143 years old and still in working order.
Sandy Creek Covered Bridge boasts the picture-perfect appearance of an old red barn. It was built in 1872 after the Civil War to allow passage from the Jefferson County seat of Hillsboro to St. Louis. Sandy Creek Covered Bridge was built by John H. Morse and it is one of the few covered bridges still standing in the State of Missouri. It got it’s name for the shallow creek it crosses.
I recently spent an afternoon visiting and photographing the bridge in Infrared.
This was my first time at the bridge, and as I walked around it I realized that shooting it was going to be a bit more challenging than I thought. The bridge is situated over a creek, and surrounded by trees and foliage.
My intention was to try some Infrared HDR with this series, so everything shot was done so with a tripod. I shot mostly at f22 to maximize my depth of field. And of course, I did a custom White balance prior to shooting, using the grass as a reference image.
I chose the 1/13 second exposure for my White Balance reference image.
I was shooting with a Super Color converted Canon 7DMKII.
I thought a shot from the side was the way to go, but it didn’t look very interesting.
At first I did a color channel swap and desaturated the yellow and red tones, but wasn’t thrilled with the feel.
Then I tried to give it the look of old IR film
But that didn’t seem to do it either. So I decided to blend the the two into this.
Next I decided to see what I could do with the interior of the bridge. The structure inside the bridge is impressive, but dark.
I knew that HDR was the only way to capture what I had in mind.
I wanted the structure to pull you in, drawing the viewer towards the light at other end. So, I used an ultra wide lens positioned very low to the floor angled up.
I did remove all color tones, except for the yellow. This was created using NIK HDR Efex Pro2 and Color Efex Pro4.
As a side note, I realize the image has a slight tilt to it. I did work with straightening the bottom of the image, but decided I liked to off kilter feeling to it this way.
While I was in the mood for HDR, I moved back away from the Bridge and decided to keep with the low angle and get the path leading up to the bridge.
My 3 exposures gave me this.
And a more traditional look, with white foliage.
I tried a few more angles on the entrance, always keeping low to try and capture some of the inside structure. Here’s one converted to sepia to play off the old look.
I had one final idea; I moved further back, and brought the camera to a height of about 3 feet. The perspective still let me see into the bridge, but also let me use the trees to frame the outside of the bridge.
Once again in HDR, with 3 exposures.
From these 3 images, I was able to get this.
The HDR image was channel swapped, and the red and yellow tones were desaturated.
Overall, I liked the location, and it was my first attempt to shoot a covered bridge. I do think I will visit it again in few weeks, after all the leaves are gone to see what sort of feel the area has.
So, what do you think? Any suggestions for my attempt on this structure? I welcome your ideas.