Villages can be wonderful places for a photographic scene. Unless you live in the middle of nowhere, or in the middle of a large sprawling metropolis, there’s a good chance that a village is fairly close. Of course, as I don’t have my own transport, and public transport to villages in this part of the world isn’t exactly in existence, finding a good village is a bit hard.
Yes, the intercity buses use the highways and pass by lots of them, but, as I have bemoaned before, bus drivers won’t stop! I wonder why?
Great Barford, Bedfordshire, is a pleasant little village. Perhaps fairly typical of many Bedfordshire villages. A pub, a church, a river, and surrounded by low rolling hills and fields. The River Great Ouse, (always pronounced 'ooze' in our house at least), flows through Great Barford and the old stone road bridge makes for a pleasant scene. My problem has been that each time I visit, the sky plain blue and devoid of interest, or grey...and devoid of interest.
I have seen shots of this scene in golden dawn colours with mist hanging over the water. How I would love to have my own transport to get here for that kind of light. I wish! As always, then, I must deal with the light and conditions presented to me whenever I visit...and make the best of it.
Undoubtedly the best view if looking across, following the line of the bridge to the pub and church tower, with trees on the left nicely balancing the shot.
To Church? f/8,1/800, 20mm, ISO800
The pub serves lovely food and a good pint too by the way! Canal boats use the river, so it’s not unusual to see boat pull up and the inhabitants getting off for a quick beer. There are other views. Such as this. Low down on the bridge shooting along towards the pub.
Or to the Pub? f/11, 1/100, 28mm, ISO400
In front of the pub there’s a small green. A great little spot for a picnic. I know...I’ve had quite a few good picnics there. The boats moor against this green and down on the tow path you can get a great low point of view of the bridge arches, combine this with a long exposure can give a completely different view of the structure. I used the Big Stopper here in order to get a long enough exposure in daylight, I then combined it with a faster shot so as to render the foliage normally without any blur.
Over the Ouse, f/11, 30secs, 18mm, ISO200
So bridges then. Although a view square on may be tempting to show ‘the bridge’, and maybe it does show it in it’s most completely form, it’s not necessarily the most interesting or dynamic composition, especially when dealing with fairly flat sky and colour. Finding more creative angles can lead to a far more interesting shot.
Take this image of the footbridge across a small part of the harbour in Bandırma, Turkey. A very low POV accentuates the shapes.
Bridge of Pies, f/11, 1/200, 15mm, ISO100
No doubt bridges can be interesting objects to photograph, but the challenge, as always, is to try and find a new way to shoot it...especially if, like me, you visit the same bridge many, many times!
Share links to your bridge pics! I’ll be sure to reply and comment!
The Frustrated Photog