Old bridges are a part of all our urban experiences. Many would have been built early on, as many urban settlements were built next to rivers for trade purposes etc. even those that weren't would have seen bridges appear once the railway came to town.
Many of these early bridges remain and provide great opportunities for bridge pictures to be taken.
As a photographic subject they offer the photographer the ability to use them to show the contrast in building techniques and styles against the ever-increasing array of modern buildings and structures popping up all over our cities and towns.
The four examples I have highlighted here explore the use of both colour and black and white photography, as well as day and night time shots.
These old bridges are all very different in style and time period and all have something to say about where they are and of their place and story in the history and their environment.
This first colour photograph of an traditional bridge by Rhys Jones Photography is a perfect example of photography art.
The image is not so much about the bridge itself but the rich colours and symmetrical shapes created by the reflection.
The image looks as if high contrast has been used to enhance the intensity of the deep blue of the water and the paler more subtle colours of the bridge; perhaps the saturation has also been increased to help this effect.
Colour and form is the main motivation of this photograph, all other distractions have been removed from it composition.
The photographer has also ensured that both the old bridge and its reflection are both in sharp focus that has created a very pleasing overall sense of one solid image.
Next we have a black and white photograph by Soylent Green23 of an old bridge constructed from metal girders.
The scene behind the bridge is very industrial and this adds to the over all feel of the bridge as a relic from the industrial age. Choosing to use black and white instead of colour has also enhanced this effect.
The composition has been well thought out, with the bridge taking centre stage but with enough space left around it to show both the clear sky above and the urban developments behind, giving the image a lot of interest.
With the angle of the bridge disappearing away from the viewer's eye, the picture is given a lot of depth and movement and is another fine example of urban photography art.
This is one of my own pictures of one of the bridges along the river Thames in London. As you can see I have chosen to use the bridge detail and colour as the main attention of the image.
I wanted to use the bridge to cut the photograph diagonally in half, so that one side displayed the bright colours and strength of the bridge, whilst the other showed a bland almost colourless cold winters day in London.
I particularly like all the rivets on this old railway bridge and felt that they added appeal to an otherwise very formal and utilitarian structure.
Lastly a much more common view of a bridge by RH, the full side on view.
However I chose this photograph to highlight the use of nighttime photography when taking pictures of old bridges as they are often lit up at nighttime, giving the picture a whole different feel and dimension.
The photographer has exposed the picture well and has obtained deep blacks and subtle lights and reflections.
I also like the way the whole bridge fills the frame from left to right, allowing for no other distractions to take your eye away from the main focus of the picture.
Generally the composition works really well, it is a shame about the bottom right hand corner where they have been unable to keep the wall out of the image, but then we have all had to cope with this I'm sure.
Urban photography encompasses many different aspects of our cities and towns and old bridges are just one aspect of our constantly changing and developing world that is worth recording.