Derby-Shelton Train Bridge

On my biweekly commute home from my mothers house I cross the Derby-Shelton bridge to RT. 34, also known as Roosevelt Drive, named so due to the frequent trips FDR took on it during his administration. A major byway since the 1600’s, it straddles the beautiful Housatonic river, which I have photographed many many times. There is one structure in particular though that until recently I had ignored due to its lack of conventional access. The train bridge.


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As far as I can tell, based on the amount of research I was willing to do, this bridge has been between Shelton and Derby since they were 2 parts of the same city, back in the days before the flood of 1955, when Derby was set to be the industrial center of southeast CT.

Anyway, I was early for an appointment in downtown Shelton, and as is usually the case, decided to drive around in order to find something interesting to photograph. I found a road that lead to a path to this bridge. So I grabbed the camera, got out and started walking. Not the most pleasant of circumstances, as I was dressed for a meeting and it had to be over 85 degrees.

So I found the mouth of the bridge, and next to it, what I had to imagine was a homeless person, just relaxing. I asked him if the bridge was still used, as it looked pretty worn down, he answered that the train came in the morning and late at night, so I should be safe. For some reason, I just took his word for it. Luckily, it was a nice bright day, as I had left the tripod in my car and would be shooting hand-held. Obviously I wanted to close down as much as possible..

I backed up, and started composing. In my head, this is a process I work in reverse. I look around and find the most interesting shot I think I can, then I think of how I’d want to see this hung on a wall. So I backed up until I could fit the whole bridge in the frame, went for f8 on aperture priority on my Canon 50d (I would have closed down more, but I was hand holding, remember?), set the auto bracketing to 1, +1, -1, at ISO 200, and this is what I got after dropping this in Photomatix. I didn’t touch either of these photos with anything but Photomatix. This picture is one of my personal favorites.

Written on May 23rd, 2010.

4 Responses to “Derby-Shelton Train Bridge”

  1. Karen Kollmann says:

    Love this picture of the bridge, where can I get it.

  2. Bill says:

    Reds and blues contrast nice similar to an old glory flag but I particularly like the bright yellow light at the end o the tunnel – so to be speak.

  3. Fred says:

    The train is slow moving, I have watched it come over the bridge, usually some time after he last Metro North train, but it can come earlier as well….

  4. Jon L says:

    What kind of lens?

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