Sunday, September 03, 2006

Main span


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.

26 comments:

Molecular Turtle said...

That's a really nice pic

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Hey Carmi...Michele sent me this morning! That image really evokes some thoughts in me...like the fact that Train Travel, which we did so verey much when I was a child and teenager is practically a relic like this bridge---old and rusty from age and little use...So sad to me. It was a lovely way to travel back in the day...
BEAUTIFUL image. I hope you do go back and get a closer look at the age aspect of this stately old bridge.

Killired said...

wow.. what a beautiful shot! the water is so serene and peaceful and the rustiness of the bridge takes me back in time...

you know what i think would be a cool way to shoot it? from a canoe, looking up at it... or, if daring enough... from the tracks looking down...

i'd love to lie on a rr track and take a pix from that perspective... but i would have to be certain that no trains are coming... wouldn't want it to be my last picture i took!

kenju said...

I like the serenity of the river scene below. I might be tempted to leave out the rusty bridge altogether, and go for more river.

Michele sent me.

Sparkling Diamond said...

I love old bridges and I think how you captured this shot was perfect! As I was going through my old photos today for my post, I came across a very important old bridge from my past. Sadly, the photo was taken from the car and was fuzzy. It is no longer in use. For some reason that bridge is in a lot of my dreams. I love how your pic juxtaposes serene beauty with old and strong.
Here from Michele's!
P.S. Thanks for your last comment on my blog...appreciate it!

Michael Manning said...

Yes, Carmi I would. In fact, The Brent Spence Bridge in Cincinnati is said to have inspired the Brooklyn Bridge in New York. It was built in 1865 of Limestone, iron and cables. I enjoy photographing abandoned gas stations, amusement parks and so forth because it leaves your mind free to imagine all of the lives that dwelled there. I am glad you listened to your emotions. Great phtography always too, Carmy!

colleen said...

I don't know exactly, but I'm sure I would have stopped, even with rain threatening. Did you make it home dry? Michele says hi too.

Last Girl On Earth said...

Very nice shot, Carmi! I like the fact that you took the picture close up. I DO hope you made it home OK before it started to rain! Michele sent me over this evening. Hope you are having a nice weekend. (It was finally sunny here today. Hope it holds up for your visit!)

Chris-sea said...

you inspired me Carmi - I did my 100 today!

grins said...

From a canoe down below it.

Valderbar said...

Yes, it is a striking composition. I could imagine doing it better, even if I weren't all toe-pads.

Michele sent me. You warmed my purr to say you missed me. Purrrrrrrr.

Killired said...

hey carmi... the infamous pasta pix are up! i decided to go ahead and put them up!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Oh Thank You Sooo much dear Carmi. I don't know what I'm doing with my camera....I just try to get in as close as possible and shoot!
I particularly love that one of the inside of the Cycad...The light was utterly magical, and it was just a pure accident, in a way...I mean I didn't go, "Oh the light is perfect on this.."
I saw this photograph---after the fact--- and just knocked myself out!!(lol) Thanks so much for this very high compliment, my dear Carmi!

DeAnn said...

I would try to fit more of it in, but I think it looks much cooler the way you did it. I have no eye for cool photos and I'm always so excited when I see cool ones, like yours!

Pearl said...

Lovely picture. Looks like a nice area to be. The colors are nice. Is there enough contrast to work as B&W too?

Suzanne said...

I love it just how you did it! great picture...

jsdaughter said...

I always enjoy visiting your site and seeing the world through your lens.. If I could - i would've shot the bridge just like that...

Mike said...

Another great picture. I would get a small boat and shoot it from the water below

Here from Michele's

moon said...

Here from Michele's this time....This pic reminded me of a bridge I used to cross everyday on my way to school, in the BC rockies. I wish I had a photo of it today. If I could take a photo of it, it would be from the end of it, looking towards home.(because it means school day is done lol) .but trying to get all the details of the iron work on the top and side.

Mother of Invention said...

Went on a bike ride today north of Toronto but didn't run into anything scenic. I like the lines in the shot..the contrast ...would be just as good in B & W.
Thanks for your comments.

kenju said...

Carmi, are you saying you have never seen Niagara Falls? Shame on you! All Canadians ought to see those iconic falls just as all Americans should see the Statue of Liberty!! If I have inspired you to go - good for me! The falls is/are magnificent and you will be proud that they are in your country.
Michele sent me.

Carmi said...

Yup. Never been. And, yes, I guess I should feel ashamed. But only to a point.

See, I've always viewed overtly touristy places with disdain. I'm more likely to explore the kinds of places that most Canadians wouldn't see.

I guess that ethos is reflected in my writing and photography. I don't much like feeling like I'm just part of the herd.

But they opened a neat new water park in Niagra earlier this year, and we've promised our kids that we'd go. So it's time to bite the bullet.

Hopefully I'll have my vicious new camera by then so I can bring back some frightening images of the falls themselves. It's always about the image, apparently.

h&b said...

I am glad you stopped, despite the oncoming downpour.

One of my more fave Carmi pics ( and there are many ;)

From Michele's today ..

Malinda777 said...

I would have captured this photo exactly as you did. I love bridges, old farm equipment, and barns...

Someday, oh that wonderous someday when I retire... I will have time to stroll and will never be without my camera.

And I agree, the old stuff was just somehow better.

J said...

Odds are I wouldn't have stopped. I find myself "seeing" a picture that I want to take, but never want to hassle with pulling over. Generally it would mean braving the freeway or highwa and where I live that's too dangerous.

They sure don't make things like they used to.

Last Girl On Earth said...

Don't know how I'd shoot this bridge, but come on back over. I've got a new post!