The Brooklyn Bridge

Last month I spent a few days in New York City visiting family.  One afternoon we walked over a bridge.  You may have even heard of it.  Apparently it’s called “Brooklyn Bridge”.

You have heard of it?  Huh.  Surprising.

So, yeah, we walked over the Brooklyn Bridge.  And I had my camera with me.  You know what’s coming.

The Brooklyn Bridge seems like one of those places like Half Dome: it’s been photographed by every photographer who’s come close to it since silver was capturing photons.  I figure that by now every angle from every position in every lighting condition at every time of the day has been photographed (at least from the pedestrian walkway).  So, when we decided to walk over the bridge I wasn’t super excited about getting lots of pictures.  I figured I might take a few “I was there” shots, but that’s it.  After all, we were on our way to Murrays’ to get cheese.

We got on the bridge, and I was blown away.  It’s full of contrasts: stone and steel, cables and ties, pedestrians and cars, water and sky, clouds and sun.  And I’ve never seen so many leading lines in a single location.  My heart went aflutter.  

Construction barriers (?) line the pedestrian walkway as it approaches the first major tower as pedestrians walk along the bridge.  The line on the wooden path demarcates where pedestrians walk (on the left), and where bikes can ride (on the right).  This angled shot include a lot of patchy cloudy sky (with blue peeking through), one of the lamp posts, and a proudly-waving American flag on top of the tower flat out for the viewer to see. (Marc C. Perkins)
Brooklyn Bridge: East Entrance

Let’s just say that I took a “few” pictures, and leave it at that.

It was a blustery winter day, and as I walked the bridge I was awed by its age and grandeur that was mixed with city grit and grime. I tried to capture that feel with some high-contrast black and white processing in this image (which looks better viewed larger on my gallery website’s page for it):

I loved my visit to New York City, and walking across the Brooklyn Bridge was a highlight.  A strong wind was blowing, and the old brick, wood, and steel just cried out for photography.  This image focuses on the symmetry of cables and towers, with an American Flag blowing right at the viewer from the top of the tower.  I processed this in black and white to emphasize the dark, gritty feel of the old bridge.  The "1875" date marker is easily visible in the image.  NOTE: This image has a black border embedded into it for web display; please contact me if you're interested in ordering this image so I can print it without a black border. (Marc C. Perkins)
The Brooklyn Bridge: Dark Symmetry

The flags on top of the towers were blowing beautifully in the wind for most of the walk, making me have to play with the cables as leading lines on a cloudy, gray background.

The American Flag waves in a strong wind on top of one of the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge, with patchy clouds behind it.  The tower's central pair of cables and lines angle up to the flag, bringing it to the focus. (Marc C. Perkins)
Brooklyn Bridge: Flag and lines

But as with the bridge, the day was full of contrasts. As we continued walking the setting sun broke through the clouds for a precious few moments to cast a brilliant orange glow on the cables and brickwork, as the Financial District and the new 1 World Trade Center rose in the background:

As I was walking across the Brooklyn Bridge near sunset on a dark, cloudy day, the sun broke through the clouds and illuminated the bridge for a magical few moments.  In front of me a couple was walking, and it created this image of the bridge: patchy clouds with blue sky in the background over the financial district in Manhattan, the lines of the bridge in the foreground, and the couple sealing it all together. (Marc C. Perkins)
Brooklyn Bridge: Sunset Couple

I’m happy I was one of dozens of folks with DSLR’s on its pedestrian walkway that day. Oh yeah, and we did get to Murrays’ in time to pick up some good cheese.

More pictures

To see more pictures from my trip to New York, head to my New York City gallery.

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