The photographic explorations of a former film student.

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Garden Time

I took a long walk in the local Japanese garden recently. It’s something I like to do every year more to clear my head than for serious photography. Even though the lighting was sub par that day, how could I not take a few photos?

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Cricket on the Shrub

I came home from work one day and found this cricket hanging out on a flowing shrub. Fortunately, he hung around long enough for me to run and get my camera and macro lens and take a few photos. You never know what you will see when you take time to look and appreciate the small everyday things in life.

Cricket

Next Time: Jewelry or Garden

Movie Palace: Part II

These photos are all from the actual theater auditorium. The side walls are decorated with sets of green lamps in alcoves and hanging red lamps.

Both sides of the stage are flanked with large metal dragons and enormous hanging lamps amidst elaborate columns.

DragonAndLamp

Although the dragons are an Asian motif, the city skyline above and to either side of them seems more Mideastern in theme, but not without European influence. This is where the audience enters and exits the balcony seating. The designers endeavored to transport the audience’s minds to exotic places before the show they came to see even began.

DomeAndTowerSkyLine

The theater is a great old building, and I wish it many more wonderful years.

Next Time: Jewelry or Nature Close-up

Movie Palace: Part I

When I was in my early teens, an organization in a city near me finished an ambitious project: they restored an old theater. To celebrate, they held an open house and many people from the surrounding area came to tour the newly restored theater. My parents took my sister and I to go see it. I remember my fascination at the ornate detail of the theater.

After college, I became interested in abandon places. Not that I would visit one alone, but I loved looking at photos of once-grand buildings as nature and the environment reclaimed them. However, the photos of abandoned libraries and theaters always made me a little sad. Maybe it’s the decline of civilization, or maybe it’s because I’ve seen an old library and an old theater in preserved or restored condition. I often thought it was a shame more couldn’t be saved.

Several months ago, my father informed me that the local photo club had arranged to visit the theater we had toured all those years ago and visited a few times since. The club had purchased a tour and several hours of time to wander the building with cameras. I had the opportunity to photograph the very same ornate building that had fascinated me years before – and it is still in restored condition.

Since I ran out of retouch time (dynamic range is a big concern in this building!), here are the photos from the entryway and upper mezzanine:

Entryway

Grand Lobby

LightCluster

Mezzanine Light Detail

LightsUnderBalcony

Lobby Detail

MultiColorCeiling

Colorful Mezzanine Ceiling

StarLights

Mezzanine Star Lights

Next time, I will continue with the inside of the theater. In a world with so much entropy and decay, it’s always a ray of hope that some things can be saved.

Town Car Show

The town I visited for the fireworks show also had a car show earlier in the day. People from the town and the surrounding area came to show off their prized automobiles both new and from decades past.

GreenImpalaSideOrangeTaillightPontiacDoorPontiacGasPontiacHoodOrnamentRedFordTruckTurquoiseImpalaSide

 

Next Time: Restored Movie Palace

There are so many photos of grand old theaters in ruins. Although I enjoy the work of urban explorers and photographers, I have a happier story for you: the story of one that was saved.

 

 

Fireworks and Luck

Photographing fireworks isn’t considered serious photography. The main ingredient is luck. The rest is pretty simple: low ISO, bulb setting on the shutter, and tripod. In college, they told us it was one of those things we did in high school because we thought it was cool. Well, dumb or no, I still think it’s cool enough to attempt it once a year. After all, I’m going to the show anyway. Might as well try my hand at photographing it. Here’s the luck I had this year:

Next Time: Car Show

The Train: Running Again

I happened to call my Dad the evening after he went on the photo club outing to the train museum. He informed me there would be a live steam event the next day. An old train was up and running and about to make a journey it hadn’t made in decades. I was disappointed I’d missed the train museum, so I decided to join Dad and go see the train at one of its stops. It was an hour late, so it only stayed 20 minutes. A large crowd of train enthusiasts and families with curious children gathered to see it.

TrainApproaching

After the train stopped, we all went up to get a closer look. The steam practically caused it to rain on us. The train had many interesting details, but the short stay and large crowd made getting a lot of photos difficult. As the train left, I noticed many of the passengers were taking video of their trip. So many train enthusiasts were elated to see the old engine up and running again.

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Next Time: 4th Festivities

It is a bit early to know for certain what I’ll shoot next week, but there’s a good chance of the typical Midwestern 4th of July staples: fireworks and a car show.

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