I spent some time this morning visiting a few of the covered bridges that can be found in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. The three bridges I checked out were near Lake Nockamixon and these were Sheards Mill, Frankenfield, and Loux. There are a total of 12 covered bridges in Bucks County, 10 of which are still actively in use for road traffic. The other 2 are in parks.
Photographing covered bridges can be quite challenging. The biggest issue is that some of these bridges are located along narrow backroads, surrounded by private property. The result is that there is no room at all to park near the bridges. I am personally not one to park improperly on private property, so in these case I just take a pass.
There are other challenges as well, even if you can find a place to park. If the area is mostly private property then it is hard to get a good angle to make a great composition. Also there are usually lots of shadows, unless the day is overcast. Traffic can also be a concern.
One solution to the issue of lighting and shadows is the use of HDR. I am using this technique more often now, in order to create photos that would normally be too shadowy and/or blown-out. When I use my HDR software (Photomatix) I try to produce the most realistic output image, one that doesn’t look too cartoonish. Usually the image coming out of Photomatix is not good enough to be a final image, since the software is designed to use rules to operate on the whole image without knowing the contents, so I perform further processing in Photoshop to get the photo to the point where I really like it.
I created a map in Google Maps to identify the location of the covered bridges. Here is a screen-shot of the map:
The public link to the map is here:
Here are a couple of photos from today’s outing:
Main Website: Photography by Matt Schrier