I need a shot of this bridge before this bridge gets shot.

This shouldn’t bother me as much as it does. But it kinda does.

And I’d better get a decent photo of this before it gets torn down or modified beyond recognition.

I shall explain.

Delaware and Hudson railroad bridge over New Scotland Road, Slingerlands
Delaware and Hudson Bridge. Nikon D70 camera, lens unknown. Photo (c) 2008 Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

What you see here is a photo of the old Delaware and Hudson railroad bridge that spans New Scotland Avenue. I’ve photographed this bridge several times over the years, in many cases it’s been one of my “sweet spot” images that I use when testing a new camera or an experimental new film.

And this rail bridge is now part of the Albany County Rail Trail, a hiking-and-biking route that spans from Albany to Voorheesville. What used to be a spur of the Delaware and Hudson Railroad is now a place for exercise and scenic enjoyment.

But over the past few days, at least TWO different trucks have crashed into the undercarriage of the bridge. That bridge has a clearance of only 11’2″ – much lower than the roof of most box trucks or other large vehicles. So what happens when those trucks try to travel on New Scotland Road and attempt to pass underneath the bridge?

Yep. Sudden Sunroof Syndrome.

Now recently, a vehicle banged into the Sitterly Road overpass on I-87, causing the entire span to be replaced with a temporary bridge until a new span could be built. Ugh. I’m thinking all it will take is one good smack in the side of this bridge, and someone will tear it down and ruin the whole aesthetic image. I can’t have that. No, I can’t have that.

So I need to do something before Johnny Peterbilt makes a wrong turn and tries to limbo his 14-foot-tall rig underneath that bridge.

Like, maybe, get a really awesome photograph for competition purposes.

So last night … I drove down to Slingerlands. To the site of the bridge.

Nikon Df at the ready. I put the camera on a tripod, and used a shutter cable for long exposures. Sometimes a car would drive by, and I would get that streak of rear tail light as the car drove under the span.

And these came out.

These are nice, but I still think I can do better. One of the street lights isn’t working, so I’m getting this Thomas Kinkade-like “light in the distance” in the road, while the area I’m shooting at is darker. In other words, long exposures give me this unearthly glow past the bridge, while short exposures don’t give me enough bridge detail.

But that’s okay. I’ll probably go back there another day, try some other exposures, and see what comes up.

But for now … at least nobody tried to drive theri box truck into the span. So that’s a good thing. 😀