Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge: Black and White (Destination: Brooklyn Bridge)

21 July 2014

Lens:

1. Brooklyn Bridge, New York; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

1. Brooklyn Bridge, New York; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Brooklyn Bridge and Brooklyn, New York; Copyright © 2014 Sally

2. Brooklyn Bridge and Brooklyn, New York; Copyright © 2014 Sally

3. Brooklyn Bridge, New York; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

3. Brooklyn Bridge, New York; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

4. Brooklyn Bridge, New York; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

4. Brooklyn Bridge, New York; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

5. Brooklyn Bridge, New York; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

5. Brooklyn Bridge, New York; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

Let me know which you prefer and why.

Pens:

Bridges have always intrigued me. They demonstrate humanity’s ability to work with (and against) Mother Nature. I cannot overstate my respect for those that design and build these behemoths. To discover them on the horizon is to place human feats of intellectual and physical prowess front and center. Their stamp upon the landscape gives me pause, but seen in an urban setting is simultaneously fitting and strange.

New York City is like American jazz: innovative, original, fluid, historic, unpredictable, discordant, sophisticated, and treasured. This comparison was apparent to me during my recent visit. That trip combined the usual flare with two other jewels: my eighty-nine-year-old uncle, who is a retired professional photographer, and a particular destination. We took car, light rail, and subway to approach our day’s event: to walk the Brooklyn Bridge.

The day-long adventure was almost seamless. Sure a sunnier day would have been appreciated, but even grey cloudscapes seemed to honor us. Mostly, cooler temps made our street travel and crossing the footbridge immeasurable pleasurable.

The Brooklyn Bridge is one of those must-see landmarks for those who are keen on spying major cities from higher and more distant vantage points. At its official opening in 1883 it was the longest suspension bridge in the world. It’s a marvel of human construction that is steeped in ingenuity, tragedy and wonder. Many lost their lives in the service of bringing the bridge to life.

The just-over-a-mile-long span is an easy jaunt from Manhattan to Brooklyn or vice versus. It’s popularity has never wavered as a commuting fairway by bike, car or foot.

Since I’ve lived most of my life on the East Coast, New York has seen my presence so many times that I am puzzled that the Brooklyn Bridge had escaped my company. But the same fact applied to my uncle. So we vowed to join forces and just do it.

There is a sense of euphoria that washes over me when I traverse such a monumental structure. Waves of emotion hold me tight, and the grandeur of the views move inward  where they rest to return at some later time.

These experiences also have a level of unreality in their reality. To imagine piles of raw materials turning into such beauty and utility is such a huge idea that even after scores of such structures, it still seems impossible.

Over the years I’ve been able to walk covered bridges and many smaller ones that cross  creeks and rivers. But large pedestrian bridges easily rise above those, and are a more visually fulfilling accomplishment.

It’s not just the sweeping vistas and scenery. It’s the process of moving, for example, over the East River as though I am walking on water to the shores of Brooklyn.

As I was suspended over the water, I had the chance to contemplate the space that is apparent between the water, skyline and me in between them. It was splendrously joyful, and I take none of it for granted.

Brooklyn Bridge and Brooklyn, New York, Nikon DSLR; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

Brooklyn Bridge and Brooklyn, New York, Nikon DSLR; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

The list of bridges that I have walked may be short, but each left vivid tactile descriptors that remind me of their differences and similarities: Brooklyn Bridge (New York) , Deux-Rives (the Garden of Two Banks that joints Kehl, Germany, and Strasbourg, France), Golden Gate Bridge (California), Pointe Vecchio (Florence, Italy), and Pont des Arts (Paris, France). So many, many more to conquer.

Probably the most memorable of the above was the day that my grandchildren and I walked the Golden Gate Bridge. Their sense of excitement added to my own. The crystalline blue sky, the slight wind and a light crowd gave us permission to simply enjoy the experience. The symbolic orangey color of the beams acted as soldiers that led us back and forth on a shared journey of personal fulfillment. Click here to view my photographs from that crossing.

In the process of one of these adventure, I immerse myself: body, eye, mind, and spirit. After such small triumphs, I wonder: Was I really there? Did I take full advantage of the experience? What would a second walk achieve? Then I usually pivot to thoughts about philosophical remains of the day.

I’m still in total amazement that “we” can produce such architectural beauties. Their longevity is one accomplishment, the utility another. Really, it’s the variation on the theme that astounds.

The Brooklyn Bridge reminds me of a waltz: melodic and sensual. Without a great output of physical endurance it allows you to stroll at your own cadence from one urban center to another. Whether coming or going, each side gives an energetic view of the human capacity to create. The East River moves below, the heavens stand above, and there we are in the middle.

Cables of the Brooklyn Bridge,  New York, Nikon DSLR; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

Cables of the Brooklyn Bridge, New York, Nikon DSLR; Copyright © 2014 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

Tip of the Week: If you’ve never read The Photographer’s Eye (1966) by John Szarkowski, I strongly suggest that you run to your nearest bookstore, computer or library, and get a copy. It’s content never grows old. Black-and-white images and the author’s text are used to comment and describe the art of photography. Artists are well-known and not-so-well known, and each work gives a powerful visual statement about the possibilities within the frame.

“To quote out of context is the essence of the photographer’s craft…: what shall he include, what shall he respect? The line of decision between in and out is the picture’s edge. While the draughtsman starts with the middle of the sheet, the photographer starts with the frame. The photographer’s edge defines context. It isolates unexpected juxtaposition. By surrounding two facts, it creates a relationship… The photographer edits the meanings and patterns of the world through an imagery frame. This frame is the beginning of his picture’s geometry.” — The Photographer’s Eye (1966) by John Szarkowski

View other entries for this week’s challenge:

http://streetsofsfphotos.wordpress.com/2014/07/21/rainbow-house-in-bw-color/

http://amaltaas.wordpress.com/2014/07/21/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-black-and-white-2/

http://completelydisappear.wordpress.com/2014/07/21/merit/

http://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2014/07/21/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-black-and-white/

http://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2014/07/21/phoneography-japanese-tea-garden-tells-a-story-of-harmony-in-black-and-white/

http://helpalongthepath.com/2014/07/21/workspace-phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge/

http://nwframeofmind.com/2014/07/21/iphoneography-monday-7-21-14/

http://uniqueartchic.com/2014/07/22/monochrome-summer-florals/

http://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2014/07/23/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-black-and-white/

http://allkindsaeverything.wordpress.com/2014/07/23/phoneography-and-non-slr-challenge-balck-and-white/

http://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2014/07/24/when-the-weather-offers-just-shades-of-grey/

 http://ohmsweetohm.me/2014/07/24/sallys-black-and-white-challenge/

Note:

If you’d like to join the Photo Challenge, please click here for details. If you have any questions, please contact me. Below is a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming Photo Challenges:

1st Monday: Nature.

2nd Monday: Macro.

3rd Monday: Black and White.

4th Monday Challenger’s Choice (Pick One: Abstraction, Animals, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Objects, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).

5th Monday: Editing and Processing with Various Apps Using Themes from the Fourth Week.

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58 Responses to Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge: Black and White (Destination: Brooklyn Bridge)

  1. RMW says:

    Never seen the Brooklyn Bridge in person… one of these days! In the meantime my favorite image is the one titled “Cables of the Brooklyn Bridge”… it is almost black and white, abstract, and I like the clouds/blue sky showing through the mesh of the cables.

    • I truly hope that you have the opportunity to stroll across this icon of the past and present. It’s a marvelous way to experience and be at the intersection of Manhattan and Brooklyn. Thank you for your comment and visit.

  2. Wonderful pictures dear Sally….

  3. restlessjo says:

    You make me want to run to the nearest bridge right now! I was in Newcastle-on-Tyne yesterday. That’s a city with some beautiful bridges. I have quite a few shots from previous visits, but yesterday, on the bus home, I wanted to jump off and capture some more. I didn’t (Dad was coming for tea!) but I will next time. 🙂

  4. wonderful images and a wonderful history!!

  5. pattimoed says:

    Oh! You’ve highlighted one of my favorite places! When we lived in Manhattan and Brooklyn, this was one of our favorite walks/runs. It’s so true what you wrote: New York City is like American jazz: innovative, original, fluid, historic, unpredictable, discordant, sophisticated, and treasured. –Patti

  6. Hi Sally,

    I like your #3 photo of the bridge — I am a sucker for B&W silhouettes.

    Here is my entry for this week: http://wp.me/p24idL-2fb

    Allan

  7. This is a great post Sally…love love bridges. I think the lines draw me in.

  8. Su Leslie says:

    Hi Sally, I so love the third and fifth images. They capture cathedral-like impressions of the bridge. Appropriate given that bridges were kind of the 19th century’s version of cathedrals in terms of engineering. Here’s my contribution: http://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2014/07/24/when-the-weather-offers-just-shades-of-grey/

  9. livvy30 says:

    I love the Brooklyn Bridge! But I’ve used it for this challenge before! Here’s mine for this week. http://allkindsaeverything.wordpress.com/2014/07/23/phoneography-and-non-slr-challenge-balck-and-white/

  10. The black and white color, the patterns and texture created a rich depth to the many angles of the Brooklyn Bridge. It invites the viewer to ask, be curious , to get to know its history and the many journey it has witnessed through the years. Have a great Summer!

  11. Ulli says:

    dear Sally, you took so much interesting perspectives to this famous bridge and so you did a great work, thanks for this …
    funny enough I am planing a journey to NY in May 2016 and one of my aims is this bridge and to find a place in Brooklyn to stay there for two weeks … we will see … whenever I am thinking about I become excited 😉

    all the best to you
    Ulli

    • Ulli, New York is such a treasure. It’s one of the top cities in the world. I’m fortunate to have it within a few hours of travel. Brooklyn keeps changing, so you’ll have a fabulous time. Thanks so much.

  12. Ana Perry says:

    here’s a link to Photographers Eye and it’s free so there’s no excuse for everyone to read it 🙂
    http://pages.ramapo.edu/~jlipkin/206/readings/2.the.photographers.eye.pdf

  13. I love shooting the Brooklyn Bridge. All terrific shots, but I love the contrast in the 3rd image.

    • Edith, as I was shooting the bridge, I was thinking about the countless images taken of this marvelously mammoth and majestic structure. There is always the question: Is it possible to represent its grandeur in a single or even multiple shots? It’s fun trying. Thanks so much.

  14. thirdeyemom says:

    Fabulous collection of photos Sally. I agree bridges are amazing! I love the second to last shot.

  15. Gallivanta says:

    What a wonderful outing. Did your uncle take any photos? I thought I would prefer black and white for bridge photos but I think my favourites today are the coloured ones.

    • My uncle has been retired for about a decade, and he packed his cameras in the treasure trove of a successful career as a professional. No matter where he is, he is always framing an image in his mind. In fact, he said that to me on the bridge. He had a full career that spanned over fifty years. That says so much to be able to raise a family and travel and live well for half a century on the results of your commercial business and later his participation in juried craft shows throughout the USA. See you soon. Thanks.

  16. vastlycurious.com says:

    Really great photo Sally!

  17. For me no 5 gives a dramatic feel, but I also like your nikon shot in colour. It sounds like you had quite an intense day and your sense of wonder is evident. Here is my entry this week. Flowers again! 😀 http://uniqueartchic.com/2014/07/22/monochrome-summer-florals/

  18. Tina Schell says:

    Love that first capture Sally – definitely looks like it could be from back in the 50s or 60s. Love the bridge, one of my favorite subjects. So photogenic, don’t you think?

  19. Your enthusiasm for the day and the bridge carried us all along for a photographic walk, Sally. I really like how #2 reminds me of vintage black and white shots of this bridge and it was nice to see your earlier Nikon photos as contrast too.

  20. I’m partial to color so my favorite is the last shot of the bridge bathed in color. Wonderful pictures.

  21. I like 5 the one with bricks… A bridge made of bricks is a rare thing for a Californian to see. And even though it is in B&W i still can see the red bricks.
    Happy Monday
    Carol

  22. denasgoodlife says:

    Hi Sally, I love these photos! The black and white are beautiful, but the color ones at the end are my favorite. I love the way the white clouds billow against the blue sky and give even more depth to the images. The lines of the bridge are so cool and I love the angles you chose. Really well done! I’ve been away for a while, but hoping for calmer days ahead to engage again. Happy Monday!

  23. Andrew Seal says:

    Wonderful photographs; each one a winner but for me number 3 was my favourite. I think because the shapes look like large cathedral windows and I could imagine the spaces within created by the lines and cables filled with coloured stained glass. It would be an interesting exercise to do that in photoshop. Happy Monday:-)

  24. Nos. 1 and 5 are my favorites for the black and white. I like the people seemingly ignoring the wet weather with the skyline in the background on the first one. For 5, I like the texture of the bricks with the lines in the background. I really like the color versions, too! 🙂

  25. Indira says:

    I liked all Sally. I agree about your views on bridges. I too have photographed bridges this time- http://amaltaas.wordpress.com/2014/07/21/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-black-and-white-2/

  26. wildsherkin says:

    I love that paragraph in which you compare the Brooklyn Bridge to a waltz – beautifully written. All of your images are wonderful. I do like the second one down best though as it makes the cables look so delicate. Then again, the third one is lovely as it could almost be like looking out through church windows.

  27. Good morning, Sally, and a happy phoneography day and week to you! I like the first of the b&w photos because the convergence of lines, in a form that feels a bit like rain, attracts me. I also like the contrast with the horizontal lines at the bottom of the photo. However, I love your last two, the non-b&w photos even more. The mass of lines in both of them and the addition of the reflection in the second are just wonderful.

    janet

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