Never Know what you will find.
My photo buddy Roy and I decided to take a ride up to the Bunker Hill Covered Bridge in Claremont, North Carolina. [map]
On our way up we were coming out of Statesville along Hwy 70 just before Hwy 10 we passed this wild looking old building, and had to turn around and go back.
We grabbed a few shots, not sure if anyone was around, or if someone would come out and start yelling at us, or who knows what. Some of the things we have to deal with as photographers.
Love old buildings and things like this are just great to shoot.
Left shooting at the old building and headed the few miles up the road to the Covered Bridge. As we pulled in, Roy goes "well, this isn't the bridge i was thinking about". As I had never been there before and had looked it up on google maps (do this a LOT as its a great way to see what a place looks like before spending time driving there) we decided to check it out anyway. We parked in a pretty wet parking area, got out and realized it was still pretty darn cold out there (20's to 30 or so). We walked along a little stream to where the covered bridge is located. Well, it was pretty underwhelming. They have fenced all around the area so there was no way to get down to the stream to shoot backwards to the bridge. We about gave up, but decided we were here, lets see what we can get.
The Fence was ugly, the bridge was very bland, just brown, in a sea of brown bare trees. We found a gate and were able to get a shot from down a little ways toward the stream below. Still didn't really like the look, was just kind of blah.
With the tripod setup, decided to do a (3) shot HDR (High Dynamic Range) Shot. The camera takes (3) Different photos with different exposure. One normal, one 2 steps down (dark) and one 2 steps up (bright). (The image above is the "normal" shot). The tripod is important, as you need to minimize camera movement.
I take these (3) photos into a program called Photomatix, from there you can do all kinds of things to the image. Some can be VERY strange. But using this to add some depth to the image was what I was after.
You will see (or not) that there is more depth of light, brighter in the foreground items, etc.
Still was NOT happy with this image, I wanted to shoot a typical Red Covered bridge. In Lightroom, you can take and add a color tint with a brush. Did this to the bridge to get a better look.
Almost there, I liked the red, but I wanted a little more of a painting look. Took the photo into Topaz Glow to add a little effect to the image. Used "fur and feathers" as it seems to be the one preset i like the most. It gives the trees some punch, and adds details to the edges of items.
I think this worked. Still not super exciting, but I like the red bridge look. Here is another angle, using pretty much the same technique as above.
For this one I wanted a little more snow than what was actually there. Used PS to go in and clone the existing snow to expand its reach just a little.
As you can see getting the shot is just the beginning. Where you take the image from there is up to you.
Always take one more shot!
As we were packing up to head out, I was shooting back through the bridge, trying to get a feeling for the inside of the bridge.
The look was just kind of blah. But as I was taking this, Roy started walking toward me and I snapped a quick shot.
I liked this, having something (or someone) in the photo changed the whole look. I asked him to stop there for a min, and took another (3) shot HDR image. Took and made some changes to the image with several different editing programs. I wanted it to be Black and White as the color of the wood was just distracting from the overall feeling.
I zoomed in a little to get things centered a little better. I liked how Roy was off center from the image as i hate centered images. I work with the "rule of thirds" a lot.
So, what do you think? Comments? Questions? Problems?
I'll be back to check this out tonight. GREAT idea to start this!!
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