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Posts tagged ‘Philadelphia’

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…

Life among the ruins…

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I’ve been overwhelmed in recent months with a variety of photographic pursuits–all of them interesting, exciting, and some involving new skills and adventures–so my blog has been a tad quiet, comparatively speaking. But with the new year upon us now, I am refreshed and ready to get back on track. To inaugurate 2014, I have been dipped back into a wealth of images that I created earlier this year during a visit to Philadelphia.

For many people, both in the U.S. and worldwide, Philly conjures up such things as the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and other iconic Americana. And yes, that’s all there. But artistically speaking, there is so much more. This image is one of my favorites from a series shot at Eastern State Penitentiary. Yes, an abandoned federal prison, with a history as rich with stories and flavor as any you’ll find in the U.S. criminal justice system. Al Capone made his residence here, along with a thousands of others from its inception as a model prison in 1829 to the day it’s doors were finally closed in 1971. It’s an eerie place, to be sure–all cells have sat untouched for the last four decades, the ghosts of those inhabitants somehow still inside. This photo is taken inside the front central wall of the prison yard and to me, is a testament of the idea that life goes on; this small tree, somehow rooting and taking a foothold at the very top of the wall, where it can breathe in life on the other side.

The photograph below, shows the same wall from a slightly different perspective. In color, one can truly see the vestiges of life, moss, weeds, and the little tree, ekeing out existence among the ruins. One can only hope a few of the previous residents at Eastern State, were as lucky. Hope you enjoy…

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Prelude to a story…

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Travel and street photography provide one of the richest sources for inspiration for me as a photographer. As a kid, growing up in the era of Life magazine and pouring over my National Geographics, I was always drawn to the tapestry of rich images that filled those pages, drawing me in, making me wonder about the people and their lives which were so foreign to my own. As a photographer today, I suppose I am drawn to images that tell those kinds of stories, or at least hint around the edges of them. This photograph was taken during a recent visit to Philadelphia, as my family and I were awaiting our day long excursion on the Big Bus to see Philly from top to bottom. The gentleman was an amazing flautist, skipping from one patriotic melody to another with fluidity and ease, his small flags framing his meager spot of the 12th Street Reading Terminal corner he called his own. His talent as well as his dignity captivated me, and today, I wonder about his life and where and how he mastered his instrument so well. It’s a simple photograph, with so many stories to tell. Hope you enjoy…