First Amendment Central: Painting Beta Bridge

October 26, 2017

     There is a student tradition, tolerated by the city, of painting the balustrades of the railroad bridge on Rugby Road. The bridge is known as Beta Bridge. The tradition is thought to have started in the 1960s. Graffiti artists bring their own paint. Someone keeps a storage bin at one end of the bridge. You claim a section of the bridge, put a solid coat of paint over it, and leave your message. The Thought Police manage the content. With a fresh coat of paint, anything offensive disappears down the memory hole. There are no official censors, of course, but somehow political correctness reigns. This being a university town, political correctness leans left. The convenience of shooting the bridge is that someone else brings the paint, does the work, and leaves you a display of color. You just have to shoot it. The limitation is that it's always the same bridge. The light and color change, but the angles are finite. Still, there's usually an image to make.

 

Gear Photos were shot with a Nikon D750 and a Zeiss Milvus 35 mm f/2.0.

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