Portfolio: William Grant: Bridge Master

by Kara Fox

William Grant has always owned a camera—from his teen years till today.  His talent was his destiny. Coming from a father who was a photographer, William went on to become a fine photographer in his own right, as you can see from this month's portfolio.

At the age of sixty, when most are thinking of spending their days with less responsibility, William, following a successful career as a lighting designer for Dance, Opera and the Theater, and as a teacher of darkroom technique at the Inner City Cultural Center in Los Angeles in the 1970’s, was filled with desire to do something different with the rest of his life: 

“I began photographing bridges. I started with some of the iconic bridges in New York City: The Brooklyn Bridge, The George Washington, The Verrazano Narrows Bridge, and other bridges that make this city what it is.” He then began traveling around the world photographing bridges that held an appeal to him. To date, he has shot about 40 bridges throughout the US, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Australia, and Scandinavia. The reason for all of this travel has been to complete a book, Bridges in the Sky, a photographic journey.

Bridges—amazing structures, built to surmount obstacles, to reach places. Grand combinations of steel, stone, lumber and other elements that reshape the environment we live in. Bridges are built and William Grant, using his talent, gives honor to these astounding monuments.  

As part of William's journey, he has been sending e-mails to friends describing his travels. These emails are brief essays that range from the mundane to the humorous:

Some of the titles include: “Pasta with Moose Sauce,” “Shooting Babies” (no babies were harmed during the writing of that piece), “There can be no Boogey Man” and “F’ing with the Platypus” (no real Platypi were injured in this essay). There is also a memorial…”to my hat.”

Every trip is a chapter in the book. Each email was sent with anywhere from 1 to 4 photos of the day. Each chapter contains those photos and ends with a photo gallery of the bridges shot on that trip. "I want to photograph the major bridges on all of the continents. There are no bridges in Antarctica, as far as I know, so I’m not planning to go there (although it is on my bucket list). In order to complete this, I still need to travel to South America, to the Angostura Bridge in Venezuela and to the Nelson Mandela Bridge in South Africa."

"I want to go to Japan to shoot the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, the longest suspension bridge in the world and to China to shoot the Xhoumen Bridge, the second longest suspension bridge in he world. I have already shot the Great Belt Bridge, the third longest suspension bridge, located in Denmark. I want to return to Asia so that I will have shot the top three suspension bridges. Most of the suspension bridges that I have photographed so far were at one time the longest in the world. The text of the book will be the emails that I sent while photographing the bridges. Together the emails and the photos will make for a humorous coffee table book."

A trip is planned to China and Japan for this June. To see more of Grant’s work, click on the link below to connect to my My Shot Photo Gallery on National Geographic Magazine’s web site.  The Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of the Neworld Review,Fred Beauford, has long been an admirer of the talent of William Grant,publishing his book: “A Basic Handbook of Stage Lighting” in 1981. And now, he shares our enthusiasm as we await the arrival for his latest book, Bridges in the Sky: a photographic journey.


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william grant
William Grant

brooklyn bridge
Brooklyn Bridge, New York, NY USA

Gjemnesundbrua, Kristensund, Norway

george washington bridge
George Washington Bridge, New York, NY USA

george washington bridge at night
George Washington Bridge, New York, NY USA

gw bridge in spring
George Washington Bridge, New York, NY USA

high coast_1
High Coast Bridge, Veda, Sweden

high coast_2
High Coast Bridge, Veda, Sweden

mighty mac
Mighty Mac: Mackinac Bridge, Michigan, USA

Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Australia

verrazano bridge
Verrazano Narrows Bridge, New York, NY, USA

verrazano bridge
Verrazano Narrows Bridge, New York, NY, USA

willie b
Willie B: Williamsburg Bridge, New York, NY, USA

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