I was on a shoot in and around Cleveland and we had a day off in the middle of our scheduled days so my assistant, Robb Reece, www.robbreecephotography.com, and I headed of to do a little shooting in City. Being from Western Colorado, we don't have the opportunity to shoot in this environment very often so like to look around a bit when we have the chance. The visuals are, as you can see from most of my other work, very different, thus, very interesting.
The patina on all of the industrial era building told such a great story of that time in America's history during a period of such expansion. The discovery of steel and oil bi-products and the toil of the everyday man trying to provide for his family. Not that there are guarantees in life today I think of how difficult it had to have been back in the early 1900's. The weathering on the old brick buildings reminded me of lichen on a piece of granite in a talus field in the high country.
I always loved the neatness and order of the little neighborhoods that sprang up around the city to house workers. Each with their ethnic concentrations. It was from these little townships and streets that the boys went off to fight in the World Wars. From these porches daughters were picked up for their first dates and Dad went of to pull his shift.
I was impressed by the waterways that are still fully in use that spread our commerce from the Great Lakes. Bridges radiating out from the central part of the city creating access to the industrial areas. All the while we were shooting, we were looking for a spot we could end up shooting from that would give us an elevated perspective for the mandatory unobstructed "skyline" photo.
So many of these old businesses that were apparently still working and some, under the same name. Texture and contrast everywhere.
Light continued to improve with some very promising clouds as we continued our search for "the spot". Clouds make the day. There was a time when all we wanted to see was wall to wall blue. Now, just the right amount of cloud cover with a small slice of clear on the Western horizon. Just fun to watch if nothing else.
We found our spot. As luck would have it, a transport ship was moving in along the water way. This really helped complete the story of this image. Finding just the right angle took a little time. Just enough of everything to complete the foreground without compromising how the transport ship would look when it came into position.
When I'm out running around with my camera and thinking of what I'd like to find, I always try to be mindful when the light is cooperating like it was this evening. A cloud scrim can move in so easily and compromise your outcome. And there's not a darn thing you can do about it other than adjust your approach.