Monday, December 24, 2012

Arched bridge will tickle your innards

On this Christmas Eve, I devote the second post from my Dec. 21 shoot in Garfield Park to the shots I took of what locals refer to as "Ticklebelly Hill," one of two park bridges over Pleasant Run, which flows into the park at its north end, curling west before converging with Bean Creek near the other span just east of Manual High School on the park's northwest side.

As best as I can recall, I've never spent much time photographing this bridge, which is part of Conservatory Drive and while very modest in length, was built in an arch, not flat, as illustrated in the photo leading off the post. According to lore passed on through the years by people who live in the area, the Ticklebelly name evolved from the unusual sensation motorists feel in the gut when their vehicles cross the arch's high point when traveling at a certain speed or faster. (I've also heard talk that the Ticklebelly moniker actually was used to dub a park hill used by sledders in winter, and it's possible that version is more accurate ... given that "hill," not "bridge," is part of the name. Coincidentally, an individual southbound on Conservatory Drive -- whether motorist, cyclist or pedestrian -- has a direct view of the so-dubbed sledding hill as they reach the bridge's peak, but I digress).

I wouldn't say this lore is extremely well-known; there are some locals who've not heard about it when I've asked. But obviously some do know of it, because it was from locals that I learned of it, and that was quite a few years ago, not long after moving into the neighborhood. The bridge appears just south of the north terminus of Conservatory Drive, which "Ts" into East Pleasant Run Parkway, North Drive, across from Indianapolis Fire Station 29.

I bracketed all of my shots in the Dec. 21 shoot for treatment in high-dynamic range (HDR) software in post-processing. HDR is the process of creating one high-detail image by melding two or more frames of the same composition shot at different exposure levels. For the Dec. 21 shoot, I used three shots for each HDR image, and employed a full stop for my exposure intervals (0-normal, +1, -1). I set the ISO to 100 and the aperture to f/8, thereby rendering the shutter speed as the variable to create three images of different exposure levels for each shot.

I used the camera's "cloudy" white balance setting; it was, indeed, a heavily cloudy day. As intended, that setting introduced a warm tonal range to the pictures. I preserved or slightly lessened the tone in most shots. Gear used: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L lens attached to a Canon 7D mounted on a Slik Pro 400 DX tripod for all shots.

To view a full gallery of shots from the Dec. 21 shoot in Garfield Park, visit my site at SmugMug.

Next Up: Garfield Park tree grows at a 45-degree angle.

Above and below: Closeup views of the arch span of the bridge on Conservatory Drive. Both views are northeast, looking toward Raymond Street.

Above and below: Closeup views of the bridge's underbelly.

From the peak of Ticklebelly Hill bridge, views of Pleasant Run, looking southwest toward Manual High School (school is not in view) above and northeast toward Raymond Street below. 

Above and below: Two more views of the stream, this time from the creek banks. 

Views from the peak of the Ticklebelly Hill bridge on Conservatory Drive, looking south (above) into the park and north (below) toward's the drive terminus across from Indianapolis Fire Station 29. On the south view (above), notice the 45-degree growth angle of the tree on the hill right at the bend of the road. That tree will be the subject of pictures in a future post. Ticklebelly Hill sledding hill is part of that hill, although a larger section is out of the picture to the left. In recent years, the planting of trees on the portion of the hill that is in this picture has deterred sledding on that section, thereby preventing fast-moving sledders from inadvertently sledding onto the road -- and into the path of vehicular traffic.  

Above: A closeup of Fire Station 29.

Above: A last look at the Conservatory Drive bridge, integrating at left a portion of a fallen tree into the composition. That tree, incidentally, when it was standing, had a striking "V" shaped trunk at its base (see photo below, which I took in February 2006).

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