Paul Grayson | How Do You Re-Image An Icon?

How Do You Re-Image An Icon?

March 09, 2017  •  1 Comment

How Do You Re Image An IconHow Do You Re Image An Icon

Aesthetic, Aesthetic, Aesthetic


We have all seen this image of the Brooklyn Bridge dozens, if not hundreds of times. Whatever the angle, whatever the lighting conditions, it is the play of the lines of cables swooping around the towers which capture the attention. I pondered how to stamp my own interpretation on this beautiful piece of architecture, which is indeed a wonderful “installation” (pun intended).


The Spider’s Web


I came away with many different versions of the cable themes. Taken from the side, with and without the stonework, with and without views of the Manhattan or Brooklyn skylines.


I became interested in the convergence effect in the views towards the towers and shot test images with a tighter and tighter crop. This final angle was the most powerful for me, drawing the eye relentlessly in to the centre-top of the tower. The flamboyant use of vertical wires on this bridge created a part-completed steel spiders web. I surely did not want to meet the Transormers’ spidery first cousin who was weaving it!




In post-production, my next thought was to subconsciously irritate the viewer. Note that the centre of the perspective is slightly below the middle and to the right of the image. This is a choice, since I could perfectly well have chosen to crop with the centre point of the plunging lines being, classically, plumb in the middle.


It seemed to me that this positioning was slightly deranging and made me focus more intently on where the lines were going. What if it had been perfectly centred? Would there have been a release of dopamine at the pleasure of the orderliness of it all? Would it just have replicated every other view of the bridge that you have seen? What do you think?


Next I decided that the graphic imperative of the lines demanded a black and white treatment. This enhances the focus on the symmetry of the structure, rather than on the ambient light, which was not unattractive, since the image was taken near sunset in winter.




There were an amazing number of seagulls in the sky, which were an unwelcome distraction, as they speckled the image, like dust. These were deleted with the “heal,” tool and the image finished with some sharpening and noise reduction.




Camera: Nikon D70

Lens: 18-70mm AF-S DX zoom f/3.5 G IF-ED

Focal Length: 70mm

Focus Mode: AF-S

Aperture: f/9

Shutter Speed: 1/200s

Auto Focus-Area Mode: Single

Exposure Mode: Auto

Exposure Compensation: +1.0 EV

Metering: Centre Weighed

ISO Sensitivity: 800



I hope that you too “feel” the connection of image making to time and place, as I so often do. Please take the trouble to sample other images which touch me in this way on the rest of my website.


Copyright Paul Grayson 2017 All Rights Reserved


Dès que j'ai vu cette image j'ai tout de suite apprécié ce noir et blanc sombre et j'y ai vu une forme d'originalité bienvenue pour ce point de vue maintes fois pris en photo. Puis j'ai été troublé par ce manque de symétrique qui ne m'a pas plu et que j'ai considéré comme une faute de ta part (d'ailleurs j'en étais fort surpris). Puis encore une fois j'ai lu ton texte (toujours aussi intéressant). Bon, ce n'était pas une erreur. Donc je suis retourné la voir et encore une fois je me suis arrêté à la contempler quelques instants. Et je me suis dit : oui, il a eu raison de faire ça. Cela ajoute à l'originalité de la prise de vue et le dérangement provoqué montre pour moi que tout toujours carré dans ce pays dont le pont est un symbole.
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