Covered bridge under the stars

I spend a lot of time in Vermont, though not nearly enough. It seems like whenever I’m here there are plenty of clouds so I can’t go out to make photos of the stars. The reality is there are plenty of clear nights but I’m probably too lazy to stay out late! I usually like to shoot sunrise and I can no longer burn the candle on both ends so I pick mornings over staying out late. Yesteday the sky was perfectly clear the forecast for the next few days was for rain starting this morning, so it was the perfect time to stay up late.

I wanted to shoot a covered bridge during a long exposure and put some light on the bridge to make it stand out. The trick is that there can’t be any other lights nearby or they will ruin the shot. Middle Bridge in Woodstock is only a few blocks from my house but it is right in the village and there is a ton of light hitting it, so that won’t work for stars without a lot of work in the computer. I didn’t want to make a computer generated photo so I went to the Taftsville Bridge on the east end of Woodstock town. It was severely damaged by the remnants of Hurricane Irene a few years ago and they added lights inside it during the renovation. There are also lights on both ends so that didn’t work. I went to Woodstock’s other covered bridge, Lincoln, west of the village.

Lincoln Bridge is pretty secluded although right off Route 4, a major road through the middle of Vermont. There is a nearby hotel that has some lights but I knew if I got on the opposite side I could block out those lights and be in darkness. There is a path down to the river below the bridge and I went upstream a little ways and set up my tripod. The stars were shining bright but I could see clouds moving in quickly. I used my headlamp to illuminate the bridge and tried several shots. I went back up on the gravel road and shot from there but the clouds were coming fast and it wasn’t long before I wasn’t capturing many stars and I was done.

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