Time to close out this year’s posts. With only the remaining year end summary left, this post essentially puts the finishing touches on the 2010 blog entries. As with Part I of this Phoadtography Gallery this set comes with a healthy dose of photos as well. The good news is this closes out all the road shots from the Maine trip allowing me to start fresh with the new year. Unfortunately, I was unable to get through all the Maine photos (off the road) and now even farther behind with the recent Vegas/Mt Zion trip we took a month ago. Oh well, plenty in the hopper for 2011 (should I choose to continue this activity for next year). Time’s a wasting, let’s get to the shots.
This should not be a surprise, but I have an affinity towards bridges. The exact reason is difficult to tell since it is difficult to pin down exactly when I started admiring these structures. Having built one now, this appreciation has definitely increased. If pressed, I’d have to say that the fusion of artistic characteristics and functional purpose entwined in physics and math is the compelling factor. This might be similar to some people’s fascination with sundials seeing how ornate and complex those functional timepieces can be. This particular bridge has all of the classic features of bridge with its arches, triangles (notice the vertical beams are not straight up and down) and the cross hatch underneath to keep it rigid. With the height of this beast, there are probably large ships traversing this waterway.
This particular bridge still confuses me in the sense I am unable to figure out the functional component. It appears to go absolutely nowhere and the railing on the end suggests there was no plan for it to go anywhere. The metal structure towards the middle of the bridge is interesting as well. First thought was it rotated in some manner and connected up to another span allowing for easy traversal of the waterway. This sounds good in theory, but there did not seem to be a pivot point or any span to hook up to. It is a mystery and if anyone is near 194.75 and knows anything about this, please leave a comment.
Hit the jump to see the rest of the Phoadtography gallery.
This bridge ended up way to close for the zoom glass. I was able to capture the interesting substructure of the bridge which consisted of a series of pulleys and chains. The physics on this one has me baffled, but from an artistic perspective, it has an aesthetically pleasing blend of rectangles, trapezoids, wheels, smoothly rounded concrete pillars and sharp edges. Not to mention the assortment of iron railings connected by spheres, steel beams and heavy chain links. Too bad it overpowered the zoom, the rest of the bridge looked pretty cool.
Again, another classic bridge. More traditional in its use of triangles for suspension support which produced a nice stacking effect when pictured head on (see the triangles rising out of the middle of the bridge). From the sign, this bridge must be over the Hudson River. Althought this angle does not show it, this span was pretty significant.
On the topic of pivoting bridges, this is a great example of one. Without the ability to rotate, this span would definitely restrict the use if this particular body of water. This one has a very low profile to the water likely provided a more cost effective solution. The span on the left and right must be sunk directly in concrete or the bedrock below due to the absence of any triangles or similar support. The free spinning span has the triangle architecture which essentially mimics the exact same support in the bridge I built. The narrow width also implies it was built for trains.
Now this is an iron beast combining the strength of the arch with a number of internal triangles. I named this one the Rusty Ladybug due to the unique non-symmetrical double bump look (the iron structure supports going down to the cement even look like tiny feet). Someone needs to convince city hall to give this a red and black paint job and add a couple of flag poles to the smaller structure to give it antennas.
Humans have been making bridges long before the abundance of iron beams. While in Acadia National Park we came upon several stacked stone bridges utilizing the universally strong center arch. To be honest, this was the first concept for my personal bridge, but the required height and lack of access to the right materials made this quickly drop off the drawing table.
Here is another stone bridge in the heart of Acadia. It is definitely more square that most stone bridges I’ve come across but does solve the problem of the clearance at the edges of the road (as in the sides of the bridge). There is a slight optical illusion in this picture because it looks almost flat across the top of the opening, but in reality, the interior of the bridge does have a more of an arch built into it providing the required strength. To be honest, this is one of my favorite Phoadtography shots to date with the lush greens of the trees, the nice composition of the bridge and the shimmer off of the wet roads. Not bad considering it was taken in the car through the front windshield on a pretty overcast and icky day.
How about some interesting signage. You never know what you are going to see traveling the roads of this great nation. Take for instance this particular scene. Someone decided that a simple Driving Range sign just didn’t have the marketing grab needed to sustain their business. What better way to get eye traffic than to dress it up with …. statues of the Blues Brothers in full dance position. How ironic that we drive all the way out to Maine and what do we see but an icon of a city (Chicago) only three hours to the North of where we live. For the record, a split second later on the shutter and it would have been perfectly anchored by the two evergreens resulting in an A+ for Phoadtography composition!
Now this is complete overkill for a such a small sign. From the bridge discussion you know that the arch is capable of supporting tremendous weight and instead we get this puny goodbye sign. If you are curious, I did wait until the truck was directly under the sign before snapping the picture.
There are signs meant to promote business and there are signs intended to help keep you alive. This is one of the latter near Cleveland, Ohio. Linda was cruising through here at the posted 65mph speed limit when this sign appeared overhead. We both looked at each other and wondered aloud what would require such a drastic speed reduction warning on a HIGHWAY. Let me tell you why, because some idiot decided this particular road needed a 90 degree turn in it. If you are not near 35 (or at least not driving a BMW), you are going to experience some two wheel cornering. By the way, if you happen to recall the Introduction to Phoadtography, you might recognize something in the far right of the photo.
and that was not the only significant reduction we experienced on this highway. Come on highway engineers, it is whole lot easier to design a better road that it is to plaster signage all over the place. Almost as bad as the common Illinois practice of putting up sign that says BUMP next to a small pothole or rise in the concrete surface. Forget the sign, you can have the issue resolved in the amount of time it takes to put up warnings near it.
This point in time marks the first time I had ever been in Maine (not sure if Linda had been there previously or not). This is definitely one of the more boring state slogans out there – Vacationland – how long did it take to think that one up?
One the other hand, New Hampshire has it going on. Live Free or Die .. take that you wussy Maine slogan. Although, you would expect a state with such a cool life or death slogan would be willing to let its visitors go faster than 65mph.
And then we have Massachusetts. Apparently they contracted out their signage to grade schoolers with a Colorform kit. I can imagine how the creative process worked. Hmmm it’s a highway, lets cut out a highway symbol and stick on a blue background. Hey, I know, they had pilgrims, anybody have a cutout of a hat? Do you want the background cut out of it so it merges nicely like you did with the interstate sign? What are you talking about, we just made the sigh the same color as the background so we didn’t have to do any of that smancy fancy cutout stuff. But this on a white background! Screw it, just slap it on there the way it is. It still seems a little dull. Well, I’m hungry, how about a turkey sandwich [LIGHTBULB] … Slap a turkey on there, people will think it represents the first Thanksgiving dinner and what the heck, go ahead and try that smancy stuff and cut the white background on this one. Why is there a white outline on it? .. cause it is just too hard to select the background and expand the selection by 2 or 3 pixels to remove it. I hear ya, slap it on there and send the state a bill for our fine work.
Wait a minute, is this another Maine state slogan? Granted it is better than Vacationland, but still comes up short against Live Free or DIE!
Okay, based on the previous sign, Life Should be … TOUGH (in bloody red to boot). As an extra bonus, they pull the parent card and stress the fact (per underline) they don’t want to be this way, but they HAVE to be thanks to having to watch out for our sorry butts.
Hurray, we made it to our vacation destination!
To close out this gallery, here are a few miscellaneous snaps that caught my attention on our journey. In the adult oriented category, this sign stuck out as we passed through a rather small city (somewhere in Maine I think). It was difficult to tell, but initially it appeared to be in the white house right behind it, which became even creepier when the Motel sign was noticed on the roof.
This was the backside of the sign. Looking close at the shot, there was a building to the right of the house with similar wording on it – specifically, “Visual Arts Center The Cup Place Adults”. After seeing that, it was unclear exactly which building had the best sex toy prices or if the house was actually just a research lab for their products. This was all strange enough without pondering the name of the store. There is a well known reference to “a cup” and adult material and that is all I will go into on this post (actually let’s generalize that and mention I will never go any deeper into that subject for all of humanity’s sake). If the name of this establishment is in reference to that… all I can say is EEESH.
We passed this sign somewhere in New York. Clearly this must be one of the coolest, hippest, interesting places in the entire state! … although admittedly, we may be a little biased.
Lastly, this shot was taken because the subject looks exactly like a friend of ours. I am not aware that he has a twin, but if he ever needs a stunt double we know where to find one, or we have evidence of secret cloning going on in the East.
That’s all folks. Hope you were able to get some enjoyment out of all these photos. It did become very apparent that some form of GPS mapping would be beneficial in this line of photography. I had looked into it previously, but didn’t see a good return on investment since we generally know where our photo shoots take place. Photography has brought out a definite use for GPS and would even allow me to show a google map image where each of the photos were taken so you could try spotting them on your trips as well.
Safe travels everyone!