Sundial Bridge...a most improbably image!

Discussion in 'Landscapes, Architecture, and Cityscapes' started by gnagel, Sep 8, 2017.

  1. I arrived in Redding, California and immediately drove over to the Sundial Bridge. After capturing a number of black and white exposures during the afternoon in some rather harsh light, I decided to return at night.

    It took a great deal of luck to capture this image. There were at least a hundred people on this bridge at any given time. My strategy was to take an exposure, then wait for various patches to free up of pedestrians and take another exposure. After four of five exposures, I was able to clear up most of the frame through blending. There were still ten or so people left--and they were removed through cloning.

    The next major challenge was the length of these exposures--15 seconds each. After I would finish my third or fourth "people eraser" exposure, someone would walk close to my camera and the bridge would, time to start all over again!

    By the time I finally started to get four or five good exposures in a row, the sky was getting too dark...losing all color and bringing in far too much contrast. I shot a 2 second exposure to bring back detail in the bridge and the floor they were getting blown out now.

    This morning, I sat down to process the whole mess--never expecting it to turn out. While it's not the greatest image in the world, I'm very pleased with the result!

    D800, 14-24 2.8

    Thanks for looking...
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  2. Patience grasshopper!
    You have it in spades Glenn. Well worth it.
  3. Thanks local photographer came up to me while I was shooting this. He was just laughing...saying that he's tried to get this shot many times. He said I would be there all night before getting the photograph. I'm guessing that he doesn't do as much blending in Photoshop, because this scene would have never cleared of pedestrians. It's a very popular place.

  4. At best I would have taken a couple of long exposures and left, happy to have captured streaks of humanity! More likely I would have seen all those people and walked away with not even a cellphone pic!
  5. I thought about going with a really long exposure (something like 2 minutes)...and just letting the people blur. It helped that it was such a beautiful night and such a nice location. I didn't mind standing there for 45 minutes. The most frustrating part was that the bridge would shake whenever someone would walk by. I placed my odds of getting a keeper from this attempt at about 5%!

  6. a really nice shot of the bridge, it just shows how much of the image is photographer and how little is the gear. Ok, the D800 is a great camera, but most people would not have taken the time to get the perfect shot.

    alexis and Georgie Beagle
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  7. You can say that again!
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  8. Allan


    Apr 21, 2006
    Nashua, NH
    One more time. I always enjoy Glenn's images and explanations.
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  9. Thanks! That being said, I can't wait until my D850 arrives! :)

  10. Thanks Allan...I'm glad you were able to sift through my long winded explanation.

  11. I think its amazing what you were able to do. Love the final product and I feel fairly certain that it is one of a kind. I would like to have been an observer to your processing.
  12. JW53


    Jan 21, 2006
    Johns Creek, Ga
    Sweet image, did you have to focus stack as it looks pretty sharp throughout. Well done .
  13. Thanks John...I didn't focus stack as getting exposures here was challenging enough. But, shooting at 24mm helps with the depth of field. Aperture was f/7.1.

  14. You forgot to mention that without Photoshop and Glenn's skill in using it, his excellent image of the bridge wouldn't have been possible. The right gear or software can't replace a photographer's talent but it sure can enhance it and in some cases it it critical to the final result. With that said, Glenn gets great pictures all over the place and I always enjoy looking at his posts.
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  15. A well thought out photo with great results.
  16. Thanks seems like learning Photoshop is a life long endeavor. Each year, I try to add to my skill set, but there is still much to learn! Regarding gear, it looks like B&H is about to ship my D850--and that should make capturing photos just a little bit easier.
    Thank you, Les

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