When New Englanders think of covered bridges, Currier and Ives images of winter in Vermont or New Hampshire immediately spring to mind. Rhode Island conjures images of beaches, quahogs, and corrupt politicians, yet the state is actually home to nine authentic covered bridges. The newest of them was built in 2005 and guards the Route 123 entrance to Lincoln Woods State Park. As testament to the ingenuity of Rhode Island Department of Transportation engineers, there is a pedestrian walkway on the far (right) side of the bridge as seen in this photo. Summers in the park are quite crowded and the 2-lane bridge is narrow so the walkway makes sense. The only problem is that the walkway is a perfect box canyon. It's completely enclosed, so there's no possible way to cross the bridge using. I'm sure someone got an award for that unique design.
From a photographer's perspective, this was an extremely difficult shot. The sky was quite bright, and the bridge is a very dark subject. The contrast between sky and bridge far exceeded the standard range of stops a camera can capture. For this shot, I turned to the HDR (High Dynamic Range) feature of the 5D Mark III. This feature takes 3 consecutive shots, bracketed by 3 f-stops. (That last is a user option. I prefer the 3 stop bracket.) It then combines the three images, aligns them in the camera, and produces a single image with the full 6 f-stop range of contrast. The type of HDR processing is also user selectable. The only downside to the feature is the final image is stored as a JPG, not RAW. The image before you shows the full HDR functionality of the camera in all its glory.
Post processing - after the 5DM3 worked its magic - started with a simple pop filter in Topaz Adjust. I then adjusted the levels slightly. The final layer was a deep blue photo filter. HDR processing tends to produce highly luminescent green tones in trees and grass, so the blue filter is necessary to return vegetation to their natural color.