I am back to my NYC photos tonight, folks. As I mentioned on Monday, I wanted to share the different series of photos I took while out in The Big Apple a day at a time. Not only would that not overwhelm my readers with a novel’s worth of writing, but it would give me material for a few days to come. Tonight’s post is all about the Brooklyn Bridge. This, of course, is the bridge that links Manhattan with what?? You guessed right, boys and girls!! Brooklyn!!
If you haven’t had the pleasure to walk this bridge while visiting NYC, you are really missing out. It’s just a walk across the bridge, you say? Yes, that’s true, but there is something fantastically badass about this bridge for those of us serious about our cameras. Not only is this bridge one of the oldest suspension bridges in the entire country, but it features a unique pattern to its steel support cables that gives is a web-like pattern that can be visible while on the pedestrian and bicyclist lanes. This pattern presents unlimited opportunities for creative photography, when the weather permits and you are not running into other pedestrians or bicyclists.
I was fortunate enough to have some time to myself last Thursday and I headed Downtown to make my rounds around City Hall, the 9/11 Memorial and the Brooklyn Bridge. I wasn’t expecting for the bridge to take me aback as much as it did, but I ended spending a little more time than I had originally planned. Time well spent, I think. I only walked to the first span on the Manhattan side, but since the bridge is symmetrical, I can only imagine that the other half looks just the same. Perhaps I would have encountered a little less pedestrian and bicyclist traffic on the Brooklyn end, but I was working with limited time to do a great list of things I had in mind.
The weather was beautiful, and although there were plenty of clouds in the sky, not one of them looked threatening for any showers. Below are a few of my favorites taken on that walk from Manhattan to the first span and back. I used a number of photographic concepts in this shoot, namely using shallow depths of field and the rule of thirds. A shallow depth of field means that I have selected a focal point in the object that I am photographing while opening the aperture of the lens attached to the camera to its widest setting possible. This causes the lens to have a smaller focal plane. An easier way to grasp the concept is to imagine that I have the bridge in front of me and am cutting up the length of bridge in front of me in foot long sections, similar to how a deli would slice a piece of salami in the slicer. Now that you have that picture of the sliced up bridge in front of me, imagine that each one of those slices is a focal plane. This is the space in front of me that I am asking the lens to have in focus. Everything in front of beyond that plane (or slice) will be slightly out of focus. The further away it gets from the plane I have selected, the more out of focus it will be.
In the case of the Tokina 16-28mm wide-angle lens I had mounted, the largest aperture setting was f/2.8. This setting causes the lens to focus on very few of the planes in front of me. The smaller the aperture gets, the more planes are added to the focal capacity. So, if I set the lens to f/5.6, it would then have a larger field of planes in focus. Even more so if I set the lens to f/8.0. If I set the lens to an f/13 or higher, the entire bridge in front of me would most likely be in focus since it incorporates all the different focal planes in front of me. That in a nutshell, is the concept of shallow depths of field. This can cause the photograph to look more interesting by guiding the viewers eyes to the point in focus, while creating a smooth and creamy background or foreground that helps the focused point stand out.
The other concept I employed was the rule of thirds. To understand this concept, you must imagine that the photograph is divided with a tic-tac-toe bracket. This basically divides the entire photograph into horizontal and vertical thirds. The rule of thirds states that if you place the point of interest in between the first and second third or in between the second and third third (on either the horizontal or vertical view-point) you will have a more visually interesting photograph compared to always have the main subject be in dead center. Obviously, sometimes you need to have the subject in the dead center, but perhaps you can find which ones I followed the rule of thirds in an attempt to make the images more interesting.
I hope you enjoy these images, and I welcome any commentary, as always. I look forward to sharing a few more from NYC tomorrow. Good night, all!!