Mill Avenue Bridges

My previous post about the sunset over the Tempe Town Lake wasn’t the only thing I photographed down in that Tempe area. My excursion that night led me all the way to downtown Phoenix, but my favorite stuff ended up being what I found in Tempe.

In fact, it’s an amazing thing about photography. The stuff I was “planning” on shooting when I left the house ended up being my least favorite things that night and it was the random, surprising stuff that made it such a worthy trip.

So after the sunset I drove down to the little beach park area underneath the Mill Avenue bridges that cross the lake. There is a northbound and southbound bridge, a light rail bridge and then an old railroad bridge. A fairly awesome place to take pictures. So here are the results:

(FYI, some of these might look great hanging somewhere in your house, office or Tempe Chamber of Commerce *grin* let me know if you are interested in a print)

This first photo is an HDR and is off the Mill Avenue Bridge from the west. We’re looking south into Tempe during dusk and the lights that are strung across the bridge really light this thing up. I love this photo.

I moved east into the little space between the north/southbound bridges. This is an HDR, but technically came from only one image. I’ve learned a lot about processing and have snagged a few tools that really help finish these things off.

This shot is further west between the light rail bridge (on the left) and the railroad bridge. The light rail has this unique aspect of having the underneath lit up by lights of all different colors. You can see some of them here.

This shot is of the light rail on the east side and is just a standard, time-lapsed photo. The yellow and white streaks at the top of the bridge are actually of a light rail train passing over while I took the photo. You can see further down the bridge where the white lights start, which is when I pressed the shutter open. The light on the bridge itself can be seen changing from a blue-ish color to purple off in the distance.

This is the same as the above shot but also an HDR.



  • Kory Kelly

    these are fantastic and are by far my favorite HDR photos to date. They each have tremendous depth of field, which is a fine art in photography. Nice work and keep the photos coming. I really enjoy looking at them.

  • Mike

    The last one isn’t an HDR, but I really appreciate that Kory. I’ve gotten a few new tools that really help finish off an HDR. Gets the noise down, helps enhance some parts. It’s all part of the learning process!

    These are at night too, which is even harder for HDR, because the noise goes up, so the noise reduction is wonderful 🙂

  • Kathy

    One word….AMAZING!! Love them!

  • Jina

    It’s like you know about my fondness for bridges. 🙂

  • Ray Etchells

    Great technique and capture with fantastic perspective, the light with the ‘lead in’ lines rearly make these shots work.
    Well done. (Seen in ‘HDR Spotting’)

  • Mike

    Thanks Ray…just discovered HDR Spotting…very cool site!

  • Pingback: The Light Rail Bridge over Tempe Town Lake | Mike Olbinski Photography - HDR, Landscapes, Portraits and Stormchasing()

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  • Lourie Turmel

    hi-ya, nice blog.