I love bridges. Always have. So here is a portfolio of the ones I've shot. Mostly in New York, of course, since that's where I lived, but I've been making a point to see more of them when I'm on the road.
To start with, I am adding my recent Golden Gate Bridge pictures to the top of the page. Ever since I took up photography, I've wanted to get out to SF to see the Golden Gate, and finally I had the chance this July. But it's not an easy bridge to shoot because you have to know your way around the Presidio in order to get to a good perspective, and then you have to get the right lighting conditions - which I did not. I expect my black and white pictures to come out much better.
While on the bridge, however, I did get the right color balance, and got this true-color shot of one of the towers. I especially like the sky color in this; very neato!
Not the most attractive bridge, but not horrible either, the Transbay bridge is a major piece of work, but it was so damaged in the 1989 earthquake that they decided that it would cost less to rebuild a bridge than to retrofit this one. Unfortunately, the cost overrun is already so high that although the cranes are in place to start construction, nothing has happened. It's a mess!
In the city of Usti Nad Labem, Czech Republic, I saw this cable-stayed bridge while on my way from Prague to Berlin. The river is the Elbe (Labe in Czech), and several interesting bridges cross it in UnL, but the Mariansky most is the most interesting of them all (Most means bridge in Czech). Completed in 1998, and not particularly long, it is of a design that has become very popular over the last 15 years; in fact, Boston now has a similar bridge. This one had a parade when it opened; I've seen some great pictures on the internet, so if you're into bridges, go google this one. The color version of this picture is on my Prague page and also on the website www.structurae.de, a site dedicated to bridges.
The Alvsborgsbron is a bridge spanning the main waterway of Goteborg, Sweden, west of the city center. It's a cool bridge, but not the largest I've ever seen, and I can't find out anything interesting about it. Not a lot on the internet about this one. So that's all I have for you!
Driving down Rte 1 in Big Sur, you cross several big concrete arch bridges, of which the Bixby Creek bridge is one of the more noteable. As you can see from this picture, it's quite a bridge; it's been in car commercials and books, and now it's on my website. I've got a second shot of the bridge below this one.
This is one case where the internet doesn't do the photograph justice. When I took this picture out of the envelope after I picked it up at the lab, it took my breath away. I'm not kidding. The real photo is so crisp and so clear that 72 dpi just doesn't do it justice. It's not easy to get this angle: to get this shot I had to climb through some opened chain link fence, through a field of weeds, and around a couple of overzealous retrievers that were playing fetch in the area. And it was worth it all!
f/13, 1/125th sec., Kodax TMAX100 film.
I like this picture. I took it from nearly the same spot at the picture above, but obviously at a different time. It took quite a long exposure to get this to come out well - a shorter exposure on the frame before this one barely recorded the lights of the bridge, let alone any other detail. It was very pretty, very dark, and quite chilly when I took this picture, which was after a beautiful sunset (another one) after work.
f/5.6, 2 sec., Fujicolor Superia 200 film.
To get this picture of the George Washington bridge, I had to walk past a construction barrier that was erected on one of the offramps leading to the west side highway, and I ended up with a pretty good perspective of the entire bridge that captured the detail of the latticework that characterizes the towers of the bridge. One of these days I'd like to get a night shot of the bridge, but the New Jersey tower is currently being worked on, so the lights aren't as impressive.
f/16, 1/180 sec (-1/2EV), Kodax TMAX 400 film.
Speaking of popular subjects, the Brooklyn Bridge may rank as the most popular single entity in the whole city. Not just for photographers, either. When construction was completed in 1883, the bridge was double the length of any suspension bridge in existence at the time, its chief designer and 20 other men died during construction, and the engineer's son suffered a catastrophic accident that left him paralyzed. It is without question one of the world's great bridges, in terms of design, and the walk from Brooklyn to Manhattan on the bridge provides some of the best views of the city.
f/13, 1/90th sec. Kodak TMAX100 film.
Just north of the Brooklyn anchorage, the neighborhood is fairly dilapidated, but there is a new park on the bank of the East River, which affords this attractive view of the Bridge looking toward Manhattan. The bridge feels peaceful here, unlike how it looks when you try to cross it during rush hour. Since the Brooklyn Bridge is not a toll bridge (neither is the Manhattan Bridge or Queensboro), there is always a lot of traffic passing by; yet from here, you barely hear it. There's a lot to be said for that.
This is another one of my very favorite pictures. I took this one facing Brooklyn from the base of the Manhattan tower. Because it was late winter, I was able to shoot it with a minimum of walkers on the bridge, no small luxury. I love the way the cables feel like walls here; from afar, their graceful design is artful and marvellous anyway, but within its confines they take on an almost solid quality; I can think of no other bridge I've crossed that feels the same way.
The Verrazano Bridge is North America's longest suspension bridge, longer even than California's Golden Gate. When I was a kid, this was a key point in the drive from our house on Long Island to my Grandparents' apartment in Elizabeth, NJ. From the Belt Parkway, you begin to see the towers of the bridge as you come around the bend that marks the Coney Island area. Seeing those towers let me know, at 8 years old, that the journey was past the halfway point.
Now, more than 25 years later, I am still in awe of the bridge. When I was looking for apartments in Bay Ridge one January day, I was shown this one where the night view of the Verrazano was in all windows. I immediately declared the apartment mine and am still in it to this day. The day I took this picture, it was maybe 40 degrees and windy - which calls into question what I was doing, shooting on a day like that. For this shot, the day was worth it.
f/9.5, 1/125th sec. Kodax TMAX100 film.
This was a shot I took on a cold October evening that provided me with some very interesting shots of the lights from the bridge. One of the shots I took had an airplane streaking through it, but I chose to use this more-pristine shot that nonetheless has some interesting features: notice the streaks of lights from the cars traveling by in the foreground of the shot, from the Shore Parkway. Also notice the interesting "X" pattern of the lights on the near tower; this feature is not obvious in shorter exposures. I also like the tree in the bottom left corner.
f/8, 10 secs., Fujicolor Superia 200 film.
This is part of the Triboro Bridge complex (see below for more Triboro Bridge), which connects Queens to the Bronx and Manhattan. This bridge was designed and built before the rest of the complex; it is a railroad bridge, and if you've taken Amtrak from New England into the city, you've ridden over this bridge on your way into Penn Station. It is one of the strongest bridges in the world; its carrying capacity is 75,000 pounds per linear foot. When it opened in 1917, it was the longest-spanning arch bridge in the world.
f/8, 1/60 sec., TMAX 100 film, with Y8 filter. (+1 EV)
I made the trek all the way over to the lower east side, walked all the way from the Delancey St station, and rushed the whole time because I had to meet my friend Cliff at 1pm to watch football the day I took this shot. So what happens? The East River Park is closed for construction, which meant that I couldn't get any good close-up shots of the Williamsburg Bridge. Until that park reopens, this is the best shot I have of the bridge, which I took from a point farther down the river and had to use my zoom lens to get a good-size image. See, timing is everything, and this day I didn't have it.
f/6.7, 1/350th sec. Kodak TMAX100 film.
For this shot, I took the F train out to Roosevelt Island (on the same day as the shot I got of the Williamsburg bridge, and by this point I was already late for my meeting with Cliff) and after walking around the island for some twenty minutes it became clear to me that there are no good perspectives from which to shoot the Queensboro Bridge from the island. So I got on the tramway, and sure enough I got a better perspective. The tramway offers spectacular views, actually, and if it weren't for the fact that it's not set up to take Metrocard, I'd go back and shoot more.
f/6.7, 1/180th sec. Kodax TMAX100 film.
The most-conspicuous member of the Triboro Bridge complex (which is actually made up of several bridges and viaducts), connecting Astoria, Queens to Wards Island and the viaducts that lead to the toll booths and the other boroughs. Groundbreaking was early on the morning of October 25, 1929: later that day, the stock market collapsed, and while the bridge's foundations were completed, the bridge had to be redesigned due to lack of funds for years and wasn't completed until 1936, much later than planned - but under budget by $10 million.
f/8, 1/125 sec., Kodax TMAX 100 film, Y8 filter.
Behind the Santa Ynez Mountains in Santa Barbara is the Cold Spring Arch Bridge, one of North America's large steel arches. Winner of the Most Beautiful Steel Bridge in its class in 1963. Some fantastic views of this brisge are possible from Stagecoach Road, which runs from 154 (the state highway of the bridge) down into the canyon below.
Located up in northwestern Massachusetts some 5 miles or so off interstate 91 is the French King Bridge, a steel arch constructed over the Connecticut River on state highway 2. To get this view, then, one must come off the bridge and go down a little road that curves around and goes down to follow the river. It's a bit of a hike, but worth it.
This is the view that most people have of the bridge. Nice, but without the grandeur. According to a plaque on the right side, the bridge won an award for Most Beautiful Steel Bridge of its class in 1932, the year construction was completed.
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