INSIDE THE MACHINE – The City Museum of St. Louis is an incredible hands-on exhibition area and playground which occupies an old 10-story show factory. The city block edifice contains Architecture, sculpture, artwork, climbing structures, suspended aircraft and play bridges. The building’s atrium features a 10-story circular slide adjacent to a massive pipe organ playing Phantom of the Opera.
OVERHEAD GEOMETRIC STROLL – The world is full of optical illusions and visual tricks of the eye. As a photographer I’m always on the lookout for unique compositions that involve interplays of geometry and other interesting shapes. Looking down 14 stories from my old office building on a Fall day I saw pedestrians walking the plaza among stark trees surrounded by a variety of shapes. Color would have only distracted from the image so it was converted to black and white to focus the viewer’s attention in the interlocked shapes.
CHORUS LINE LUMINARIES – Cleveland abounds in stunning public sculpture and Stephen Manka is one of the more accomplished artists. His Luminaries work sits atop a bus shelter in Playhouse Square and flashes LED lights as buses approach. What I see instead though is reminiscent of the Martian War Machines in HG Wells “War of the Worlds.” It is very impressive in person.
CAST A LONG SHADOW – From 2011 to 2016 I photographed construction of Cleveland’s Innerbelt Bridge. Many times I used the old bridge as a camera platform to document this. One morning I spotted this steel worker as he was inspecting the new catwalks far below.
ARCS ON EUCLID – Here is another beautiful sculpture by Stephen Manka. Arcs flows about 1500’ down the median strip of a busy thoroughfare. From his site: “This District wide sculptural lighting installation consists of stainless steel arcs that resemble a lacework embroidering the University Circle’s Euclid Avenue median. The Arcs are arranged playfully over a stretch of 3/4 mile. The daytime effect is silvery and reflective with the arcs stitch through the landscape. At night, brush strokes of blue light emerge.”
MALEVOLENCE – Taking a pleasant country drive one day I came upon this harvesting thresher. Or was it? Cropped and angled in this way and converted to black and white it takes on a menacing attitude towards the unwary viewer. I think of Steven King’s clown peaking around a window frame.
CLOUDS OVER ACACIA – My wife Jeanne and I volunteer at the Cleveland Metroparks and have been doing a photo survey project there since 2013. Acacia park was a former 156 acre country club golf course which is now reverting to a more natural state. Every Spring, Summer and Fall we navigate to 38 GPS vegetation plots photograph the changes. I’m always on the lookout for interesting compositions and the wispy clouds framing the dried summer vegetation made an interesting composition.
GIANT JACKS – I used to play “Jacks” as a kid and the only element missing from this shot is a giant wrecking ball. These were discovered at an interstate highway construction location. Pure white concrete lent itself perfectly to a black and white photo of this illusionary arrangement.
MALL C REFLECTIONS – What is real and what is reflected? The image as well as actual encounter makes the viewer stop and consider. Part of an underground Cleveland parking garage these mirrored surfaces punctuate a grass mall with their points of engagement. It was the varied geometry which caught my eye so I removed all color from the final image.
SENIOR GAMES FLAMES – The “City of Light” sculpture was created by Stephen Manka “for the opening ceremonies of the Senior Games hosted in Cleveland in 2013. We convinced them to simulate the flames of the classic games with a wash of programmable light, a more ecological solution and a more dazzling nightscape for the duration of the games.” What I captured was a delightful contrast of changing curving color against a harsh geometric background of blacks and grays.