Readers Photo Challenge: Bridges

The latest Readers Photo Challenge is “bridges.” A bridge can be photographed as an architectural structure like any other building. Some are famous and iconic and be approached like photographing a monument or a statue. Like beauty found in nature, man made structures can have an aesthetic quality in their own way. Twenty-three readers sent in 59 photos. Here are some of the top picks.

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Mitch Bazzarre of Stockton was on a trip to the northern Sierras when he decided to stop for a shot on his way back home. Setting up his Canon EOS 6D DSLR camera on a tripod he took a night shot of stars and the milky way near Oroville. In the foreground was the Bidwell Bar Bridge over a portion of Lake Oroville. The night sky is perfectly exposed by a long timed exposure, but the suspension bridge is hidden in the darkness of a hillside with just the top being visible against the sky. Bazzarre tried to light it up with a flash light with a technique called “painting with light,” but it wasn’t strong enough. With a little patience Bazzarre waited for a car to drive over the bridge. Its headlights lit up the bottom portion and made his shot complete.

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Paul Yang of Stockton used what’s known as the “blue hour” to his best advantage. It’s the hour of dusk between sunset and the time the sky goes to inky black. With a Canon EOS 7D DSLR camera he photographed the Tower Bridge over the Sacramento River in Sacramento. The bridge is illuminated by its own lights and Yang perfectly balance the exposure with the evening sky with a crescent moon and a star-like Venus in the background.

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Freya Schwinn of Stockton got a shot of a bridge that is sometimes hidden from view. On a family trip to Yosemite National Park she used a Canon EOS 6D DSLR camera to photograph the Stoneman Bridge of the Merced River. Thousands, perhaps even millions, of tourists have taken photos of this bridge along with other attractions at the park. But Schwinn viewed it from a different angle. There are tunnel footpaths along either side of the bridge which are inaccessible during high water. But on Schwinn’s trip the water had receded and she was able to go into one of the tunnels to get a shot from the inside looking out. She captured the reflection of the high-arched tunnel and the natural scene outside in the shallow water at the bottom.

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Steven Rapaport of Stockton took his bridge photo a little closer to home. He got a beautiful sunset photo over Honker Cut from the Eight Mile Road truss bridge that connects King Island with Empire Tract in Stockton. Rapaport used the support beams to frame the sunset, clouds and slough for a complete composition.

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Sydney Spurgeon of Stockton used a Nikon D500 DSLR camera to photograph a historic bridge. At the 330-ft long, the Knights Ferry Bridge, near Oakdale, is the longest covered bridge west of Mississippi River. The obvious choice of subject is try to get an overall representation of the historic bridge itself, which Spurgeon did, but she went a step further. Shooting from inside the bridge she got a more intimate photo of an elderly couple. As they walked towards the open end of the bridge, they were silhouetted by the bright daylight outside against the much darker interior.

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Randy Bayne, formerly of Stockton but now of Newnan, Georgia, also photographed a covered bridge but this one is definitely east of the Mississippi. Bayne used a Canon EOS 60D DSLR camera to photograph the Red Oak Creek covered bridge in Imlac, Georgia. The bridge was built in the 1840s and still carries traffic today. The long horizontal of the bridge’s wooden railings helps to drawn in the viewer’s eye to the covered portion of the bridge on the left. A stand of dark trees on the right helps to balance out the composition.

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Chris Holt from Stockton used a Sony A7II mirrorless camera to photograph the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Shot during the blue hour, the bridges orange color, enhanced by its artificial lights, stands out against the rich blue of the sky, the water and the Marin headlands in the background. In the foreground is the historic Fort Point. The light on a smaller building near the fort and headlights on a car in the parking lot helps to tie the foreground in with the lights on the bridge.

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The fourth time was the charm for Janet Baniewich of Stockton in her attempts to get a shot of the San Francisco Bay Bridge. As a passenger in a car being driven over the bridge, she tried to get a shot of one of the support towers of the western span with the sun in it with her Nikon D3300 DSLR camera. Her exposure was off as they past the first 2 towers. She miss-timed the third shot and didn’t get the sun in the shot. But by the time they got to the 4th pillar everything came together and she got her photo.

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All of the photos sent in can be seen in an online gallery at recordnet.com. A new challenge assignment will be issued on July 31.

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  • Blog Author

    Clifford Oto

    Clifford Oto, an award-winning photographer, has been with The Record since 1984. Through the changes from black and white to digital photography, he’s kept his focus on covering the events, people and life of San Joaquin county. This blog deals ... Read Full
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