The 'Bridge of Sighs' was designed by Antonio Contino at the beginning of the 17th century and was used a secure way of bringing prisoners over the 'Rio di Palazzo' canal from the prison to the interrogation rooms in the Doge's Palace.
The name of the bridge is supposed to come from the sighs made by condemned prisoners as they crossed the bridge and saw Venice for the last time.
From a technical point of view this photo proved very challenging, mainly because of the bright spotlight that is directed at the face of the bridge. In order to avoid blowing the highlights I set the camera to fully manual and deliberately underexposed the photo by about 5 stops. I then lifted the very dark shadow areas in post processing to get the result you can see here.
The dynamic range that is available from the latest digital cameras (like the Nikon D800 that I use) is simply astonishing but you have to know how to set the exposure to optimise the potential of the digital 'RAW' file. Unlike film, the dynamic range potential of digital cameras lies in the shadows rather than the highlights so in landscape images like this one it's always best to expose the photo using the camera histogram so that you ensure that you don't blow out the highlights - they wouldn't be recoverable in post processing whereas the shadow areas can easily be lifted to give surprising results.
In this image I could have made those shadow areas even brighter if I had wanted to but I deliberately left them a little dark as I felt it contributed to the overall mood of the photo.
Like what you see here and are interested in photographic composition?.....the blog section of my website now has a complete set of 5 articles covering my personal approach to the subject: Ian Bramham Photography - Blog
For purchasing high quality archival prints of any of these photos you can send me an email by clicking here or by going to my website Ian Bramham - Fine Art Photography where prices are listed in the gallery sections under each individual photo.
78 mm (35mm equiv.)