Annual Challenge: My Bridge

Linda has been shooting her favorite bridge in Mesquite throughout the year and she presents us with her collage as well as a bit of a poetry through her captions.

She sent me this message:
“When Walgreens had their last 8×10 freebie, I had a copy made of my collage/montage, which I picked up yesterday. Didn’t like it. I tried re-doing my photos, hoping for a better outcome. I THINK I like the one better that I’m attaching as a do-over. My problem is the text. After I was all done, for the umteenth time, I realized that I should wait to add any text until the collage is done. I did it photo by photo–wrong!!! Anyway, I still think this one is better.”

I will let you crazies be the judge. Click on each photo to enlarge.

Bridge Montage (Photo by Linda)

My Bridge
(Photo by Linda)

My Bridge (Photo by Linda)

My Bridge
(Photo by Linda)

Linda also included a holiday photo taken at the Chinese Lantern Festival at Fair Park and this was her comment:
“Here is a photograph taken a couple of weeks ago at the Chinese Lantern Festival at Fair Park in Dallas. While there, I thought what a great place it would have been to take pictures for the reflection challenge as the display is in and around the lagoon. But that challenge was already behind us, so I submit this one as a holiday photo. The beautiful fan behind Santa was on a grassy area
away from the lagoon, so no reflections here. For anyone interested, the displays will be up until, I believe, January 5.”

Now, I have taken some liberty with Linda’s photo and put it in a collage with her photo as she sent it on the left and an edit of the same photo that I have done on the Fotor site on the right.

Our cameras want to turn everything into an 18% gray. When you are dealing with a lot of darkness, the camera will try to make it gray. By simply decreasing the exposure and increasing the contrast in post-processing, you can, in my opinion, improve on the photo. If you shoot in raw, it will give you more information in each photo to work with and manipulate.

You can also make the decision when shooting to underexpose the photo. Check your camera instructions for exposure compensation. Experiment when shooting and look to see which you like better. There again… you make the choice as to which appears better. I personally like the darker background and when underexposed, the lights are not as blown out. I would rather see the the lights properly exposed than to see the grass and background in a shot such as this to retain the dramatic impact of the lights in the night.

Before and After Chinese Lantern Festival (Photo by Linda)

Before and After
Chinese Lantern Festival
(Photo by Linda)

She was also shooting on a slow shutter speed of 1/20th second. That is difficult to hand hold without a tripod. The ISO was 400. You could always increase the ISO and thereby be able to shoot at a faster shutter speed. But there are trade offs when doing so. On a higher ISO, you can also get what is called noise. It can look like what we called “grain” in film days. So many choices. Who said photography is easy?

I think this just goes to prove that the learning curve never ends and much of it is personal preference.

Thank you so much Linda for your submissions and I so much appreciate you helping us to learn as we go.


6 thoughts on “Annual Challenge: My Bridge

  1. Linda,
    Love how you arranged the four seasons pictures. This is wonderful. My favorite is the winter image.

    I did not know that you can fix
    A picture at Fotor. I need to explore the site more. Have not gone to the Chinese Lantern Festival, would like to go. Great job Linda.

    • Yeah… you can do all the basic things to brighten/darken, saturate, sharpen, rotate, crop, tone, color, and resize. Just click on the brush-looking icon.

      We need to find a time to go to the Chinese Lantern Festival before it is finished.

  2. Fay, I liked what you did with the Santa photo, and the comments you made. I am curious as to how you are able to determinemy shutter speed and ISO. I used my old camera, not my new one. I likemy old camerabecause it has a viewfinder, but I have noticed it often distorts the light, especially inside. Pics made inside the house have a yellow tone to them. I wonder if that had anything to do with the outdoor pictures of the lanterns? Would have been nice if I had used both and could compare.


    • I may have gone a little overboard on contrast but just wanted to show what can be done.

      If you have some photos inside the house that have a yellow cast, I would assume it has to do with your white balance. All light has it’s own qualities. Tungsten that we use inside gives a yellow tint. Fluorescent may give a greenish cast. You can actually change the white balance in your camera settings but I usually shoot in AWB (auto white balance) and then tweak the color in post-processing. You can do this on the Fotor site in your basic editing mode. Take one of the photos with a yellow tint and experiment with it to see how you can change the tint and make it look better.

      On any of your photos, if you right click on the image, it will take you to the stats about the image under properties and then click on details. It will tell the make and model of camera used, F-stop, exposure time, ISO, exposure compensation, focal length, aperture, metering mode, and if flash was used. I find it helpful sometimes to refer to this information and many times find out that the reason my photo is blurry is because my shutter speed was just too slow for hand holding.

      To better understand the best shutter speed for hand-holding a camera, there is a good discussion here:

  3. Linda,
    Nice collage capturing the different seasons!!! I can see why this nice little bridge appealed to you!! My favorites are the images that show the bridge closer up. Looks like a very nice relaxing place to spend some time! Good choice with your subject and great job of displaying the different seasons!!!

  4. It is a dilemma Linda picking which of the collages I like the best. There are lots of differences from size of type, borders and arrangement of photos. And I can’t even pick out a dozen doughnuts! I think you are right in saying that it is probably better to add your text at the end.

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