During my most recent road trip through "Three Southern Cities", I stopped in Louisville for a couple of nights. I arrived in Louisville late in the afternoon and walked over to the Big Four pedestrian bridge for some pictures of the skyline. My early research, using Google Maps, indicated that the bridge could be a promising spot for a good composition of downtown Louisville with the Ohio River.
Unfortunately, my research wasn't accurate. From the bridge, most of the city was blocked by two other bridges. Despite walking the entire length of the Big Four Bridge, I wasn't able to find a composition worthy of activating the shutter. The bridge itself is an interesting subject, but it was so crowded with pedestrians that I could hardly even set up my tripod for a shot. I ended up walking back to the hotel with nothing--and that was a shame because the sunset over the city was stunning!
The first lesson here is that it pays to do some advance scouting. Had I been to the bridge earlier in the day, I would have known not to position myself there at sunset. There is a much better vantage point for the cityscape on the Indiana side of the Ohio River...and it's much easier to access. But, I arrived in Louisville late in the afternoon and didn't allow enough time for proper scouting of this shot.
The good news is that I was staying in Louisville for the next night as well, so I had a chance to learn from my mistake. The challenge with the next night is that there wasn't the same dramatic sunset. In fact, it was raining most of the night.
I drove over to the vantage point on the Indiana side of the Ohio River and captured this photograph in what was light rain at the time:
Then, I drove over to the Big Four Bridge. My hope was that the rain, which was becoming increasingly more intense, would keep most of the pedestrians away. In the end, this picture of the bridge was much better in the rain than it was the night before. The rain cleared the scene of people. It also added some mystery to the shot with the fog around the lights. I also like the colorful reflection on the concrete floor. In my opinion, the rain helped make this image far more interesting.
The rain was coming down pretty hard while I was taking pictures on the bridge. I used a simple tool to protect my camera and lens--an umbrella!