Dronie Sunday – 21 November 2021

Cartwright, North Dakota.

Dronies are my term to use for any image captured with a drone. Dronie Sunday is a subset of Cellpic Sunday, just pointing out that the image wasn’t captured with a cell phone. You have to agree, however, that a drone is a truly mobile device (once it’s launched anyway.)

One of the advantages of a drone is that it is much easier to capture bridges in a more photogenic composition when you can get off the highway and up in the air to get a good view of the bridge. The Fairview Bridge, an abandoned railroad trestle, crosses the Yellowstone River just east of the Montana border near Cartright, North Dakota. There is another attraction at the opposite end of the bridge. After those freight trains passed over the Yellowstone River, they entered a tunnel. As of the day we visited in September 2021, the bridge and tunnel are both open for people to walk through. I have learned, though, that they plan to close the tunnel as it is deteriorating and becoming unsafe to use. Proposed repairs are too costly to justify. I will have a full post about our walk across the bridge and through the tunnel in an upcoming Travel Tuesday post, so stay tuned.

This bridge was designed as a lift bridge to allow larger steamships to navigate the river. Internet research told me that the lift never needed to be used as shortly after its construction, steamboat traffic ceased on the river. Indeed, it was only operated once for a test while the bridge was still under construction. More details to come.

About the photo: This image was captured with my Mavic Air drone. It was almost completely overcast with just a thin layer that allowed the sun to create light shadows. As a result, I am presenting this image in an altered reality. After processing with Adobe Lightroom for basic settings and composition, I moved it to Luminar AI for final tweaks and to replace the sky. If you look at the boat launch ramp in the lower foreground, you can see the shadows of the nearby plants as the sun was strong enough to create the shadows. That was in the original image. I selected a more heavily clouded sky that was lighted from the front so that it would look properly illuminated by the sun from this angle. I noticed as I experimented with the sky replacement functions how well the program did with placing the reflection of the clouds on the water.

If you click on the image, you will connect to my Flickr site where you can pixel peep in 2K HD and explore the metadata if you are so inclined. There is an additional view of the bridge unadulterated by the altered sky.

I encourage fellow bloggers to create their own Cellpic Sunday posts. I never have a specific topic for this feature, and the only rules are that the photo must be captured with a cell phone, iPad, or another mobile device… If you have an image from a drone, that’s acceptable as well. The second rule is to link your challenge response to this post or leave a comment here with a link to your post in the comment.

John Steiner


    • I’ve noticed the use of drone in television series as well. They do make for great opening perspectives.
      Even my (relatively) inexpensive camera has a nice 4K camera built in. I don’t use the video option much, but those stills take advantage of the small pixel size, for sure.

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