Today's Photo of the Day comes from Sony Alpha user Chris Peterson. His photo of Bixby Creek Bridge in Big Sur, California was featured on the @sonyalpha Instagram feed where it received more than 6,500 Likes. We reached out to Peterson to find out more about how he made the photograph and the gear he used to do it.
To get your photos into the running to be featured on Alpha Universe all you have to do is post them to Instagram with the #SonyAlpha hashtag.
Bixby Creek Bridge in Big Sur, California
How I Got the Shot
We were vacationing for a few days in Monterey, CA to visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium and on the way back home to Los Angeles we took the scenic drive down the Pacific Coast Highway. It's such a beautiful drive and offers so many great spots to photograph along the way. (If you are traveling down this way in January through early March, you must stop at the Elephant Seal Rookery in Piedras Blancas just outside of San Simeon. You'll be able to capture some really amazing photos of the Elephant Seals on the beach)
Capturing this photo involved some luck with the weather. It had been rainy and foggy for a portion of the drive but as we neared the Bixby Bridge the clouds cleared and the sun broke through and lit up the valley behind the bridge. I found an easy spot to pull off the road and a small trail that took us to a great vantage point to compose and capture this shot. I wasn’t sure how the bridge would come out being so strongly back-lit by the sun, so I took 3 shots at 1EV exposure brackets from a few spots and that was about it. I was in the right place at the right time to take this photo -- which I have to say, happens more often now that I have such an awesome compact full frame camera to easily carry around with me.
For post processing, I merged the photos using some mild HDR processing to try to keep the scene looking realistic with a dynamic range that kept the detail in the bright sky and the back-lit Bridge. The end result was even better than I had hoped for and I really loved this photo for the colors and the overall composition.
Fun Fact: According to Wikipedia, the Bixby Creek Bridge is famous for its aesthetic design, making it one of the most photographed man made features along the west coast (so take that Golden Gate Bridge!). With that said, I'm happy that I was able to do it justice with my photo.
Gear & Settings
- Camera: Sony α7R II
- Lens: 16-35mm f4 at 16mm with a Metabones IV adapter
- ISO: 100
- Aperture: f8.0
- Shutter Speed: 1/125, 1/250, 1/500
You can follow Chris Peterson on Instagram @Chris_at_CrispyPhotos