Posted on Jul.30, 2017, under Landscape, Michigan, Travel, Upper Peninsula

(Sony A7rii, 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS at 24mm, Exposure 4 minutes @ f/20, ISO 200)

I’ve always thought the lift bridge in Houghton, Michigan looked really cool, but I had not seen it in person since I was very young (and I don’t remember actually seeing it, but we had to cross it to get the Copper Harbor, so I know I’ve seen it). The bridge has two decks and used to support both automobile and train traffic. Originally the lower level allowed trains to cross the Keweenaw Waterway (Portage River/Portage Canal) while automobiles would use the upper level. When boats needed to cross, the bridge would need to be raised.

When the Upper Peninsula was a major copper supplier, trains ran frequently. However, copper hasn’t been mined here for decades and the rails are no longer really needed. To accommodate both boat and automobile traffic, the decks were changed so that both levels work for cars. Most of the time the bridge is now up so that most boats can travel underneath. If a larger ship needs to pass (which I believe is rare now), the bridge deck can go higher. In the winter, when boat traffic isn’t required, the bridge is lowered and the top deck is used for cars, and the lower deck connects to allow snowmobiles to travel where trains used to run.

One of the things I was trying out on our vacation was to shoot some long exposure shots. I was hoping for more clouds to create something more interesting in the sky, but I only got some little clouds. Still I think even the small amount of cloud cover yields and interesting image. I exposed the shot for 4 minutes using 13 stops of ND. Even though I was planning on converting to black and white, I was once again happy that my filters from Breakthrough Photography didn’t create a color cast. (I receive no support from Breakthrough, I just really like their stuff)

Below you can see the raw image as it came out of the camera:


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Copyright © 2017 James W. Howe – All rights reserved


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