St Margarets Railway Bridge

1/250sec, f/8, ISO 160, 18mm

Continuing my journey through my backlog of pre-Olympic trips and sets, we come to a post that was actually completed and ready to go before the Olympics started, but fell by the wayside when the Games got into full swing. And unfortunately, as the original opening alluded to the Games in an expectant way, it needed a little bit of rewriting before it was ready to post. Still, it’s here now, and only a month after it was finished.

I keep an active list of things I’d like to shoot (well, okay, I keep two active lists of things I’d like to shoot, but one of them is technically unrelated to photography). Every working day on the train I pass an old-style railway bridge at St Margarets station. It’s the classic style of metal railway bridge – in fact, I had one just like it, only made of plastic, in the train set I had as a kid. This bridge has been on my shooting list for months.

What kept me from shooting the bridge for so long wasn’t distraction, or lack of motivation. I was waiting for the right conditions. Because I’d been eying it up for so long, I had a specific sort of shot in mind, and had ample time to prepare (I even used Google Street View to examine the angles) and, more importantly, wait. Simply put, I wanted cloud porn. Fortunately, the weather in the UK lately has given near perfect conditions for cloud porn. That is, lots of rain. We had a bit of a bright spell around the Olympics, and occasionally since then, but ultimately this summer has been a dull, grey washout.

Wanting cloud porn, as well as wanting to capture the texture of the structure, I realised before I arrived I’d need to use HDR. As I mentioned in my last post, the HDR plugin I’m currently using is still in trial mode, so please excuse the watermarks.

On the day I eventually lost my patience, the clouds weren’t perfect, but depressingly enough there was a hint that the weather might be changing for the better so I went for it. Since then, the weather hasn’t improved any.

I’m ambivalent about the cars in the shot above. The 2CV adds to the image, but the ten-year-old Skoda detracts from it. Unfortunately I couldn’t cut them out in any way; getting closer squeezes out too much of the bridge.

1/250sec, f/8, ISO 250, 18mm

The HDR shots in this set were created using a mixture of the techniques I used for the Greenwich post – most are ‘true’ HDR images taken with three exposures, but some are split/adjust/recombine images.

Since these images are less a journey and more an abstract investigation of a single location, I’m posting them in the gallery format. It’s not because I’m trying to get this post out whilst it’s still hot, because frankly that opportunity passed some time ago. Plus, it’s a bridge. It’s not going anywhere.

4 thoughts on “St Margarets Railway Bridge

  1. Gabriel | 加百利 August 29, 2012 — 6:52 pm

    awesome stuff! black and white photography works great and HDR adds more


    1. Thank you! I love the way black and white brings out the textures in things in a way that is lost in colour – and HDR even more so.

      Thanks for commenting!


  2. VERY nice. I took keep a list of things to shoot and even the correct season and time of year to shoot them. Especially in B&W, a sky without clouds just should not be shot.


    1. Hi Jon, glad to see I’ve finally made a post of sufficient quality to bring you out from wherever you’ve been hiding! 😛

      There’s been plenty of cloud porn in the UK this so-called summer – I’ve not really shot as much as I would have liked, to be honest. Not too many cloudless skies to deal with though, so there is that, I guess.


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