One Photo Focus–June (and More!)

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.”

2015 06 01A Before

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.

2015 06 01A One Photo Focus Before 05A

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 01

 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 02

Memorial Bridge at Dawn, View from Mount Vernon Trail, Virginia

Memorial Bridge 03

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 01

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 02

Pont des Arts (on left) and the Institut de France in 2010

Pont des Arts 03

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'Archvechet 01Pont de l'Archvechet 02

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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……

Keep Shooting……

27 thoughts on “One Photo Focus–June (and More!)

  1. Pingback: Happy Anniversary ABFriday/One Photo Focus! | Visual Venturing

    • Thanks, Mary. The Sunrise image of the bridge was a close call; I was there on a very cloudy, dreary morning walking toward the bridge to get some images of the start of a Marathon. All of a sudden, a slender crack in the eastern sky behind me allowed the rising sun to strike the bridge and it was obvious the moment would be brief. I had time for one shot and just as suddenly, it was over.

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    • Thanks, Laura. That is very kind of you. Regarding the moon shot, the little issue that night was a few pedestrians strolling toward me on the walkway. The length of the exposure meant they would be blurred and the moon would only be in position for a few minutes. But it worked out, fortunately.

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  2. The edit of stacy’s image is really nice, I am glad yo cleaned the lawn. Love locks are all over Europe and it is a kind of love hate relationship. I can understand the idea although need to respect the architecture as well.

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  3. Okay, how come I didn’t even THINK to remove the dirt piles??? Makes so much sense 🙂 Nice “straight” edit, Robin. You took the same route I did 🙂 Thanks for being here (and staying) from the start!

    Now, as for all the other wonderfulness in your post, I had no idea about the Memorial Bridge. All I can think of is all that weight of the Memorial Day crowds and Rolling Thunder crossing the span a week before. Yikes! And the locks on the Paris bridges? Sad ending to a wonderful tradition; amazing the weight of them!

    Last, your images are just stunning. I may just have to go out and copycat your views of the Memorial Bridge at some point. Beautiful perspectives!

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    • Thanks, Stacy. It’s been a great ride and I am really impressed by how you have managed this Forum so well. Yes, there was no warning on the closure of those two lanes. Fortunately, they should not affect images taken from either shore, but on-the-bridge shots will be a problem. They estimate that the cost to do a full-up repair to a normal safe level will be $250 million. That is more than what Congress authorizes annually to the National Park Service for all of its transporation maintenance projects. Anyway, it’s still a a great bridge for photography; feel free to borow any of those perspectives.

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  4. I didnt think about removing the dirt piles, I just cropped them out 🙂 isnt it funny how our brains react differently to the same image!

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    • Absolutely. As they say, there are many ways to skin a cat. The idea of dirt removal probably was sparked by the landscaping project that was going on outside my window. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

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      • Only a couple of people thought to edit out the dirt piles, even if I had thought of it, all those lines of shadow would have put me off, my PS ninja skills are not that good!

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  5. Super edit on Stacy’s image, very effective. When we are all trying hard to make something different, I think its a brave step to make just subtle changes. Although when I read through your process, it still sounded like a fair amount of hard work, I think my brain goes into standby when I hear the words “curves adjustments”, I’ll work them out one day! Love your bridge pictures, the locks on the bridges have truly got out of hand, maybe they should melt them down and create a giant lock statue!

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    • Thanks, Katie. I do appreciate the comments. Yes, the phrase, “Adjustment Layer, Curves” used to hurt my head as well, and not so long ago. It’s hard to explain unless one watches the effects of the adjustments during the explantion. Then it’s not so bad, but for me it still seems more like practicing some kind of magic.

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  6. Pingback: AB Friday: Capitol Building | Living The Seasons

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