Seeing Things, Saying Things

Musings About Writing, Photography and Teaching

Posts Tagged ‘city skylines

Flying the Stars and Stripes in Baltimore

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A pair of American flags fly in the wind from a light post in the Inner Harbor in Baltimore. Old Glory can be found in any town in America, but Baltimore is the home of Fort McHenry where a fight between American and British forces on Sept. 12-15, 1814, inspired Francis Scott Key to write a poem titled Defence of Fort McHenry. That formed the basis for the Star Spangled Banner, which is the national anthem of the United States.

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Written by csanders429

December 7, 2017 at 7:51 am

Cleveland Skyline

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It is late on a Sunday afternoon in late September. A friend and I are visiting Wendy Park in downtown Cleveland, which runs along the west bank of the Cuyahoga River. It’s a great location from which to make a portrait of the skyline of Cleveland, or at least a portion of it.

Look carefully and you’ll see that the Huntington Bank building to the left of Key Tower appears to have two different shades. It is a produce of the sun hitting the angled building at different angles.

A City and its Lake

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Cleveland is one of a handful of large cities situated on one of the Great Lakes, in this case Lake Erie.

Although the city sometimes has acted as though the lake wasn’t there, particularly in downtown Cleveland,  it did establish a lakefront park just to the west of the central city area.

Edgewater Park is known for its beach, but at the western end of the park is a bluff overlooking the lake.

It also affords a sweeping view of the downtown city skyline and the lake.

The Edgewater Park beach can be seen to the right. With temperatures on this late September day soaring into the 90s, it was a popular place to be.

New York at Night

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I made my first and only visit to the observatory of the World Trade Center in early November 1981. I was visiting a friend who lived in the Big Apple although we had met back in Springfield, Illinois, when we both worked for the state.

We visited the WTC twice on the same day. The first visit occurred during daylight hours. I might have said something about what a nice view it would be at night.

Whatever the case, we returned that evening and I made this image. I don’t remember having a tripod. Perhaps we went back to Mark’s apartment to get one. I can’t imagine that I was traveling with a tripod.

This image was made on slide film and over the years it has badly faded. I scanned it anyway and through some Photoshop work was able to regain some of the image.

It would not only be the last time I visited the WTC it would also be the last time that I saw Mark. In fact, I can’t remember his last name or how to get in contact with him. Our last visit, though, was a memorable one.

Beauty Along the Flint River

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The Flint River water crisis was still nearly three years into the future when I made these images of the Flint River in downtown Flint, Michigan.

For years the Flint River has been one of the most polluted in the state as a result of decades of dumping industrial waste into it.

Then the waterway made national news in 2014 when Flint began drawing its drinking water from the river. News stories told of high levels of lead in the blood of children and residents were given bottled water to drink.

The top photograph shows Riverfront Center, which is now part of the University of Michigan-Flint complex along on the Flint River.

The 16-story building has academic space, student housing and banquet/conference facilities. Owned by the Upton Reinvestment Corporation, it was donated to UM in 2015.

Prior to that UM had been using the building, which houses the business school. Upton had purchased the building in 2009. It had been built in 1981 as a Hyatt Regency Hotel and soon became a landmark building in downtown Flint.

The bottom photograph shows the Garland Street-Beach Street bridge over the river in downtown. The building in the distance is the Northbank Center on the UM campus.

Do You Like Your Cities Wide, Medium or Close Up?

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Photojournalism textbooks often talk about wide angle, medium and telephoto shots. Each has its own pros and cons, but ultimately the reason for doing one or the other depends on what you are trying to show.

Shown here are three different views of essentially the same thing. I’m standing on A Mountain overlooking Tucson, Arizona.

My focal point is the city’s downtown. In sequence, the images are progressively becoming wider in scope.

By zooming out, the perspective changes as the frame becomes narrower on the focal point. It becomes a tradeoff between detail and a wider sense of place.

Casting Some Tall Shadows in Seattle

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It is late afternoon in Seattle. I’m back in my hotel after spending time looking around the city. It had been cloudy for much of the day but by late afternoon the clouds had started to break.

The sunlight is bathing a cluster of apartment buildings, medical centers and office buildings in its warm glow.

But my hotel is casting a long shadow across the freeway and over some of the structures on the other side. And so is an adjacent building.

Chances are I am the only person noticing the contrast of light and shadows. They are such a part of everyday life that few people take the time to notice, other than photographers and artists.