how to get a good "postcard" bridge shot???


TPF Noob!
Jun 27, 2003
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my first attempt at a bridge ... the sun was shining brightly .. the haze was thick ... how could i have made this shot better? .. right time of day? .. conditions of weather? ... distance? ... which angle? ... i want to accomplish the perfect "postcard" bridge shot....

You'll get more dramatic lighting in the early evening time when there are interesting clouds out and about.

You'll also want a very sharp image all around with a shot like that. F22+ would be ideal so you would need a tripod.
I think for this bridge being closer to the bridge and shooting across the river would help see the high and low lines of the cables. You have probably seen similiar shots of the Bay Bridge in CA. Simply more bridge from foreground to background.
so, to get closer and be head dead on, i need a boat :? ... i didnt use any filters on my lens, just photoshop :roll:

i'll give it a try on an early evening ... still need that boat, is there any other options, if i dont come across a boat anytime soon?? :lol:
He was talking about a shot from the shore. Where the bridge goes from foreground to background. Instead of shooting head on.
thanks for clarifying that for me ... i'll see how close i can get to it ...
Here's another neat thing. I always find dusk to be the absolute best. So take a pic (on a tripod) at dusk with a nice sunset. Then a few minutes later take a pic of the bridge after dark with the bridge lights on. then combine the two photos and it looks really cool.

You could even try winding the film back on frame and double exposing. Since the sky is dark, it won't expose the sunset anymore and just the bridge lights will be added.
i may try to convince my hubby to go on over there tonight .. but if not, i'll get the shot over the weekend ... if the weather hold's up ... i got to get my fireworks shot anyway .. kill two birds with one stone :p
...i won't add to the good advice already on offer, but Dew's situation is one most photographers experience at some time

We return from "holiday" only to be disappointed with our "postcard" snaps - which fall far short of what we could have purchased from the local tourist shop for just a few dollars

Be mindful that the "postcards" have usually been shot by local photographers who have spent long hours studying and experimenting with their subject under different lighting conditions and from many angles

In many cases, their finished product can only be photographed at certain times of the year when the conditions are just right

As with most landscape photography - good luck also plays an important role

In your case, Dew, i like where you've placed the horizon. Don't be afraid to include more foreground so as to provide a sense of depth, perspective and scale to your image

If your husband is reluctant (unable) to assist in the evenings, early morning is also a good time: colour temperature is the same and there will be less haze

Keep up the good work!


its funny u should mention that, my hubby and i talked about this bridge shot yesterday ... he said to me, "i will give u an assignment, i want u to shoot that bridge the entire day, nothing else, just the bridge." ... and i said, "well sure, if i take 100 shots of that bridge at different spots, different times of day, im bound to get at least one good shot out of 100."

but since im an amateur, i would at least like to know where to start ... we almost went for the bridge at 12am (mid) last night ... but we're gonna give it a try for today (but if the weather is bad, it wouldnt be the type of shot im looking for)

we also discussed different atmospheres for that bridge ... rain, sun, cloudy, etc.. what im trying to accomplish for the bridge shot is the "ideal postcard" shot ... just because ... but my ideal shot of the bridge (which i also plan to do) is raining or just after rain with grey skies (i love darkness, gloominess in my photos) ... that would be the "perfect" shot for me ... but i want to think outside of my box for a second and get that "perfect postcard" shot ... makes sense? :?
"...make sense?..." you ask


Dew, you may call yourself an "amateur" but i see you are already thinking like a professional shooter: "concept" is important, without it one is left, at best, with just a lucky shot

Good to see you aren't scared to shoot in the rain - a time when colours are most vivid

In answer to your question of "a good place to start," my suggestion would be to start with all your out-takes. Don't delete them, rather - download them to your computer (i noted you shoot digital) then study them long and hard for they will be your greatest teacher

See what works (and why) look at what doesn't (and why) - and grow from there

If possible, keep a record of exposures, readings and settings for each shot and use this when studying the work

Something else i'd suggest: study the work of others, maybe get some books from the library or use the Internet; look at what works and try to understand what the photographer has done to achieve their shot

And - don't hesitate to post back if you want help with any of the "technical" bits

You are well on the way to achieving the image you want...

Good stuff!


OMG!!! .. that bridge has to be in the worst location and set-up in NYC ... we stalked the bridge last night.. we got a lot closer, but so did the trees :? .... i think were gonna find out if a "tourist" boat gets through there or find another bridge.... thats the only spot i can get a clear cut shot ...


we did get some cool photos of tail lights with 2nd curtain effect :lol:
...seems like you have a *real* challenge on your hands

I'd be interested to know if anyone else has managed to "postcard" this particular bridge (?)

If not - maybe you will end up with the definitive shot



i think im gonna give it another try when i get my super macro lens ... and find more bridges :eek:

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