The American Society of Civil Engineers is running another bridge photo contest.  Similar to last year’s event, winning photos can end up on the annual bridge calendar.   

Last year I got to sit on the judge’s panel.  At first I thought it would be like American Idol, with a stream of bridges coming in for auditions.  My plan was to be gentle but firm.  However, it turned out a bit differently, since bridges are inanimate and don’t (usually) sing. 

The bridge photos were gorgeous.  There were entries from around the world, with many unique structures.  The Pamban Bridge, an Indian railroad bridge photographed particularly well.  The contest has a Facebook page (hopefully I can friend it and then have more friends) with a bridge gallery. 

It was interesting to be a judge.   Apparently there are new photographic techniques, such as “High Dynamic Range”, a process which leads to dramatic, intense images.   I contributed some engineering viewpoints which led to discussion with the professional photographers.   I disliked some photos which didn’t show full framing of a bridge.  The photographers, however, liked some of these based on the composition and light.  I guess this is why it’s good to have both engineers and non-engineers around.  Although, I’m still not sure exactly what non-engineers do.   

This year’s panel features another interesting mix of contributors, including the great engineer/historian, Professor Henry Petroski.  Information for entering the contest can be found on the contest website.