A Vanishing Road

Perspective is an interesting part of photography. I once saw a photo called, “An Ant’s View,” that was taken with a camera resting on the ground, looking at someone’s sneakers with one foot elevated at the toe. Clearly the ant was about to get squished. The photo was in black and white so your focus was directed at the perspective, not the bright neon green sock I image the dude was wearing. Anyone could’ve shot sneakers, but the perspective is what made it an interesting (and humorous) photo.

Pike's Peak Railway, Colorado Springs, ColoradoOne of my favorite perspectives is a vanishing point, usually in the form of a road.

About six years ago, I was living in Colorado Springs, Colorado. My cousin and his wife, kids, and parents came up from Texas for a visit. One day, I took off early from work and we left the littles with my aunt and uncle so the three of us could ride the cograil up Pike’s Peak. I love the cograil! We completely lucked out and got the backward-facing seat at the butt end of the caboose. Score! I had an unimpeded view of everything behind us, perfect for taking photos.

As we climbed a particularly long, straight stretch, I was able to snap this photograph. I then flipped it to black and white.

It’s easy to see the deforested area surrounding the tracks is relatively narrow. I was very pleased, overall, with how this photo turned out. It was shot with my Canon 5D and a 28-80mm Canon lens. No fancy stuff, just the basics.

Swamp in Valdosta, GeorgiaOn a trip to visit my friends in Georgia, we went out to the swamp. Yes, the swamp.

My friends were living in Valdosta, Georgia, and as Jackie likes to point out, the only things to see in Valdosta are alligators and A-10s. The planes. Warthogs.

Anyway, we went to the swamp to see the alligators (and the man-eating mosquitos!). On our way back to the car, I turned around to shoot this photo as no one was traipsing around behind us. I love when the bridge, tracks, or road go off into the distance. That look of neverendingness, or so we think and dream. This, too, was shot with the 5D and the 28-80mm, and it was shot about four years ago. It was slightly muggy, but considering where we were at and what time of year, I’m not going to sit and whine about it!

Platte River in WyomingThis photograph is of a bridge crossing the Platte River in Wyoming. I just realized I shot all of these photos while I still lived in Colorado. For this one, though, I simply woke up on a Saturday morning, packed up myself and my car, and decided to drive to Fort Laramie in Wyoming. Because I’d never been there. And I could.

About five minutes after I set off to head home, I ran across this bridge. I thought it was fun so I pulled over, climbed outta my car, and shot a few pictures. I’m still fiddling with various lenses to see what I’m able to do, but this shot is okay.

As a road vanishes at the horizon, the road or tracks begin to look more and more narrow. However, it’s all perspective. If we continued to walk these roads we would see the highways and freeways haven’t changed. But they still make for great photos with a perspective that allows the road to vanish, seemingly into thin air.

Inspiration: Narrow


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