Photo Obsession: The Wilson Bridge

Wilson Bridge
Wilson Bridge in black and white.

This photo was in the Capital Weather Gang recently. It is an iPhone 6 shot, edited in the Photos app on the iPhone and with the Noir filter applied. Thinking of submitting it to the Capital Weather Gang, I used the Noir filter because I didn’t want the sky blown out. I wanted to keep those wispy clouds – CWG is a weather blog, after all.

I don’t take a lot of black and white but I think it works really well on architecture because it allows you to focus on the clean lines of the Wilson Bridge. It’s like an entire city’s worth of concrete in this structure stretching over the Potomac.

And it seems indestructible, unlike other pieces of transportation infrastructure (I’m looking at you, Silver Spring Transit Center). Maybe we still can build great things.

Bike trail under the Wilson Bridge #bikedc
Mount Vernon Trail as it runs under the Wilson Bridge.
windy trail - seen from Woodrow Wilson Bridge
Cyclist rides toward the bridge.

It’s also a great place to stop if you’re biking along the Mount Vernon Trail. Under the bridge, it’s shady and cool and there are bathrooms and water fountains. From here, you can continue on to Mount Vernon or cross the bridge to National Harbor.

National Harbor is kind of mediocre – it’s just a bunch of shops tucked into a swampy cove along the river.

National Harbor
The best view of National Harbor is from afar.

But, if you bike over the bridge, you get a great view looking upriver toward Alexandria and DC.

Potomac from Woodrow Wilson Bridge
A muddy Potomac filled with boats, with the Capitol Dome in the distance. I used my “real” camera, a Canon Rebel and zoom lens here.

Road to nowhere
View of the Wilson Bridge from the Maryland side.

I look for symmetry in photos. The long horizontal and vertical lines of the bridge are irresistible to me, especially how they end in a “vanishing point” where they seem to converge. These long lines really draw you into the photo. Which is why the Wilson Bridge is one of my photo obsessions.

Under the bridge
Lines extending into the vanishing point under the Wilson Bridge.

Author: Joe Flood

Joe Flood is a writer and photographer from Washington, DC. He is the author of the mystery novel The Swamp, as well as articles, short stories and screenplays. In his spare time, he likes wandering about the city with a camera.

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