- Hardcover: 128 pages
- Publisher: Silver Lining; 1 edition (August 31, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780760726891
- ISBN-13: 978-0760726891
- ASIN: 0760726892
- Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 0.8 x 10.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,389,648 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Big Dig at Night Hardcover – August 31, 2001
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Stephen SetteDucati has seen potential and beauty in the quiet of the evening, night, and early morning hum of the project. His photographs will make you think you have landed on another planet, because the scenes are full of objects rather than people. Time-lapse methods in many cases switch cars into lines of headlights that stream jet-like across the page.
To me, the high point of the volume are the many stunning images of the new Leonard P. Zakin, Bunker Hill Memorial bridge rising like the Phoenix above the northern edge of the city. This bridge is the widest cable-stayed bridge in the world and looks like something that should be on Star Trek. The bright whiteness of the lights transform it into a piece of sculpture, rising almost organically from the water and debris . . . almost like an exotic sea creature.
The most fascinating part of the book is the view of the old elevated eyesore that is being eliminated. Ah, how well I remember the pigeon-stained undersides! After some Celtics games, I would have to take the car through the car wash three times to clean it all off.
Overall, the book will fascinate you with its stillness. You will feel like you are present at all the various times, enjoying the quiet chill and turning within yourself.
The captions are interestingly tied to the date and time when the photographs were taken.
For most people, this book will only be appealing if they live in Boston, visit the city frequently, or enjoyed The Big Dig (Mr. McNichol's recent book on the project).
The Big Dig at Night has several drawbacks. First, it lacks the fascinating detail of the overall project's engineering challenges and unique solutions that made The Big Dig so special. Second, it shows you the night version of what you already saw many times if you were in Boston. So, only those scenes that capture the contrasts between old and new in the most powerful ways actually stimulate your imagination and interest. Third, the book's design is wrong for these images. Most are forces to sprawl awkwardly across a center fold that truncates them in inappropriate places. The book's pages needed to be much wider!
But . . . for those who want to see the beautiful beginnings of the end of the Boston Big Dig misery, this is a fine book. Think of it as mental relief for the traffic frustrated.
After you finish enjoying construction as urban sculpture, I suggest that you also consider the night for its other forms of beauty that emanate from nature. Look at the reflections of light on ponds, rivers, ice, and snow. Enjoy the outlines of trees shifting under the wind. Smell the aromas of the season. Hear the gentle night sounds whisper to you. Touch the dew on the grass.
Enjoy the meditative beauty of the world around you, whenever you can take a moment to just enjoy!
Go to the Big Dig scout out a great image... Wait 12 hours. See the difference. It's clear the images in The Big Dig At Night are the work of a craftsman. The skill to draw from the available light (no flash, just the light that’s around) during the night is not as simple as pushing a button. When my friends flip through the book, they tell me how "cool" the pictures are, but when I tell them how the artist draws on the existing light to produce these image, they return to the book in awe.
In all a great book of photography, and a great book on the Big Dig. The quality and variety of the of images is a testament to the artist's dedication and skill. The Big Dig At Night has done a wonderful job documenting this historic project during its busiest time of day, AT NIGHT.
The long exposures in these enormous spaces reveal colors, textures, details and contrasts not visible even on a personal tour of the Big Dig.
In the daytime the bright sky behind the old highway (suspended over the excavation for the new road) leaves the shadows too dark for the visitor to see. At night the human eye sees almost no color even where the dazzling work lights make the isolated active-work sections white-hot, which leave everything else pitch-black.
The pictures are a revelation in the book (and the full-sized prints are even more wonderful.)