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Thread: Brisbane Story Bridge Climb

  1. #1
    PhotoByTrace's Avatar
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    Brisbane Story Bridge Climb

    I had the good fortune of participating in the Story Bridge Photographic Climb in Brisbane last week. The climb happens for two hours around dusk and according to their site, it is the only bridge climb in the world that permits climbers to take their own cameras. The limitation is that it is your camera only; no tripods, no filters, no hoods, no flashes, no remotes, one lens only. Just you and your camera You are also attached to the bridge at all times, which can be a little limiting in pulling together compositions.

    So in all it was an awesome experience. I had fun just taking in the view but also enjoyed the challenge of putting into practice things that I wouldn't usually attempt in order to get hand-held exposures. I also found the angles and symmetry within the architecture of the bridge interesting; again, not a subject I would "normally" seek out to photograph. At first I found myself trying to remove the bridge from my photos and was just thinking of it as a vantage point, though before long I was looking for ways to incorporate it within the scenes. So it was a great learning experience that took me out of my comfort zone. I've tried to narrow down the photos to post up here, but have been struggling with which to share, so "too many pics" can be found below. C&C welcomed.

    Photo1
    Brisbane Story Bridge Climb
    Photo2
    Brisbane Story Bridge Climb
    Photo3
    Brisbane Story Bridge Climb
    Photo4
    Brisbane Story Bridge Climb
    Photo5
    Brisbane Story Bridge Climb
    Photo6
    Brisbane Story Bridge Climb
    Photo7
    Brisbane Story Bridge Climb
    Photo8
    Brisbane Story Bridge Climb

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Brisbane Story Bridge Climb

    That is amazing.

    I note the website saying, "Nowhere else in the world are you allowed to take your camera to the top of a bridge as part of a bridge climb experience." And as soon as I read what you were doing thought, 'Must be Australia!'.

    The timing is also interesting from a Scottish perspective, because just this week the idea of installing a viewing platform at the top of one of the cantilevers of the Forth Bridge has been put forward. And it sounds like it's a serious proposition.

    But this is wonderful idea and well done to those who initiated it.

    And, Trace, you certainly made the most of the opportunity. Right across the board, that's a very good set of images. And I think you're right - Getting the bridge in as part of the scene in some of the images is the right thing to do.

    Wonderful.
    Last edited by Donald; 24th January 2012 at 02:41 PM.

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    Re: Brisbane Story Bridge Climb

    Looking at your photos gave me alot of anxiety to be honest! Made me feel as though I was on top of the bridge with you -- I would be the one scared to death!! Nice pictures I am sure it was a thrill to be there!!

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    Re: Brisbane Story Bridge Climb

    Wow is all I can say.

  5. #5
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    Re: Brisbane Story Bridge Climb

    Great job Trace. With that sort of thing you only get one chance and you've "nailed it". I might have to have a go at that too !!

    I think 5, 6 and 8 are my favourites but there all good.

    I notice some of your shutter speeds are 1/6 or 1/8 so you've done well without a tripod. You may have been able to use the bridge steelwork to steady the camera but still it's not easy.

    Dave

  6. #6
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Brisbane Story Bridge Climb

    All I can say, Trace, is WOW, what an experience! Great photos! I really like #1 with the sun gleaming off the buildings.

  7. #7
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    Re: Brisbane Story Bridge Climb

    Great photos Trace. The bridge ones are my favourites - you've captured some powerful lines and angles.

  8. #8
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    Re: Brisbane Story Bridge Climb

    Amazing photos Trace. Might have to look into doing that, it will probably scare the living daylights out of me, but the opportunity to take photos of Brisbane that way would be fantastic.

  9. #9
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    Re: Brisbane Story Bridge Climb

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    That is amazing.

    The timing is also interesting from a Scottish perspective, because just this week the idea of installing a viewing platform at the top of one of the cantilevers of the Forth Bridge has been put forward. And it sounds like it's a serious proposition.
    And such a gorgeous bridge to be considering it on! I hope that it happens for you. I have to say that my own experience was quite an adventure. They are extremely serious about ensuring no person and/or personal item fall from that bridge. From being "suited up" (full jumpsuits with no pockets with the safety harness belted over the top), all jewelry and watches removed; we were breath tested and then security wanded to ensure you have no foreign objects under the jumpsuit. Cameras were secured to us with a steel chord from our belts to the camera base with a tripod attachment. I was actually quite nervous after going through all of that.
    The limitation from a photography perspective (aside from the gear) is that you are on a one meter safety harness connected to a bridge and in an ordered line-up of people, so keeping people's heads, feet and cameras out of the frame was difficult. There were also a few times when I just wanted to move "2 foot thataway" and couldn't. But they were the challenges, and I'm amazed myself at the collection of photos that I ended up with. An extremely enjoyable opportunity. I also went back into Brisbane city a few nights later to catch a sunset and the bridge lit up from the usual vantage point on the cliffs. I haven't had the chance to process them yet. But will do over the next few days before I have to go back to work.


    And, Trace, you certainly made the most of the opportunity. Right across the board, that's a very good set of images. And I think you're right - Getting the bridge in as part of the scene in some of the images is the right thing to do.

    Wonderful.
    Thanks Donald!

  10. #10
    PhotoByTrace's Avatar
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    Re: Brisbane Story Bridge Climb

    Quote Originally Posted by Kathy O View Post
    Looking at your photos gave me alot of anxiety to be honest! Made me feel as though I was on top of the bridge with you -- I would be the one scared to death!! Nice pictures I am sure it was a thrill to be there!!
    Hi Kathy... I actually don't like heights much myself and did get some vertigo early on the climb, but I think having the camera to focus on helped a lot. It kept my mind occupied. I was also VERY pleased it wasn't windy!

  11. #11
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    Re: Brisbane Story Bridge Climb

    Truly amazing, Trace!

  12. #12
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    Re: Brisbane Story Bridge Climb

    Thanks all! Frank... yes that is my fave too. Thanks Malcolm I was hoping the lines would work for the images. And yes Kerry I strongly encourage you to do it if you get the opportunity. I was somewhat uncomfortable initially, but overcame it for a memorable experience.

  13. #13
    PhotoByTrace's Avatar
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    Re: Brisbane Story Bridge Climb

    Quote Originally Posted by dje View Post
    Great job Trace. With that sort of thing you only get one chance and you've "nailed it". I might have to have a go at that too !!

    I think 5, 6 and 8 are my favourites but there all good.

    I notice some of your shutter speeds are 1/6 or 1/8 so you've done well without a tripod. You may have been able to use the bridge steelwork to steady the camera but still it's not easy.
    Thanks Dave! Yes, I believe the VR helped quite a bit. Once I dipped below 1/60th I started experimenting by taking multiple exposures of the same scene with more open apertures from f/8 to f/5.6 and f/4... so have very similar images, yet in choosing which to process I've almost exclusively ended up at f/8 without it being a conscious decision. The ones later in the evening are not so good. I didn't push my camera over ISO 800 (and after processing, really wished I had), so was out to about 1 second exposures and even with leaning against the bridge most were unrecoverably blurred.

  14. #14
    PhotoRob's Avatar
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    Re: Brisbane Story Bridge Climb

    Very impressive Trace...

  15. #15
    PhotoByTrace's Avatar
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    Re: Brisbane Story Bridge Climb

    Thanks Rob and Molly! Glad you enjoyed them

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    Re: Brisbane Story Bridge Climb

    Wish I could have been there in person, but your pictures feel the next best thing. Great job!

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