I like photographing bridges. Put a different way, bridges call to me. I like walking across bridges, and examining their under-structures.
And not just bridges with grand vistas, because a great deal of my visual concern is in fact structural. By definition, most bridges are functional—they transport from one place to another, usually across something. When the structure of the bridge is beautiful as well as useful, it is an excellent example of form following function.
Here is a quintet of bridges from around the world.
The Ponte Rodo-Ferroviária de Valença crosses the River Minho from Tui in Galicia, Spain to Valenca in Portugal. The lower deck of the bridge is shown in this image. Click here for more about this bridge.
Built on a cantilevered structure designed in the studio of Gustav Eiffel, Long Bien Bridge crosses the Red River from Hanoi, Vietnam on the main train line to the port of Haiphong. Strategically important, Long Bien Bridge was bombed numerous times during the American-Vietnamese war, but (as you can see) survived all attempts to cut this vital supply link. Long Bien Bridge is a bit rusted, but that would be normal in Vietnam’s humid climate.
This old train bridge, crossing the Kennebec River in Bath, Maine seemed mostly abandoned—or at least so I hoped as I set up my tripod for the sequence of exposures needed to make this image!
The Yaquina Bay Bridge is an Art Deco structure south of Newport, Oregon. The bridge opened in 1936, and is notable for its graceful series of descending arches, as well as the Gothic architectural flourishes.
The Rainbow Bridge spans the lower harbor in Tokyo, Japan, and connects two of the sprawling districts of the Tokyo metroplis, Shibaura and the Odaiba waterfront development in the Minato district.
After walking across the Rainbow Bridge in 2015, I wrote that in this image my idea was to use “selective focus to contrast the curves in the Rainbow Bridge with the linear spaces of the buildings beyond.”
Well, these are but a small taste of the bridges I have walked under and across, otherwise explored, and certainly photographed. I hope you enjoyed this story, and maybe someday will join me in bridge-walking and bridge photographing!