I realized I had not taken any photos since my last post back in November being busy with work, upcoming holiday festivities, and creating holiday cards and calendars. So, this past Sunday I dusted off the camera and marched out my front door to get some photos.
The day was just perfect with sunshine, blue skies, cool temperatures and no wind. You couldn’t ask for better photo conditions. My photo goal for the day was to take shots of the architectural magnificence of the majestic Hell Gate Bridge and the more austere Triboro Bridge in Astoria Park. As I like to walk the two miles or so to the park, I chose to walk along 20th Avenue a part of the industrial section of Astoria Queens and capture a few eclectic images to add to my urban galleries. The early morning light provided me with wonderful dark shadows of trees against red brick walls and tiny bright sunbursts on sharp razor wire. The little tenacious weeds growing out of the concrete looked pretty and glowed in the warmth of the morning sun. Corroding metal turned russet red on heavy locks and chain linked fences. Even a discarded box of Marlboro cigarettes took on the likes of a miniature statue on the sidewalk. Basically, anything looks good if the lighting is just right.
Now, to get back to the title of this blog. I entered Astoria Park on the far north side at the corner of 20th Avenue and Shore Boulevard and the immediate scene to your left is of the wide expanse of the East River with the majestic Hell Gate Bridge arching over its turbulent waters. There is a bit of a challenge to getting a clear shot of this bridge devoid of the many trees growing along the river bank and in the park itself. And though at times they can be used in creating an interesting composition they can also be a real pain the neck depending on what side of the bridge you are trying to capture. You find yourself spending a lot of time trying to find a clear vantage point either by climbing down among the rocks, broken glass and other debris along the shore, leaning as far as your body will go over the promenade railings without toppling into the river, or find a hill for a higher elevation. You can get quite a workout in this little urban oasis. But once stationed in the right spot the scenery is just fantastic and you find your self taking shot after shot as the sun inches further along the sky.
There are not many parks that I know of that boast two bridges sitting side by side spanning the same body of water but Astoria Park does. The Triboro Bridge (it has since been re-named the RFK bridge but I grew up with the Triboro and refuse to call it anything else) is a wonderful architectural contrast to the Hell Gate Bridge. The modern steel grey color, graceful art deco lines and lithe arch of the Triboro bridge is what gives it its special visual appeal in comparison to the Hell Gate’s early 20th century ornate style. My favorite images from this shoot were the Bridges in reflection caused by the unusual calmness of the river that day. The water took on the hue of the deep blue sky and the high arching Hell Gate Bridge reflected back as a large long oval. The tall steel work towers and suspension cables of the Triboro gleaming in the sun were mirror reflected on the water.
While trying to get a better vantage point of the Triboro I almost stepped into a little grouping of wild mushrooms growing all over an old tree stump. I’ve developed a fascination for them this past autumn due to their many shapes, colors and textures and these were huge about the size of a dessert plate. I spent a few diverted minutes with these very photogenic fungus before turning my attention back to the bridges and have included them in the gallery below.
I hope you enjoy my little walk in the park and the images below.
You can view all of my photographic work on my website at www.photobycate.com where you can by prints and digital downloads for your home, office, website or computer.
Stay In Focus,