Rodney Campbell's Blog


by on Jul.15, 2016, under Life, Photography

To compress or go wide, that is the question…

I think most people who would look to shoot from this spot under a bridge would opt for a wide angle lens (me included normally :)). Firstly to just “fit” the whole scene in – including the underside of the bridge and all the fantastic supports. Secondly to let that wide angle distortion really pull you into the scene!.



NIKON D750 + 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm, 124 sec at f/20, ISO 100

For me however this was really screaming out to use a longer focal length to compress the scene. Compress all those supporting poles together to make them seem relentlessly marching into the far distance. Compress the feeling of height so it feels like the bridge is really squashing down from above.

Once I got my composition and focal length sorted I opted to go with the Lee BigStopper. This would let me dramatically lengthen the shutter length. The result was to smooth and simplify that water below and all those distractions in the foreground. It also has an additional benefit of just softening those highlights and shadows over the scene as the light subtly changes over time.

So just over two minutes later at a dizzying f/20 (it was bright daytime outside after all and I needed to lengthen the shutter) we’re done.

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