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Tips for Photographing Bridges

A View at night of the Peace Bridge

Summer is one of the best seasons for photography. It gives you the opportunity to widen the scope of your subject matter. Visit a state park. Go to the beach. Wander through your neighborhood. Inspiration can be found almost everywhere you look. All you need is a little imagination!

If you’ve had a chance to browse our themed collections, then you’ve probably noticed one of our most popular collections: Vintage & Industrial. This collection offers a blend of both metal and wood accents in a natural or urban setting. Photographs from this collection are a great way to add a touch of the past to your walls. Before stepping outside, take a few minutes to comb through our collection for ideas and inspiration.

Bridges are a great subject matter when delving into industrial photography. Next time you find one you’d like to capture on camera, consider these tips to make your shots more dynamic:

Morning, Noon, & Night

Unlike photographing people who can easily become washed out in the bright, harsh midday sunlight, industrial photography has the distinct advantage of being “photogenic” at any time of day. Rather than focus on the golden hour (early in the morning before sunrise or in the evening before sunset), focus on the outcome you want to achieve. Most bridges are neutral shades of grey, black, brown, or white. You may run across more modern structures painted blue or green, but this subject matter can easily turn into a boring shot. Experiment with angles and time of day to explore the ways your favorite bridges change with the light. Photograph during sunrise or sunset to add color dimension to your images. For bridges that are illuminated, trying shooting in the dark and experiment with long exposures.

Mind the Forecast

The time of day is flexible but always consider the weather. A big blue sky may be considered majestic, while an overcast day can appear gray on film and lead to dull, flat skies. Consult the weather and if photographing during the day, choose a time when the sky is clear or when clouds are white and puffy to add a picturesque depth.

WallsBeautiful Bridge Photography Tips

Foreground or Background

Before you press the shutter button, ask yourself: What do I want to achieve in this photo? Is the bridge the subject? Should the bridge be in focus or partially blurred? Is it in the foreground? The background? The beauty and intricacy of bridgework often create visual elements that are naturally compelling and draw your eye from one focal point to another. Embrace symmetry where possible and use your bridges as a guiding point to draw the viewer’s eye to the main subject. Additionally, play around with depth-of-field. A smaller aperture will put more of the picture in focus and is great for wide angle and landscape shots.

WallsBeautiful Bridge Photography Tips (3)

The Devil is in the Details

One of the most important things to consider when photographing bridges is lens choice. Wide angles lenses are great for capturing the bridge in its entirety as well as the surrounding landscape. But brides are full of intricate parts. Nuts and bolts. Suspension wires. Supports. Telephoto lenses allow you to zoom in on those magical details that really bring a photo to life. Move around to adjust your viewpoint and don’t be afraid to get up close. This way when it comes time to print, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from!


Browse our many themed collections to find a look you’ll love or enjoy more photography tips and techniques by visiting our main Tips page.