After i made my expedition to Portland in August 2014 to photograph its bridges, i realized that i needed a new item on the main menu where i could post photo essays on my bridges.  So here it is.  Hover the cursor over “Bridges” on the menu at left to see the essays posted so far.  For those looking at this website on one of those little smartphone thingys, cursor hovering doesn’t work for many of ’em.  So here’s a list of links you can click on to go to the photoessays in this menu:

Sacramento River Bridges

2015 Portland Bridge Pedal

The Bridges of the Petaluma

Amsterdam’s Bridges

San Francisco’s Drawbridges

Portland’s Bridges

Pat Tillman Bridge

Sundial Bridge

Calatrava in Nieuwe Vennep

Russian River Bridges

And to start, here’s a photo of a drawbridge in Franeker, or as those obstinate Frisians call it, Frentsjer.

Drawbridge in Frentsjer

This menu sat here for a couple of years while i gradually added submenu items covering bridges i’d photographed.  Have to say, i have great fun going out and photographing bridges.  But then, in December 2016 i got the idea of photographing all the bridges over the Sacramento River, which i did (or at least most of ’em) over the course of three expeditions.  Then, as i was writing blog posts describing those forays and digging through the internet looking for information about the bridges i’d photographed, i came to a rude awakening.

I’m a clueless amateur.

There are a number of men who share my fascination with bridges, which is not surprising since they do seem to be a guy thing.  Unfortunately for me, many of these men are engineers who actually understand something about bridges, can spot a Warren pony truss at a thousand yards, and are not shy about sharing detailed information about bridges that’s way above my head.  Worse yet, many of them enjoy photography skills that cast mine into perpetual darkness.  And the most unkindest cut is that most of them also seem to have a finer aesthetic appreciation of the bridges they document, pointing out details of loveliness instead of just remarking, as i do, “handsome bridge.”

So let me make a handful of recommendations for some serious bridge sites.

Bridge Hunter.  The focus here is not fine photographs but rather a compilation of (mostly) historic bridges.  Still, it’s complete enough that it was often the only source of information for some of the bridges i photographed.

Historic Bridges.  Similar to Bridge Hunter.  Again, a useful source.

Bridge of the Week.  This site is the brainchild of the gifted and indefatigable California bridge engineer Mark Yashinsky.  A marvelous site that took me several days to work through, and only at the end did i realize i should have taken some notes because i really, really need to visit some of these bridges.

The Happy Pontist.  This is the site of a very talented British engineer who goes into extensive discussions of the bridges he covers.  Even more than Yashinsky, the anonymous author makes me feel utterly inadequate.

That’s just four favorites, check out the links on these sites for more.

If i had the balls, i’d start calling myself a pontist.

Leave a comment


  1. marker
    Posted 11 May 2015 at 14:23 | Permalink

    Perfect photo. That Dutch light!

    • Matte Gray
      Posted 11 May 2015 at 14:52 | Permalink

      That photo was taken with my first digital camera, a dinky little Nikon Coolpix. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time. Blind luck.

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