Friday, May 13, 2016


The Milwaukee Federal Courthouse is a well preserved example of Romanesque Revival architecture in downtown Milwaukee.  (I know that because I looked it up in Wikipedia.)  The building was completed in 1892, a time period consistent with the construction of numerous other of the historic buildings in urban Milwaukee.  Here is a wide-angle view.  Not a great shot but it does include the entire building.

And here is a roofline feature of the building posed against a more modern office building, a nice way I thought to show the contrast between 19th century and 20th architectural styles.

And here is a detail from the building's east side.

I'm not sure why I kept this shot, which is a bit simplistic.  Perhaps it was the symmetry, or perhaps it was the reflection of the modern office building in the elevated window.

The remaining shots feature the front colonnade, the first a wide-angled shot from across the street.

On this visit there was a professional photographer working with a couple on their engagement photos.  Here is a closer straight-on shot.  The couple helped, I thought.

Here is an oblique shot of the facade that features the nicely detailed granite-clad archwork.

In this shot I wanted to incorporate not just the archwork but the parallel set of railings.

Here are a couple of detail shots of the supports for the arches.  Note the faces carved in the stonework.

I know that there are restrictions on photographing federal facilities.  On at least three occasions I have been asked to leave federal buildings because I was taking photos of it.  Once I was booted out for taking photos of the interior, but on two other occasions I was only taking photos of the exterior when I was asked to leave.  So I was concerned that if I walked up to the entrance with my camera unwanted things could happen.  However, it was evening; the building was closed; there were no guards around.  And, besides, there was that other photographer working with the engaged couple.

These shots have some technical flaws. It was evening and I was beginning to lose light.  Moreover the entranceway was in shadow and quite dark.  I did not have my tripod, which would have helped substantially.  So, to minimize motion blur, I needed to ramp the ISO up to 1250.  But the light on the columns contrasted nicely with the dark inner sides of the archways, and I thought the effect worked really well.  I didn't mind that I sacrificed some detail of the inside of the archways in exchange for that contrast.  I also thought the light fixtures served to provide some balance to the overall composition.


1 comment:

  1. You know I love black and white. Great pictures