Finding Light in Godmanchester

Still early into blue hour, but since I knew the bridge was not going to be lit up, I started early while I still had some ambient light. The wind was not forgiving that night as you can see from the motion on the willow tree branches.

I found another small town that sits by the River Great Ouse, the third one in this series – St. Ives, Bedford, and now Godmanchester. And I’ve said it before, the trouble with these small towns is that most of them are very dark at night. Having seen very little of Godmanchester online, and even on Flickr, I did not have my hopes up as far as lighting goes. But I like to challenge myself that way and explore the possibilities I can come up with.

I’ve seen quite a few oriental bridges but never one like this; maybe it’s because I’m more familiar with the Japanese ones. This Chinese bridge, which is Godmanchester’s main landmark, was named so because it was built in Chinese architectural style in 1827. It has since been replaced a couple of times because of bad condition. Not a spectacular bridge by any means, as compared to the mighty old bridges of Europe, but these gems in smaller towns make photography a little less mundane and fresher to the eyes, albeit more challenging.

The Chinese Bridge and Godmanchester bridge were both dark that night; in fact, the whole place was pretty dark save for street lights, night traffic and a few store lights. This was taken minutes after blue hour has ended, leaving me with just that one street light on the right as my only light source. Shot wide open at f/2.8 at 13 seconds, ISO 250, I was surprised and happy to get this on my camera.

My last shot of the night taken from the other side. On this one, I bumped up ISO to 400 and lengthened exposure time to 30 seconds at f/8.

Town reflections on the River Great Ouse.

When there is no light, you find it. In this case, I went down the river to find the lights on the town. A big hungry goose kept me company and hissed at me menacingly all the time I was there, so I kept one eye on her. For this shot, I did not only get a goose-attack threat, I also came home with a Godmanchester-souvenir dog poop!

*These images are available for licensing. Contact me if interested. DO NOT USE without permission.


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