Find Your Passion
Everyone needs an escape, now more than ever. Here's how five Coloradans found their passions—and how you can find yours.
Thad Roan, 59
Thad Roan is a man of few words. Then again, who needs to be verbose when you have photographs—thousands and thousands of photographs? "I call it bridgepixing," Roan says, as he pulls up another in a long succession of stunning images—all of them of bridges. Big bridges, small bridges, bridges in the day, bridges at night—every manner of span captivates Roan, who has been a fan of the structures since he was a kid living in the New York City area. Back then, Roan watched as workers erected the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge—then the longest suspension bridge in the world. Today he attributes his "obsession" to that spectacular structure.
The Appeal Part of Roan's goal is to photograph as many of the old, historic bridges as he can before time takes its toll and the structures disappear completely. "But my bridgepixing is also about the location," he says, recalling time spent at the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia. "Bridges are often in pretty places—and seeking them out takes me off the main road, gets me to slow down and smell the roses."
The Commitment "I'm not an engineer, and I'm not an architect," says Roan, who owns a photocopying business in Littleton. "I just love the way bridges look." It's that simple pleasure that has led Roan to all 50 states and more than 20 countries in search of new bridges to capture. Roan travels for eight weeks per year, each time with a bridge in mind. He then spends hours photographing the bridges from every possible angle. The self-taught photographer returns from his expeditions and shares the spoils with his circle of bridge-loving friends using Flickr (group name: Bridges and Tunnels) as well as his own website, Bridgepix.com. "This passion didn't happen overnight," says Roan, "but now it happily takes up a large part of my life."
Do It Yourself Need a photography primer or refresher? Check out the architectural photography classes at Working With Artists Photography School. When you're ready to shoot, Roan suggests Colorado bridges such as the Red Cliff Bridge near Vail, the Maroon Creek Trestle near Aspen, or the Speer Boulevard Bridge (above) in Denver.