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Church In Ruin

April 12th, 2021

Church In Ruin

Through a friend I learned of a beautiful old church in ruin. It wasn’t abandoned but was no longer an active church; and it was slowly deteriorating. Its character, however, wasn’t diminished by the relentless process of aging. The church stands tall and proud as if waiting for its members to return for worship services.

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Aqua A Chicago Landmark

April 5th, 2021

Aqua A Chicago Landmark

Known for innovative and experimental architecture Chicago is a great town if you love architecture. Famous architects such as Louis Sullivan, Daniel Burnham, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Frank Lloyd Wright, just to name a few, have buildings there. It is home to stunning buildings; the Rookery, the Sullivan Center, Union Station, Willis Tower, the Robie House, Tribune Tower, Marina City, Chicago Theater, and on and on. Aqua is one of Chicago’s newer and more innovative designs. It’s also what’s made Aqua a Chicago landmark.

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Darwin Falls A Death Valley Wonder

March 23rd, 2021

Darwin Falls   A Death Valley Wonder

Death Valley certainly isn’t the kind of place you’d normally think of where you would go to photograph a beautiful scene such as Darwin Falls. The name “Death Valley” instantly brings to mind a harsh, inhospitable environment. Very inhospitable indeed. Yet hidden away in a one of the valley’s many side canyons is a beautiful little waterfall, Darwin Falls. You could even consider it two waterfalls as there is are separate upper and lower falls.

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A Colorful and Textured Past

March 16th, 2021

A Colorful and Textured Past

While exploring a small central Texas town I came across this beautiful wall that just grabbed my attention. It's a wall, just a simple wall with a bricked-up doorway. But it has weathered in such a way that it beautifully reveals its colorful and textured past. Standing in front of it, you can imagine the building's past lives and how it looked at various times.

The red bricked-up doorway, while a significant focal point in the photo, isn't the subject of the photo. As a result, this is one of those photos where the entire photo is the subject. It's about it being colorful and textured with interesting details.

We can see varying layers and color in the stucco.  Complimenting this, there is beautiful texture resulting from the stucco cracking into many pieces some of which we see on the ground. Clearly, this is an on-going process of transformation. Where the stucco has sloughed off, we can see a wonderful rainbow of painted brick work. I presume some of this could have been from painted advertisements. The faded red bricked-up doorway presents a wonderfully large splash of color.

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Dorothea Lange Grab A Hunk Of Lightning

March 16th, 2021

The PBS American Masters program has long had cinematographer Dyanna Taylor‘s film, Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning on Amazon Prime. Although it is on Prime, it was a premium offering. This meant that you had to either subscribe to the PBS Living “channel” or rent/buy it. That is, till now. The film is included in the regular Prime subscription 𝘂𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗹 𝗠𝗮𝗿𝗰𝗵 𝟯𝟭, 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟭. So, if you belong to Amazon Prime this is your chance to see this film free. But don’t delay, it’s only included in the Prime subscription until the end of the month.

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Managing Color For Black and White Photos

March 15th, 2021

Good black and white photography is all about controlling the tones and contrasts in our image. One of the major influencers of tone and contrast in B&W photos is the color in the original scene. By managing color during post-processing, we can effect tone and contrast changes in the black and white photo.

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Study In Contrasts Ye Cannot Serve God And Mammon

March 8th, 2021

Study In Contrasts  Ye Cannot Serve God And Mammon

Sam Houston Park sits at the edge of, you guessed it, downtown Houston. It contains 10 buildings representing the buildings and culture of Houston’s past. One of these is St. John Church. Built in 1891 in northwest Harris County it was relocated to Sam Houston Park in 1968 and has become a Houston landmark. I think a good part of this landmark status is derived from the view of the church set against the Heritage Plaza skyscraper located just outside the park. For me, it represents a study in contrasts.

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Seeing In Black And White

March 8th, 2021

Seeing In Black And White

As one who really enjoys black and white photography, I admit I get frustrated when someone suggests that you “try black and white, maybe that can rescue the color photo”. This treats black and white as an add-on or afterthought to color photography. For me, black and white should be made with deliberate intent to take you to a destination different from color. This deliberate intent all starts with seeing the scene in black and white, visualizing what the final outcome will be. Although our eyes physically see color, we can train our mind to see, to visualize in black and white.

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Stop Making Interesting Photos

February 8th, 2021

“Interesting” may be the most over-used word in photography. How often have you heard something along the lines of “I saw this and it looked interesting so I decided to photograph it.”? And then you look at the photo and wonder, “What am I supposed to be looking at?” It’s like we’re being forced to play “Where’s Waldo?“

If you ask about what they found “interesting” they mumble that it caught their attention. Further probing questions as to why just lead to more vague responses. While this perceived bit of “interesting” may mean something to photographer it generally doesn’t mean a lot to the viewer. So how do we go beyond “interesting” to something that is engaging for both the photographer and the viewer? How do we help others see what caught our attention without having to try to explain it to them?

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Old Cemeteries - Gardens of Stone

February 4th, 2021

Old Cemeteries - Gardens of Stone

I love old cemeteries. Amidst all the sadness they represent, there is also a sense of peace and solitude. They’re rich in history and tell wonderful and amazing stories. I especially love the way the memorials, both grand and insignificant, display the emotions of loss and grief in such beautiful ways. I guess this classifies me as a taphophile but to appropriate General Patton’s remark I can only say, “God help me, I do love it so.”

I sometimes refer to cemeteries as “gardens of stone”. This comes from a 1987 movie Gardens of Stone based upon a book of the same name. It’s about a group of soldiers serving in the “Old Guard” at Arlington National Cemetery during the Vietnam war. For them, the cemetery is a garden, a garden of stone. For some reason, that simple phrase has always stuck with me. Somehow, it seems very fitting.

Click the "Click Here For More Information" for the full blog post where I discuss a few of my old cemetery photos.

 

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