I keep a list of photo ideas on my phone. Since my daughter was born and I’ve been not-unemployed, I find time for none of them. Recently a friend asked about taking some pictures at night, and I remembered my list. At the top for the longest time has been going down to the Jose Rizal Bridge to shoot the traffic coming into downtown.
Winter nights are great, because it’s always dark, and a cloudy backdrop is fine. Rain actually makes the reflections better, but you’ve got to want to stand in the rain to take the pictures – probably not the best idea, but right after a storm would be great. This was good enough for me.
You’ve also got a great shot of the 90 ramps headed toward Bellevue from up here, and I just love watching the lights blur – the headlights in white and the taillights in red. Letting the camera see things I can’t see.
The biggest issues shooting from here, other than a few sketchy folks walking by when you’ve got a bunch of camera equipment out is the bridge itself – cars and buses share it, and you can absolutely feel the vibrations when buses go buy or even when big trucks go underneath it. If you’re looking for a sharp long exposure, a good tripod is a must, but when the ground shakes, there is only so much you can do. Along with Kerry Park, the Sculpture Garden, and a few more, this is one of the places I always knew I wanted to take some pictures from. Glad I had the chance.
If any Seattle-folk went to see Rachel Bukey read from her new novel Leap of Faith at the Elliott Bay Book Company last week, and if you happen to be huge fans of the blog, and also I suppose just ridiculously eagle-eyed, you might have noticed a certain similarity of the cover (shown here):
And some of the pictures that I took of the George Washington Memorial Bridge (aka the Aurora bridge, aka the Suicide Bridge) here. Well, as you might have guessed, that’s no coincidence. The graphic artist who did the cover work reached out to me to ask my permission to adapt one of my shots for the cover here. As I say, I’m happy to oblige and love working out little deals like this. Happy to see a Seattle author work with a Seattle graphic artist to use the work of a Seattle photographer to make something new.
Is the book any good? My copy is in the mail. I’ll tell you later.
A while back I did a few shots from the top of the Suicide Aurora Bridge – officially the George Washington Memorial Bridge. At the time the suicide fence was going up and I haven’t heard much since. I just looked into it and according to WSDOT, there has been one suicide since – that’s one in a little more than a year – a fraction of the rate before. The view from the top used to be great – it’s still nice. One thing that always got me was that the view from the bottom of the bridge is pretty great too, in an engineery kind of way. They never show these things off.
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As usual shooting something against the sky and not wanting to lose the detail, I did this one as HDR. I love the sweeping curves of the thing. I don’t even think this picture does justice to just how high the arc of steel sweeps from Fremont over to Queen Anne. The bridge is its own reward.
The Stranger ran a great piece last year about suicide and the Aurora Bridge. Our humble bridge stands right behind the titanic Golden Gate as the second-most jumped from bridge in the world. The article also went on to discuss the psychology of suicide – how making it slightly more difficult to jump drastically decreased the odds of someone trying. Between that and the fact that Adobe is really tired of people landing in their parking lot below, the fence is now going up on what is officially known as the George Washington Memorial Bridge (how fitting, right?)
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Hit the jump for more pictures and words and such.
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