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Posts tagged ‘architecture’

Metropolis gone by…

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When I was a child, I often played pretend. An only child until the age of 11, I spent a fair amount of time simply wandering in my own imagination. Perhaps this forged the basis of a life of creativity, who knows? But one thing is certain–I still tap into this side of my brain with regular frequency. The image above was born out of this type of exercise, when I was in New York several months ago. I’d certainly seen the iconic Chrysler Building for many years, and marveled at its unique brand of metropolitan architecture, its needle tip piercing the sky. But until recently, I’d never actually stepped inside. When I did, I was instantly transported back to an earlier era. It was almost magical, really. I literally could hear the click of heels, elevator bells, and the bustle of what must have felt like the center of urbane modernity, back in its heyday. While the exterior of this building has captured much acclaim, the attention to detail on the interior is astounding by today’s standards. The beautiful marble, glass, and iron work that were the hallmark of the Art Deco period are still gracefully intact some 80-plus years later.

Given the maelstrom of sound and movement just a few feet outside on Lexington Avenue, a block away from New York’s Grand Central Station, it was amazingly quiet during the few moments I spent standing in the Chrysler’s cavernous lobby, framing different distinct images with my camera. I enjoyed just experiencing “the moment”–watching business people come and go, the elevators dinging and opening as they have for so many decades, and the quiet work of the window washer, maintaining the dignity of an architectural monument clearly deserving as much. These images tell a story for me; I hope they do for you as well…

 

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Architectural perspectives…

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Has this ever happened to you? You are walking around with a camera, playing the role of tourist in a major city such as Philadelphia like thousands that have before you and will surely come after you, and you think to yourself: What can I do, to capture this place that is in any way unique and creative? Sure, you can take the “memory shot” that says “I was here!” Yippee! And of course, we all do that. But beyond that, as a photographer, you have to challenge yourself, or you don’t grown and experience all that your visual eye has to offer. This is a view of the magnificent Greek Revival columns that uphold the Second Bank of the United States/Portrait Gallery in Philly. Their grace, size, and majesty are truly astounding, and the building, built by none other than William Strickland, is modeled after the Greek Parthenon. This is view I will remember of those columns–so cool, looking up at their aged and marbled towers–holding court next to Independence Hall since 1818. Hope you enjoy…

Urban geometry…

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Followers of this blog know I have a soft spot for natural beauty–wildlife, landscapes, the cosmos… but as a photographer, beauty often materializes in unexpected ways. Urban landscapes and architecture, for example, are often quite striking, as this composition demonstrates. Look at it for several moments and it becomes almost Escher-esque, with jutting and retreating facades simultaneously juxtaposed one upon another. Geometry of this sort resonates with us because while we are drawn to the logic and flow of lines and forms, we are also aware of the infinite possibilities within such patterns. Where does one line end and another begin? How are they connected? Where do they lead? Just a little Euclidean food for thought, a bit of musing, on a cold winter’s night… Hope you enjoy….

PS: To my current subscribers: Very soon, I will plan to change the site name of this WordPress blog to match my newly launched business name Deb Scally Photography. When that takes place, subscribers to 1107photography will be automatically redirected to the new URL name, which is already apparent in the blog header above. When that happens, don’t worry… it’s still me, and nothing else about the blog’s content or direction will change. This is, and always will be, a creative outlet for my personal thoughts and philosophy regarding photography. As always, thanks for your support, comments, and interest in the blog!

Ethereal arches…

 

Ethereal. That the the feeling when you walk through a structure as old and majestic as Salisbury Cathedral. The architecture is nothing short of breathtaking. It’s a technological wonder of the mid 11th century, and one of the finest examples of medieval cathedrals in the world. I just know I was blown away. Speechless. It was difficult to pull my photographic eye back to my camera and shoot, shoot, shoot, instead of just standing there and gawking. But what a treat. A wonderment in stone and glass that is still a living place of worship today. Travel photography has got to be one of the most rewarding aspects of photography. I never tire of going back, reliving those moments–knowing I will probably never visit there again, but so thankful I got to feast my eyes, at least once. Carrying a little piece of it home, in my images, is the dessert that lasts a lifetime. Hope you enjoy…

New York noir…

 

Sometimes you work with a seemingly ordinary image for a while and, though it’s hard to put into words, it slowly takes on new layers of meaning, and starts to communicate something  you can’t necessarily articulate. This is one of those examples. It may not appeal to everyone, but once I began playing with the shadows and the framing, the play of dark against light, all of a sudden it began to convey an essence of film noir, harkening back to the gilded age, the New York of old; one in which art deco was prolific, jazz was cool (it still is), and metropolitan shoppers flocked to Macy’s as the end-all be-all.

Just for fun, I am including a second image below, to give a better sense of scale to the scene. But I keep returning to the scene above, where dark, moody branches outline a Gothamesque landscape,  evoking the New York of days gone by. Hope you enjoy…

Clash of titans …

 

Great architecture and city sculptures are interesting subjects to photograph, but are sometimes difficult to photograph uniquely. You can pretty well assume that thousands have stood in the same spot as you, so rather than dwell on that, you end up simply finding the view that speaks to you, personally. I’ve seen this wonderful stature of Atlas, in Midtown Manhattan many times, but it was when we walked out the east doors of Rockefeller Center last week that I was struck by this framing of Atlas with the magnificent St. Patrick’s Cathedral as a backdrop. It’s not so much that it is a juxtaposition of new and old, although one embodies the delightful Art Deco style of 1930s New York, and the other is clearly a beautiful example of a nineteenth century Gothic cathedral. Rather what struck me was the symbolism of each  structure: one sacred and religious; one equally divine, yet secular. Iconic titans, staring each other down for the ages. Hope you enjoy…

In like a lion…

I took a short hiatus from posting over the holidays, spending less time on my computer and wrapped up in my pixels, and more time spent making memories with my family. Time well spent, I’d say, especially since I had the privilege of spending four days in (arguably) the greatest locale in the nation for New Year’s Eve: New York City. Four days, three nights, of hustle, bustle, crowds, lights, fireworks, shows, shopping, and walking, walking, walking… all with camera in tow, of course. One image always gives me cause for pause…passing by in front of the twin lions, Patience and Fortitude, those enduring marble icons guarding the gates of the New York Public Library, I am always struck by how majestic they appear, quietly beckoning passersby to stop, browse, or just enjoy one of the most delightful public areas in the city. More images from the city to come… hope you enjoy…

Ghost Arch …

Ghost Arch

Ghost Arch

I had some nice feedback from my earlier posts showing alternative views of the Saint Louis Arch so I thought I’d offer another one. This was a cool view of the Arch at dark… as you stand underneath it and look up, the floodlights below throw a spooky ghost shadow effect on the dark sky above. I composed this a couple of different ways, but really liked how the light gleamed off the steel exterior here–just enough to tell what you are looking at, but with a sense of mystery surrounding the haloed lights above. Hope you enjoy…

f/2.8, 1/30th, ISO 1600, 17 mm