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How to shoot a Bridge at night?

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by digitalandfilm, Oct 9, 2012.

  1. digitalandfilm

    digitalandfilm Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 18, 2011
    The George Washington Bridge in NYC has gotten a light treatment and looks absolutely stunning.

    I wanted to shoot the bridge and get some nice shots, but I'm not much of a night-time architectural photographer and could use some pointers.

    I have a "wide" Sigma 19mm prime, and would use this lens along with the PL25 at around midnight.

    In order to get the detail of the ironwork, should I shoot around f5.6 or f8?

    Also.. how long of an exposure? Is a tripod going to be imperative?

    Here's an example (btw- I read it was lit for Columbus Day)

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
  2. OpenCS

    OpenCS Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 16, 2012
    You'll need a tripod or something to rest the camera on, and if you don't have a remote shutter release you're best off using the timer to ensure you get no shake on the camera.

    I find that automatic metering tends to render night time bridges a little bit too light, so you may just want to experiment with manual and take a few shots. I'm not sure how much "detail" you want to capture, but with shots like this it's all about the light and the shapes. Detail of individual surfaces will be difficult to get and (to be honest) not that important.

    Good luck :) 
  3. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    I'll dare to suggest that this is a good time to explore HDR photography, as it'll let you render the fairly bright bridges more smoothly while still keeping detail in the background. A tripod is probably imperative if you want any real detail in the shadows and sky. The sample photo is actually blown out on the bridge, I don't like that.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    I would probably use 5.6 but. 8 would be fine if it helps your exposure time. I would aim for a 8+ sec exposure if you can pull it off. That sample shot is just begging for a longer exposure for light trails.

    Sent from my iPad using Mu-43 App
  5. Wasabi Bob

    Wasabi Bob Mu-43 All-Pro

    I know the spot you were in!

    I know the very spot you were in for those shots. I got locked in the park one night after dark!

    The trick is to shoot before it really gets dark, so you don't have the extreme contrast to deal with. These are shot on a tripod, with intentionally long exposures to get the blur of the moving cars.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/wasabi_bob/1452296695/" title="The George III by Wasabi Bob, on Flickr">https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1053/1452296695_6ca9d98954_z.jpg?zz=1" width="640" height="480" alt="The George III"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/wasabi_bob/1453112266/" title="&quot;The George - Up Close&quot; by Wasabi Bob, on Flickr">[img]https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1358/1453112266_60c94eb4a6_z.jpg?zz=1" width="640" height="480" alt="&quot;The George - Up Close&quot;"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/wasabi_bob/1453118708/" title="&quot;The George&quot; by Wasabi Bob, on Flickr">[img]https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1428/1453118708_a895da800e_z.jpg?zz=1" width="640" height="480" alt="&quot;The George&quot;"></a>
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  6. mowog6000

    mowog6000 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 2, 2012
    Oregon City Oregon
    Pat bailey
    Here is St Johns Bridge in Portland Ore EPL-1 14~44 lens 60 secs F11 ISO 200
    panorama in PS.
    Shot on tripod of course
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
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