Every aspiring travel photographer needs a creative bridge shot in their portfolio. Sure, there are iconic bridges all over the world, but what about the abandoned or natural bridges that are much harder to find?

Perhaps your “bridge” isn’t actually a bridge but rather an illusion or connective medium between two things. Whether you’re visiting the Brooklyn Bridge during rush hour, or a small, country bridge at sunrise these tips will help you craft a truly one-of-a-kind photo for your feed.

PICK YOUR PLACE

Picking your spot and planning your shots around it is key. While there are plenty of tips that broadly apply to all bridge shots, getting a lay of the land where you plan to shoot will improve your photos immensely.

Here are some of the most photogenic bridges to add to your wish list:

  1. Bridge to Nowhere, Mangapurua Valley, New Zealand
  2. Sipapu Bridge, Lake Powell, Utah
  3. Brooklyn Bridge, New York
  4. Living Root Bridges, Meghalaya, India
  5. Tower Bridge, London
  6. Bixby Creek Bridge, Big Sur, California
  7. Ponte Di Rialto, Venice, Italy
  8. Python Bridge, Amsterdam
  9. Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
  10. The Helix Bridge, Singapore

FIND THE MISSING ANGLE

Now it’s time to prepare for the shot. Browse Google and Instagram for the top photos of the bridge. That will serve as your list of lookouts to avoid. Next, find original photo ops by looking for any angles that have been missed.

The best bridge photo won’t be the easiest to take, so, if you can, travel with a buddy for an extra set of hands or make friends with whoever manages the bridge to get access to private areas.

By standing underneath the bridge you can use the arch to frame your image. To make this look really dramatic, use a wide- angle lens. This helps to exaggerate the foreground and channel the eye down a tunnel.

TIME IT RIGHT

Another tip for capturing the perfect bridge photo is to consider the time of day. Early morning shots will allow for more freedom (think: less traffic and fewer tourists), but night hours better capture the spirit of a busy city. A well-lit bridge combined with traffic lights and a dazzling cityscape background will pop on any social feed. To crisply capture the intricate components of a bridge plus movement, you’ll need an interchangeable lens camera that can resolve fine detail and produce high quality images even in the dimmest light.

Olympus Visionary, Mike Boening | Shot on an Olympus OM-D

Since most bridges cross water, mornings often usher in a mist that can add drama and depth to your photo. When taking a night shot, remember that the longer your shutter is open, the more light your camera will let in. To capture light streaks from moving cars, use a camera with continuous shooting, which together with a tripod will allow you to capture the effect. (Shameless plug: the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III has a Live Composite setting that automatically stiches the frames together for you).

Olympus User Gallery Contributor, Nam Ing | Shot on an Olympus OM-D

Pro Tip: So you don’t have to lug a tripod to your ideal vantage point, use a camera with effective image stabilization built in, which will counteract any inevitable hand wobbles so you get a blur-free nightscape.

Bridges are the world’s great connecters. Whether you love the great outdoors, or prefer the hustle and bustle of a big city, you’re sure to encounter one as you travel from Point A to Point B. Next time you hit the road, use these tips to snap one of these architectural beauties along the way.

Olympus User Gallery Contributor, Jongho Lee | Shot on an Olympus OM-D | M.Zuiko 25mm F1.8

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