A Bridge, and a Couple of Non-Bridges, in the Snow
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Photo Op From the Big Red Bridge early last year -- Nanto, Toyama, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 120 mm — 1/320 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos
Photo Op From the Big Red Bridge
early last year

I've still got lots of photos yet to go through from our trip to Toyama Prefecture (a few hours north of Kyoto) more than a year ago. At the time I noted that it was really snowy, but I need to tone the description down after the massive snowstorms in the US Midwest and East Coast this year.

Still, it was a lot of snow for us, and really pretty, with visits to historic and picturesque villages of Gokayama and Shirakawago.

It was snowing heavily in the afternoon of the third day of the trip, as it had been all day, so we didn't venture too far out, but we did take a short drive on a road through a steep valley, overlooking a river. Much of the road was protected by a snow roof with one open side...

Three-Sided “Tunnel” -- Tonami, Toyama, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 56 mm — 1/200 sec, f/6.3, ISO 4000 — map & image datanearby photos
Three-Sided “Tunnel”

This was convenient because we could stop pretty much anywhere and still enjoy the view from the protection of the roof.

The vistas were wonderful, and quite monochromatic. These are all color photos...

Remnants of an Old Bridge -- Nanto, Toyama, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 32 mm — 1/200 sec, f/6.3, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
Remnants of an Old Bridge
Nanto, Toyama, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/200 sec, f/6.3, ISO 2800 — map & image datanearby photos
Nanto, Toyama, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 150 mm — 1/200 sec, f/4, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos

It sort of reminds me of Kyoto's Bridge to Nowhere, though from the other end of the history spectrum.

I guess I was enamored with the sight... I took enough pictures of it. 🙂

Nanto, Toyama, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 116 mm — 1/320 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos

A bit further along was a non-missing bridge...

Actual Bridge -- Nanto, Toyama, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 120 mm — 1/250 sec, f/6.3, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Actual Bridge

This is the same bridge featured from a different perspective in what is one of my all-time favorite photos: Bridge Over Icy Water.

While we were there in the darkening dusk, a boat slowly plied the frozen waters, making it seems all the more cold...

Tourist Boat -- Nanto, Toyama, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/320 sec, f/2.8, ISO 2500 — map & image datanearby photos
Tourist Boat

It was still snowing very heavily and getting darker, so the boat was difficult to see. Perhaps this is a “you had to be there” situation, but I really like this next shot:

Almost Nothing -- Nanto, Toyama, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/320 sec, f/2.8, ISO 2200 — map & image datanearby photos
Almost Nothing

Nothing really stands out at first, so it's almost as if it's just a smudge, but then you see the waves from the boat, then the boat, then eventually (if you're in not too bright a room) other details emerge from the fog, such as the line of the road across the top of the frame. The engineer in me wants to lock onto specific, concrete things, but I guess some other facet enjoys the lack of it in this photo.

Next to the red bridge were the support towers of the bridge it apparently replaced, unlike the first non-bridge in this post, also missing its entire road bed...

Remnants of Another Bridge -- Nanto, Toyama, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 110 mm — 1/320 sec, f/2.8, ISO 2200 — map & image datanearby photos
Remnants of Another Bridge
View from the Bridge back to the main (relatively speaking) road -- Nanto, Toyama, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/320 sec, f/2.8, ISO 2800 — map & image datanearby photos
View from the Bridge
back to the main (relatively speaking) road

Almost no one was around in this storm, but surprisingly, a car actually took the bridge while we were there...

More Guts than Me -- Nanto, Toyama, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm — 1/320 sec, f/2.8, ISO 2000 — map & image datanearby photos
More Guts than Me

I wouldn't have minded trying the bridge, but even with my good snow tires, the road beyond it looked too steep and curvy for my taste, especially since it had likely never been visited by snowplows.


All 7 comments so far, oldest first...

Man, you have much courage than myself to drive in snow|ice (not just as shown here but also in past).

— comment by parv on February 8th, 2011 at 10:08pm JST (6 years, 10 months ago) comment permalink

I love the way the snowy background makes even the muted colors of the umbrella and bridge metal stand out. It also makes the tail lights on that chibi car stand out brilliantly. They make the viewer get a very real sense of the scary experience that snow driving can be.

— comment by Ron Evans on February 9th, 2011 at 2:09am JST (6 years, 10 months ago) comment permalink

Amazing beautiful photos!

— comment by Michelle on February 12th, 2011 at 12:57pm JST (6 years, 10 months ago) comment permalink

I submitted a long post but hit something and lost it. I will conclude that, if you got it, by saying, I admire your work and look at your equipment with envy and your location with even more envy. I was there from 1953 to the summer of 1956 and took a lot of photos but none compare with what you do.

Your work is beautiful. Your English is flawless. I love your template and looked to see if it is something “out there” but couldn’t find it under “view source” so I suspect you made it from scratch.

I hope you got my original comment and it was not lost in space.

Abraham Lincoln
Brookville, Ohio
Saturday morning, 6:06 AM

— comment by Abraham Lincoln on February 12th, 2011 at 8:07pm JST (6 years, 10 months ago) comment permalink

When people ask my why I want so badly to move back to Japan, I want to answer that it’s probably the most beautiful country on Earth. These photos make me feel incredibly natsukashii.

— comment by Ali on February 13th, 2011 at 8:10am JST (6 years, 10 months ago) comment permalink

These pictures are absolutely breathtaking!

— comment by David C. on February 15th, 2011 at 11:35am JST (6 years, 10 months ago) comment permalink

You have beautiful personal photo gallery.
Anna 🙂

— comment by Anna on February 15th, 2011 at 2:02pm JST (6 years, 10 months ago) comment permalink
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