You Want Bridge? I got Bridge.

Today’s Theme Thursday is bridge, and since I have a mild obsession with photographing bridges, this is right in my wheelhouse.

I like to photograph bridges from a car while traversing them (an iPhone camera is perfect for this task), which is both fun, and creates some unique shots. Here are a few of my favorites.

Let’s start with photos of the Golden Gate. It’s so beautiful that honestly, it’s hard to take a bad photo. The challenge is creating something that’s not been done before.

I have a lot of photos of the Golden Gate since I can’t be in the vicinity without snapping a few shots, so there was a lot to choose from.

The most unique of all my Golden Gate photos came from the QuadCam iPhone app. The balance of blue sky and orange bridge knocks me out. This exactly how it looks when The Good Man drives and I hang my head out the window to see the bridge as it goes by.

I never get tired of it.

Copyright 2010, Karen Fayeth

For years I was so enamored of the Golden Gate that I all but ignored the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. It’s an odd ball bridge, a mash up of two styles. But the more I drive the bridge, the more I appreciate both halves of the Bay Bridge and just how hard this poor bridge works every day.

Here’s the eastern span (soon to be replaced by a new design):

Copyright 2010, Karen Fayeth

And here’s the western span, a fascinating suspension:

Copyright 2010, Karen Fayeth

How about the lesser known but still really cool Carquinez Bridge? Like the Bay Bridge, it’s got two looks depending on which direction you are driving.

Heading north, it looks a lot like the eastern span of the Bay Bridge:

Copyright 2010, Karen Fayeth

Heading south it has a simple but elegant suspension design:

Copyright 2010, Karen Fayeth

Northern California has so many beautiful bridges to keep me and my lens occupies for years. And then, every now and again, I get a chance to get out of California and photograph other bridges.

I fell head over heels in love with the Brooklyn Bridge the instant I set foot on it. That stone structure is so incredible and powerful. And again, it’s so often photographed that I tried very hard to see something different through the lens.

I’d love to go back and try again since my photography skills have improved a lot since this was taken.

Copyright 2006, Karen Fayeth

There is a little bridge that crosses a bit of the Bay inlet near where I work. I’ve been thinking about that bridge for several weeks and it’s next on my list to photograph. It’s a short pedestrian bridge but comes with no small amount of charm.

I do love bridges

If you want more of a New Mexico flavor, keep an eye on Jim Baca’s blog, Bridges on the Rio Grande. It’s a project to document every bridge over the sometimes muddy sometimes mighty river from the Head Waters to the Gulf of Mexico.

All photos copyright Karen Fayeth and subject to the Creative Commons license in the far right column of this and every page of this blog.

Mommy, is it over?

Craptacular day of back-to-back-to-back meetings. Started the day with a VP of my company. Ended the day with the VP of another company.

VPs make me weary.

I got nothing left in the tank.

Back to it tomorrow.

Speak It Before You Speak It

This morning I had a very important work meeting. It involved five people including my Boss, a counterpart in my same organization, her boss and the Big Boss of us all.

My counterpart runs a team that works very hard but she and I have arrived at cross purposes over a large project in a large country in Asia.

So she and I agreed to have a meeting with Big Boss and let him decide which way to go with this.

I got the task of setting up the meeting and presenting the situation since I’m the one asking for big changes around here.

Fair enough. I planned ahead on this. I wrote up my meeting notes, sent them around for review/comment then chatted with my direct BossMan about the project and how he wanted me to frame the conversation.

This morning, I was feeling pretty nervous. This meeting represented a big turn in a huge project, and the success of both me personally and my team.

I knew my stuff and I knew what I wanted to say. However, on this year’s performance review, my boss detailed an area for improvement.

Long story short, when talking to executives, he wants me to get to the point. I’m a writer, a storyteller at heart so I want to set up the scene, fill it with the drama, bring around resolution and denouement then leave it with a complete ending.

BossMan essentially told me to knock it off. “Speak in conclusions” is the latest business buzz phrase.

So as I drove to work this morning I started running through in my mind how I could present this very essential issue along with my counter-argument to my coworker’s case (which is quite legitimate), and manage to come away a winner.

Wanna know what I did? I practiced. Yup. I got to work a bit early, and I got up on my feet and I practiced aloud what I wanted to say. I spent about twenty minutes running through my story, editing it down, getting to the “here’s what I want from this meeting.”

When the time came to get on the phone, I felt pretty confident. I presented my case in a very crisp manner. My coworker presented her side too, but it was a bit rambling and I think she and her direct boss weren’t on the same page.

In the end, Big Boss came down on my side of the decision. Afterward my direct BossMan told me I’d done a good job.

Practice. Aloud. Such a simple answer that makes such a difference.

I always practice before a full on presentation, but I often forget to do a run through before a key meeting like this. It helped. A lot. I looked like I had my business together.


By the time the hour long phone call was over, it was 9:00am, I had sweated through the armpits of my shirt and I needed shot of tequila. And then another.

But by god I got ‘er done.

Image from UAB School of Engineering website.

Hot Town, Summer in The City

Whooo, yesterday was the last day of July. Today’s the first day of August. Hot times, no? The dead of summer. Sun high in the sky. Shorts, flip flops, and sun tea.

Asphalt so hot you can’t stand on it cuz it’s melting.

Then around 4:00 the monsoons roll in and unleash the rain and hail. Finally the sun sets on a warm, beautiful night.

Right? Oh wait, that’s New Mexico.

Fourteen years in the Bay Area still hasn’t gotten me used to summers that look like this:

Copyright 2011 Rafael Monterrosa, and used with permission.

This beautiful photo was posted yesterday by my Twitter friend and San Francisco resident, Rafael Monterrosa. Sutro Tower is partially hidden in the background as the fog crawls over the hill, ready to lay down and blanket my City.

I swear to you, the fog is a living, breathing entity.

Summer mornings start out gray and overcast. By noon, the gray has burned off leaving beautifully warm blue sky days. THIS is the golden California they talk about. Just about the time I manage to sit back with a glass of iced tea and let the sun warm my bones, the fog rolls over the hill, the temperature drops twenty degrees, and the pants, long sleeves and hot beverages come out.

And ya’ll wonder why we crazy San Franciscians have a party for a glass. You have no idea how nice an Irish coffee is on a cold damp summer night in the Bay Area.

I guess for me, the ol’ “make hay while the sun shines” is in effect. I just took a nice long walk in the blue sky’d afternoon, eyeing the fog already peeking over the hills to the west, ready to smother the warm out of my day.

*sigh* No wonder my Vitamin D is so low. Frappin’ Marine Layer.