Tag: clouds

The Ohio River Bridges Downtown Span August 24-29, 2015

The Downtown Span of the Ohio River Bridges Project. HDR Version
The Downtown Span of the Ohio River Bridges Project. HDR Version

Last week the Ohio River Bridges Downtown Span grew another 180 feet in length. The cable stays on Tower Five were completed and the scaffolding to the top of the towers was removed. One of the cranes being used to build the bridge structure blew an engine but that didn’t keep the structural gang from completing the building of another 45 feet of bridge.

The photos in this post are both three frame HDR mergers and single frame images. In all cases the image was first adjusted for sharpness and color saturation in Adobe Camera Raw followed by a trip into Photoshop CS5 for lens correction when needed. I also used Topaz Clarity to bring out the texture and contrast which I applied to a separate layer; in several cases the opacity of the Topaz Clarity layer was reduced to between 25 -75%.

Carpenters placing a support beam for the "dance floor" which will support the concrete forms for another bridge support beam.#2 - Topaz B&W Version

Topaz B&W Effects On Sale

Five Black and White photos from the Ohio River Bridges Project that were processed using Topaz B&W Effects.

Ohio River Sunset

Several different scenes of the Ohio River at Sunset.

Work Resumed on the Downtown Span of the Ohio River Bridges Project This Week.

Work resumed on the Downtown Span of the Ohio River Bridges Project this week.

Panoramic Images of the Ohio River Bridges Project in December 2014

The Panoramic Images of the Ohio River Bridges Project in this post were taken from the eastern side of Spaghetti Junction where I-64 and I-71 connect to I-65. It was a cold afternoon here in Louisville and the sky was filling with clouds in the west when I decided to capture these images.

In this scene from the Indiana Approach Brian Kirker operates an excavator as they install drainage pipes for the new bridge. In the background the towers for the Downtown Span can be seen along with the girders that will connect the bridge to I-65 North in Indiana.

Ohio River Bridges Project Progressing Well

The work on the Ohio River Bridges Project is proceeding well as can be seen in the accompanying photos from Indiana and Kentucky. The girders from Indiana are heading south and soon will be connected to the first section of the Downtown Span at Pier 5 where the first section of bridge road deck has begun to take shape.

In this scene from the Indiana Approach Brian Kirker operates an excavator as they install drainage pipes for the new bridge. In the background the towers for the Downtown  Span can be seen along with the girders that will connect the bridge to I-65 North in Indiana.
In this scene from the Indiana Approach Brian Kirker operates an excavator as they install drainage pipes for the new bridge. In the background the towers for the Downtown Span can be seen along with the girders that will connect the bridge to I-65 North in Indiana.

iClick on the image to enlarge it in a new window.

The weather on this particular morning was changing from clear skies to rain clouds and made for a dramatic backdrop to my photos of Brian Kirker. Brian is an Operating Engineer who came here from Las Vegas to work on this project. I wanted to capture the towers on Pier 5 as well as his excavator when he happened to move into a perfect place for that shot.

As a rule I don’t pose people when I’m shooting because I feel it will interfere with the work they are doing but in this case I did motion for Brian to hold still while I shot a couple of bracket sets. I knew that due to the strong backlight and broad dynamic range the best approach would be to shoot this scene for HDR processing.

Back in my studio I took the three frame bracket set of -2, 0 and +2 EV exposures into NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 and merged them. I then applied a custom preset of my own creation (one I had used several months ago) to get the look I felt best accented the image. After I had done that I took the resulting image into Adobe Camera Raw for some adjustments to the Brightness, Exposure, Fill Light and Blacks. I also added a little Vibrance to the image and then opened it in Photoshop CS5.

Once I had the image in Photoshop CS5 I added a new layer and made a Curves adjustment in order to get pure white and pure black. I then flattened the layers before adjusting the Sharpening using the Smart Sharpen command. Recently I have been using ACR and PS CS5 more  in my processing workflow. I have discovered that doing so has allowed me to attain better results than I used to get from finishing the HDR process in Aperture 3. There is more vibrance in the colors and the whites are more pronounced.

Brian Kirker and David Preston are shown here as the drainage pipe is being installed on the Indiana approach to the Downtown Span.
Brian Kirker and David Preston are shown here as the drainage pipe is being installed on the Indiana approach to the Downtown Span.

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In this second image Brian is lifting a drainage pipe as David Preston, an Inspector with FIGG, verifies that it is being installed per the job specifications. Throughout the construction process outside entities like FIGG monitor the work being done to make certain that everything is properly installed.

I liked the way the composition worked and also the way the light played along the excavator bucket. Having David and the large concrete cylinder in the foreground with Brian and the excavator in the middle ground and the beautiful clouds in the background really makes this image work for me. I used the same post processing steps in this image as in the preceding image.

Early morning on Pier 5 after a short period of rain. The barge in the foreground is there to use as an assembly point for steel rebar and concrete form as the tower is extended up.
Early morning on Pier 5 after a short period of rain. The barge in the foreground is there to use as an assembly point for steel rebar and concrete form as the tower is extended up.

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The last two images in this post are from the barges alongside Pier 5 and give an idea of the scale of the work that is going on on the river. Near the center of the image workers can be seen near the tower base. The first section of bridge is in place and the deck panels are being installed. I liked the way the sky was reflected in the water puddles on the barges and the wetness of everything in contrast to the clearing sky.

Early morning shot of Pier 5 after a short period of rain. This view give a good overview of the progress being made on the bridge deck and towers.
Early morning shot of Pier 5 after a short period of rain. This view give a good overview of the progress being made on the bridge deck and towers.

Click on the image to enlarge it in a new window.

As with all the other images in this post I used HDR processing to bring out the details in both the highlights and the shadows while enhancing the colors in the scene. When shooting these infrastructure construction photos I find HDR techniques to be indispensable tools. I always shoot bracket sets with 2 stop intervals and most times I am able to use all of them in the final image. In the event that the subjects in the bracketed photos have moved too much for the software to accommodate I usually find I have one image that has a good enough exposure that it can be processed for an acceptable final image.

Was a Rainbow Over the Downtown Span of the Ohio River Bridges Project a Positive Omen?

I try to capture something from the Ohio River Bridges Project nearly every workday. The rapid progress that is being made now is transforming the landscape all along the construction site. It isn’t always possible to be in just the right place every day but I really hope to provide a pretty complete view of how the Ohio River Bridges Project is progressing. I like to think that this rainbow is a positive omen for the project and for my own desire to show the world of heavy highway and bridge construction to the world though my images.

The other morning there were scattered showers moving in from the northwest and I was lucky enough to be in just the right place when the morning sunrise illuminated a gorgeous rainbow over the construction at Towers 4 and 5. I was on the Kentucky shore where the bridge will land in Louisville. I adjusted my vantage point in an effort to align the base of the rainbow with the eastern tower on pier 5. In doing so I was also able to include it’s intersection with the eastern tower at pier 4. In the upper right hand corner of the image is another faint rainbow that I discovered during processing.

Rainbow over the bridge towers for the Ohio River Bridges Project Downtown Span being built by Walsh Construction in Louisville, Kentucky, November 2014
Rainbow over the bridge towers for the Ohio River Bridges Project Downtown Span being built by Walsh Construction in Louisville, Kentucky, November 2014

Click the image to open it enlarged in a separate window.

The images in this post were captured all around the Ohio River Bridges Project in Louisville Kentucky in the past 30 days. There are photos of individual tradesmen, progress on the Downtown Span and the reconfiguring of Spaghetti Junction. All this activity keeps me hopping as I try to capture the process as well as the progress of this massive Heavy Highway and Bridge Construction project.

In several of these photos I have taken the liberty of sharing different versions of the same scenes. I like to use HDR techniques and HDR software when capturing and processing my images. I often like to take those same HDR images into various Black and White processing apps. I am not married to any one B&W app and use many different plug-ins as well as the B&W conversion tools in Photoshop CS5 and Aperture 3. I like the variety of effects I can get by using Topaz B&W, onOne B&W Effects and NIK Silver Efex Pro 2.