Sunday, September 03, 2006
The angry skies threatened to open up any minute. I cycled quickly on my way home from work, hoping to beat the rain to my front door.
I skipped the bike paths and stuck to the main roads. When every second counts, they represent the fastest way home. But as I zoomed west down Oxford and crossed the Thames River, I glanced to my right and saw the railroad bridge against a multi-shaded gray sky. Logic told me to keep cranking the pedals. But emotion compelled me to stop and capture the scene.
I love this bridge because it's an old, rusty relic that reminds us that industrial engineering wasn't always as benign as it is today. It's one of the things that I'll be revisiting when I have the time. Its weather-worn girders almost invite closer inspection.
This composition stuck out from the sequence I shot that afternoon. The disembodied span seems suspended over the genteel river below. Industrial vs. natural. Straight-edged vs. organic. Either way, something to remember. More shots to come, I'm sure.
Your turn: How would you shoot this bridge?
Quick update: I ended up spending a little over 5 minutes on the bridge. It was just enough of a delay that I had to pull into a gas station a few blocks from home just before it started to pour. Chances are I wouldn't have made it home anyway - I was cycling west and north, and the system was moving into me from that direction. I hung out at the pumps as I waited for the worst of the downpour to pass. I chatted with bewildered motorists, assuring them that I wasn't part of some government gas station behavioral auditing team. When the rain eased up to a gentle drizzle, I continued home at a gentle pace, arriving with just a little water on my helmet. And a card full of neat pictures. The bridge turned out to be a detour worth taking, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.