Sunday photoblogging: Clifton suspension bridge

by Chris Bertram on June 28, 2015

Five pictures of Clifton Suspension Bridge (5 of 5)



rea 06.28.15 at 4:34 pm

Man, I’m not sure I’d want to ride a bike over a bridge 245 high.

Still, Isambard Kingdom Brunel . . .


Vance Maverick 06.28.15 at 5:39 pm

I’m afraid the three points of red somewhat dominate the sober brown. (Also the garish 21st-century bike kit and high-end manufacturer’s logo.) But a nice spot.

In 1885, a 22-year-old woman named Sarah Ann Henley survived a fall from the bridge when her billowing skirts acted as a parachute; she subsequently lived into her eighties. […] In 1957 a Filton-based RAF Vampire jet from 501 Squadron piloted by Flying officer John Greenwood flew under the deck while performing a victory roll before crashing in Leigh Woods, killing the pilot.


NickM 06.28.15 at 7:28 pm

The triangle they form works interlocks well with the other one formed by the cables and tower. The apex of each pulls in opposite directions with incommensurate yet somehow balanced forces: abstract lines but emphatic red corners against drab but massive steel and concrete.

I used to love running across the bridge and round the park on the other side from Clifton. Any acrophobic adrenalin rush I experienced was modest, though it added a little to the endorphin kind of high.


Bloix 06.28.15 at 8:06 pm

To me the cyclist is the point of the photo. He bursts into the frame and appears to be following the cables up and across the picture. His white stripe and helmet point the way up he white cables to the white clouds, providing a nice metaphor – he’s flying along the road. It’s a motion-filled picture that expresses the freedom you feel on a bike on a good day.

The highest bridge I’ve ridden across that I can recall is the Golden Gate (220 ft above high tide). A beautiful ride and not at all frightening. The most nerve-racking was the Isle D’Orleans Bridge over the St Lawrence, north of Quebec City – not all that high but long and narrow, and the bike path is no more than a sidewalk, right out at the edge of the span.


NickM 06.28.15 at 9:20 pm

So true about the cyclist. Especially the white-grey jersey-stripe, that looks form this angle like an arrow, pointing as you say in the same direction as the cables. Though to me that just adds another element to a complex dynamic balance of triangular movements. The line of trees rising towards the viewer, and the visible part of the bike’s diamond frame, are two more.

Hokusai is endlessly inventive with shapes that echo each other in different keys, or repeat themselves in Mandelbrot-like ways. Not least of course triangles.

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