Buying the Brooklyn Bridge

Actually, I don’t have to buy it, because my father gave me the bridge when I was a little girl. He piled my friends and me into the car and we drove over the Brooklyn Bridge, back on the Manhattan Bridge, over again on the Williamsburg Bridge and then up the river to the George Washinton Bridge — a tour of John A. Roebling’s great designs. I had talk about suspension bridges coming out my ears.

This was a big year for the Brooklyn Bridge — my bridge celebrated its 125th birthday! And Olafur Eliasson’s $15.5 million public art installation, “New York City Waterfalls,” has been attracting onlookers by the boatload.

Hopewell’s Gallery 14 is exhibiting Jim Hilgendorf’s My Twilight New York, working in black and white to portray the city Sept. 12 to Oct. 12.

To capture the mood, Mr. Hilgendorf spent many early mornings and late evenings prowling around Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. Although he had shot with black and white film for many years, he was faced with a range of new challenges in shooting digitally. He had to understand certain effects of long exposures and ISO sensitivity in digital photography, as well as methods to convert color photos to black and white either in camera or using software such as Photoshop or Lightroom. In addition, he had to seek out the paper and printer inks that would allow him to reproduce the look and feel of gelatin silver prints.

Mr. Hilgendorf decided to go back to black and white photography for a change after shooting color with a digital camera for the past two years. He has always admired black and white photos of New York; especially those classic ones produced by Berenice Abbott years ago, and wanted to see if he could put a different twist on a subject that is photographed daily by thousands of people. New York, like many classic cities, such as Paris, London and Tokyo, can be beautiful at any time of the day, but it seems to have a special aura early in the morning or in the evening.

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2 Responses to Buying the Brooklyn Bridge

  1. Carolyn Foote Edelmann says:

    Ilene, What a joy to read about your Roebling-quests with your father!

    As well as to journey with Jim Hilgendorf from film to digital, from black and white to color and back.

    Your blog is a joy because it expands and expands our aesthetic possibilities.

    One of my major complaints about Princeton since we moved here in 1968 is/was its provincialism.

    Art, therefore, at least under your pen, is the antidote to that deadly disease. There are worlds beyond Princeton, not only geographically — also inner and outer worlds, creative worlds, and you ferry us there.

    I think you and I should take The River Line Train together, get out in Roebling and walk around and re-experience the era that generated ‘your’ bridges…

    I, too, am in love with Bridges – from Straits of Mackinac to the little green one over my beloved Delaware to New Hope. IMAGINE being able to envision/construct a bridge!

    you and I may do this metaphorically…

    blessings on your blog

    your fellow blogger (NJ WILD) Carolyn (Foote Edelmann)

  2. Jack Dube says:

    You bring back fond memories. The only bridges that get my attention these days,are my uppers and lowers.

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