The recent crisp wintry days have been great for a bit of “blue hour” urban photography so last week I thought I’d have a look at the amazing modern footbridge over the River Aire at Castleford. I arrived mid afternoon with the bright winter sun already low in the sky and had a look at the bridge first, working out some viewpoints for later on, before exploring the area down to the Aire and Calder Navigation and Castleford Lock – not especially photogenic but quite an interesting spot where the Calder runs into the Aire.
I returned to the town centre and had a look round – there are one or two nice buildings, particularly the old Market Hall – before returning to the footbridge as sunset arrived. Whilst the bridge was my main subject, the old Queen’s Mill looked great as the floodlights came on. Formerly known as Allinson’s Mill, it was once the worlds largest stone grinding flour mill with twenty pairs of grinding stones.
As I was waiting for the optimum twilight colour, the reflections of chimney stacks and glowing sunset sky in the River Aire made a nice subject, and a hint of pink light in the weir provided a nice source of abstract moving water images.
Finally it was time to photograph the footbridge itself (I’d been standing on it for the previous shots) as the sky turned a perfect deep blue and the lighting under the handrails came on.
The bridge snakes across the River Aire just below the weir. It was opened in 2008 and was the first major bridge in the UK to be fully FSC certified. Well worth a visit!