Eureka Springs, Arkansas is a unique town that is modeled after a Victorian resort village and is often referred to as “The Switzerland of America.” The streets are narrow, steep, and winding, no two streets intersect at a 90-degree angle, and there are no stop lights anywhere in the town. The current population totals only about 2,000 people, but, in 1889, it was the second largest city in the state behind the capital city Little Rock.
Recently, I took a weekend trip to Eureka Springs with my wife and dog. Traveling with a dog presents a number of challenges. Accommodations can be hard to find, and, if you can find a place to stay, many of the local attractions are off-limits to pets. Fortunately, Eureka Springs is a relatively dog-friendly town, so we were able to find a place to stay and some places to visit.
One of the places we were able to see was Beaver Bridge. Built in 1949, Beaver Bridge is a one-lane suspension bridge that traverses the White River at Table Rock Lake. It is the only suspension in Arkansas that is open to traffic and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.
After crossing the bridge, we found a small area where we could park and get out. While I began setting up my equipment, my wife walked the dog (or perhaps he was walking her – I’ve never been able to figure out who walks whom!) The dog, for his part, thought he would entertain himself on his walk by barking and scaring the fishermen he encountered along the way.
I had taken a number of shots and was walking around looking for other angles from which to shoot when I came upon these flowers on the side of a small hill, and I thought their pink color would provide a nice contrast to the blue and green tones. I set my lens at its widest angle and placed my camera and tripod within two to three feet of the flowers. I used the smallest aperture on the lens to ensure maximum depth of field because both the flowers in the foreground and the bridge in the background had to be sharp. If either the flowers or the bridge were out of focus, the image would be worthless.
The biggest challenge was the blowing wind which caused the flowers to sway back and forth. My only solution was to watch through the viewfinder, wait until there was a lull in the breeze, shoot a frame or two, and wait for the breeze to momentarily die down again. I repeated this process several times hoping that, out of the approximately 10 to 12 shots I took, at least one of them would be usable.
As I took my photographs, several cars and motorcycles drove across the bridge. I found it almost mesmerizing to watch how the wooden-decked bridge flexed under the weight of each vehicle as it crossed. Mesmerizing, that is, until I realized we were going to have to go back across that bridge. Thankfully, the bridge held strong, and we were able to make it to the other end and continue on our way!
Settings: Canon 5D Mk II, 24mm, 1/80 sec, f/22