The lighted Richmond Hill Avenue bridge over the Mill River, Stamford, Connecticut. Royal Bank of Scotland is in the background.

The lighted Richmond Hill Avenue bridge over the Mill River, Stamford, Connecticut.

A leg of my recent architectural assignment in Connecticut for BL Companies was to shoot the new Richmond Hill Avenue Bridge over the Mill River in Stamford, Connecticut. The bridge is adjacent to the US headquarters of Royal Bank of Scotland, which has a massive trading complex and a striking employee veranda on the eighth floor. RBS graciously allowed me access to the veranda to shoot down on the bridge for some unusual variations.

BL Companies design of Richmond Hill Avenue Bridge over the Mill River in Stamford, Connecticut.

Afternoon sun on the Richmond Hill Avenue Bridge

But my favorite views were at dusk, when the deepening blue sky was in counterpoint to the lighting installed on the bridge railings. The effect makes the bridge glow with a blue radiance at night.

After shooting many daytime variations and scouting the positions, I set up my camera for the prime night shot downstream and waited. As evening descended, a flight of Canada Geese came in to join their flock on the banks of the river for the night. As the geese circled over the bridge, I captured them with a slow shutter speed to blur their passage. Their presence adds a poetic spontaneity to the bridge’s cool beauty.

To make the geese shot, I stood on a cement-like slab of clay extending into the river. When I found this spot in the afternoon the river was barely a foot deep. I was quite high and dry on this perch, and thought I was lucky to find it. I remarked to a security guard for RBS that I was surprised at the low water level in the river. He replied that the river flow “varies.” I assumed he meant seasonally. After making my evening photos, I looked down to step off the slab. The water level had risen at least three inches around me and was enveloping my tripod legs! I jumped pretty quickly for higher ground. Apparently, the river is dam-controlled and increases can come unexpectedly.

After capturing the shot from downstream, I made one last view of the bridge and its lighting. The Royal Bank of Scotland is in the background. Experienced at the car and pedestrian deck, the bridge becomes a lovely night time interlude for those who cross.

The lighted Richmond Hill Avenue bridge over the Mill River, Stamford, Connecticut. Royal Bank of Scotland is in the background.