The Fix: Brilliant Bridgework

We could have fixed this picture, but the photographer went and did it himself.

The-Fix-Brilliant-Bridgework
The-Fix-Brilliant-Bridgework

The problem: It's a jazzy take on the view from the Brooklyn Bridge -- the skyline in twinkly silhouette behind the cable latticework, the deep purple of the sky, the headlights streaking in counterpoint. A fine picture, but we somehow thought it could use a little extra. We'd like to see more of the sky and cables. But if the camera were aimed up, you'd lose some of the roadway and the headlights. And you'd still have those frame-hogging roadway beams. Going to a wider-angle lens might work, but that would reduce the impact of the headlights and make the skyline smaller in the frame. Whatever will we do?

What now: The photographer figured it out on the spot -- tilt the horizon sharply. This adds a big expanse of sky and cable to the frame and shows a bigger sweep of the skyline. It keeps the streaky headlights but confines them to the right-hand third of the frame, just as it should. You now get the impression of speeding into the frame, rather than watching from the side. And the roadway beams now form nice diagonal design elements.

Next time: Keep doing what you're doing! This photographer shows us that creative solutions often require no more than a different way of looking at things -- literally and figuratively. (Special advisory from the Fix Department: While a skewed horizon works splendidly here, it's a technique that can be overdone, so watch it.)

Tech info: Tripod-mounted Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi with 17-55mm f/2.8 Canon EF-S IS lens. Exposures, 3.2 sec at f/16, ISO 400 (level shot) and 4 sec at f/10, ISO 100 (tilted shot). RAW conversion and minor adjustments in Adobe Photoshop CS2 and in Nikon Capture NX.

Before After
Let's see more sky...and less of the beams

Bryan Busovicki
Cincinnati, OH