16 Views of the Golden Gate Bridge
January 27, 2015 § 1 Comment
I admit it – multiple views of the same landmark isn’t exactly an original idea. After all, Hokusai’s Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji (1826-33) only stood on its own for a mere quarter-century before Hiroshige decided to go him one better. And then, in 1902, Henri Rivière put his own spin on the idea, creating a series of 36 lithographs, not of a mountain but a piece of architecture: 36 Views of the Eiffel Tower.
One of the first exhibitions I ever curated was on Rivière’s prints (including a couple of plates from the Eiffel Tower series), and while I was working on it I happened to visit San Francisco. I wondered whether anyone had ever attempted 36 Views of the Golden Gate Bridge. It took four years to realise, but a few weeks ago I finally walked across the bridge for the first time, camera in hand.
I knew I was only going to get 16 views (the maximum number of shots on a roll of 120 film) but a surprise was waiting for me when I collected my prints. I’m not entirely sure how it happened, but the images had bled and overlapped each other so that each shot becomes a sort of triptych. As I leafed through the photos, my dismay quickly turned to surprised pleasure. Another happy accident – another reason I’ll always love working with film.
(Technical specs: Diana F+ camera, 100 colour negative film, 38mm super-wide angle lens)