Jackie Alpha on the Big Four Bridge Project
Ironworker Jack Alpha

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This image was taken from a man lift inside the Big Four Bridge last week. The man in the photo is Jack Alpha he’s an Ironworker who let me use his safety harness to ride up into the upper structure of the Big Four Bridge as part of my continuing project to photograph the men who are doing the work to convert the Big Four Bridge from an abandoned railway bridge into a pedestrian bridge linking Louisville, Kentucky with Jeffersonville, Indiana. Jack is repairing the handrail that runs along the top of the bridge and in this photo he is anxiously waiting for me to get done with my photos so he can get back to work.

This is a straight photograph with minor adjustments to White Balance and Sharpening. I used Aperture 3 to edit it and the only thing I needed to do to get it right was to set the white balance by picking a neutral gray which was easy since the concrete deck has a full range of grays in it. I then chose a black point from the man lift and a white point from the arrow on the man lift. Using these three points nailed the colors in the image and all that was left to do do was sharpen it.

3 thoughts on “Ironworker

  1. Well done! I like the way the position of the vehicle parrallels the diagonal of the edge of the bridge. Of course, the orange gives the image a nice splash of color! The fact that the man is looking up really makes it. Thanks for the processing tips. I admire your bravery in going up in one of those contraptions and pray that I don’t get tempted to undertake a similar project when they begin contruction on our new Tappan Zee Bridge.

    1. Thanks for the compliments. I look at the ride in the man lift into the bridge structure as a once in a lifetime opportunity to photograph from such a dramatic vantage point. The guys that do the actual work are the brave ones since they have to step out onto the bridge itself.

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