Mighty Mac by Mark Bolen


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The Mackinac Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Straits of Mackinac to connect the non-contiguous Upper and Lower peninsulas of the U.S. state of Michigan. Designed by engineer David B. Steinman, the bridge (familiarly known as “Big Mac” and “Mighty Mac”) connects the city of St. Ignace on the north end with the village of Mackinaw City on the south. It is the longest suspension bridge between anchorages in the Western hemisphere.

The bridge opened on November 1, 1957, ending decades of the two peninsulas being solely linked by ferries. A year later, the bridge was formally dedicated as “the world’s longest suspension bridge between anchorages”. This designation was chosen because the bridge would not be the world’s largest using another way of measuring suspension bridges, the length of the center span between the towers; at the time that title belonged to the Golden Gate Bridge, which has a longer center span. By saying “between anchorages”, the bridge could be considered longer than the Golden Gate Bridge and also longer than the suspended western section of the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge. (That bridge has a longer total suspension but is a double bridge with an anchorage in the middle.)

At 8,614 feet (2,626 m), the Mackinac Bridge is the longest suspension bridge with two towers between anchorages in the Western Hemisphere

The bridge is not pronounce like it is spelled. To pronounce it like a yupper, try it this way: Macinaw. By the way, a yupper is a person from the upper peninsulas.

This is a night shot. As you can tell, the lights that run up to the top of the two towers are out. That is because they shut the lights off to save the state money after 2 AM. I was passing through around 4 AM on this trip. It was very dark with the storm clouds all around. I left the shutter open for 10 to 30 seconds at F/13 to capture this shot. I said 10 to 30 due to the fact it is a HDR merged photo using Photomatixs. I must have taken about 30 shots before I was able to hold the camera on the tripod still enough with 30 MPH winds. Gusts around 40. Got this series of shots to create this one photo though.

I did receive a question on what I applied to the picture to get it so blue. It is so blue due to the fact that when I took the picture I set the white balance to Tungsten (light bulb) which shifts white to blue and since the lights on the bridge were Tungsten light bulbs, it kept the bridge properly light balanced. The picture was taken in raw, so I could shift it back. But I like it this way better.

Nikon D300
Shutter Speed: 20 seconds
ISO: 250
Aperture: F/12
White Balance: Tungsten
Lens: 18-200mm VR (Active)

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Other Samples of my work are displayed below.


bridge, suspension, michigan, mackinac, ignace, upper peninsula, up, saint ignace

I take Sr’s., portrait, events, weddings, and more on the weekend and have been to many photography training classes by many associations near me. In the last 3 years, I have been shooting more and people. For the past two years, I’ve been being trained by Marie DuPrie at her studio. When shooting professionally, I go by the business name DigiSharp Photography – http://www.DigiSharpPhotography.com. I also take many pictures for the local newspaper “Tri-County Times”.

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  • Gino Iori
    Gino Iorialmost 6 years ago

    Great night image – congrats !

  • Marilyn Harris
    Marilyn Harrisalmost 6 years ago

    Wow!!! What a shot!!! Love the depth of colour!!! Great work!!!

  • Scott Denny
    Scott Dennyalmost 6 years ago

    Great shot!! I have a later evening photo taken from the other side I posted here. This early evening shot is great. Very nicely done.

    My dad and I ust got back from spending 4 days up in Copper Harbor, Calumet, and Houghton/Hancock. Fall colors were here and there. I am pretty sure we were still able to get some nice photos, despite the challenge in weather.

    Will be posting some soon. I have several photo jobs I am working on…paying customers come first. :-)

  • Mark Bolen
    Mark Bolenalmost 6 years ago

    Yes. I saw your picture from the other side. It’s very good. I really like what HDR did with this picture. Give a try sometime.
    I took a lot of pictures up there as well. I bracketed every picture I took while I was up there in hopes of being able to use HDR. It didn’t work so good with it being so windy. All the trees where moving so much they didn’t merge well. But I was able to get some good pictures without the merging.
    I’ll be keeping my eyes out for your shots. Take care; and thanks for the nice comment.

  • theague
    theaguealmost 6 years ago

    Great composure, great image!

  • Thanks Kody. It is appreciated.

    – Mark Bolen

  • Steve Chapple
    Steve Chapplealmost 6 years ago

    Wonderful lighting, colour and perspective!

  • Thanks Stephen.
    It is so blue due to the fact that when I took the picture I set the white balance to Tungsten (light bulb) which shifts white to blue and since the lights on the bridge were Tungsten light bulbs, it kept the bridge properly light balanced

    – Mark Bolen

  • Steve Chapple
    Steve Chapplealmost 6 years ago

    Clever, it worked well.

  • Steven  Siow
    Steven Siowalmost 6 years ago

    This is so beautiful. I like it very much.

  • Mark Bolen
    Mark Bolenalmost 6 years ago

    Thanks Steve.

  • Rosalie Scanlon
    Rosalie Scanlonalmost 6 years ago

    Stunning night image with beautiful colors.

  • Thank you Rosalie

    – Mark Bolen

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