This week markes the first anniversary of Stacy Fischer’s ABFriday Forum and I’d like to take the oppportunity to congratulate Stacy on the fantastic effort she has given over the past 52 weeks. As usual on the first Friday of the month, the ABFriday gang will all be working on the same image. And this month, the image is being provided by none other than Stacy herself. It will be very interesting to see how each participant handles the challenge, and you can find links to all of them by clicking on VisualVenturing.com.
This post also has a totally unrelated second story below abou a couple of my favorite bridges.
But first, the starting image for One Photo Focus is shown below,and will be instantly recognizable to anyone familiar with the exclamation: “Shazbot!” Yes, the house is the very structure that served as home base for the famed TV couple, “Mork and Mindy.”
Contrary to the approach I have followed in recent ABFriday events, I decided to play it straight this week, so the steps were quite straightforward and do not need to be shown in step-by-step fashion. I used Adobe Camera RAW to correct much of the overexposure, then opened the image in Photoshop, removed the dirt piles wioth the Clone Tool, and added two Curves Adjustment Layers to fine tune the contrast and eliminate the remaining overexposure on the Queen Anne Tower. The final touch was a modest gradient to furthen darken the sky (blend mode = soft light). The final result is shown below. To check out the other submissions, go to Visual Venturing and you will see some really creative approaches.
The “After “Image
On a different subject, the normally boring subject of bridge repair made news this week, involving a bridge in Washington, D.C. and another in Paris, France. But the news in both cases has significance to photographers because both structures are highly popular photographic subjects and therefore is worthy of some attention.
Memorial Bridge at Sunrise, View from Ohio Drive SW, Washington, DC
Here in Washington, The Arlington Memorial Bridge was discovered to have some serious structural deficiencies and a partial closure was abruptly implemented on May 29th. One lane in each direction will be closed for 6-9 months while emergency repairs are made. In addition, vehicles such as buses and trucks weighing over 10 tons will no longer be able to cross the bridge. Details were reported by the Washington Post. This is not a typical highway project, because the Memorial Bridge is considered by many to be the most beautiful bridge in Washington.
Memorial Bridge at Dawn, View from Mount Vernon Trail, Virginia
Moonrise, Memorial Bridge
Three days later In Paris, city officials began dismantling the wire mesh railings of the Pont des Arts, a pedestrian bridge that has become famous for the so-called “love locks” attached by couples as a symbol of their love for each other. Details on the event were reported worldwide, including the New York Times.
Pont des Arts in 2006 (No locks anywhere)
As the images above and below show, the Pont des Arts by itself is not particularly photogenic, but its proximity to the Institut de Paris (shown below) and the Louvre on the opposite side of the Seine makes it hard to resist. The padlock craze began in 2008 and grew slowly at first. When the 2010 image below was taken, it and one other pedestrian bridge had 2,000 locks in place which works out to just a lock or two per day. But a few weeks after the 2010 image was taken, Paris officials announced the fad was getting out of hand.
Pont des Arts (on left) and the Institut de France in 2010
Pont des Arts, 2014
Four years later, the love-locks were everywhere. More than 11 bridges in Paris were bulging with thousands of padlocks, with an estimated 700,000 on the Pont des Arts alone. During our 2014 visit, one of the panels of the Pont des Arts collapsed from the weight of the locks (about 1,500 pounds). And it was just as bad at the Pont de l’Archevêché, near Notre Dame (see below)
Pont de l’Archevêché in 2014
Perhaps urban hiking could benefit from a variation of the motto seen in the National Parks: “Take Only Photos, Leave Nothing Behind.” But whatever you do……