Jack Alpha On Top Of Big Four Bridge

Jack Alpha the Ironworker

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This image is a single frame that I used NIK HDR EFex Pro 2 and Aperture 3 to process. By using NIK’s U-Point Technology feature I was able to enhance and fine tune the tonality of the oranges and blues of Jack’s welding jacket while maintaining the natural colors of the river and skyline in the background. I was in the man lift basket which allowed me to shoot him from a safe vantage point above the bridge. I am especially pleased with the way the arc of his welder has maintained it’s brilliance and the way the sparks are spraying to the right side of the frame.

This composition has several elements that make it strong. There is the angle of the bridge safety rail  in the foreground to the Kennedy bridge in the middle ground and the Clark Memorial Bridge beyond that. There are also the complementary colors of the jacket, safety harness and the river below all of which work in harmony to unify the composition. Finally there is the way the safety harness and Jack’s arm  create rhyme in the photograph along with the repetitive linearity of the bridges and handrail.

8 thoughts on “Jack Alpha On Top Of Big Four Bridge

    1. Thanks for the kind words. After shooting this image I was reflecting on the iconic photos from the turn of the century of ironworker high above New York and it dawned on me that each of those photos was made by a photographer who had to be up there too. I’m not comparing the two situations as equal, since I was in a man lift basket and wearing a safety harness, but I do feel a certain kinship with those early photographic pioneers.

      1. I never really thought about it, but you’re right about those photographers. It gives me a whole new level of appreciation for what photographers do to get a great shot and how much courage it must sometimes take.

  1. awesome photo…jack is my brother ..so proud of him & your photo really shows such detail..almost like those looking @ it are standing right there to…thanks for sharing it!!!

  2. Debbie I’m glad you like the photo. Jack is a cool dude who really is easy to work with. I have several shots of him and his fellow workers on the bridge that I am turning over to the Waterfront Development Corporation after the project is completed. The photos will go into an archive that will be a permanent record of the project and the people who did the job. I’m honored to be able to document the Big Four Bridge project and the men who are doing the work on it.

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