Sunday, August 24, 2014


On my recent visit to the new Potawatomi Hotel in Milwaukee's Menomonee Valley, I parked next to the 16th Street viaduct, one of the primary thoroughfares that crosses the valley from north to south.  It is elevated above the floor of the valley (otherwise it wouldn't be referred to as a viaduct), and, although it is situated next to the hotel, it does not provide access to the hotel, except by pedestrian stairways extending from the viaduct down to the hotel level.  Disappointed with the hotel's architecture, both inside and out, I found myself looking for something else to shoot and found it (sort of) on the underside of the viaduct.

The viaduct is old and not in the best of repair, though I assume it is structurally "safe."  Here are a couple of shots of the underside.

I've always been fascinated by examples of structural engineering, understanding that someone had to make decisions regarding the details, such as how many and what size bolts to use to fasten the steel plating.  I liked these two shots, in the first case for the diagonal and in the second for the arrangement of the lines.

But what most caught my attention was a netting that had been secured on the viaduct's underside, presumably for the purpose of catching any larger pieces that might otherwise work loose and fall on anyone or any vehicles passing under the viaduct at the time.  Hmm . . .  Here are a few shots of the netting that I thought served as recognizable abstracts.

Initially I wasn't sure how I wanted to capture these shots.  I knew I wanted to focus on the netting closest to the lens and to allow whatever was behind to blur out a bit.  Otherwise, the closest netting, if out of focus, would, I felt, be something of a distraction.  This proved a bit of a challenge for my camera, as it had so many lines to choose from for a focal point that it kept switching from one object to another.  I wound up using apertures of f/7.1 or f/8 to retain a fair amount of detail in the background.


1 comment:

  1. Great pictures as always. Love the Black and White the most at the harbor