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April 4, 2008 / Bo Mackison

Crossing the Muddy Mississippi

Across the Mississippi River

I have traveled across this bridge my entire life. Here, the bluff city of Quincy, Illinois is attached by steel girders and pavement to Missouri. I have traveled across this bridge to visit relatives in Hannibal and Palmyra, to take trips to St. Louis for shopping and Cardinals’ baseball games, to buy gasoline (Missouri’s gas tax is enough less than Illinois’ to make the trip financially worthwhile) and to catch the Amtrak in West Quincy when I went to college in Chicago.

Now I cross it when I travel from my home to my hometown. (I live in Wisconsin, but believe me, it is faster to travel Wisconsin-Iowa-Missouri-Illinois, than it is to head due south through Illinois.) Last weekend I crossed this bridge once again. I had never before taken notice of the brilliant blue of the bridge structure contrasting with the road, nor the red brick buildings climbing the bluffs in the distance. But then, never before had I traveled the country’s roads with a camera resting by my side.

Why is it I see so much more by adding a camera into the formula?


  1. Anna Surface / Apr 4 2008 6:15 am

    I really, really like the color effects of this and the photo perspective. Indeed. Those blue girders pop. The lace green patterns form interesting patterns. Patterns that interweave and travel.

    You asked an Intriguing question: “Why is it I see so much more by adding a camera into the formula?”

    Perhaps your view has gone deeper and wider in what you see by adding the camera into the formula. 🙂

  2. Gandalf / Apr 4 2008 7:30 am

    I’d echo Anna’s observation about sight, insight and your buddy, the camera.

    In some respects it is a metaphor of life. One’s way of acting or thinking is heavily influenced by the lens through which we view life.

    BTW, I found the both the picture and the background info on your experience with the bridge very interesting. Any idea why the bridge is blue? It seems like an odd color for a bridge. 🙂

  3. Ron in L.A. / Apr 4 2008 9:14 am

    That’s a really great capture Barbara. The post work is perfect.


  4. Pat Denino / Apr 4 2008 11:31 am

    Awesome photo!

  5. montucky / Apr 4 2008 1:36 pm

    It’s so true that one sees more when a camera is involved, I’ve found both before and after the photos.

  6. AK_Adventurer / Apr 4 2008 5:59 pm

    I also like the color effects in this photo. It’s been many, many years since I crossed the Mississippi…but this photo brings back all the memories.

  7. aullori / Apr 5 2008 12:40 am

    I’ve only crossed this twice in my life – boy, did your photograph bring back the memory. (It was pretty big stuff for me…. the Mighty Mississippi… the most difficult word in the English language when I was a third grader a place I had no connection to except in Mark Twain novels.) I love the colors and the bright aspect to this… I can’t figure out the mood but whatever it is I like it.

  8. jeanabaena / Apr 5 2008 10:29 am

    oh, i love the blue crossbeams with the green tinge of the road. nicely done.

  9. organicsyes / Apr 6 2008 5:18 pm

    Looking through your blog today, this bridge caught my eye. The colors are brilliant! As with a camera, we were out on bikes today (yes! in Michigan!) and heard the peepers (that you also mentioned)…I have found riding a bike gives that perspective. There is time to savor, look and listen when I rid my bike to work. I then see more and remember more, since I was that much closer to the living earth and my senses, more intune.

    I love your blog..and so enjoy every moment spent here!

  10. ladypercy / Apr 7 2008 5:07 pm

    I really like the colors in this picture. Great job.

  11. QuoinMonkey / Apr 9 2008 7:14 pm

    Great composition in this shot. The camera grounds us in the moment. Through the lens, for me, everything comes alive. Yet it is centered and still.

  12. amuirin / Apr 16 2008 10:57 pm

    This is art.

  13. ChelleR / May 24 2008 10:22 pm

    This is really cool. The contrast between the colors is very striking.

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