Sunday, April 12, 2015


Walker's Point is a neighborhood on Milwaukee's south side.  Historically, it emphasized industrial manufacture, such as metal fabrication and leather tanning, as well as churches and taverns.  In the last half of the 20th century it had undergone a lengthy period of decline but is now undergoing a revitalization, with the conversion of abandoned factories into commercial and residential developments.  Over the last couple of years I have found myself wandering around in the neighborhood, looking for photo opportunities, and that is what I was doing on a recent sunny Saturday morning.

The neighborhood still has a gritty feel to it, and I thought I would convert into black & whites some of the images I that I took.  Admittedly, these are just a little outside the lines.  But, if nothing else, they give a flavor of the kind of things I find myself attracted to.

First up is a pile of abandoned tires.  Yes, that's right.

Given the black tires and bright sunlight, this was a natural to convert to a black & white image.  Whether it has any aesthetic merit is questionable, but I liked that I caught the image "as is."

And here is an abstract of the steel steps of a new stairway to a pedestrian bridge crossing a local boulevard.

Too simple, I'm afraid.

Milwaukee has its share of (unauthorized) street art, and below is an example that caught my eye as I was driving by.  The building had been painted gray and the "art" was also done in blacks, whites, and grays.

Following is an example of a factory building that is still waiting (hoping) to be rejuvenated.  It stood at the far end of an open field, allowing me to get an image with very little perspective distortion.

I liked the play of light and shadow on the petroleum tanks in the shot below.  It was Saturday morning, and there appeared to be no one around when I took this shot.  Even so, I was concerned because the last time I tried to photograph petroleum tanks, I was warned to leave before security called 911.

Things didn't go as well when I returned to one of my other haunts, an abandoned tannery.  Within 10 minutes a security guard approached me and told me that I would have to leave, that, among other things, the lot where my car was parked was private.  This, even though the lot had spaces for well over 100 cars and mine was the only car parked there.  So I left, but not before getting a couple of shots of a bridge that spanned little-used railroad tracks.

I took these shots hurriedly because I had spotted the pedestrian and wanted to capture her silhouette against the bright sky.  Ideally, I would have gotten the shots a few seconds earlier as she was walking into the scene rather than leaving it.  Even so, I thought the photos worked fairly well.  I like the first shot a bit more for the simplicity of the compositional elements: the bridge cables, the industrial buildings, and the pedestrian.  But I liked the second for the tracks running underneath.


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