A Tale of Two Bridges

two bridges

This is the photo of two famous bridges on the East River between Brooklyn and Manhattan. The bridge on the left is the older, more famous Brooklyn Bridge and the bridge on the right is the Manhattan Bridge. I took this from Brooklyn in an area sometimes referred to as 'dumbo' a short name for 'Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass' - someone clearly made that up in their free time.

Anyway, it was one of my first excursions to Brooklyn just to take pictures and things went ok, not as great as I had expected but I did manage to take 2 or 3 keepers. This is one of them.

The strange thing about this photo is how the wide-angle lens has completely warped the perspective on it. You look at it and you 'd think that the bridge sort of converge into Manhattan but the opposite is true. The bridges diverge into Manhattan from Brooklyn. This strange distortion is created by the very wide 16mm focal length on a full-frame camera. The decent reflection in the water is due to the very long exposure of 188 seconds and too only because I had a 3-stop neutral density filter or I would have needed about 9 minutes to take this shot. Rivers are really hard to freeze in night shots as they are moving constantly. Ponds and lakes are more suited for this type of photography. Keeping the lens open for that long often creates too much noise and an unavoidable shake even on sturdy tripods.

On the editing front -- there wasn't much to do. I don't really know good technique to edit night shots. I mostly played with colors a little bit and with white balance to get the blues back. I cropped it to a widescreen 16x9 but that is clearly not enough. This photo needs to be a panaroma. I need to loose all the dull water at the bottom of the image. Just think the image gets too small to fully appreciate on the web if you make it a panorama.

Anyway, it was a fun trip and I'd love to do it again if I get a chance. Apart from opportunities for photography, it is a beautiful place that everyone must visit on their trip to New York or if they live nearby.