Variations on a theme

A while back I gave a talk to the photographic club in Newport, South Wales.  Newport is famous for its transporter bridge over the River Usk.  It was opened in 1906 and is one of a very few still operating  in the world.  It has two tall pylons, and a car-carrying gondola that travels between them under a huge girder structure.  I had some free time before my talk, so I popped down to see the bridge.

I had my TZ-70 travel zoom with me.  Standing in the town side loading area, I took advantage of its wide zoom range to get some shots of the gondola on the far side.  The first shows the span of the girder, the pylon design and their relationship to the low riverbank.  It was the low banks that forced the construction of a transporter bridge.  The V-shaped cloud matching the V of the loading area gates was a bonus.

I then zoomed in to simplify the composition and show the gondola hanging system and pylon supports.  The delicate tracery of the pylons contrasts with the very solid stone pylon supports.  The control cabin of the gondola looks like a Victorian railway signalling box.

I had to travel on the bridge of course!  This is looking up from the gondola into the pylon just before we set off.  What do all those wires do?  You can climb up the staircase on the pylon to a walkway at the top.  It was a bit too windy the day I was there, so I exercised some restraint.  It looked like hard work too!

The River Usk is tidal at Newport, which was the reason why they needed a bridge; ferries can’t be used at low tide.  The water coming in on the tide was very muddy to say the least, but the reflection of the pylon did give an interesting semi-abstract image.  I did have to boost the contrast a bit.  I debated cloning the stick out, but decided to leave it in as it wasn’t a complete abstract.

One structure and four different looks.  It’s always worth playing the variations game.

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