Black and White Weekly Photo Challenge: Bridges

Sonel’s Corner proposed Black and White photos of Bridges for this week’s challenge.

I have done a similar submission on Ailsa’s Travel Theme not too long ago. Being lazy, I have converted the color pictures of the post to B&W below (some images are new) which, in my view, convey a very different atmosphere.

This is a theme that I love to talk about. As a bridge designer and subsequently project manager for quite a few highway, railway and pedestrian / cycle track bridges from mid 1970s to mid 1980s; I have a special interest in bridges of all sorts. Also, I have been keeping track of bridges of different historical ages, single span to multiple spans, short (just a single plank) to very long ones (suspension or cable stayed bridges), with stone and masonry as construction materials to wrought iron, steel, reinforced / prestressed concrete to even structural plastics, from straight to curve, from old style designs to the more modern bridges of streamlined aerodynamic designs. These are all my fields of interest.

Let’s start our journey from Scotland, UK. The Firth of Forth bridge is the first steel bridge built in the UK. It was opened on 4 March 1890, and spans a total length of 2,528 metres. The photo was taken in 1985.My beautiful picture

Going south into London,  we have a view of the Albert Bridge  which crosses over the River Thames in West London   connecting Chelsea on the north bank to Battersea. The bridge was designed and built  in 1873 as a modified cable stayed bridge. Again, the photo was taken in 1985. It is always a delight to stroll the river banks of River Thames, viewing bridges – including some of the notable bridges: the Tower Bridge and the Millenium Bridge..28-12-2004 10-03-56 AM_0003B

We then crossed over the Channel to the European continent and ended up at Riga, Latvia. The Vanšu Bridge in Riga is a cable-stayed bridge that crosses the Daugava river  with a length of 595 meters. In the background is the TV tower.DSC_0197A

Further on, we passed through Switzerland where we saw a reinforced concrete arch bridge with clean strong vertical supports springing from the curved arches.DSCF1124B

We digressed into Budapest and have a great view of the many bridges crossing this stretch of the River Danube. Our attention was immediately drawn to the Chain Bridge. This bridge was the first permanent stone-bridge connecting Pest and Buda, and only the second permanent crossing on the whole length of the river Danube. It is one of the iconic structure of Budapest, the most widely known bridge of the Hungarian capital.DSCF0060A

Walking further on along the river bank, we reached the  Liberty Bridge. It is the third and shortest bridge of Budapest. It was built for the Millennium World Exhibition in 1896, its original name being Francis Joseph Bridge.DSCF0051A

There is another bridge in the vicinity known as the Elizabeth bridge. Elizabeth Bridge was named after Queen Elizabeth, the spouse of Francis Joseph I assassinated in Geneva in 1898. With only one 290-meter span stretching over the Danube, the original bridge built in eclectic style was known as the longest suspension bridge of the world.DSCF0056A

No mention of bridges will be complete without mentioning Charles Bridge in Prague. For many hours, I have been walking up and down the bridge, viewing the statues on both sides of the bridge and admiring the beautiful scenery.My beautiful picture

We finally ended up in Venice, Italy and was totally charmed by the well-known bridge which appears on many photos.CIMG0342A

We then flew to Istanbul, Turkey and embarked on a cruise up the Bosphorus from where we had a breathtaking view of the suspension bridge which connects Europe to Asia. It is a gravity anchored suspension bridge with steel towers and inclined hangers. The aerodynamic deck hangs on zigzag steel cables. It is 1,560 m long with a deck width of 33.4 m.CIMG0567A

From there, we took a plane to Hong Kong where at that time,  the longest single span cable-stayed bridge was being constructed. The picture taken from the shore shows the construction was extended into night-time to take maximum advantage of the time slot outside the typhoon season.Stonecutters 10_06_2009 012A

Then we headed north and ended up at FengHuang city, China  where we were overwhelmed at the sight of this ancient multi-arched masonry bridge across the river.DSC_0027A

We made our way to the Three Gorges, cruising up the Yangtze river, we passed by many bridges. One of these is a cable-stayed bridge of new construction.DSCF6278A

We thought we have seen enough of modern bridges and, for a change, we decided to visit West Lake, China and viewed some of the old stone arch bridges in their serene surroundings which sent tranquility into our minds and souls.DSCF6488A

As if we were not tired of travelling, we flew over 16 hours and landed at New York City. One of the bridges we like to visit is a stone arch bridge in Central Park. Is this the bridge shown in Richard Gere’s movie of “Autumn in New York” ?  We didn’t quite know but was greatly impressed by the romantic setting. We went on to see other bridges like the Brooklyn bridge and was awed by its beauty.CIMG0218A

On our way back, we decided we would not do a non-stop flight to HK but stop at San Francisco. How could one miss the Golden Gate bridge?  We make a tour of the area and saw the mist rolling in under the bridge. What a sight!

Bridges are aesthetically pleasing and are symbols of connection and overcoming obstacles. I love bridges for these reasons and these are the reasons for posting them. The above trip is, of course, based on a fictitious journey undertaken by the Retiree. In fact, it has been undertaken over different time zones, space, at different time, during different life stages of this retiree. It has been pieced together so that readers can have a global view of bridges all over the world – as a reminiscence of the retiree’s interest in his early career!

113 thoughts on “Black and White Weekly Photo Challenge: Bridges

  1. Nice tour of world bridges.
    I noticed you read chapter 34. I’m surprised you found it. I started this blog with a fantasy novel, but it didn’t take so I didn’t finish it. I do plan to get back to it some day.

    • I very much like Charles Bridge. Just a month ago, I saw on the TV the extensive flooding near to the bridge. I hope it hasn’t done any damage. to it. Thanks very much for the continued support 🙂

    • Hi Linda, many thanks for the continued perusal and comments. I hope you will like my future posts too. I like stone bridges too and can relate to them better. Regards, Michael

  2. I’m so glad you added the last paragraph–I was exhausted just from looking at all of these amazing photos!

    • No, you did not mislead me at all! I was just amazed how you could possibly do all of this travel in one trip, and I was grateful it was really over a long period of time. But life is a continual crossing over bridges, so it makes perfect sense!

    • Good. You are so right, we have many bridges to cross. Looking back some of them are more difficult to cross than the others while so are easier than anticipated. So that’s life. Regards, Michael

  3. I enjoyed the black and white bridge trip very much. I’m wondering a out the Golden Gate. It would be nice to see your take on that one.

    • I have been out at the Golden Gate bridge site. Maybe, you won’t believe, I didn’t have my camera with me. All I can do was to admire the beauty of the bridge and watched the mist rolling in. What a pity! Regards, Michael

  4. So delightful. I love the old stone arch bridges and of course the covered bridges of days gone by. Mind you, I know there are still a lot of both in existence. Reminders of days gone by when things were less hectic and life was lived at a slower pace. Really nice photos!

    • Yes, there is a great difference between the medieval bridges and the modern ones. Like you, I rather like the old ones which are more graceful and represent a slower but more enjoyable pace of live. Thank you 🙂

  5. Wow Michael! I am absolutely crazy about these bridges! I especially LOVE the Chinese bridges and you did a great job in converting them to B&W indeed! Thanks so much for taking part in the challenge. Much appreciated. 😀 *hugs*

  6. Spectacular pictures.These Bridges can tell a thousand story who passed over and beneath them..Great posrt Jalal

  7. Bridges are such incredible and inspirational structures. Fantastic pictures and wonderful post. Thank you 🙂

    • I think I like bridges more than tunnels as many bridges do have a view as you drive along. Many thanks for the comment and perusal 🙂

  8. Your remarkable photos give a glimpse of the many styles and types of bridges. No matter how great or small, all of them are graceful. I’ve crossed a few that were so high and narrow they were creepy! But they were beautiful to look at once I was on the other side.

    • Yes, it is true that some bridges are so slender and do not look particularly robust / stable. We usually feel much happier when we have crossed the bridge. Many thanks for the kind comment 🙂

  9. What a fascinating commentary, combining photography, architecture, technology, beauty and history, as well as your travels. It’s amazing how many bridges you’ve photographed throughout the world. I didn’t know you were a bridge engineer. with your keen eye and expertise, you combine beauty with utility and technology. Some day you will return to photograph the Golden Gate Bridge. I’ve taken a few photos of that iconic structure, but have yet to get a great shot. I know how you feel about not having a camera when you see a great photo that cries out to be taken. Sometimes I think more about the photos that I missed than the ones I have taken.

    • Hi Catherine, thank you for your very kind words. Yes, someday I will return to Golden Gate bridge and I will make sure that I will have a camera with me. In fact, the photo of bridge which I like best is in my post for a medieval bridge crossing a misty river in France in Carhors; I hope you would like that too. Have a great week 🙂

  10. You provide a graceful travelogue around the world, with good thoughts about bridges and what they mean, The West Lake, China bridge is my favorite. The bridge itself, and the landscaping around it – so harmonious! Thank you very much for the follow, and happy travels!

  11. So many bridges around the world now, such feats of engineering marvel. What has happened to the work of traditional the ferrymen, will they still have a place as more bridges appear everyday…

    • Good thing with ferries is that they don’t need a big capital cost to build compared with bridges, but then their capacity is restricted. Roll-on Roll-off ferries will be required to take cars across. Have a great week 🙂

    • Yeah, bridge engineering can be quite serious, as it could be a matter of life and death if not properly designed. Hope I have presented both the technical and artistic / visual side of bridges which can be fascinating too. Thanks for the comment 🙂

  12. Beautiful. I love bridges (to photograph, not drive on – I have a bit of a phobia where that is concerned). My favorites are the last two; I love old stone bridges. Not many of those around in my neck of the woods.

    • I like stone bridges and how people already knew the use of arching action to build bridges across water even thousands of years ago. Thanks for the comment 🙂

  13. Your bridge photos are exquisite, especially the multi-arched masonry bridge and the serene one at West Lake in China. Rendering them in black and white heightens the many moods I think.

    • You’re welcome. Spewking of bridges, years ago I attended a NAWIC meeting in San Francisco where the featured talk included a video of the Golden Gate Bridge swaying in the wind. It was striking and a bit frightening. I imagine that as an engineer you have a lot of knowledge of other bridges’ lateral and vertical movements.

    • Bridges, especially those slender ones do move, sway a bit especially under wind and seismic forces. Some of the sway do create a disturbing feeling. Every bridge has its own natural frequencies for various motional modes. If the excitation has a frequency that is close to the natural frequency then it resonates and large movements or even instability may occur. You have raised a very interesting point! Hope what I have said is not too academic. Regards, Michael

    • Thanks, Michael. It’s good to have a better understanding of how and why that happens to bridges. More understanding means less fear. 🙂

    • Hi bluetingedreams, at the time it was built, it was the cable stayed bridge of the longest span in the world (over 1000m). Thanks for the perusal and the comment 🙂

  14. Something about black and white really adds to the timelessness of these bridges. Thanks for sharing your stories, it seems like your travels have taken you to a great many interesting places!

  15. Amazing how well you capture the true essence of the bridges. The extremes differences. I feel safer with the walk over bridges, short and romantic. It would freak me out to go over the ones that see suspended in air. I stopped cold crossing a bridge one night. The light stopped showing the surface ahead. My mind figure the bridge had fallen off the edge. I, literally got out of my car, everyone else was laughing, but I had to walk ahead to see for myself there was continuation of the bridge up ahead. There was but I wasn’t going to drive another inch until I was absolutely sure. I promise you I was sober and not stoned. Great photos. My eyes shine pleasure into my soul from looking into your photographs. You are truly gifted with an artistic eye that touches deep into what you magically capture in that moment of time. TY Michael for sharing your vision. Jk 😎

    • Hi JK, I have never thought of people feeling scared when driving on bridges. But you are not alone. After I posted on bridges, there are other readers who responded to say that they fear on travelling of bridges. Many thanks for your kind words; I am flattered. Best wishes, Michael

  16. Both the bridges and your photos are works of art, I enjoyed them very much!…

    Thank you so much also for liking my “About Anna” page, I really appreciate it!

    “A bridge has no allegiance to either side”
    ~Les Coleman~

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