Seeing Things, Saying Things

Musings About Writing, Photography and Teaching

Industrial Space

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You can find blocks like this one in every American city and town of any size.

An old red brick factory sits in the heart of the city, often next to a railroad track.

Some of these industries are very much alive and well while others sit silent and vacant as monuments to another era. In a few cases, the buildings have been repurposed.

I’m not sure of the status of this industrial site in Marion, Ohio, but there is something about it that is quintessentially American and typical of the Midwest.

The boarded up windows on the first floor suggest abandonment, but the windows on the second floor suggests life.

The fading paint on the side that once proclaimed what company owned this building and what it made is a testament to another time.

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Written by csanders429

October 18, 2017 at 6:17 am

Eyes on a Landing Spot

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I was sitting on the bank of the Vermilion River where an endless parade of boats along with birds coming and going gave me something to watch. A gull swoops down over the water, its eyes on a landing spot just ahead.

Written by csanders429

October 17, 2017 at 7:23 am

Field of Driftwood

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You will find driftwood on just about any beach. Trees get knocked down in storms, fall into a lake and the water current takes them along for a ride.

In time, the currents carry the drifting wood back to shore and deposit it. Maybe a high tide will sweep the wood back out for another ride on the water or maybe this will be the permanent home for the piece of driftwood.

This field of driftwood is at the far eastern end of the beach at Headlands Beach State Park near Mentor, Ohio.

In the background is the Fairport Harbor West Breakwater lighthouse.

 

Brandywine Falls in the Fall

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Anytime is a good time to visit Brandywine Falls in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, but autumn, in particular, is a popular time.

Last year I had to park down the road a ways and walk a trail to reach the falls.

There were, of course, crowds of people walking the stairways that lead to the waterfall, which is 65 feet and cuts through Berea Sandstone at its top through shale as the water descends in a bridal veil appearance.

In the 19th century earlier settlers in the Cuyahoga Valley used the falls to power grist and woolen mills. Those plus the village of Brandywine are gone now, but traces of them remain.

Bridges of Cleveland

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The Flats area of Cleveland features several bridges over the Cuyahoga River.

Many carry or once carried railroad tracks that served industries in this traditional industrial district.

But many of the industries are gone, although not all of them, and some of the tracks are gone, too.

Shown are two angles of a drawbridge that once carried the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad over a branch of the river.

The rail line went to Whiskey Island but has since been abandoned.

So the bridge is frozen in the up position as a living monument of bygone era.

The building next to the bridge is Shooters restaurant and bar. The bust is of Leif Ericson, although I’m not sure what he had to do with Cleveland.

Anniversary of a Dramatic Sunset

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One year ago today I created what may be the most dramatic sunset photographs I’ve ever made.

We were staying at a bed and breakfast northeast of Tucson, Arizona, at the home of a couple that had some land. Therefore, I had some open views of the surrounding landscape, which includes the Santa Catalina Mountains.

Saguaro cactus plants are a mainstay of the Sonoran Desert though they tend to do best on steep, rocky slopes.

Our hosts had a number of tall saguaros and I walked around their property looking for a suitable one to use to frame my images.

There was a cloud cover that was, fortunately for me, moving on. Ken said those clouds would yield a nice red sunset.

He proved to be right. The skies to the west were clear, but the edge of the cloud cover was still overhead.

That was key because it is not the sun itself but the reflection of light from the setting sun that creates the spectacular and dramatic colors that give a sunset its stark beauty.

From a scientific perspective, what we seeĀ  are light rays reflecting and then scattering after hitting particles of dust, water droplets and ice crystals.

Scientists say that the colors produced by light depend on how far it has to travel and at sunset that path is farther than it is in the middle of the day.

In short, what we are seeing is a filtering effect. Colors tend to be more vivid in skies that are dry, clean and contain smaller particles. This image was made in October when the air tends to be drier and cleaner.

From a photography standpoint, I’ve noticed that getting good sunset images takes patience as well as the ability to react quickly.

The dramatic colors of sunset don’t last long. They can peak and be gone in a matter of minutes. Maybe it is my imagination, but they seem to vanish much faster than they appeared.

But that’s probably a result of the run-up time to the sunset, which is often going to be long as you have to get in position for nature’s show and then wait for it.

And what a show nature can put on when conditions are right.

Cactus and Sunset

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The sun will soon be going down over the Santa Catalina Mountains that surround Tucson, Arizona, and the host of the bed and breakfast where we were staying has indicated that it should produce a spectacular sunset.

That will occur in a few minutes, but in the meantime, I’m trying out some other angles to capture the last of the sun on this splendid October day.

This three-image sequence works with two separate saguaro cactus plants to show the progression of the sunset.

I was fortunate to have the edge of a cloud cover that moved on at the right time. It would be the presence of those clouds that would make this sunset so dramatic.