Cheating Death

September 22, 2013  •  1 Comment

During trip last summer, I stopped by Sacramento to photograph the California State Capitol. During my short visit, I noticed that Sacramento offers an abundance of interesting architectural subjects. Unfortunately, I had just one afternoon in the city. I photographed the Capitol, and then had to settle for capturing images of some downtown office buildings and a nearby bridge.

From the Capitol, I couldn't help but notice a golden bridge shining in the distance. It was the Tower Bridge--a vertical lift bridge constructed in 1935 to cross the Sacramento River. The bridge made for an interesting subject, but getting a good perspective was challenging. A traffic light and signs were located directly in front of the bridge and the downtown traffic was constantly passing under the bridge.

I decided to go with an ultra-wide angle lens (the Nikon 14-24) so that I could get situated almost directly under the bridge. This position took the traffic lights and signage out of play. The downtown traffic was another issue. That simply required patience. After fifteen or twenty minutes, there would be lulls in the traffic--especially when the traffic light behind me turned red.

My approach was to preset the camera for exposure and approximate focus. When there was a lull in traffic, I would run to the middle of the road, set down my tripod, and quickly snap five or six frames and then run back to the curb. I would repeat this process four or five times until I had two or three acceptable frames.

There was an artist sitting along the sidewalk by the bridge. He was drawing the bridge and watching me make these runs. After my second run, he yelled to me, "Cheating death again?" Apparently, he felt that the act of running into the middle of the street and back in downtown traffic was more dangerous than I did!

Here is one of the images from the photo shoot:

Tower BridgeTower BridgeThe Tower Bridge (1935) is a vertical lift bridge that crosses the Sacramento River in Sacramento, California. Photo captured on August 13, 2013.


Dave Sparks(non-registered)
That's called local knowledge.
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