Jenny often says how much she loves things that tower over her. That's one reason she digs our trips to Monument Valley; she's inspired by soaring expressions of natural or human power. So she recommended that we turn our camera toward San José for a reasonably close urban approximation of that feeling. For me it was an obvious choice. I too am drawn to highway overpasses as sweeping icons of omnitopia. Thus we began our trip with a sense of optimism.
Conducting no research on an ideal shooting site (a common lament for us) we nonetheless agreed that we required a place where we could safely park with plenty of compositional opportunities. In short, a cluster of overpasses twisting around each other. Beyond that, we were unsure of our specific itinerary as we cruised over the hill. Luck for us, our first stop far surpassed our ambitions: an intersection of Highway 85 and 87 that even has a no-fee lightrail station parking lot.
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For about four hours we took turns and practiced techniques, struggling (as ever) with long distance/low-light focus issues and the need to establish a proper white balance in a zone flooded with ugly yellow sodium lights. The results reminded me of mid-century futurism: a world of blurred cars amid urban canyons.
I can't wait to get back to that retro tomorrow.
Update: Overpass Mecca Part 2
(Photographs by Andrew and Jenny Wood)