American Landmarks | Golden Gate Bridge
Arguably one of the most famous bridges in the world...residing in the fog-laced, coastal bay of San Fransisco, the majestic Golden Gate Bridge is an American tale almost never told. Through years of relentless weather and setbacks, the engineering marvel broke through the dense grey cloud of resistance to establish itself as a colorful testament to the American spirit.
March wouldn't seem the best month to visit the cool Northern Californian coast, but luckily the weather in San Fransisco is capricious to say the least. Being the bold Minnesotan I am, the brisk fog air which envelopes the lazy ocean-side cliffs down to Marshall's Beach is a welcome touch. To capture this American Landscape...into the unknown I descend.
Declared a modern architectural wonder by the American Society of Civil Engineers, at it's opening in 1937 it held title of the longest and tallest suspension bridge on Earth. Measuring a a cumulative length of 1.7 miles (2737 meters), the bridge spans the "Golden Gate" straights where the Pacific Ocean flows into San Fransisco Bay, connecting the city with Marin County to the North.
Conception for the bridge lingered for many year prior to contsruction beginning Jan. 5, 1933.
It's perhaps due to such magnificence that roughly every 2 weeks, since it's opening in 1937,
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Color of the bridge isn't actually red, as it may appear, but rather "International Orange". A pigment chosen for it's visibility in fog and aesthetic appeal. It is estimated that 5,000 - 10,000 gallons of paint are used to repaint the Golden Gate Bridge each year.
Golden Gate is a toll bridge with average cost of $7.75 USD to enter San Fransisco from the North; No fee to exit the city.
The Bridge amasses $143 million in annual fees, while carrying 112,000 vehicles across daily.
Three babies have been born on the Golden Gate Bridge. All boys.
The name Golden Gate has an interesting history...referencing the "Golden Horn"; straits of Istanbul, Turkey which connect the Bosphorus River and Sea of Marmara.
Behind the Shot:
It wasn't until the third day that the early spring fog which envelopes the Bay Area would give way ever so briefly to the golden hour sun. From the rocky sands of Marshall's Beach, with the tide gently crashing, I perched safely atop a craggy basalt boulder waiting for the early-evening light to softly warm the surround cliffs and melt away the foggy haze which enveloped my anteceding descent. With the vibrant-colored trusses and cables of the great American landmark ablaze, the conditions were ripe for a dramatic monochrome interpretation of an otherwise commonplace image.
The challenge to artfully capture one of the most photographed structures in the world in a fresh way was forefront in my mind. Opting for a polarizer to cut the glare, along with a combined 10 & 3 stop soft-edge neutral density filter, to simultaneously blur the water and balance the exposure was combined with a 16:9 aspect ratio to further enhance the grandeur of the bridge and composition. The resulting photograph...a moody and dramatic enhancement of the surrounding environment with focus on a historical landmark deeply-seeded in American history.
For more information on the Golden Gate Bridge, the city of San Fransisco, and the growing suicide dilemma in San Fransisco check out the following resources:
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