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Stevenson Bridge

Posted by
Stephen Phillips (San Francisco, United States) on 12 February 2009 in Landscape & Rural and Portfolio.

Years of graffiti cover the Stevenson Bridge above Putah Creek -
along the border between Salano and Yolo counties in the central valley of California.

...for a larger view and to see 4 more images from this series:

© copyright 2018 by Stephen Phillips Photography / Oakland, California /
please respect these rights - do not copy or use these images without permission.

Observing from West Cheshire, United Kingdom

It looks an easy bridge to climb onto. Great shot Stephen of what appears to be a local lo-traffic bridge.

12 Feb 2009 5:19am

@Observing: This was my third trip to the bridge. Your traffic impression would be correct on my first two visits - with a car or two passing every once in a while. This trip (two days ago) - the traffic was unrelenting. The area is heavily agricultural with many nut orchards. It is pruning time and I didn't know there were this many tree trimming trucks on the entire planet. Also - it was a school day and into the afternoon many cars seemed headed for school or packed with kids.

Suzanne from Huntington Bch, California, United States

Maybe I shouldn't say it but I think this graffiti is really cool. The bridge as a whole has become a true community work of art. Fascinating.

12 Feb 2009 6:22am

@Suzanne: What makes it even more remarkable is that this bridge is really rural - no towns within five miles.

Cricket from Huntsville, United States

I love to paint. If I were ever a "wild" person that had no rules I would love to paint graffiti. Of course it would be in places that were allowed.

This was a great image that captures different colors very well. I like it. (Maybe I could paint the underside and not get caught.)

12 Feb 2009 6:34am

@Cricket: I can assure you Tammy - the underside of this thing is covered in graffiti, too. I'll document that part as soon as the mud dries out. (I would have slid all the way into the creek below)

EYES WIDE SHUT from The library of my soul, United Kingdom

Amazing! So confined to one place, like an all over tattoo on the flesh of the bridge. Very well captured, Stephen

12 Feb 2009 7:07am

Liang from San Francisco, United States

ahh! I went to UC Davis for college and I've heard people mention about putah creek. too bad i've never been there... i hope one day to visit, excellent angle on this shot!

12 Feb 2009 7:53am

@Liang: Thanks, Liang. Putah Creek is the outflow of Lake Berryessa and runs roughly alongside State Highway 128 into the southern part of Davis - just south of the campus of UCD.

Calusarus from St Sorlin en Valloire, France

I've never seen a bridge like this one. Are you sure it is a secure one ? :-)

12 Feb 2009 7:57am

@Calusarus: It is reinforced concrete and very sturdy.

yz from budapest, Hungary

cool shot, i wonder how did they painted the top of it :)
(btw if i translate my family name to english that will be stevenson :)

12 Feb 2009 8:21am

@yz: Thank yz - The kids just climb on up there...

eddy from tehran, Iran

well composed also well observed! funny bridge

12 Feb 2009 9:05am

Marie LC from Voiron, France

Wow ! artistic bridge !

12 Feb 2009 9:11am

@Marie LC: Indeed, Marie!!!

Pedro from Sevilla, Spain

Nice shot! Good composition!

12 Feb 2009 9:23am

k@ from Paris, France

Wow, that's unusual and i love to figure out those young boyzz painting their tags all over here !

12 Feb 2009 10:04am

@k@: Hey k@ - not just the boys - the girlzzz, too!

zahai from Berlin, Germany

great angle and composition, love it :)

12 Feb 2009 10:13am

Francesc B. from région parisienne, France

The "graffiti's bridge" !!! :))... or the "lovers' bridge"... Sheridan ♥ Alexis ...
excellent perspective.

12 Feb 2009 11:49am

Thomas from Bangalore, India

Beauitufl blog. The images which give a perspective of roads, paths and the night shots really are my favorite in your blog

12 Feb 2009 11:54am

@Thomas: Thank you, Thomas.

Alivia from Saint-Etienne, France

impressionnant graphisme et architecture remarquable, les lignes de fuite nous emportent tres loin.

12 Feb 2009 12:02pm

Helma from Tehran, Iran

Wonderful shot with nice angle !

12 Feb 2009 12:16pm

Walter from Watkinsville, United States

I see you said this is your 3rd time in the area, I think I have seen a photo of this bridge from some of your other work if I am correct. What a great bridge and the artwork to boot. Amazing a little country road has so many passionate people on it that want to express themselves with paint.

12 Feb 2009 12:26pm

@Walter: This is quite the party center for many it appears. Below the span - many empty beer cans and spent bottles attest to the ongoing celebrations, above. Kids being kids.

Susan from Fort Lauderdale, FL, United States

What a great find for a photo!! You've done really well in making something most people probably feel is an "eyesore" into a work of art!!! Great Job!!

12 Feb 2009 12:54pm

dogilicious from Millerstown, PA, United States

I'm sure in person it is more of a shame to see this bridge damaged but it makes for a great shot.

12 Feb 2009 1:25pm

Lorraine from Gatineau, Canada

LOL totally in Love with Love, Bless Sheridan and Alexis, super photo Stephen ;)

12 Feb 2009 1:47pm

DenisSm from Prague, Czech Republic

i really like this me it looks like usused part of R. 66 :-). Is it still in use ?

12 Feb 2009 1:55pm

@DenisSm: The bridge gets heavy use. Cars and trucks above - teens below.

Eleftheria from Athens, Greece

So much graffiti....

12 Feb 2009 2:28pm

hugo poon from hong kong, Hong Kong

What a great find... this is fascinating! Perfect angle and framing!

12 Feb 2009 3:03pm

Diane Schuller from Hythe, Canada

what a grand old bridge taken over by graffitti. Even the road. I like the lower perspective you have taken and that you chose to create art out of graffiti.

12 Feb 2009 4:11pm

Victor Lam from Ipoh, Malaysia

great composition man

12 Feb 2009 4:24pm

sherri from Little Rock, Arkansas, United States

I normally like to view graffiti, but I hate to see this old bridge defaced like this. It does make a good image though:-)

12 Feb 2009 4:44pm

@sherri: There are lots of bridges in the area and this is the only one that's tagged. And it is really isolated. I love that it just evolved this way. The kids take one bold canvas and leave the rest of the world alone. This works for my spirit...

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

A work of art in progress. You have presented it well in this grand image.

12 Feb 2009 5:01pm

grant from kansas city, United States

wow, even on the street... great shot

12 Feb 2009 5:01pm

Scott Schilling from San Martin, United States

Stephen, this photo is so visually interesting I could stare at all of the details all day long - wonderful shot! I love the composition looking down the center of the road.

12 Feb 2009 6:15pm

@Scott Schilling: Thanks Scott. I wasn't aware of how nicely that long road would show when I was taking the image. I like this, too.

alex centrella from California, United States

impressive capture steve..well caught !

12 Feb 2009 6:41pm

Anthony Lambert from Bielefeld, Germany

I do hope Sheridan and Alexis are still together,maybe one day they can take their grand-children to see this bridge !!

12 Feb 2009 6:45pm

@Anthony Lambert: ( me, too )

Mirko Herzner from Mühlheim am Main, Germany

Even though these graffities are not really nice, with all those colors and different styles this pic works just great.

12 Feb 2009 7:06pm

@Mirko Herzner: I'm generally against graffiti being sprayed in public places; but I must confess that the first time I ws shown this bridge - I just grinned. And that feeling still remains. I love this piece of ongoing art. ART!

Alun Lambert from cheshire, United Kingdom

I think someone has been busy, very good shot

12 Feb 2009 8:06pm

Chris from South Jersey, United States

I love your composition on this, but the graffiti makes me a little sad. I understand that people like to be artistic and some graftiti shows lots of talent, I can't get over the fact that it involves defacing what someone else has created (in this case, the bridge). Anyway, your shot is a wonderful piece of art documenting this scene......

12 Feb 2009 9:23pm

@Chris: In most cases I would agree - but in this case - a colorful canvas on a drab old bridge in the middle of nowhere. I like it. If the kids were tagging all the bridges - I'd want to put an end to it - but they don't - they use just this one and have for years. Locals call it 'The Graffiti Bridge'. My feeling is that there is fondness for it.

Veronelle from Lens, France

suprenant mais bien pris et bien vu

12 Feb 2009 10:04pm

@Veronelle: Je ne vais pas oublier la première fois que j'ai vu ce pont. Il m'a sourit!

willow from Chelsea, United States

Great perspective. I always wonder with places like these at which point it stops being graffiti and becomes a rite of passage for the local youth. We have a rock in town that is inches thick with layers of paint right in the middle of town.

13 Feb 2009 1:21am

@willow: The same spirit exists in this place. Mountains of 'empties' below the bridge suggest the partying can be a bit intense at times - and that these teens aren't always 'green'. Nevertheless - I look at the nut orchards and farms on either side of the bridge and there is no hint of any problems nearby.

John Maslowski from Dallas, PA, United States

Now that is really interesting graffiti. Excellent shot Stephen, great perspective, like the arches across this image and the yellow line draws you into this fascinating composition.

13 Feb 2009 1:30am

vu@granby Gilles Martineau from Granby, Québec, Canada

Many artists in power in the area, I look forward for the same bridge in the future when the artists will mature.

13 Feb 2009 1:35am

peter from new york, United States

i absolutely love this shot! such a great find and capture of some cool street art : )

13 Feb 2009 1:39am

Taitt Photography from Chicago, United States

looks like a busy bridge to create lasting art work....nice shot,super angle as well.

13 Feb 2009 2:55am

@Taitt Photography: Thanks for the visit and kind comments - all the best to you.

Paco Díaz from Palma de Mallorca, Spain

A curious place to graffitti, and an artistic space now that is woth to show. Good perspective and detail, Stephen.

13 Feb 2009 3:49am

Mike from Lichfield, United Kingdom

It's weird that a bridge out in the middle of nowhere has become the target of graffiti. I'm still undecided on it, graffiti can look quite good but the overall appearance of the bridge is a bit of a mess. Having said that, the bridge carries a lot of history and therefore is interesting. It makes for a fascinating photo too. Nice shot.

13 Feb 2009 7:23am

@Mike: There's not much here that will pass for great art - yet I have an unabashed fondness for this bridge.

Twelvebit from Victoria, United States

Now that's a well tagged bridge.

13 Feb 2009 4:46pm

Kurt from San Francisco, United States

Very cool! And my favorite of your four shots (via your other link), great angle. I'm curious, when you first visited, did you know about this already from hearsay or otherwise, or did you stumble upon it one day?

13 Feb 2009 9:54pm

@Kurt: A most talented model that I've worked with on several occasions grew up in the nearby town of Davis. She directed me to the bridge and we eventually used it as a background for one of her shoots.

Doug from Long Beach, United States

Marvelous subject and composition.

15 Feb 2009 7:03am

@Doug: Thanks, Doug - much appreciated.

Rachel from Charleville-Mézières, France


16 Feb 2009 7:56pm

Evelyn from Berkeley, United States

Looks like a bookcover for a very interesting book.

23 Feb 2009 3:08am