Category: Photographs – Sacramento

West Sacramento (CA), Viaduct Piers, Monochrome

ISO100, 300mm, f/16, 0.8 sec
West Sacramento (CA), Viaduct Piers, Monochrome

More often than not, the bridges, overpasses, or viaducts I photograph are the result of Plan A not working out.  Usually the skies are not cooperating and I either begin driving to a general area of potential interest or scan Google maps to something interesting.  Sometimes, like today, it was both.  Once again, I end up under a bridge (actually a viaduct for a busy interstate) next to a wildlife refuge.

The long lens cannot see down the full 3+ mile length of the viaduct known as the Yolo Causeway, but it is an impressive sight to behold.  The busy, but muted highway overhead, and yet in front of me is a concrete superstructure surrounded by a wildlife refuge that doubles as a safety valve to absorb excess water from the nearby Sacramento River during abnormally high winter rain seasons.  The lines on the piers are indications of the water level in the “bypass” over the past 50+ years.

Location Notes: The current causeway was built in 1963 and an improvement from the 2-lane causeway built over wooden trestles.  An article from 1962 details the most recent construction: California Highways and Public Works (starting on page 44).

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO100, 300mm, f/16, 0.8 sec

West Sacramento (CA), Viaduct Piers, Monochrome. Prospect Slough, West Sacramento, CA. January 21, 2018. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.

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Sacramento (CA), Freeway Overpass, River, Long Exposure (Color Edit v.1)

ISO100, 26mm, f/10, 671 sec (11 mins)
Sacramento (CA), Freeway Overpass, River, Long Exposure (Color Edit v.1)

For those that check the EXIF data on these photographs on a regular basis may be starting to notice these recent long exposures are increasing in time significantly.  This is a byproduct of attempting to shoot architecture during the day with a very long exposure time to blur the movement of the clouds.  Yes, this is an 11 minute exposure.  I took a similar composition with my cell phone and the shutter speed was equivalent to 1/60 sec.  With the clouds on this day moving extremely slow, the only way to create some blurred motion was to use a 16-stop neutral density (ND) filter.  The result was some movement in the sky and a smoothing out of the water in the river.

The title of this image notes “Color Edit v.1” as this image will undergo one or more iterations.  The next version will involve a black & white (monochrome) conversion and tonal edits.  Depending on how the next version turns out, there may be additional edits to tweak the tone curve further.

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO100, 26mm, f/10, 671 sec (11 mins)

Sacramento (CA), Freeway Overpass, River, Long Exposure (Color Edit v.1). Discovery Park, Sacramento, CA. December 09, 2017. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.

Sacramento (CA), Overpass, Reflection, Tree, Long Exposure Monochrome

ISO100, 38mm, f/9, 104 sec
Sacramento (CA), Overpass, Reflection, Tree, Long Exposure Monochrome

Sometimes the most interesting locations to photograph are either overlooked or avoided, but have amazing photographic potential.  Granted, spending a few hours under a railroad or highway bridge is not always what comes to a mind when considering locations to shoot.  As you get closer to downtown Sacramento, the river parkway isn’t as pristine and safe.  There are illegal campsites dotting the area with trash marking the locations of previous campsites.  On the very rare occasion I encounter a camper, our interactions have been relatively brief and uneventful.  Every few years there will be a rash of incidents where folks on bikes using the parkway have been accosted or attacked.  And come to find out, a man’s body was found in the water less than a few hundred yards to the right 5 months ago.

I suppose if you really spend time in any location, you start seeing the grit underneath the veneer.  The river and tree-lined banks are beautiful and flawless when you are in a car speeding over the bridge, but a little less so when given a closer look.  It is analogous to the master-planned subdivision where the manicured lawns and cookie-cutter homes look perfect, but the things that happen out here also occur inside those homes.

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO100, 38mm, f/9, 104 sec

Sacramento (CA), Overpass, Reflection, Tree, Long Exposure Monochrome. American River, Sacramento, CA. January 07, 2018. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.