Millennium Bridge at Night, Salford Quays

This view has been taken again and again, the more I learn about composition and settings on the camera the more I want go back to the Quays and try and get this bridge photographed perfectly. Well I didn’t quite achieve this last Saturday because it was pouring down with rain at this point. Mark and I wanted to take more experimental photos on the bridge but we arrived just as Manchester United finished there football match and thousands of fans started to walk across this bridge. It seemed safer to retreat back to this location away from the fans and enjoy a flask of coffee (a must for all night photography in my opinion) and some chocolate biscuits.

The thing that I didn’t see in this picture when taking it (probably because I was concerned about the rain on my camera) was the large areas of light from the Lowry Shopping Centre. The large entrance emits so much light that it made the area to the far left of the bridge very over exposed in this picture. Where as in my first attempt at this photograph back in October I used part of the bridge to mask this area by setting up the tripod much closer to the bridge. So for version three (getting towards what I really want of this view) will be a similar framing to the picture below but with the camera settings of the above photograph in order to bring out the reflection and bright colours on the water.

When we look at the settings for the two photograph it is easy to see why the top one has a more interesting reflection of the lights on the water. The first attempt (see below) was taken with a shutter speed of 1/5th of a second at an aperture of f/3.5 – I probably just put the camera on program mode and left it to its own devises but with such a short exposure time the camera would pick up the details of the water ripples which we don’t want. The second attempt at this photo (see above) was taken with a longer shutter speed of 30 seconds with a much smaller aperture of f/13 – I used fully manual mode this time because I am starting to feel more confident with reading the light levels and knowing how different apertures and shutter speeds with capture different types of photograph. You’ll be the first to see the final photograph on this blog but I have no idea how many version it might take me to get this quite simple photograph to as best as I can possibly take it.

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