I am fascinated by bridges. Some of this comes from the notion of how they are engineered, how they actually connect to solid ground, and the idea that these spans connect land masses separated by water, or simply space that could not be connected otherwise. Some may find them an intrusion in the landscape but for me, they present a certain kind of subject matter that I find photographically interesting. Just outside of my hometown of Shepherdstown, two bridges span the Potomac River separating West Virginia and Maryland–one a nondescript vehicular bridge and the other, infinitely more interesting, a steel railway bridge.
Built in 1904, this Riveted Pratt deck-truss bridge, is on the Norfolk Southern rail line. Five large concrete pylons support the main truss system over the river and connect to land with a steel super structure and concrete footers. The bridge can be accessed from several points on the Shepherdstown, WV side, as well as via the C&O Canal on the Maryland side. Though I have photographed this bridge in a variety of conditions I think this more recent collection of black and white images expresses more of my visual and conceptual intent. I love this bridge with fog. The kind of fog that wraps around you, that both hides details and filters the light. It is mysterious and accentuates the seeming thin line of the rails or the tenuous connections of the piers. From the river you can see how the concrete pylons collect the detritus of high water and view the stacked stone piers of a former bridge, now long removed. The river here is flat and wide embracing the curvy shoreline and forests punctuated with the distinctive forms of sycamore trees. It is a peaceful landscape where nature and engineering coexist.
All images were shot using a medium format Fuji GFX50S with a variety of lenses including the GF23mm f4, the GF32-64 f4, and the GF110mm f2, or with a Leica CL and an 18mm Leica Elmarit f2.8.
Enjoy, and thank you for stopping by. If you are interested in a print please message me through my contact link. RHC
Note: Click on the images to view in LightBox Mode