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Sean McHugh | all galleries >> Cambridge University > Snow Bridge
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Snow Bridge
28-JAN-2004 Sean McHugh

Snow Bridge

St. John's College - Cambridge, England

Image taken at 2AM GMT.

Canon EOS 300D Digital Rebel ,Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
8s f/8.0 at 22mm (35mm at 35mm equivalent) and iso-400 w/ +0.75ev EC, flash full exif

other sizes: small medium original
Markus Grompe23-Nov-2014 16:15
very creative technically. V.
Thomas R30-Jun-2007 20:53
Very interesting image! I very much like the composition and the toning, but the bird in the bottom right corner keeps grabbing my attention! Voted. --tom
christl herremans22-Feb-2007 06:48
Rob Oele03-Feb-2006 12:38
Thomas Spurr16-Nov-2005 00:55
what a nice picture....
Michael Rainwater 01-Jun-2005 07:48
Brilliant! Thank you for the explanation. Should you write a book on this subject someday, I will be first in line. Cheers, Mike
Sean McHugh31-May-2005 12:54
Hello Michael,

I have a number of different versions of this shot, each with a slightly different ISO/shutter speed combination-- both with and without the swan. The swan was indeed captured by the flash, although it remained more or less still for the remaining 8 seconds of the exposure (as it was clearly quite cold :) ). There is also some loss of local contrast and sharpness near the swan from its movement (although this is mainly at its neck and head).

Varying the length of exposure vs ISO speed (assuming constant aperture) has the effect of controlling how far into the snow the flash penetrates. For example: At ISO400 and 8seconds there are fewer tiny snowflakes visible in the distance than for another shot I tried at ISO800 and 4s (assuming the flash intensity is the same for both exposures). Since I primarily wanted the larger snowflakes and clear visibility of the background bridge, the shallower flash penetration (ISO400) worked better for this shot. I could have eliminated the smaller snowflakes further by shooting at 16s and ISO200, however the swan moved too much during that exposure.

Hope this helps. I intend to add a page on this topic later on at:

Michael Rainwater 31-May-2005 07:42
I stumbled upon your portfolio by accident, and I am glad that I did. The texture and tone of these night shots is amazing. I particularly like this one, and how you captured the snowfall with the flash. Couple of questions: was the swan also "captured" with the flash, or was it still for the full 8s exposure? And, why 400 ISO? Did you try a longer exposure at a lower ISO as well? Again, thanks for sharing these.
Guest 24-Apr-2005 17:20
the sepia quality of the light is great. However, I think you are best at night and twilight. Also those blotches of big snowflakes coming down nearer the lens are ugly. Coming from a country where we have lots of snow, I hate the stuff. Just a personal prejudice. Still this photo is excellent in so many ways.
Piotr Siejka12-Feb-2005 11:25
Great! Excellent use of flash to emphasize the snow...
Kelly Simpson07-Feb-2005 04:32
Robert Stuart Davies02-Feb-2005 22:50
A delight to view. Beautiful work Sean..
Best wishes Rob
mick 08-Dec-2004 22:53
I`ve seen many pictures of this bridge, but this has to be the best ive seen. Great work Sean.
m08-Dec-2004 16:29
Absolutely fabulous!
Guest 02-Nov-2004 05:13
It looks like what I imagined the wizardry school in the Harry Potter books should look like. I suppose the film might have made me think of that, too. But anyway, a superb image, like all the other images in your galleries, I wish I were capable of something half as good.
Scott Bowen11-Jul-2004 04:50
Well, it works for ME! Evocotive image. Well done. Cheers, -SB
jake 01-Jul-2004 21:27
Evokes the illustrations used in childrens fairytale books from the 1920's
Ashtonian05-Jun-2004 05:34
Doesn't work for me. It looks like an old B/W picture badly in need of restoration.
Please, I don't mean to be unkind just want to let you know what my feelings on this picture are.
Popko van Meekeren28-Feb-2004 09:07
Wonderful shot!
Corbin 09-Feb-2004 05:36