As a landscape photographer, one of my favourite subjects to photograph has always been bridges.
Story Bridge at Night
There are so many wonderfully different types. Their varied design and structure make such interesting compositions. The other great thing about bridges is that you can capture them in so many different ways. The same bridge can be the subject of many interesting and vibrant compositions.
I thought I would share with you some of my favourite bridge photos and talk a bit about how and why I photographed them the way I did. Hopefully I can inspire you with some ideas of your own to take great bridge shots.
Story Bridge from Clifftop
From above, whole bridge in frame
The Story Bridge in Brisbane has a great vantage point on the cliffs that allows you to capture the entire bridge with a wide angled lens, positioned in line with the top of the bridge.
This places the river and city skyline below the bridge, providing the perfect backdrop. Clouds are a great addition to fill the frame above the bridge instead of an empty sky.
Above you can see that the same viewpoint shot at night highlights the lights and structure of the bridge as the city and river are darkened.
Story Bridge from Ground Level
From ground level, filling the frame from side on.
Here is another view of the Story Bridge, this time from ground level on the other side. I found some interesting foreground elements to add interest to an otherwise overly photographed location.
By photographing from below it give the bridge a sense of grandeur and power by magnifying its size and height. I did not need to include the entire bridge, instead choosing to balance the composition with the arch and the Jacaranda tree.
With such an iconic bridge, you can fill the frame with only a portion of the bridge and it will still be recognisable.
Kurilpa Bridge Distant Night View
One of Brisbane’s newest bridges, Kurilpa Bridge, is the perfect night time subject, as it is illuminated with glowing colours that change constantly. In this image I placed the bridge in the distance, using the boardwalk in the foreground to lead the eye to the bridge.
Being further away allowed the bridge to be represented more abstractly, using the elements of shape and colour.
Kurilpa Bridge Night Close Up
This close up shot of the bridge from side on allows the structural form to stand out. Having dynamic diagonal lines I also placed the bridge on a diagonal angle to emphasize the feeling of movement and energy.
Being such an interesting shape, Kurilpa Bridge invites exploration from many angles. Here I photographed from the bridge itself, looking toward the direction that pedestrians travel across.
Kurilpa Bridge Pedestrian Night View
This viewpoint gives the bridge a vanishing point, suggesting perspective and three dimensionality. The circular lights, arrows and posts help guide the eye in the direction of the path.
In part two we will look at some of Melbourne's iconic bridges and some interesting ways to capture them.
Thanks Tracie, lovve your Harbour bridge shot. It is a perfect example of my point about finding a unique way to capture an iconic bridge. Sydney Harbour Bridge has been photographed so many times its great if you can make yours more individual so that it stands out. This goes for any famous and well known bridges.