top of page

the underdog

Updated: Oct 13, 2021

i have a soft spot for locations that seem to be overshadowed by a more popular viewpoint. most likely because I was an underdog, so to speak, growing up. being severely hearing impaired, having a speech impediment, wearing glasses and being chunky were among the things that did not endear me to my peers and found me lacking in popularity.

wait a minute 🤔....i'm still all those things and i'm still not very popular 🤣....

i had just been at irvine park in st. paul looking to make some images. i moseyed my way over, on a beautiful, warm and windy summer evening, to the smith avenue bridge. i have wanted to make a particular image from this bridge for quite a while. looking northeast from the smith avenue bridge or high bridge, as it is also called, gives you a gorgeous view. the st. paul skyline hugs shepard road and the mississippi river. i've seen some great images taken from that vantage point. the southwest view seems to play second fiddle to the more popular northeast view but it was the southwest view that had my full attention and adoration.

the iconic schmidt sign lights up in the distance. the wind is in evidence from the blurry treetops in the foreground to the american flag whipping in the background. shepard road and the train tracks in the foreground round the bend in a parallel fashion. while the outgoing taillights of a couple vehicles leave light trails on the road from behind, the headlights of the oncoming train lights up the foreground on the railway tracks.

as the train rumbled on by, i was standing above it on the bridge, shining my flashlight back and forth lengthwise over the train. with the thirty-one second exposure that i used, it transformed the train into a sort of long steel snake slithering to its destination. i used a remote to trigger the camera from where i was standing. this allowed me to be closer to the train and "paint" it more accurately.

i am particularly enamored of the small details lit up by the headlights of the train; the steel rails and the railway sleepers (the wood slats), the weeds/grasses growing in the ballast (the gravel). a closer inspection reveals even the rail tie plates above the railway sleepers.

it was a good night for the underdog. while i enjoyed seeing the lights of the st. paul skyline looking northeast, the southwest view more than held its own. for the half hour i was there, it stepped out of the shadows and shone brightly!

feel free to share any comments and thoughts down below in the comments section regarding this blog and the image. perhaps you have a location in mind where it tends to be overshadowed by a more popular view but deserves accolades of its own. i'd love to hear about that location and why you think it deserves better!

this image is available for purchase. you can find it in my st. paul summer cityscape gallery but here is the direct link to it to save you time looking for it.

thanks for your continued support of my blogs! feel free to share this with others that would enjoy reading it. you can share via the social media icons below or simply copy the url above and paste it in whatever media you wish to share it to.

i'll see you next time with more "images from a quiet world"!

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page