lighten the whole thing up and would be more than happy to do so and re post it if you would like me to. Who knows, you might even change my mind, heaven forbid!

    thank you for taking the time and contacting me. Very much appreciated.
    TCrowe - Glen Ellen Photography ;)
     
  4. anewman143 macrumors regular

    anewman143

    Joined:
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    #4
    For the "foreboding, dark" look...have you tried converting to black and white and see how it looks?

    Just a random thought...
     
  5. TCrowe thread starter macrumors member

    TCrowe

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    #5
    B/w

    No, I haven't but these are good ideas. I have done a few conversions but I am a film photographer from 1969 and that still gives me pause; converting from color. I think I should do more of that and I incorporated in my store the controls do see any image I placed there in B/W or Sepia.
     
  6. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #6
    This shot really doesn't work for me[1] for several reasons. I'll enumerate them-

    1. The eye is naturally drawn to the brighter areas of an image- in this case that's empty sky and the blown girders. My eyes start in the flat cloudy area and circle around for a leading line- don't find one- then wander over to the overblown girders and find too many directions to go into. If the brighter girder took my eye from the front to the back center of the image and there was something there to lead me back around the scene, then I'd be happy, instead, instead I'm drawn from horizontal to an X and vertical lines that form many paths, none of them compelling as a subject or part of a subject.

    2. A lot of this image is black. Not subtle shadows, not interesting spaces, just nothing at all. This is one place where a non-cartoon-processed HDR made of exposures for shadow and highlight details would help.

    3. The person with their head cut off walking bothers me. The white shirt draws my eyes to the headless pedestrian.

    4. The car's lack of detail and completeness bother me.

    5. There's too much to look at here, the image is cluttered with stuff that isn't photogenic and isn't the subject. I see several visual elements that in the right lighting and from the right angles, I'd find at least interesting, but the clutter doesn't work here since there's no shadow detail, just muddy patches of black featureless stuff. Close-ups of specific bridge elements might work better in this lighting. Finding an angle where the lines draw the eye in and lead it around the image is tough on these types of bridges, I've taken and discarded many similar images because there wasn't a complete angle that worked without a bucket truck and sun re-orientation.

    6. Powerlines and the telephone pole jutting up- not liking them- sometimes you can't avoid them, but in this case, I think the angle doesn't help with that pole especially.

    7. Color isn't your friend here. The greens and blues are potentially nice, but they're not the subject which has no real color in this exposure, and therefore they detract from the image. I believe that's why a B&W conversion was recommended.

    8. The exposure is tricky because frankly you shot in the middle of the day, and the lighting isn't great because of that. Try it earlier and later, when you get angled light that may present some details in the structural elements of the bridge and will give closer lighting.

    I'm going to try to illustrate a few of my points with some images off of a quick Google search. While they're not all great images, they should stand to make the points visual.

    1. Uncluttered, B&W image with a leading line drawing the eyes into the picture:

    http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/environment/culres/bridges.htm

    2. Bridge draws you into the lightest part of the image, good use of color and shadow to frame the subject:

    http://hdwallphotos.com/photoswall/beautiful-wooden-bridge-at-forest-wallpaper-hd.html

    3. Watch your eyes avoid the dark spots on the first image, which happen to be the subject as they look at the more interesting and brighter spots- contrast that with the third and fourth images where the lighting makes the bridge the subject:

    http://www.bootsnall.com/articles/1...-world-that-you-can-climb-or-walk-across.html

    4. Uncluttered repetitive pattern:

    http://www.netnewsledger.com/2014/02/09/building-a-symbolic-bridge-in-thunder-bay/

    5. Lighting draws you in, lines lead your eyes around:

    http://www.fantom-xp.com/wp_63__Sunset_Severn_Bridge_Avon.html

    6. Using the bridge's structure as leading lines and repetitive elements, also showing detail on the structure:

    http://www.torange.us/Architecture/bridges/Iron-Bridge-4961.html

    7. HDR to even up the lighting (a bit cartoonish for my taste though:)

    http://fineartamerica.com/featured/1-iron-bridge-over-lehigh-river-steve-febbraro.html

    8. Good separation between subject and background:

    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Railway_iron_bridge_Santaka2.JPG

    9. Close up pattern/detail:

    http://www.thomas-hutchings.com/singapore_iron_bridge.jpg

    10. More leading lines for this kind of bridge:

    http://www.flickriver.com/photos/14048216@N05/tags/waterford/

    http://www.panoramio.com/photo/46062695

    11. Lighting to lines:

    http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photos-iron-bridge-image5888733

    12. More HDR to lose the blocked shadows:

    http://carsforsaleconcord.com/guitar-bridge-variations-on-acoustic-guitar-bridges/

    Paul
    [1] My opinion is likely worth what you paid for it.
     
  7. TCrowe, Jul 26, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2014

    TCrowe thread starter macrumors member

    TCrowe

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    #7
    Paul, your link does not work. Thanks for the critique. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Uh, there is no one on the bridge. The walk way is on the side I was shooting. The car is only there to represent the purpose of the bridge. There were few cars that afternoon and I wanted at least one so I waited. You eye pulls to the sky and clouds? That was part of my purpose so, in that vein, it worked for you. See you soon.
     
  8. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #8
    All the links work for me, not sure which one you're referring to.

    Yes, looking closer, it's a sign or something with a white car behind it, but in the original post it looked like a headless human. It's easy to miss small distracting elements in a small viewfinder, but fortunately much easier than having to go re-shoot when you miss them on the large ground glass of a large format view camera.

    Yes, but (a) the sky isn't supposedly the subject, and (b) the clouds are boring and featureless. My eyes aren't drawn there because of the clouds, but simply because that's the lightest tone in the image.

    Paul
     
  9. TCrowe thread starter macrumors member

    TCrowe

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #9
    Well, you're certainly tenacious. How long have you owned a camera? What do you own and how long have you been selling your photos?

    Where did you get your photographic education? What courses have you taken?

    Where are the "blown highlights"? There are none. The eye is a tricky thing. This has sold, so far, 23 prints. That is pretty good. The rendering here on this forum is not calibrated. Thanks for looking. Take a little longer when viewing a photo. I have been shooting since 1969 and familiar with darkroom since 1958.
    I have been critiquing for over 46 years so you could learn something from this and that is all I am attempting here. Ok, no offense taken, just a learning opportunity for both of us. I am not on here for photography. Just thought I would test the waters of knowledge here.
     
  10. TCrowe, Jul 26, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2014

    TCrowe thread starter macrumors member

    TCrowe

    Joined:
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    #10
    Ok, ....

    I posted 3 more in the film section and dedicated one to you. Take a look my friend! And learn.

    Take none of this personally. I am giving you a valuable lesson. One does not always understand what another photographer has in mind when that photographer exposes for an image. Photography is a life long lesson never completely learned. If you are as good as you think you are then you understand that this photo is exactly the way I intended and it has sold 23 prints in the last 2 months. Over a hundred per print. This is what I do every day and I know a bit about what I am doing. I don't need links to find out how I want a print to look. I understand, from your replies, your experience. Keep driving and looking at yourself and you will get where you want so badly to be. No hard feelings. Just helping your process. TCrowe
     
  11. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #11
    I got my first camera in the early to mid-70's. I've shot large, medium and small formats. I've sold fine art prints for about 25 years now. I occasionally shoot products professionally (last commission about two weeks ago) and have done portraiture and a small number of weddings in the past. I've got probably a dozen CD cover images and some book cover images, I've also done extensive printing of B&W and Ciba/Ilfochromes from 5x7" to 35mm film. I've owned, shot, sold and developed 5x7, 4x5, 6x7, 6x6, 645, 35mm film as well as APS-C and FF digital prints.

    When I had someone actually going out and doing FA sales for me, he'd generally sell out and outsell other vendors at the same venue- some of that is salesmanship, some is product.

    As far as what I currently own, my primary camera is a Nikon D3x and my backup is a D2x. I've got 2 or 3 SB600's an SB800, 3 AB800s, a Novatron pack and head system,. a full-sized Wimberly on a Gitzo and roughly the following: 400/2.8 AF-SII, 300/4 EDIF, 80-200/2.8, 200/2.8, 35-70/2.8, 24/2.8, 24-35/2.8, a Sigma 10-20mm and an 80-400VR that's been lent out for at least a decade.

    I don't do formal education in any of the professions I practice.

    I've worked with many other professional photographers and debated a handful of art professors- I doubt you'd get a plurality of either to disagree with my assessment.

    I've also shot for a textbook, which is- other than pitching creating a post-graduate degree program in Infosec (Which I also don't have formal education in) about as close to formal education as I tend to get.

    I've studied art, art history, design, vision and the associated fields independently for about 35 years now. There was even a small period of time in the mid-'80s where I was responsible for the White House Photo database, even though I was more on the Global Thermonuclear War side of the place.

    Ok, so 253 isn't _technically_ blown, but you have zero highlight detail and zero shadow detail. If you're happy with it, then that's what really matters.

    Personally, I'd have deleted it and readdressed the subject in better light from a better angle. But then if, as you state, your intention was to wait for a car to cross, then be happy to cut it off with a part of the bridge at an arbitrary point, I don't doubt we have very different visions and aesthetics.

    I tend to gravitate towards traditional compositional elements like tension/release, negative space, leading lines, NMF, Odds, etc.

    Depends on what your price, audience and market is. It also depends on your salesmanship. I've seen lots of poor images sell- I've sold a few myself over the years.

    I've also dealt with photo editors at major publishing houses who have taken images I've shot in mixed lighting and promised to have them run through their graphics department and instead had them go straight through to print. To me at least, there's a difference between published and published a quality image, just as there is between sold and sold a quality image.

    Heck, I've got one aesthetically pleasing image that's only sold a couple of times, because framed it looks like the picture that comes with a frame- if I was selling frames, I'd sell thousands of copies.

    You didn't save the image with a profile.

    There's actually quite a bit of shadow detail in the JPEG file, it's just not visible the way it's processed. Lots of those 2s could come up and I think it'd improve the image measurably.

    I've learned all I want thanks, and it's probably not what you intended ;)

    Paul
     
  12. TCrowe thread starter macrumors member

    TCrowe

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    #12
    I would think that with all that experience you would have given more thought to the individuality of each photographer and left out all the links in your previous post. I will leave this right here as I do harbor a few doubts and it is not worth my time to go on with prattle.
     
  13. The Bad Guy macrumors 6502a

    The Bad Guy

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    Australia
    #13
    Holy cripple fight, Batman. This thread is awkward.

    Whilst I think Compuar's photos are ordinary to say the least. This bridge photo is downright average…nay, it's poor. Actually, it's ****.

    In closing…you both should be embarrassed about charging money for your images.

    I don't care how long you've been taking photos. Get better.
     
  14. needfx, Jul 27, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2014

    needfx macrumors 68040

    needfx

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    #14
    is it too late to save the thread and bridge the chasm?
     

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  15. someoldguy macrumors 65816

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  16. kallisti macrumors 65816

    kallisti

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    #16
    Less drama, more bridge shots? ;)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  17. robgendreau macrumors 68040

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    Jul 13, 2008
    #18
    I actually liked the long shot bridge in the gallery better. I can't say I love the OP's first bridge shot; I liked the former better because the well-lit diagonal line in the right foreground almost seems not part of the bridge.

    But if you wanna see some very good bridge shots, try Peter Stackpole. I'm sure you guys in the states know of him, but for those outside the USA he was a staff photographer for LIFE magazine for a quarter century. I'm a fan cuz he grew up near me; this exhibition is taken from his photos before all that when he was like 21 or something: http://www.museumca.org/exhibit/peter-stackpole-bridging-bay
     
  18. needfx macrumors 68040

    needfx

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    #19
    affirmative!
     
  19. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #20
    I think the OPs intention was to make a thread that showcases images of bridges.

    Nobody asked for elaborate critiques and if you like a shot just use the upvote button.
     
  20. Apple fanboy macrumors Core

    Apple fanboy

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    #21
  21. needfx macrumors 68040

    needfx

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    #22
    some more bridges I unearthed :D
     

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  22. Alexander.Of.Oz macrumors 68000

    Alexander.Of.Oz

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    Adelaide, Australia
    #23
    OK, I'm all in... Every bridge image I have direct access to at this moment.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  23. needfx macrumors 68040

    needfx

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    #24
    there 3 are my favorite ones of the lot, with the tiny bridge getting the cake!

    I wanted to ask you how's the exhibition preparation is going over facebook, but I got my answer on the POTD thread yesterday. Did you delete your fb account & page?
     

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  24. needfx macrumors 68040

    needfx

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    #25
    foggy one is very moody
     

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