Like A Harp’s Strings III – Rising
Katehaki Pedestrian Bridge, Athens – design by Santiago Calatrava
– SWPA 2013 – Sony – World Photography Awards – Finalist Top 10 Shortlist
– IPA 2012 – International Photography Awards – Honorable Mention
This is the third image from my study of the Katehaki Pedestrian Bridge in Athens, design by Santiago Calatrava. I’m working now at the fourth one, from a different angle.
I have to say that this study is one of the most complex works I’ve done in photography up to now. Very challenging for many reasons. The place and the surroundings are very crowded and construction cluttered so it’s quite difficult to find clean angles to shoot and almost impossible if you intend to obtain an abstract look and keep the “streety” elements out of the frame. Then, one has to work with wide enough angle to be able to deal with the narrow spaces that constrain the perspective. Then, the deck of the bridge is wooden and there are a lot of pedestrians using the bridge, so it’s almost impossible to shoot there during the day (I also have some night shots taken there and the first image in the series, like a harp’s strings I, is actually a night shot). There is only a narrow band of concrete floor where you can place your tripod, but even so, people are passing by and one: you bother them, two: they bother you. Plus they are curious and ask a lot of questions, which is not exactly bad, but keeps you from doing your job and you might lose precious clouds like this.
Then the processing was quite challenging too. Being a complex volume, with accentuated curves and a lot of cables going up and down, plus the stairs, the handrails and other elements that can be seen in a wider perspective (as the number II of the series – the “sister” of this one here) you have to hierarchize very well the image and the elements within in order not to get a cluttered one with no point of interest or with too many.
That means you have to look very carefully at your composition, trying to keep it as clean as possible, and then you have to play with light and is intensity and try to give the right amount of care to each element so to match your vision of the object and convey the feeling you have in mind. I found none of these images easy to process up to now. Every one of them was a different challenge, even if some seemed easy to be worked with in the beginning. The selections in all of them were completely crazy, these cables can drive mad the most patient person, I’m telling you. The skies also were tough to get right with all these things going on in each photo of this study.
But all in all, I loved working on it (and I still do, as it’s an ongoing series). I’ve learned tons of things struggling with these images and I think this was the best LE exercise I could do to be able to gain confidence in my skills and try even more complex approaches the next time.