petak, 07.10.2011.



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Reflections Vietnam Memorial Washington DC

Reflections Vietnam Memorial Washington DC

This is a night shot taken at around 2am in January 2011 approximately 28 Degrees out during a trip to Washington DC. This is a very worked on image, not a simple click and shoot by any means. There are over 15+ individual images which were then combined to make panoramas. Individual shots were also used as patches in places and various Photoshop tools were used.

There are so many things that are so amazing about this location and monument. The obvious ones are how you start with the first names and as the years go on and the wall get taller with the names of those that sacrificed. Many have noticed it's amazing black shiny reflective stone used to make the panels.

What you may not realize is that this monument was set on what looks like near if not perfect sight lines with the Washington and Lincoln Monuments. If you stand right at the middle of the monument...the sunken light are like landing lights at an airport and the lead directly to the two monuments. You can also see each monument when looking into the deep black panels. I found the perfect place to capture the capital dome, and the Washington Monument on both sides of the image. This image is over 1.5GB in size. You can read the individual names on the first 2.5 panels!

As I was creating this image I was playing with the different elements that you can see and how they all interacted with each other. The soldiers names, the reflections of the monuments, the reflections of the Vietnam monument within itself, the snow covered grass area in each part of the memorial.

I am learning that when taking a picture or taking many pictures to create a final image there are so many things going on at the same time. As humans when we are physically at a place we are constantly changing our point of view, focus, and attention on things, and we can do this because we are physically there. In a picture, much of that dynamic ability is removed and it's up to the photographer or artist to help recapture what the viewer can't recreate. So with this in mind I tried to capture in this image the ability to focus on the bright names in the foreground, yet change the focus from the names to the Washington Monument reflected in the left. As the wall moves away from you the focus changes to show the reflections of the environment including the sky and trees that surround the area. As the wall turns lights reflect from the paths behind me. If you were to change your angle the Lincoln Monument would be seen, and you can see the white field reflected as the white lower half of the far wall. Even closer to the end tip of the monument is the White Capital Dome just sticking up above the horizion and, if you look hard you can even see it in the reflection of the wall.

Overall I am happy with this image, it is by far the most sophisticated "image" I have created with my camera and Photoshop. The cool thing about this is that there is no way that with one single shot I could have captured it. My goal though was to create an image that gives the viewer more to see, to appreciate, to get caught up in than a single image would have done. This still doesn't come close to what it was like to stand there in the dark, all alone, at 2am below freezing and take everything in, but...I hope I got close.

This image is dedicated to all the men and women that have sacrificed so much for all of us and this great country.

A Blessed Memorial Day to all and GOD Bless America!!!


Washington Boulevard by Louis Kamper

Washington Boulevard by Louis Kamper

Five buildings on Washington Boulevard were designed by architect Louis Kamper (1861 - 1953):
-- Book Building, 13 floors, completed in 1916
-- Book Tower, 36 floors, completed 1926
-- Industrial Bank Building, 22 floors, completed 1928
-- Washington Boulevard Building, 23 floors, completed 1923
-- Book Cadillac Hotel, 29 floors, completed 1924
(Mouse over the photo to identify buildings)

What's with all the "Books"? The Book brothers, James Burgess Book Jr. (1890 - ?), Frank Palms Book (1893 - ?) and Herbert Vivian Book (1895 - 1963) were the grandchildren of Francis Palms, one of the city’s wealthiest men. The Book brothers were raised on Washington Boulevard in the original Cadillac Hotel.

From the website BuildingsofDetroit.com: "Starting in 1916, J. Burgess Book Jr. and his brothers embarked on turning the rundown and ragged Washington Boulevard into a fashionable destination, similar to Fifth Avenue in New York. The first major building constructed was the Book Building, a rather simple 13-story Italian Renaissance office building. Like most of the buildings on the boulevard, it was designed by Louis Kamper, the Books’ architect of choice.

"While distinguished, the Book Building was Kamper’s first major commercial design. Along the Washington Boulevard side, the Book Building has 12 sculptures of nude women, known as caryatids, which seem to be holding up the building’s cornice. The building's U-shaped design allowed for ample sunlight in more offices.

"Next, Kamper came up with the Washington Boulevard Building at the corner of Washington and State. The following year saw the opening of Kamper’s best-known creation, the Book-Cadillac Hotel. As the city’s fortunes rose with the auto industry, office and retail space on the boulevard was in demand. By this time, the Book brothers controlled about 60% of the frontage on Washington. But everyone else in town seemed to be building tall skyscrapers, and the Books wanted to make a statement of their own. For that, they asked Kamper to build them the tallest building in the city, the 36-story Book Tower."

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