Yesterday, once again, I returned to Calgary's Peace Bridge to make some more pictures. The goal was motion. Using slower exposures I wanted to capture the pedestrians and cyclists commuting home from a day's work in the downtown core. The light wasn't great but I still managed a couple of keepers from the effort. But rather than it being an immensely successful photographic outing, something much bigger struck me.
I setup on the bridge at the height of the after work commute. That was my intention. I needed plenty of pedestrians and cyclists to fill my frames with motion. A few minutes in to my session one of my friends gave me a wave while he rode by on his bike. I returned the wave and dug back in to my work. Moments after that another friend, again on a bike, stopped behind me and teased at me to stop disrupting bridge traffic. We had a nice chat before he peddled off on his way. I had a several brief conversations with other pedestrians before wrapping up my shoot and having one final conversation with a photography student before heading for home.
On the brief walk home I thought about my outing and it struck me that the bridge, more than a piece of art or architecture, is about building a community. If the bridge ultimately becomes a catalyst to pull more people out of their vehicles and on to the pathways and sidewalks, it will indeed have been a successful project.
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