The first is of an ancient grain elevator on the old Pabst Brewery campus northwest of downtown Milwaukee. The elevators are built out of individual ceramic tiles, each perhaps a foot and a half square and slightly curved. What caught my eye was the fact that the tiles were different colors and exhibited different levels of deterioration. I also liked the silvery patina covering some of the tiles.
Here is another photo from the same area, which shows a foundational crack at the base of those grain elevators.
Across a narrow alley from the grain elevators was a small building exhibiting a good deal of paint failure, as illustrated in the following shots.
This area is undergoing extensive renovation and I probably should have not been there. But I visited after work hours and wasn't getting in anyone's way. There was not a lot of light in the alley and I took these with the help of a tripod. Because paint failure occurs in a more or less random fashion, one of my choices was the image's composition. In the first shot I wanted to be sure I included all four coats of paint. In the second I wanted to position the darkest area toward the upper right corner of the image.
Below is a shot from the interior of one of my other favorite locations, the Solvay Coke Plant on the south side of Milwaukee. This is a shot of a plastered wall. The one recognizable item in the shot is the light switch in the lower right corner. Again, there was little light, and I was using a tripod to ensure adequate exposure time without worrying about camera shake. This was taken at f/5.6 for 1/10 second at a 200 ISO.
I'm confident that the switch has not been operational for at least 25 years.
Another case of paint failure was actually a graffiti site in Milwaukee's Walker's Point area on the former grounds of the Sprecher brewery (before it moved to Glendale). Here are a couple of the shots that I took at that location.
Again, I was most concerned with color and overall composition. The primary warehouse for the former brewery is pretty much totally derelict. The large (locked) double-entry doors to the building were in a serious failing state, and I chose to take a shot of the bases of doors, which were in particularly poor condition.
The upper portions of the doors had been painted a brilliant blue, and I liked the overall look of the graffitied doors, handles, and lock.
When I returned to this area a few days later, I found that the doors had been painted black to cover up the blue paint. Perhaps a subsequent graffiti artist had painted something that the property's overseers objected to. In any event, while I was busy shooting some of the graffiti, I was approached by a young man with the word "Security" on his shirt. Nice guy who had been watching me on surveillance cameras and had mistaken my camera equipment for a graffiti spray gun.
© 2014 John M. Phillips