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Under The Twin Bridges

On the day these shots were taken, I awoke to a grey and damp morning. As I stumbled down the stairs and padded into the kitchen to pour myself a deep cup of coffee, I thought only about the errands I had to run. It had been a busy couple of weeks with Easter coming earlier than usual, and I'd barely had any time to spend with my newly acquired Fujifilm X-Pro2 camera. Feeling the need to go about my day, I finished my coffee and grabbed my car keys from the kitchen desk on my way toward the door. At the last possible moment, I reached for my camera bag and slung it over my shoulder before I headed out to my car. I had no idea what I would shoot, but I felt I just had to take my camera with me. Not long after pulling away from my home did the urge to explore take over. Just a few short miles away I took a hard left when I should have taken a soft right. Rather than heading to the grocery store, I instead followed an infrequently traveled road that led into another, and then another. Soon, I ended up on twisting piece of pavement no wider than a large driveway. Around the bend I could see the peaks of the Twin Bridges (the Thaddeus Kosciusko bridge) and made my way to their northern base. There, in somewhat of a state of disbelief, I stood under the Twin Bridges as hundreds of cars passed overhead. I reflexively grabbed my camera, and began to capture these images.

In all honesty, this special place wasn't a complete surprise find for me. Firstly, I drive over the Twin Bridges all the time - like most Capital Region residents. But also, for many months now, I have been following the progress of a local effort to build a new connector trail between the Vischer Ferry Nature Preserve and this road. Despite how it sounds, this is no small undertaking. The proposed trail actually requires the construction of a bridge over the inlet of Wagers Pond off the Mohawk River. The reason this is important to me is because I spend a tremendous amount of time running along the roads and trails of Vischer Ferry. Once the new trail is built, I'll have a new running loop to enjoy - one that will take me under the Twin Bridges and through this area on a regular basis.

There's something I've always enjoyed about running through areas like this - the juxtaposition of nature and the serenity of the calm water with the roar of the traffic overhead, speeding along atop these behemoth steel constructions. Going forward, however many times I may pass through here on foot, I'll always remember this day of exploration with my camera; meandering about the base of the Twin Bridges, looking for shots, listening to the traffic, and feeling the chill of the air against my knuckles as I carefully grasped my camera while framing these pictures.

The Fuji X-Pro2 is unlike any other camera I've ever used (except, perhaps, for the Fuji X-T1). For as much as I write, both creatively as a pastime and technically for a profession, I cannot put into words how exquisite an instrument it is. The way it fits in the hand; the combination of weight and balance; the feel of the controls and gripping surfaces; and most of all, that addictive sound of the shutter release... that perfect "click" that just pleads for another actuation after every shot. The Fuji X-Pro2 is a mirrorless camera, meaning there is no mirror apparatus that needs to flip up and out of the way of the sensor every time the shutter is released. In this way, it's quick, quiet, and compact. It's also a rangefinder style camera - a classic configuration but with modern amenities, like a digital overlay within the optical finder, which can be swapped for a totally electronic finder with the flip of a lever. Beyond the technical specifications, there's the fact that the camera simply inspires. It somehow makes finding the next shot a different photographic experience altogether. Most importantly, the image rendering is just gorgeous.

I processed most of these photos in black and white but I ended my day with a palette of subdued colors. As I walked along the road from under the Twin Bridges, I found myself by the canal... The camera still calling for me to take more pictures. The skies were cloudy and grey, as was the water. Other than the strips of cattails, it was difficult to tell where the water ended and the skies began. Eventually I headed back to my car; my camera loaded with well over 300 images from just a short period of exploration. The sun never came out that day. I eventually finished my errands and retired to my warm house for the afternoon. I thought of the days that lay ahead, when I'll run through the preserve and through this special place. I thought of all the times I've driven over this very spot, zipping along the Northway, and how I suspect I won't ever be able to do so again without thinking of this fine day.

Footnotes: All images, Fujifilm X-Pro2 with Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R