Sunset on the Ohio River Bridges

Ohio River Bridges Project Sunset June 5, 2013
Ohio River Bridges Project Sunset June 5, 2013

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Last night I decided to head down to the waterfront and shoot the Ohio River Bridges at sunset. The weather had been perfect all day and the forecast looked like there would be some clouds in the western sky around sunset. When I arrived at around 8:00 PM the sky was hazy and the clouds were still off to the west. I shot for a few minutes from Waterfront Park and then headed up onto the Big Four Bridge to watch the sun dip below the horizon.

Just before sunset the clouds moved in under the sun and I was able to capture the image above. By positioning myself on the Kentucky end of the Big Four Bridge I was able to frame the shot with the sun behind the tower crane for the Ohio River Bridges Project. I liked the way it was still above the Kennedy Bridge and the clouds created a beautiful orange glow across everything.

I shot with a tripod and captured a three frame bracket set of +2, 0 and -2 EV exposures. I processed the three frames into a single HDR image using NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 and applied the Balanced preset. I then returned the merged file to Aperture 3 where I adjusted it like I would normally. I boosted detail, added some contrast, adjusted color channels and sharpened it before cropping it to a wider format and adding a small vignette.

Big Four Bridge Bridge at Sunset
Big Four Bridge Bridge at Sunset

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I was quite taken with the beauty of the colors in the sky and decided to shoot the Big Four Bridge while it was illuminated by the setting sun. The color of the light and the way it enhanced the rusted bridge really drew my eye. I also liked the way the sky and river transitioned from orange to blue and worked to strengthen that complimentary color scheme during processing.

I used the same techniques for this image as I did on the previous one which really saturated the colors and brought out the detail of the rusted ironwork and the reflections in the water.

6 thoughts on “Sunset on the Ohio River Bridges

  1. Awesome. I like your technique, very impressive. I agree, the reflection of the sun to the water and bridge makes it more beautiful.

    1. Thanks Rhea I’m pleased that you agree. I also appreciate that you were willing to leave a comment.

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