November 09, 2010

Golden Gate Bridge

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Well, after posting this photo yesterday I started having second thoughts.   The tones didn't look quite right (a shot on an overcast day may have worked better), and the corners of the image were flirting with being unsharp.   When I have an otherwise hopeless photo like this I sometimes experiment with posterizing it (limiting the number of colors), but that didn't seem to improve it any.   Thanks for the feedback with the voting.

Oh, I even tried some of the artistic filters in Photoshop -- I thought the "angled strokes" filter made it look kind of interesting, but that would have taken it further away from what it actually is.

So, what in the heck is it?   Well, it's a cross-section of the 37" cable that holds up the Golden Gate Bridge.   I'm pretty sure the image would have been better if the viewer had some way of judging the size of the cable strands -- they're about 1/4 of an inch in diamater.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Joseph Strauss, is generally credited with the design of the Golden Gate Bridge, but actually he knew very little about suspension bridges and relied heavily on the input of other engineers.   Strauss was an ambitious but dreamy engineer (and poet) who had, for his graduate thesis, designed a 55-mile long railroad bridge across the Bering Strait.

Strauss was an expert on cantilever bridges, and Strauss's initial drawings were for a massive cantilever on each side of the strait, connected by a central suspension segment.   It looked horrible, even though he promised it could be built cheaply. Years passed before a suitable design was worked out.   The bridge finally opened in 1937 -- I was minus ten years old then.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

So, where does this bridge go?   Well, it brings people to Marin County -- that's where I live.   It also allows Marinites easy access into San Francisco, if you can call charging $6 in the southern direction easy access.

Of course, this is Highway One-Oh-One which will get you a lot farther than Marin County, but please folks -- remember to wave as you pass through my beloved Marin County.

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Dutchbaby said...

Ha! Great minds think alike:

It's been a while since we touched base. Good to see you are still posting daily. I miss FogBay.

Scott Law said...

One of the favorite photos that I have ever taken was of the Golden Gate bridge partially hidden in the fog with the flag on the back of the tour boat I was on. It was taken with transparency film in 1973. Sadly I don't know where that slide is though I have a bad scan copy. Wish I could find the original.

AphotoAday said...

Oh hi there DUTCHBABY -- yeah I DO remember you and I too miss Ramsey's great Fog Bay blog. And wow, did you ever get a better shot of the cable than I did -- looks like you had it in the shade or on an overcast day -- thats probably the way to shoot it. My tail is between my legs today but I'm getting some really good honest feedback with the voting/poll thing.

And hi there SCOTT -- I feel your pain in losing that slide. Occasionally I'll see someone's photo of the GG Bridge that just knocks me out. I know several photogs that won't even shoot it. Seems like there's always some new way of discovering it.

photowannabe said...

$6 bucks is Highway (excuse the pun) robbery.
What a great bridge though. Its hard to picture that cable until its been seen in real life. Quite an amazing feat.

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