How to take Picture in Bad Light

When we are thinking about nice bridges, some bridges come to mind immediately.  The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, the Coronado Bridge in San Diego or the Brooklyn Bridge in New York.

This Bridge has nothing to do with the previous one. However it is so nice, elegant and perfectly made that seeing it means that you can’t forget it afterward.  The bridge and everything around it is just perfect.

When we came in, I was personally disappointed with the light.  The sun was rather high and was shining across the bridge and the small pond in front of it. After years and years making pictures in all kind of situation, it is still hard for me to predict what a picture will look like with the constraints imposed on a digital SLR.  Looking into the scene I said to myself: “This is not good”.

Getting the most out of bad light.

So I put my tripod low on the ground, I bracketed the shot, pressed the shutter to take the picture and did not look back at the screen before moving on to the next promising spot.

Later on, I came to realize that this is a good picture!  The light is very nice in fact.  Shooting into the sun is often unpredictable. Some time I am blessed by the results!

Post-Processing bad light

In post-production I processed the bracketed shot using Photoshop Merge to HDR starting from Lightroom.  Coming back to Lightroom I was able to adjust the exposure and pull the shadow.  Et Voilà!

Should you be in that situation, do not forget to bracket.  I.e. take multiple exposure of the scene on a tripod.  If you do so, you will be able to rescue the picture more easily.

This small Bridge over Maine was one of the nice location we visited when we did our Acadia National Park Photo Workshop. Are you pleasantly surprised when looking at some of your pictures taken in bad light?  Do you bracket your shots in these situations?