The new Memorial Bridge was opened to the public with great fanfare on August 8, 2013. It was rejuvenating to see so many members of the community come together to celebrate an achievement that will benefit so many people. It was a truly memorable event, and when the presentations were finished and the ribbon cut by the legendary Eileen Foley, pedestrians and cyclists were able to enjoy strolling around the bridge before any vehicles had a chance to take to the new roads. The structure is very impressive from afar, yet streamlined and surprisingly enjoyable to walk along. I’m looking forward to many sunrises and sunsets from the inviting sidewalks and bump outs along the sides of the fresh pavement.
There has been much talk of bridges lately, especially here in the seacoast with the newly unveiled design for Portsmouth and Kittery’s own Memorial Bridge. As part of the public presentation made on the design of the bridge, a reference was made to the George Washington Bridge in New York and its beautiful uplighting at night. Let’s hope that whatever bridge finally makes its way to the banks of the Piscataqua, that it is something we can all be proud of and enjoy from near and far.
During our visit in San Francisco, I wanted to get out for at least a couple adventures. The evening walk that my brother Dave and I went on ended up bringing us down around the financial district and the Transamerica Pyramid that I featured a couple weeks back. We enjoyed a stroll around the area on a late summer evening, with the typical business meetings/dinners going on and plenty of foot and road traffic to be captured. As we were about to head home…we decided that we were too close to the water not to make a stop.
Thankfully, the Bay Bridge (which connects San Francisco to Oakland) was beautifully lit in the late evening air over the water. This has been one of the favorites that people seem to gravitate to of all the shots from my trip. One of my favorites from the trip was taken a few minutes later, featuring one of the office towers of Embarcadero Center in the Financial District.
On our last day in San Francisco, I was able to convince my brothers to venture up to the Marin Headlands for sunrise. I had been hoping for some fog to add some character to the scene….but once we set up camp I was happy that we had clear skies. The bridge is such an awesome sight, and someone was kind enough to allow some paved roads on the high grounds north of the city so that lazy folks like us can drive up first thing and walk out to see the sun’s first rays over this feat of architecture.
I was also determined to get some good shots with my neutral density (ND) filter….which lead to some serious headaches as I fumbled about and tried to move swiftly with the early morning light coming up over the horizon. The trouble with an ND filter is that the exposures become incredibly long. The filter I was using is a “10-stop”, which basically lets a magnitude of 10x less light through the lens….so basically you need a much longer amount of time to create the image by letting light reach the camera’s sensor. While I didn’t come away with any show stoppers from the morning, I was happy that I tried to learn while out on what might be my last Golden Gate sunrise shoot…at least for a long time. I like this shot for the pastels, the incredible subject and the almost antique look.
More shots to follow, be sure to check back in on Sunday for a couple of my favorite shots from the morning’s bounty.
The fate of the Memorial Bridge is still in question, and the bridge replacement plan has been in the news for the past couple weeks again – as the Maine-New Hampshire Bridge Connections Study will be due to both states (at a cost of $1.5 million to complete) sometime around August. It’s sounding like the Memorial Bridge will come down and be replaced, as its life span has been reduced to one year by safety engineers. I’ll definitely miss its craggy & rusty appearance hovering over the Piscataqua River…and I’m very curious to see what might go up in its place. In the meantime, I’ll be sure to take a few hundred or so photos while I still have the opportunity – and encourage you to do the same.
This was one of the very first exposures I ever took with my new 10-stop Neutral Density filter. Thanks to the filter – you can see the bridge structure nice and sharp while the dock and the water has much more blur due to the flow of the river and the movement of the dock & boat.
There were some very cool clouds out tonight so I headed towards a spot where I could get an open vista of the sky – which naturally brought me to Prescott Park for a stroll on the Memorial Bridge. I always want to get fresh shots and not continue to rehash the same material, and the Memorial Bridge is a great example of something that can be seen in many ways from different angles. A taste of the cool (ominous) clouds can be seen below…
According to a story published today in the Portsmouth Herald, the Memorial Bridge will be saved by New Hampshire – and New Hampshire alone. The title isn’t completely accurate, as the funds to be made available will be directed towards building a new replacement bridge – as the old structure is too deteriorated and expensive to save. This is a sad day, although it remains good news for communities and businesses on both sides of the bridge…but I’ll miss that old hulking thing of beauty once it’s gone.
Like The Decks, I’ll always miss what it was but look forward to the new changes. There is still plenty of work to be done on reaching a solution and I’m sure the final plan may change – but as of now it sounds like NH is taking the solution into its own hands…which is great and will mean continued access by car/bike/foot for all.