Tuesday, July 15, 2014

WANDERING DOWNTOWN MILWAUKEE

Sometimes, without having any particular photographic goals in mind, I find myself simply wandering around downtown Milwaukee, hoping that something will happen.  Generally, this occurs on the weekend, when crowds are fewer and parking is easier.  And that's what happened last Sunday morning.  I will admit I took a lot of shots--over 100--and didn't get a lot of keepers.  But I thought I would post what I got, starting with a trash container meant for recyclables.



And here is a detail shot of masonry work on what is now the Milwaukee Historical Society Building, a triangular building that was originally a bank.


I liked that the detail is off-center and there is a masonry seam near the top of the image.

Milwaukee boasts a variety of architectural styles, but probably tilts toward older, more ornate examples, such as the Pabst Theater building. Here is a detail from the building's upper section.


And this of from a lower portion of the building that was in the shadow of some fire escape stairs.


Compare that to the ultra-clean lines of the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.


And here is a shot that includes both old and new, the "new" being the Moderne apartment building.


Sometimes you need to look down as well as up.  I liked the richness and complexity of the rust on the following manhole cover.


Neenah is a smallish town in northeast Wisconsin.  But the products of its iron foundry can be found throughout the U.S., in the form of sewer grates and sidewalk grids, as well as manhole covers.

I spent a fair amount of my time around the Riverwalk.  It's a far cry from, say, San Antonio's, but it's been a nice improvement to Milwaukee's downtown over the past 10-20 years.  This time around I discovered a couple of new sculptures.  The first was of a trio of figures.


This sculpture posed technical problems, as the background was a bit distracting.  Some could call this a prototypical travel shot, as it incorporates not just the photo's primary subject but the context as well.  However, there was too much going on for my taste, and even though I opened up the lens's aperture as far as I could (f/4) to soften the background, it is obvious that it is still recognizable.  Things got better when I did closeups of individual figures, as in the following shots.



The lesson here is that the same aperture creates a shallower depth of field the closer the camera is to the point of focus.  I thought the emotion shown on the faces of these figures was exceptional.

Compare that to the expression on the face of the following sculpture.


A true warrior woman . . . I guess.  This shot, again taken at f/4, had great resolution, at least of the figure's face.  The open aperture served to soften nicely the building in the background.

Finally, here is a black & white of a bench along the Riverwalk.  I liked the play between the metal strips of the bench and the shadows they were  creating on the sidewalk.  The shadows created by the iron railing along the river helped too, I thought.


John

1 comment:

  1. You sure have a talents. I love the statues and the bench. Of course I always enjoy the black and white

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