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jamesloving

The Great Blizzard of 2016 Day One, January 22, 2016



In the midst of the Richmond "blizzard" of 2016 the Boulevard Bridge (Nickel Bridge) was closed due to the snow, so I took advantage of the opportunit...
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In the midst of the Richmond "blizzard" of 2016 the Boulevard Bridge (Nickel Bridge) was closed due to the snow, so I took advantage of the opportunity and sat in the middle until the lights came on.
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Behind The Lens

Location
This photo was taken on the Nickel Bridge in Richmond, VA during a snow storm that caused it to be closed to traffic. I seized the opportunity to capture a rare moment of calm on this well traveled overlook of the James River.
Time
On January 22, 2016 in the middle of a snowstorm the local news channels announced the Nickel Bridge would be closed to traffic due to the inclement weather. The bridge connects the south side of Richmond to Byrd Park and provides access to the Buttermilk Trail and James River for cyclists and adventurers. I packed up my gear and headed out on foot with the hope of capturing an image of the historic location blanketed in untouched snow under the gentle glow of street lamps. I made my way to the end of the bridge using the pedestrian walkway and then traveled back on the desolate road. Very few people were out in the conditions so I sought out a relatively undisturbed area to wait for dusk and the glow of the lights to appear.
Lighting
Lighting conditions were less than ideal. Dusk combined with the snow falling from the sky and blowing in multiple directions added an additional challenge. My wife stood over the camera to prevent as much snow as possible from getting to the lens during the shoot.
Equipment
I used a Nikon D750 body with a 24-70 mm 2.8 lens. The shot was taken at 66 mm at 1/30 second exposure. Settings were F 11 with a 3200 ISO. To get this perspective I laid on the snow and shot upwards towards the end of the bridge.
Inspiration
This bridge is near my home in Richmond and a regular part of my running route. It provides access to some of the best activities in the city as well as a beautiful view of the James River. It's bustling with road and pedestrian traffic throughout the day and I had never had the opportunity to photograph it empty. I have always loved the snow. I couldn't pass up the unique chance to freeze the beauty of an undisturbed blanket of white contrasted with the black lamp posts and metal of the bridge. Taking to the ground allowed me to capture the architectural interest of the contrasting lines of the bridge and lamp posts, the star burst from the lamps and the serenity of the deserted environment.
Editing
I utilized Lightroom for the majority of the processing. I converted the image to black and white to highlight the contrast of the elements of the snow and the bridge. I removed the spots caused by snow on the lens and 2 people who were at the end of the bridge.
In my camera bag
That depends on which bag I'm using. The majority of the time I'm a sports photographer so my large bag carries 2 bodies - currently a Nikon D3S and a Nikon D750. It also contains the following lenses 15-30mm 2.8, 24-70mm 2.8, 50mm 1.8, 70-200mm 2.8, 300mm 2.8. I carry 3 extra batteries, 2 flashes, 3 wireless triggers, 1 wired trigger, a memory card case, memory card readers, lens cloths, chargers, rain gear for the 300mm and disposable covers, rain cover for the bag, small power strip, BlackRapid dual straps, and miscellaneous computer accessories. If I'm traveling or on foot I have a smaller bag that I use to carry a single body usually the D750 and 2 lenses. My go to lenses are my 15-30mm 2.8, and 24-70mm 2.8. It also holds a few cleaning supplies. In addition I may carry a second bag with a tripod or monopod.
Feedback
When I'm shooting landscapes I try to plan in advance or take advantage of unique opportunities that arise. Patience is the most important factor. I may set up hours in advance or in this instance if I had waited just one day there would have been people everywhere and the shot wouldn't have been possible. You may have to wait or make adjustments to get the shot. The first shot is never the one I keep. You have to be willing to go out when others aren't, before sunrise, late at night, or in snowstorms because the best shots aren't taken at rush hour. Don't be afraid to experiment with times of day, lighting, angles, or settings. When you frame everything on center from a standing position photos are boring - embrace your creativity.

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