One of my clients, a broad based architecture-engineering firm, was commissioned to design the bridge over a recently completed section of I35W in Minneapolis. Called the Crosstown Commons, this project was the largest single interchange project in the history of roadbuilding in Minnesota. In total, it cost $300 million. The Diamond Lake Rd. bridge, one of the first completed as part of the project, is a showcase project because of its design and location. Due to its location and the position of high sound barriers on all sides, the bridge represented a real challenge to photograph. This image is actually a two-piece vertical panoramic. Using a tilt/shift lens, I first photographed the upper half of the image. I then shifted the image down to capture the lower half with the highway at the bottom of the frame. Because this was photographed as an HDR image, the final image is composed of a total of 6 separate photographs. Camera position was achieved using a Bogen/Manfrotto variable friction arm attached to the rail of the bridge. The camera and lens were attached to the magic arm (which made me VERY nervous!).
Architects/Engineers often want to be able to illustrate "use" by showing people in the spaces they design...until they don't want them in it. In this case, I chose to show the same scene both ways. I perfected the image first by capturing the scene with no people or vehicles in the scene. I was able to persuade a passerby to walk through the scene while a car passed by. I then extracted them from the image and stitched them into the previously work flowed image. In this way, the client can choose which ever view they prefer (or both!).
It's also important to illustrate location and context. This image, photographed through the grill of the bordering fence, shows both. Vehicles stream across the bridge and rush by on the freeway below. Because the bridge is located on the Minneapolis-St. Paul landing and take off flight path, a plane can be seen through one of the grids of the fence.
Beauty shots are important for a project (well, any project). The following two images, photographed at twilight, hopefully fall into this category.