Lately, I’ve been getting the urge to do some black and white images of modern looking architecture. There’s nothing in my town, or within a half hour drive. Just old buildings from a ghost town and Native American ruins. But nothing modern looking.
So I drove an hour up to Flagstaff, Arizona, but nothing modern there either. I did see this nice water tower. It looked old, so I decided to give it a sepia look. I processed it in ON1 Photo RAW and tried several different sepia presets with a film look, and settled on this one, “Black and White Alternative BA10.”
I finally managed to find some nice modern architecture an hour away, in Phoenix. I just took a few images on my trip there, but will be going back in February to take many more photographs. I’ll be posting some after I process them.
Photographers have many different reasons to photograph something. Some record beautiful, or strange, places and things. Others like to make all kinds of photographs of people, and others use composites to bring their imagination into reality.
One of the reasons I take photographs is to record history before it vanishes. Some of my photographs include giant Ponderosa Pines that have died, ancient Native American ruins and old buildings.
This photograph was taken in Globe, Arizona. It shows the Hill Street School that was built in 1920. It’s a beautiful old building with lots of broken windows that give it character. The image was taken several years ago, and I was planning to go back next year to take more photos of this gem. Then I saw on the news that the building was being completely renovated to provide 26 apartments for seniors.
While it’s nice that the building will be put to good use, it is one more historic building that is being renovated to look brand new.
But I have my photos, and the historic, and original, look of this building is preserved for future generations.
Why do you take photos? Post your answer in the comments below.
The other night I found this cute little tarantula at our front door. I used to see them often around our house, but this is the first one I’ve seen in several years. I think that climate change and city growth may have reduced the tarantula population. It’s nice to know they are still around.
Global Warming could make this an interesting season for fall colors. With the flooding, excessive heat and numerous wild fires, I’m not sure what to expect. Hopefully, the reds, yellows, oranges and other colors will be popping up soon, so grab your camera and take some great photographs of Mother Nature’s big show.
To help you get the most out of your shooting, I’ve updated my annual list of links about fall colors and where to find them. Since I live in Arizona, I’ve put together a special section for my state. But I also have an extensive listing for the rest of the country and a listing for Canada. There are also links to articles to help you take great photographs of Nature’s display of color.
As you go to these websites, you will often find many links to other sites. You could easily spend an entire day following link after link, or just go to the main pages I have listed here.
I hope you get some fantastic photographs this year. Feel free to leave a comment with a link to your images of changing colors. I’m sure everyone would love to see them. And if you have a favorite place to shoot that’s not on my list, let me know.
Have Fun, Jeff
Fall Colors on the Coconino – This Coconino National Forest site explains why leaves change colors, what trees produce what colors, and hikes to see this wonder of nature.
Leaf-ometer – It tells how the leaves are changing around Flagstaff.
The Pinal Mountainsnear Globe offer several trails with maples, sumacs and sycamores that change color. Colors usually peak in late October. Check out the Ice House Canyon trial, Six-Shooter Canyon trail and the Pinal Mountain Range. Ice House can be hard to find, so get directions from the Ranger station in Globe.
There’s a National Fall Color Hotline too, 1-800-354-4595. Call this number and choose the area of the country you’re interested in and get information on leaf color, scenic drives, peak times for the colors and other fall activities.
How To Take Photographs On A Windy Day – This is one of my articles, and it will help you get great photos of fall colors even if there’s a little breeze, or howling wind, when you arrive at your shooting destination.
Yes, those are real prehistoric bones, and yes, that is a real skull of a saber-toothed cat, Smilodon fatalis.
I took this photo at the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles, California. They have a block of resin with these bones embedded in it to show the average density of bones in the asphalt of the tar pits. FYI, there is no tar in the tar pits, it’s all asphalt.
The resin block is in a glass case. To prevent reflecting yourself in a photo, put the end of your lens directly on the glass. And play around with angles and background light sources to get different lighting effects in the resin. The light coming through windows and glass doors changes throughout the day, so keep checking for interesting lighting.
You are not allowed to use tripods anywhere in the building, so bring a string tripod or monopod. Because of the lighting, you will need to use a high ISO or slow shutter speed. And be sure to check out the atrium. It’s small, but packed with many things to photograph.