Golden Gate Bridge – Modern Photography Blog - San Francisco Art
The Golden Gate Bridge - A Modern Perspective
A Visual Narrative About the Iconic Gateway to San Francisco
By Raymond Bonavida
The Golden Gate Bridge represents San Francisco, in all of its historic character and its current beauty. Carefully sculpted metal and an unapologetic “international orange” define its personality. The bridge also serves as a conceptual representative of a powerful narrative that transcends the city - a narrative defined by a tension between the modern and the traditional. In the slideshow above, this tension is represented conceptually through the juxtaposition of two photographs, one modern and one traditional.
Function and Purpose
This bokeh titled Golden Gate Lights captures the constant passage of traffic across the Golden Gate Bridge illuminated by its sleepless service of San Francisco:
As a gateway into and out of the city, the bridge fills a traditional role as a foundational infrastructure of the city, allowing for ease of flow and civic functionality.
This traditional role, as a bridge per se, persists in a modern time of technological urban outgrowth. The reverberations are vivid and powerful. The implications can sometimes be complex, subtle and conceptual as represented in this photograph titled North Pulse:
San Francisco city lights create the illusion of hills above the Golden Gate Bridge traffic in this photograph captured from the Marin Headlands. The title North Pulse alludes to the life flow of the northern tip of the Bay Area peninsula.
There are three subjects in this image. Firstly, at the bottom is the Golden Gate Bridge and its traffic. Secondly, there are San Francisco city lights. Lastly, the black areas represent the surrounding peninsula.
Concepts of Spacetime
Modern lifelines of the city can also be understood in the context of time and space with consideration of the traditional qualities that have laid the foundation for the present. In this photograph, titled Moonlit, there are three subjects - each representing a different subset of time.
1. The moon
The moon represents a cosmically wide spacetime continuum.
2. Golden Gate Bridge
The bridge represents the period of time between its opening in 1937 and the present time.
The traffic lights represent our spacetime reference as human beings participating in cultural constructs such as cars.
The Energy of San Francisco
This photograph, titled Nova, alludes to the astronomical phenomenon of an appearance of a bright new star in the cosmos. This eruption of potential energy is extremely bright and massive, impacting all within its scope of reach. San Francisco has parallel dynamics, exploding as an unprecedented center of modern construction and social progressivism.
Time Exposure Photography : Technique & Concept
The images in this series are representational and function on two simultaneous levels. Firstly, they are images of specific subjects and can be understood within that descriptive domain. In this first case the representational function is expressed through the technique of light control through the exposure itself, as done by the photographer. Secondly, the images are representational of a concept; in this case the concept is the structural beauty of the Golden Gate Bridge with all its complex implications. This concept expresses a underlying tension between the modern and the traditional that can be best understood as existing between the boundary lines of the traditional foundations and the modern progressive evolutionary forces of the city of San Francisco.
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