I wanted to challenge the perceptions of the Golden Gate Bridge. In solid red-orange and spanning 1.7 miles long, the Golden Gate Bridge is an icon of San Francisco. Though it is visibly massive, people often chase after the same handful of popular perspectives that garner significant social media engagement, which can become repetitive.
They’re often taken at similar spots, edited in similar ways, and all showing the grandeur of the bridge. Due to the sheer quantity of photos of the Golden Gate Bridge every day, it almost feels like the bridge is photographed to death and there isn’t much left to see of the bridge.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve made uncountable trips to this 1.7 miles of architectural wonder to capture all its faces that have never been presented before. The bridge has many beautiful features that are neglected when it’s observed as a whole. It comprised of imposing towers, stylized street lamps, gigantic cables, and more – each with their own distinctive geometry and shape – the bridge may be more beautiful when examining its individual features than viewing it as a sum of its parts.
To me, much of the beauty of the Golden Gate Bridge comes from the fact that the design and visual details are very mathematically beautiful and perfect. I’ve always loved mathematics and that really stood out to me. There are lines that reminded me of math plots, cascading shapes that reminded me of geometry problems, and proportions that follow the Golden Ratio. Additionally, because of the location and size, there’s minimal visual clutter, making it even more so seem like a perfect mathematical diagram or equation.
Thus, I sought to create a series of photos that represent the Golden Gate Bridge without showing the bridge in its entirety. It’s an intimate portrait of the Golden Gate Bridge studying its form, lines, shapes, and color. Through these photos, I hope to reconstruct our perspectives towards the Golden Gate Bridge.
About Michael Yuan
My name is Michael Yuan, and you’re probably wondering – what’s with the name “ilikecalculus”? Well, math has always been my favorite subject throughout school. 17-Year-old me thought calculus was the pinnacle of mathematics. Mostly because the equations looked hardcore so I felt like Einstein solving them. At the same time, I was playing a lot of video games and often struggled to come up with in-game names. Since I could never think of any witty names, I opted for dumb names – at least it beats being bland and generic. I needed something sufficiently unique that no one would ever think of. Thus, the name “ilikecalculus” was born one day when I was trying to come up with a new in-game handle and my calculus homework happened to be open on my desk. Unsurprisingly, I never ran into issues with the name being claimed for any game.
However, after pursuing a career in software engineering, I quickly realized calculus wasn’t very useful for general software development. As such, the calculus life is behind me now. Maybe I’ll pick it up as a hobby sometime in the future.
Currently, I’m a software engineer working on teaching cars how to drive themselves. Outside of work, I like to lift weights to release my inner angst and keep my mind zen from the day to day grind. Also, I take pictures sometimes. [Official Website]