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Category archive: Bridges

Saturday May 28 2016

I was very proud of this photo of seven London bridges ...:

image

… when I first posted it here.

Today I took another photo of these same seven bridges:

image

I said I’d check this model of the City of London out, and today I did.

I wish this model included Westminster as well as the City, but it’s a model of the City.

Wednesday May 25 2016

I already showed you some Narbonne bridges, snapped during my France expedition.  Here are more bridges.

Are these first lot of bridges really bridges, or are they just buildings with holes in the bottom of them to let people through?  I reckon these make the cut, but once the buildings start really piling up on top of the holes …?:

imageimageimageimageimage

I’m doing these bridge photos in sets of three, and next is a clutch of photos of a set of three bridges that connect the town of Ceret to the other side of the local river.  Picasso spent time in Ceret, because of the light.  (I also photoed Renault Picassos.)

The regular shot of these bridges is from below, as you can see if you click on the second of these photos.  But I was with people who were in a hurry, so I only got to photo the bridges from the other bridges, or in one case, the shadow of a bridge, from the bridge.  And oh look, photographers!:

imageimageimageimageimage

In the first of these next three bridge photos, there are three more bridges, by my count.  They’re in the seaside town of Collioure.  The other two are in Perpignan, where, just like in Quimper (where I have also visited these same friends (G(od)D(aughter)2’s family) – they have houses all over the place), there is a river flowing through the middle of the town with multiple bridges over it.

imageimageimageimageimage

Finally, here are some rather more modern bridges.  First there is one of the main motorway from France to Spain, which carries a lot of lorries.

The motorways of Europe may, I surmise, be the place on earth where robot drivers have their first seriously big impact.  Robot cars are too complicated, and to start with, what will be the point of them?  But robot lorries will be able to travel a lot faster than regular lorries, for a lot longer than regular lorries, on roads that are the most controlled and predictable roads in existence.  European motorways carry colossal amounts of freight, unlike in the USA, where a lot freight goes by train, Europe’s railways being full of passenger trains.  And there’s nothing like a sight of this particular motorway, handily shown off by being placed on the side of a mountain in full view of the local and non-charged version of the same road, to see all this.

In the middle below is a hastily snapped shot from a bridge as we drove over it, over a newly constructed high speed passenger railway, again connecting France to Spain.  Brand new railways lines have a certain pristine charm, I think, with the gravel under the tracks yet to be blackened by constant use.

imageimageimageimageimage

Finally, we have what may well be my favourite South of France bridge photo of them all, on the right there.  This is one of those unselfconsciously functional footbridges, which more and more abound in towns and cities (London has many such bridges), and which join work spaces off the ground to other work spaces off the ground.  This particular footbridge is in Perpignan.

Quite why such bridges, which have long been around, are now proliferating is an interesting question.  Maybe it is just that organisations are getting bigger, and demand bigger buildings, and connecting two buildings by a footbridge of this sort turns two buildings into one building, at any rate for certain purposes.  If two bureaucracies that live across the road from each other merge, then a bridge joining the top floors together is the logical first managerial step.  This allows the new bosses to commune with one another, without having to trundle up and down and across the road all day long, rubbing their shoulders with the unclean shoulders of their underlings.  Lower footbridges bridges enable functional specialisation to proliferate among lesser personages.

But, what do I know?  My point is, I like such footbridges.  And whereas most of the other bridges in this posting are the sort that feature in lots of other people’s photos and in picture postcards, these Brand-X urban footbridges are only a Thing because I say they are.  Which is a major purpose of truly good photography.  Truly good photography doesn’t just celebrate the already much celebrated; truly good photography offers new objects of potential celebration.

So now I will celebrate this Perpignan footbridge some more:

image

As I was photoing it, I was banging on to my companions about this footbridge and about footbridges like it, and they asked me if I was familiar with this London footbridge.  Oh yes.

Thanks to that little spot of googling, I just came across, for the first time, this bridge blog.  Do you want to meet bridges in your area?  That seems like a good place to look.

Wednesday May 18 2016

So I was looking at Amusing Planet, the way you do, and looking in particular at a posting about bridges with shops on them, the way I do, and at the top of the piece, it said this:

There are four such bridges in the world.

And the pictures follow: Ponte Vecchio; Krämerbrücke, Erfurt; the Rialto in Venice; Pulteney Bridge in Bath.  (The old London Bridge is, alas, no more.)

But then the bit about how there are four such bridges was crossed out, and this was added:

Update: Apparently, there are a few more. Pont des Marchands in Narbonne, France, is one example.

Narbonne?  I was in Narbonne only days ago, hearing GodDaughter 2 and her pals sing the solo parts in the Mozart Requiem.  Afterwards, we walked beside the river back to the car.  Did I, I wonder, photo this Pont des Marchands?  I do recall bridges, and I wouldn’t be me if I hadn’t photoed them.  Here are a couple of Narbonne bridges, that I photoed then:

imageimageimage

So, did the Pont des Marchands figure in my bridge-snapping?

Image google image google.

The Pont des Marchands looks like this:

image

I had already copied those two bridge pictures above into my FranceMay2016/bridges subdirectory, but in that directory, there was no sign of anything with shops on top of it.  However, another look through all the pictures I took in Narbonne that evening brought me to ... this:

image

The bridge in the front there is the one in the left of the two bridges above.  Behind that little footbridge, could that be the Pont des Marchands, seen from the other side?  Got to be.  Those Ms certainly look encouraging.  Short answer, after only a very little more image googling: yes.

There’s nothing quite like seeing something for yourself.  And the next best thing is when you photo it without seeing it, and then see later that you did see it after all.

Monday April 04 2016

Recently I wrote about footbridges, one in particular, in theatreland.  As that posting illustrates, I especially like footbridges that join buildings (in that case theatres), rather than merely convey members of the public who are on a journey through the city, even though I myself cannot cross such bridges, because I too am only a member of the public.

The London epicentre of such footbridge action is situated near Tower Bridge, on the south side of the river.  Footbridges of greatly varying heights above the ground and almost beyond counting connect the tall brick buildings on each side of whatever the street is where all these footbridges are to be seen.

I knew that on various journeys along the river I had photoed these bridges, but where were such photos to be found?  Oh well, I thought.  They’ll turn up.

Last night, they did turn up.  I was idling through photo-directories past, looking for something entirely different which I may, or may not, be telling you about Real Soon Now, and suddenly I came across a clutch of photos of the very footbridges I had in mind.  I immediately copied all these photos across into the rather recently created Footbridges directory.  Photos like this:

image

None of the photos I took that evening of these bridges were technically very accomplished.  The light was tricky and I think I was rather tired by the time I took them.  But, there they were, the bridges, and the photos of the bridges.

I chose the above photo from the half dozen or more that I had not because it is the best of these photos, but because it contains this vital piece of information, in writing.  Close up:

image

Le Pont de la Tour?  Google google.  Apparently it’s a posh eatery, for the kind of posh people who now live in these now very posh buildings.  And immediately I had the name of the street.

Shad.

Don’t ask me how you are supposed to say that.  Shad?  The Shad?  Shad Thames?  I don’t know.  But there’s the name.  Shad.  Sounds like Sean Connery saying Sad.  (Do you suppose that the reason Sean Connery pronounces S as Sh is because of how Sean is pronounced?  Jusht a shuggeshtion.)

Armed with this address, I could pin down exactly as opposed to approximately the location of this footbridge clutch, so that I can return there, and take better photos, and look them up on the www some more, and generally celebrate these striking structures.

And the moral is: when you are (I am) out and about taking photos, always get wherever you are (I am) in writing, by photoing writing.  Photo signs of shops, signs outside places, street signs, or, in this case restaurant signs.  That way, you can work out where everything was, even years later.  The above picture was taken nearly six years ago.

Friday March 18 2016

Yesterday I duly climbed to the top of the Big Olympic Thing, but today I want to show you some creature pictures.  Having decided to broaden Fridays out from mere cats, to any non-human living thing, I have been wandering through my photo-archives with half an eye for any nice looking non-human photos.

Here are a couple of snaps I particular liked:

imageimage

These were both taken on a photo-walk that I and G(od)D(aughter) One did in May of 2011.  We spent the day walking along Regent’s Canal.  I did a couple of postings about this walk at the time, but took many more good snaps than that.

The two birds above are occupants of the Snowdon Aviary.  At the end of that link it says that this Aviary contains some “white ibis”, ibis being, apparently, the plural of ibis.  Are those things ibis?  Could be.  I’m hopeless at which brand of bird is which.

The sign, which actually includes a cat, is over an entrance to the footpath beside the canal, from the road.  I think.  You walk under it, I’m pretty sure.

Strangely, if my photos of the day are anything to go by, we didn’t see many swimming birds that day, in the actual canal.  But when we got to Paddington Basin we saw a few.

I often try to photo such birds, but only rarely come away with anything that strikes me as very interesting.  The world is, after all, full of extremely Real Photogaphers who like to photo birds.  So, what can I add to all that?

These two birds are maybe a bit nice, if not actually what you’d call interesting. The feathers on the one on the left have come out quite well.  And the one on the right has an interesting (because pink) beak, which doesn’t look normal to me:

imageimage

GD1 and I don’t talk much on these walks.  We each tend to concentrate on our own photoing.  I occasionally photo her from a distance though, with other interesting things (such as bridges) in the background.  And occasionally, she photos me:

imageimage

I like how, in the picture of GD1 photoing me, there is another photographer operating, in the background, on the left as we look.

Saturday March 12 2016

I am a collector, and a way for me to satisfy this itch without taking up too much physical space is to collect not particular things, but photos of particular things.  I collect such photos by finding them in the big wide world, mostly the London bit.  But I also find such photos in my already vast but mostly very incoherent collections of photos that I have already taken, stored on my hard disk in directories with titles like “Misc(51)Aug2011”.

Typically, I start collecting a particular sort of photo even before I realise that I am doing it.

Rather recently, for instance, I have started noticing footbridges in a big way, conscious that I am doing this.  But in truth, I have always been entertained by footbridges, especially urban footbridges that join buildings together, and have long been photoing them.  But the tendency has been, after photoing such a bridge, to forget about it, and to move on immediately to the next photo-op.

Today, while clicking away pretty much at random among my many photo-directories, I came across this photo, in Misc(51)Aug2011:

image

That particular footbridge connects the back of the Coward Theatre with the back of the Wyndham’s Theatre.  I know this because immediately after taking the above photo of the footbridge, taken at 19:58pm, I took the following two snaps, also taken at 19:58pm:

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If you look carefully in the footbridge photo, you can see both of these signs, which are on opposite sides of St Martin’s Court, near Leicester Square, in London’s Theatreland.  What exactly is transported across this bridge - scenery?, props?, actors? - I do not know.  Cleverer and more determined googlers than I could perhaps quickly learn.  That these two signs match suggests quite a lot of cooperation, that has been going on for quite a while.  Common ownership, perhaps?  Sorry about the Wyndham’s photo being so blurry.  What matters is that it is legible.

As time passes, I will spend less time out and about taking yet more photos.  One of the things I hope then to be doing instead is rootling through my existing photo-collections, collecting, e.g. all the photos I have already taken of footbridges, and putting them into one giant directory, of footbridges, and then showing them here, and thinking about them aloud.

Friday February 26 2016

Regular cats have kittens, but this cat is big, and has cubs:

image

Mick Hartley had a picture of an underpass, at Mick Hartley, today.  I went to where that underpass picture came from, to try to understand the underpass picture.  I still don’t understand the underpass picture, but I did find the above mega-feline.  Rather than reduce the whole picture and lose feline detail, I cranked up the cropper, in square mode (of which I am particularly fond).

Monday February 08 2016

More and more, as I browse around in places like dezeen, I come across pictures looking like this:

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The this in question being the idea of connecting the tops of towers with footbridges.  And that particular picture having been produced to advertise a new scheme for jazzing up Paris.

I love bridges of all kinds, and footbridges just as much as any other sort, so I have been paying attention to such pictures as the above for quite a while now.  And I reckon there’s now something of a buzz developing around this idea.  Simply, there are about to be a lot of such bridges as those fantasised above, connecting the tops of buildings, and often for the use of the general public, rather than just the people in the buildings directly connected.  There will, in some big cities, in only a few years, be entire new alternative worlds at the old roof level, where you will be able to travel for miles without ever touching the regular old ground.

I am now going to scroll down at dezeen, to see if I can find more pictures like the above.  Bear with me. …

Well, it took a while.  Dezeen has lots of postings about stand-alone little modernist buildings, which, frankly, don’t interest me that much.  My feeling about such stand-alones being: we already know how to do those.  Modernist versions of big sheds or older school houses are just stylistic tweaking.  Nothing profound is going on.  But pictures like this …:

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… and this …:

image

… (which I found in this posting, and which I remember being very struck by when I first set eyes on them) tell me that a seriously different urban future will soon be happening, in cities all over the globe.

The underlying story here is that cities are ceasing to be mere machines for living in and for working in, with occasional little spots that tourists will like to visit and have fun in (but which the locals ignore).  They are becoming nice experiences.  Everyone is becoming a tourist in them, you might say.

Central to this process is the banishment of big old road vehicles, and an alternative emphasis on being a pedestrian.  Or even a speeded up pedestrian.  Think of how the old dock districts of big cities are being turned into nice new developments with lots of waterside footpaths.  Think of what has been happening to canals.

What’s going to happen is that one city – maybe Paris? – will do this in a big way, and tourism, including by the locals, will surge upwards, in the city and on the graphs.  People will love it.  And then lots of other cities will do it.  Including London, because London has a natural pre-skyscraper height at which this will make sense, and because London is now so full of stuff that is worth seeing from this particular height.

A big reason why all this is going to happen is that it will not be all that expensive to do, one of the big reasons why pedestrian footbridges are already a major design flavour the decade being that public money is now tight, and footbridges are relatively cheap.  Designers love them, because although footbridges do not involve that much metal or timber or concrete, they do often involve a lot of design.

The picture at the top of this posting has the words “Ternes-Villiers, La Ville Multi-Strate by Jacques Ferrier” attached to it at dezeen, and I just googled those words.  And, I immediately found my way to this, here:

image

It’s not clear from this picture just how public these bridges are intended to be.  Other pictures suggest that the “community” able to use these bridges will just be the people who live in the apartment blocks thus connected.  But this doesn’t alter the fact that the general public are going to want to get involved in all this high-level fun and sightseeing (and photography), if only because it will all be so clearly visible from below.

Footbridges in the sky
Two bits for Samizdata and a weird bridge in Poole
Bike fishing in Amsterdam
Twelve 2015 photos
Fantasy Vauxhall Bridge with lots of glass
Four towers joined together by two bridges
A viadukt and a tunnel
Painting the bridges of Richmond
Blokes photoing
View of the footbridge - view from the footbridge
Photoing down by the river
iPhone with added fish eye lens
Cranes and a bridge (but not in a good way)
Golden Cheesegrater with cranes
Photographers by the river
Tomorrow I will get out less
London dragon
Old London by the Buck Brothers
Shard - Guys - Tate Modern - Blackfriars Bridge - photoed during Magic Hour
Hungerford Footbridges photographers
Fantastic day
London is getting more colourful
The receiving station at Swains Lane (and the previous version of it)
The view from Suicide Bridge
Shadow photography (again)
Golden Gate being built – Severn Road Bridge ditto – C20 photography – Hitler’s paintings
Some photographers last November
Christmas Day photos
To Covent Garden (1): The twisty footbridge
In the City with Gus
Tower Bridge glass shattered by beer bottle
Looking down through the see-through Tower Bridge walkway – but what about looking up through it?
Recently on dezeen
My week in Brittany 2: A crane holding a bridge at Canning Town!
Smaller Old Thing in front of Big New Things
ASI Boat Trip 8: Bridges
Self-healing concrete
Quota bird
ASI Boat Trip 5: Individuals
New London bridge competition
Tower Bridge before it got covered in stone
The Dragon Bridge of Da Nang
I don’t know which building this is but it sure looks fine in the sunset
Two skyscrapers joined by a bridge that is a swimming pool
Jiaozhou Bay Bridge (aka Spaghetti Junction on Sea)
Lego bridge in Germany
Under Blackfriars Bridge
“In order to comply with Google’s regulations …”
Omaha dead
Vladivostock from above
Seven London bridges from the ME Hotel Radio Bar
Movable bridges
Confirmation that map use has seriously declined
How big should these squares be?
Mark Steyn on Obama’s Hoover Dam and me on paywalls
Michael Jennings photos the bridges of Porto
Crows nest made of coat hangers
Relocating the Porto bridge
Proposed new footbridges for London and for Changsha
I need to photo this again
Battersea sunset
Edwin is a bad person
The Walkie Talkie and its surroundings
Baltimore: cranes - a bridge - scaffolding
Chicago sunset
Bridges for animals
New apostrophe-shaped footbridge in Hull
More March 5th photographers (and more spaces between pictures)
Remembering a warmer day
Wandering about afterwards
Four crane photos
Tower Bridge with railway clutter in the foreground
London bridge photos
Viaduct from above
Rainbow Bridge
Chelsea Bridge under wraps
The Royal Victoria Dock is not (but looks like) a transporter bridge
A favourite Sunday snap
On the superfluity of the Paddington Basin rolling bridge
The graffiti says he won’t get his keys back
Strange footbridge over brick wall
New bridge in Melbourne
A Spanish high speed train bridge and a Spanish aqueduct
Fishermen photo
More bridge magic
The Wheel seen through Hungerford Bridge
Bay Bridge plus a new bridge next to it
I do love a steam train on a viaduct
Cats and bridges on Pixdaus
One man’s intellectual theft is another man’s marketing
Rubbish bridge in Shangai
Two bridges in Portugal
Quota bridge
Osprey pictures
Luxembourg church in hill and Luxembourg footbridge
Strange bridge
Monsal Viaduct
Sailing photos – and another bridge for the collection
Seto Ohashi Bridge
A thin bridge in Wales
Profundity and silliness
Big Pictures
Jellennium Bridge
Another great viaduct
Craziness done with austerity
Floppy road bridge where the cars nearly get wet
Narrow bridge
Switching from dumb bombing to smart bombing
The original Burtynsky Nanpu bridge picture
Nanpu Bridge in Quimper
Flickring and Googling for the AMGEN bridge
Wired bridges
Billion Monkey seen through the Millenium Bridge!
Malaysian footbridge for everyone except … gephyrophobiacs?
Politics again …
The Messina Suspension Bridge is on again
San Francisco from Sausalito
Outstanding and numerous aerial photos of St Petersburg
Three bridges
The moving bridges of Chicago
I love the internet
Flat viaduct and spiral bridge
Gherkin with men in front
Another target rich environment
Bristol footbridge photo
A Real Photographer comments
The goat menace
Millau Viaduct with goats
Thin Canadian bridge
“Don’t burn your bridges before they’re hatched …”
The bridge that was going to make Westminster a fine city and London a desert
Photo-ing Venus
At the dogs
Bridge over bright water
Sunset with bike
Assorted London quota photos
Shadow and light near Tower Bridge
Footbridge in the dark and cricket
Amazing map of amazing new Moscow bridge
New Moscow road bridge
New footbridge in Edinburgh
Me on a bridge by Goddaughter One
The Nanpu bridge approaches
Other people’s photos (6): More bridges
Other people’s photos (5): Red balloons on a monochrome bridge in Paris
London photos by Fabio
By the rivers and canals of East London with Goddaughter One
Pictures of and from Albert Bridge
The Hungerford footbridges