Seeing Things, Saying Things

Musings About Writing, Photography and Teaching

Posts Tagged ‘urban

Hey Indy!

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Many people hardly look out the window when they fly, but I make it a point to request a window seat and watch the landscape below as we cruise along.

I want to know where I am an I enjoy seeing places where I once lived and/or know.

I was en route from Cleveland to Phoenix aboard a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 when the captain said we were over Muncie, Indiana.

At the time, there was a cloud cover so I couldn’t see anything.  But I kept looking and soon the clouds parted and I was able to pick out Indianapolis, a city where I lived in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

That is the White River meandering just west of downtown.

Written by csanders429

June 9, 2017 at 3:31 pm

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.

Roots of General Motors

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This building in Flint, Michigan, is part of the heritage of General Motors. Built in 1896, it served as the headquarters of the Durant-Dort Carriage Company.

Although the company ceased making carriages in 1917, it transitioned into making automobiles and became the Dort Motor Car Company

This building was its headquarters until 1925. A historical marker notes that many decisions were made here that led to the forming of General Motors.

Nearby, is a statue of William “Billy” Durant and J. Dallas Dort, the founders of the carriage company known initially as the Flint Road Cart Company.

That company went out of the carriage business in 1917, but Durant and Dort went on into the business of making automobiles.

This statue of the two men stands next to the Flint River in the area where their manufacturing plants were located. Dort’s plaque had been removed at the time of my visit in October 2011.

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.

City of Many Bridges

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With three rivers flowing through it, it is no surprise that Pittsburgh has a lot of bridges carrying highways and railroads.

You could spend days in Pittsburgh just making images of bridges because there are that many of them. There also is a wide variety of bridge designs to be found in the Steel City.

Shown is the Smithfield Bridge in a view made from Mount Washington. It was built in 1846 and designed by John Roebling.

This bridge was the first wire rope suspension bridge over the Monongahela River to carry a highway. It is still a widely used bridge today that also is open to pedestrian traffic.

Roebling is probably best known for having designed the Brooklyn Bridge but he also designed bridges in Cincinnati and Niagara Falls.

The Cloud Line

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I don’t consider myself a clouds photographer, but I do find clouds to be interesting. Aside from them being illuminated by the colors of the rising or setting sun, I also have an interest in the edges of clouds, particularly when that edge is straight and shows that a front is moving in or out.

I find the back edge of a cloud pattern to be a sign of optimism. It means that clearer skies and sunlight are in store even if there won’t be much of the latter because sunset is near.

This view was made from my hotel room in Seattle during a May 2014 overnight stay. It had been cloudy all day and although I was done being out and about for the day, It still felt good to see the edge of the clouds and some late day sunlight.

A Spring Morning on the Lake Michigan Shore

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Spring had sprung in Chicago along the lakefront. How’s that for cliched writing? But its true. There were lots of flowering trees with white and pink blossoms.

Although it was the middle of May, it still wasn’t the boating season. And it was a weekday so that is why there are so many boats moored in the water along the Lake Michigan shore.

It was, though, a good day for a jog along the lake for some people.

It wasn’t, though, the best day for photography. As you can see if was mostly cloudy. But I was there, the blossoms were in full bloom and capturing spring is such a small window.

But you can’t have April showers and May flowers without clouds, right?