Tempe’s old railroad bridge

Iron Railroad Bridge Tempe Arizona

Yes, it’s man-made, so it’s  not exactly awesome, but we do have a lake in the middle of the Valley called Tempe Town Lake.  It’s actually the Salt River, but a dam has been built to make it a recreational area. We hit this spot for our latest photowalk on June 10th.

Spanning the lake are quite a few bridges and there is also a new pedestrian bridge being built that will demand to be photographed whenever it’s completed. Has a cool looking design, so I can’t wait to see it done.

But anyways, in the heart of the lake are the dual Mill Avenue Bridges, the Light Rail Bridge and this old railroad bridge. This photograph is of that ancient giant beast that still carries train across it. It’s so old though, that you could walk up to it, think it’s out-of-use and then decided to cross it only to get flattened by a speeding freight train. The first time I ever walked on its tracks I didn’t think it was still in service.

The bridge is called the Arizona Eastern Railroad Bridge. Check out this picture from the year 1900 (there are a bunch more here). Incredible. I honestly had no idea it was THAT old. I love seeing these shots of Phoenix and the surrounding cities before anything really existed.

There were a ton of shots I could have done of the bridge and I’d like to go back actually and fine some more, but standing up on this slope I had an awesome view of the base of the iron support stretching across the lake into infinity. In hindsight I may have used a narrower aperture to get a bit more detail further down, but I also really enjoy images that take a slice of detail and keep that area in focus, blurring the rest.

(exif: canon 5d mark ii, canon 50mm 1.4, f/2.8, iso 100)


  • http://www.chrisnitz.com Chris Nitz

    Wow, I am loving the color and texture on this. Fantastic work Mike!

  • http://scottwyden.com Scott Wyden Kivowitz

    Nice depth, awesome detail!

  • http://brianmatiash.com/blog Brian Matiash

    Ballsy shallow DoF. You rocked it. Love those little bokeh rings in the background.

  • http://www.chrisfrailey.com Chris Frailey

    Nice bokeh Mike. I was wandering when you were going to publish that one.

  • http://hdrexposedphotography.com Dave DiCello

    That is just awesome Mike, I love the bokehed city in the background. Incredible lines and details, great work man

  • http://www.lightasmagic.com Justin

    Details are often overlooked. Not here. Nice work!

  • http://goldenhourstudios.com Jesse

    Love the placement of the focused area and the sweet sweet bokeh. Great shot.

  • http://theperfectsunset.net Jason Hines

    I’ve been waiting to see these shots :). Very nice.

  • http://imagesbyjw.com Jan Winther

    I like the way the rail takes your eyes into the image. Cool shot!

  • http://www.doephotog.com A.Barlow

    I like how you framed this one and used the steel as a leading line. Nice DOF also!

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/hansrico/ Hans

    Amazing detail. Love the DOF!

  • http://www.curtfleenor.com Curt Fleenor

    Love the DOF and toning Mike – great capture!

  • http://www.danishsuburb.dk Claus Petersen

    Nice work on the little details here, and beautiful HDR work!

  • http://photostry.com/ Kristi Hines

    Nice capture! I was wondering what you guys would come out with standing near that bridge. Jason loves climbing that every time we get down there!

  • http://www.cdeangelisphotography.com/ Chris DeAngelis

    Great DoF and textures! Cool shot!

  • http://www.stevebeal.com Steve Beal

    Great lines, so much mystery in this shot, love it!

  • http://catchthejiffy.com Adam Allegro

    Such awesome detail here. Kind of a desolate, cold feel… but I really like it.

  • http://chrisdmrf.wordpress.com/ Chrisdmrf

    Love this Mike, the girder leading the eye into the image is fantastic, great processing and texture really does it for me