the adventure started off not so much with exploration as destination. i had been told of a favorite park by my niece and nephew that showcased a nice view of the minneapolis skyline. being north and west of the city, it could make for a really nice spot to watch the skyline light up as the sun went down behind me. it was looking like there might be some nice clouds overhead as well that could pick up the sun's rays as it lowered in the sky. the park is bethune park located near the confluence of the 95 and 55 freeways.
i took off after work to see what images i could make there for the blue hour and beyond as i would be hitting the tail end of golden hour. i was surprised to see no one else there when i arrived being that it was a saturday. but that was dandy by me. it meant i could walk around, size up different viewpoints and settle on a vantage point to make images from without having to worry about being in other people's way or other people stepping in front of my camera.
the sky had turned overcast ahead of my arrival at the park. looking toward the skyline, i could see there was not going to be the show i was looking for. behind me, i could see some colors back a ways in the sky but just barely. however, as i've become accustomed to doing, i decided to stay and challenge myself to make some images that might be worth sharing. i watched the skyline light up, little by little, building by building. it reminded me of what i've heard about the olden days when lamplighters would traverse the streets lighting the gas lamps. pretty soon, the skyline was alive with lights and colors of varying degrees of brightness and saturation.
i had decided earlier to set up near this bench as i was looking for some foreground interest. i thought it would be fun to "paint" the bench with light for this long exposure of about eight seconds. i took a lume cube light, added an attachment to limit the range of the light shining and then painted back and forth across the slats and up and down the two metal supports.
this image is cropped in a little from it's original format. i felt it made the scene seem a little more intimate and interesting. the city lights reflecting off the overcast skies add a nice mood as well. this is definitely a spot i'll be coming back to for future sunset opportunities!
from there, i went east toward the city and crossed over the mississippi river. after driving around a bit in the northeast minneapolis region, i ended up pulling over and checking out another park. i had seen a pedestrian bridge down a steep set of stairs and was curious what might be down there. to my surprise, i discovered i was in boom island park! i'd been at the outermost part of it to make another image a few years back but had never explored it.
that's one of the cool things for me about exploring the city! slowly, but surely, i'm beginning to feel like i'm getting to know the twin cities more like a friend than an acquaintance. I'm becoming more familiar with the veins and lifeblood of what is contained in the city.
it might be hard for you to understand at my surprise mentioned above, but my hearing loss creates a bad sense of direction and a lousy internal compass. i am constantly surprised running into familiar sites when coming from a slightly different street or sidewalk. "huh! i'm back here again!" is a common sort of refrain you'd hear from me if you were to tag along. in some ways, i guess you could say i go more by visual cues than by mental acuity, though i'd like to think i do have some smarts. lol. it's kind of like being out in the rural and getting directions. to get to a destination..."go past the old cronkite barn, then turn left at the tree with the two broken branches from lightning...start looking for that old rusted ford model a about a mile down the road hidden behind the huge lilac bushes and you have arrived at so and so's house".
at any rate, i realized i was in boom island park and proceeded to see where the path would take me. i came to, i'm guessing, a viewing deck. i wasn't too sure as it was cordoned off due to construction or renovation being done on it. looking out from that spot gave another nice view of the city where one could see an old railroad bridge for trains leading into the city. behind that was the hennepin bridge (site of the iconic grain belt sign) lit up that thousands of cars travel over every day.
i continued on looking for another spot to make an image from and saw a small break in the tree line that bordered the mississippi river. i made my way down to a very small and cramped piece of shoreline. i managed some sort of uncomfortable kneeling position and got my gear set up for this image.
again, the overcast skies lent a beautiful mood to the scene. the colors and reflections just seem to glow. to the left, you can see the old railroad bridge. right behind and to the right of the bridge, you can see the concrete pillars of hennepin bridge with the green beacon lights at the top. wells fargo center has its classic signature reflection in the IDS building.
after the making of this image, i slowly, very slowly, managed to arise from my uncomfortable kneeling position with the help of a sturdy tree branch. after a brief moment of standing still to regain the usefulness of my legs again, i made my way back to the car and headed for home. all in all, it was a good night. heck, no matter the outcome, any night out making images is a good night!
this brings us to the conclusion of another blog. i hope you enjoyed reading it and viewing the images! have any comments or questions regarding the blog and/or the images? share them below in the comments section. i read and respond to every comment.
these images are available for purchase for your home and/or business. as we head into a season of graduations, weddings and the like, perhaps you know people who love photographic art pieces. these as well as my images in my online store would make unique and thoughtful gifts for those people in your life. my cityscape metal prints collection is in process but you can order metal prints. the images are available in the cityscape greeting cards collection.
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