The photographic explorations of a former film student.

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Stubbornness and the Tail End of Fall

I had these lovely plans for how I would spend October weekends this year: weekly walks in the woods with my camera, apple orchards and doughnuts, and maybe even a road trip to a distant park. But my front stairs happened. They are wooden with a deck-like landing area, and they needed to be repainted and repaired. Despite my parents very kindly giving lots of time and effort to the project, the three of us spent most of October on my stairs.

Last weekend would have been beautiful for photography: good lighting, nice temperatures, and just about the peak for fall color. But alas, you guessed it, stairs. This weekend was definitely past prime for fall color and quite dreary most of the time. However, I was free. The stairs were done, the parks were beckoning, and the temperatures were not bad at all. So I stubbornly decided to grab the month of October by the tail and try to cram all the things I’d wanted to do all month into one weekend. I needed to experience Fall before it was over: to see, hear, and smell it all around me.

Friday night, I visited a small, hard to find park in my city. It was almost dark, so not much luck there. Saturday morning, despite the dullness of the day, I took a two-hour walk in one of my favorite parks. Photographic prospects were better:

latefalloakbranchesoakleafflowerhangingleafredtreeandyellowleaves

After a few more weekend activities, I headed out to the local apple orchard for my annual sugar encrusted doughnut and hot spiced cider. The sun finally peaked out a bit.

pumpkinfield

My takeaway from all of this is that should plan on spending some time in November raking leaves in my parent’s large lawn, and I should start the deck refinishing project in April next year. Procrastination has consequences. You can cram a lot into one weekend, but it’s not quite the same as planning things and scheduling them appropriately.

Architecture from Train Day

Back when I went to go see the steam engine, I found some of buildings in the area interesting. After the train left, I took a couple of photos. Since they didn’t fit with the train post, I saved them for a week when I was in the middle of a non-photo project and didn’t get around to shooting anything. Well, that’s been the last three weeks. I really did want to post them though. I love the stained glass awning.

stainedglassawningwhitebrickcolorfuldetail

Rings and Sparkles

A few months back, I saw a post on ring shots, and I decided I wanted to try something similar to some of the shots. I wasn’t a big fan of the sparklers or fried chicken, but the glittery stuff looked kind of cool. Thus inspired, I took a couple of rings, a mirror, a flashlight, and some sparkly stuff I had around the house, then got out the macro and started experimenting. Obviously, my rose ring is a cheap adjustable, but I thought it would be fun just for the experiment.

rosering

amethystring

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.

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