Monday, May 26, 2014


In late spring and early summer, especially when the weather is warm, I like to wander around the city in the evening with my camera taking advantage of the warm sunlight.  And that is what I did one day last week.

The warm sunlight can have a profound effect on architectural subjects, as illustrated in the following couple of shots.

Milwaukee's City Hall has been undergoing exterior repair work--again--and the associated scaffolding really hampers any photography of the exterior.  This first is a shot of the east side of the building that was, of course, in the shade with the late May evening sun in the west.

My goal was to feature both the fire escape stairs and the window arches.  However, because I was on the shaded side, the color was dull and the contrast was muted.  So I decided to convert the shot into a black & white and to increase the contrast.  It worked just OK.

But what was amazing was the next shot that I took, less than two minutes later, featuring the northwest corner of the building.

Now the building is bathed in the warm sunlight, showing off its architectural detail.

I then wandered over to the nearby Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, another building with some architectural distinction but of a very different (modern) nature.  The building's multifaceted, non-rectilinear exterior invites detail shots that feature those surfaces, especially those on the sunny side.  Here is one of those.

I have been using my newly acquired circular polarizing filter, which in this case served to darken significantly the blue of the sky.  I took another, more symmetrical shot of the building that I thought might work as a black & white.

Just mildly interesting, I thought.  But the filter did serve to further darken the cloudless sky, which I thought helped the overall composition a little.

The MGIC building complex is also nearby, and I got this shot.

The multiple lines separating dark and light areas seemed to beg for conversion to a black & white.  But it didn't work.  There was just too much confusion in trying to sort out the foreground building from the background one.  The warm evening light serves much better to separate the two.

There is an outdoor entertainment venue on the south side of the Marcus Center that includes permanent seating arranged in a semicircular rows.  I probably took a dozen shots before I settled on this one.

Finally, I also spotted this spidery white graffiti "tag" on a very dark background (on a derelict building).

I'm always impressed with the artistry of graffiti-ests.  In post processing I was able to convert the background to nearly black.  I could have cropped the shot to exclude the miscellaneous stuff on the right but thought it actually added to the overall composition.



  1. Loved the pictures, especially the outdoor intertainment

    1. Thanks, Wanda.
      The outdoor seating venue is also one of my favorites.