Today I was driving over the Bijou Street bridge in Colorado Springs. The light was cool but not back lit enough to really make it dramatic. But I though I would give it a shot.
After spending some time looking for parking, the sun had enough time to get a little bit lower in the sky. I looked and checked to see if I had enough time before Old Sol hid itself behind the Rockies for the night. I did.
So I hurried to the bridge to shoot.
What attracted me was the curvature of the bridge. As I walked towards the crest, I noticed how the peak hid the distracting background.
When I sat down on the sidewalk, the angle was low enough that the hump hid all the muck (I-25, traffic, lights, bridges, dilapidated buildings) and really cleaned the background.
Also, the back lighting created by the low angle of the sun really strengthened and you could see a cool, repetitive pattern made by the globes and flags on the streetlights.
There were also all the leading lines. The railing, the curb, and even the shadow of the railing drew your eye to the that magic sweet spot. I knew I needed to use a shallow depth of field to keep the background soft.
Repetition is cool, but I fully believe that repetition without opposition is boring. You can get fun patterns, but you need something for the eye to lock onto. Something to break the pattern.
All these compositional elements worked together to create a fun and vibrant photo, yet it needed something more to keep from being a bore. It needed one more element.
Particularly a human element.
So I waited. I did not have much time as the sun was quickly dipping towards its resting spot behind the Rockies.
While waiting, a man passed, then an older woman with a bag, and then several bicyclists. One away from me, and one towards me.
But, I like the older woman as the sun added a touch of rim lighting to her hair and she walked with a gait that added a touch of emotion.
As I edited the photos, it was hard to choose. Then, one frame jumped out at me: the photo above. It needed slight bit of cropping on the right to remove a light pole, and little from above to remove a flag that was distracting.
A touch of toning and voila! The photo is complete.
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