Arches In the Urban Landscape

What? Arches! I can't be talking about those gloomy dirty often derelict areas under railway bridges and the like.

Well yes I am but I am also including all the various types of other similar structures in our urban architecture such as porticos and cloisters.

Why take an interest in these particular aspects of our urban landscape, I hear you cry.

Well a few years back while skirting around the streets for something interesting to photograph I came across some old bleak spaces under a bridge that were being used as an underground car park.

The entrance was dark and gloomy but was also rather mystical. After that I was smitten and I seek out these underground havens of intrigue and obscurity and enjoy finding out what facet of urban living has taken up residence within them.

I also now notice arches all around our urban spaces, ranging from architectural doorways and windows to monuments and church cloisters.

Incorporating them within our range of street photography subjects seems like a natural thing to do and allows us to show off this integral part of our urban architecture.

Arches Project Examples

Arches by Victoria Peckham

This first photograph by Victoria Peckham (haha! I get the joke) looks very similar to that first underground car park I came across.

It illustrates that first feeling of mystical wonder and a curiosity to find out more about this place.

The tunnels run on from each other in ever decreasing size into the distance, drawing the viewer into its dark center.

I like the simplicity of the framing of this image, there isn't much else in this picture to draw the eye and the use of the available dim light only has allowed the picture to retain it's underworld feel.

Street Photography by Memorius

Memorius has used the underneath of old railway bridge to show that such spaces are.

Again I really like the framing, keeping a lot of the wall to the left and using it to lead you into the picture adds dimension and scale to the structure, it also reinforces the urban everyday scene that the arch stands in.

The photograph looks very sharp throughout and no main area has been picked out as the main focus.

I like the way the arch has been used to frame the street scene beyond the bridge and also how all of the rusty roof girders can be clearly seen, adding texture and depth to the photo.

Arches and Street Photography by Ten Two Ten Eight

Ten-two-ten-eight (flickr name) has described this space as being lit up especially as part of a festival that was taking part in their city.

It caught my eye immediately and thought it illustrated beautifully how we can so easily overlook these mainly dark grimy places but that they can be used to great affect to enhance our urban landscape.

This photograph is full of contrasts, the bright luminous green of the roof, the dark sinister blues and purples of the old stonewall and the glow from the windows of the modern building.

The image is very sharp in all areas and suggests a very steady hand and correct shutter speed to collect all the available light so intensely. A great example of photography art at work.

Railway Arch Photography by Llamnudds

For my last choice, I thought I would choose something completely ambiguous and taken for granted, a railway arch.

This photograph by Llamnudds shows how these structures can be used in photography as natural frames to add form and focus to our images.

This photograph is full of interest but is not cluttered. The photographer has waited until all unnecessarily distractions have been removed from the picture such as a train or passengers on the platform.

Leaving the lines of the scene as your guide around the picture. The use of dark shadow has also created form and framing.