the city life

Updated: Mar 17, 2021

i've mentioned in past blogs that while landscape photography is my first love with respects to what I love making images of, cityscapes or city-inspired images keep closing the gap. as i explore and make new images in the city, i find myself more and more readily open to keep making images in the city.


both landscape and cityscape images can be challenging in terms of making images you haven't already seen in some form or shape. this is especially true with the advancement of making images with your smartphone. if you have a smartphone, you have an incredible tool for making images. while that alone doesn't make one a photographer, it does increase the sheer number of potential photographers. just look at facebook and instagram among other social media accounts. they are flooded with images.


so what's my approach to trying to create something different? well, i explore and try to think "outside of the box" wherever i am exploring. i will always make images of locations and particular objects of interest, whether natural or manmade, that others have already seen and documented with a camera. one, because i enjoy seeing them and two, because i don't have the funds for trips throughout the USA, not to mention worldwide, to make images that are not as photographed as other places.


so what do i mean by "outside the box"? i just try to tweak things. take perspective for example. i make images from a high vantage point. i make images from a low vantage point. just employing those two "tools" can make the all the difference. it can be a highly photographed environment or subject but the angle the image is made from can make it new again, or at the very least, less common.


vantage points are just the tip of the iceberg in thinking "outside the box". sometimes it's intentional; sometimes it's by accident. i've mentioned tomas alvarez before in one of my blogs. he has been doing a series of images titled, "glass to glass". he basically puts the lens of his camera against a glass window of some establishment and makes an image of the empty/closed establishment as a way to document the pandemic we've been in. what a great idea! if i'm not mistaken, his son actually tried one and then told tomas about it. a curious endeavor to try something has turned into what i think has been a brilliant photo essay. you can see some of tomas' images from that series on instagram and facebook.


the images i'm sharing here were taken over a series of two different nights about a month ago. it's my hope that when you see them that they are "new" to you. it doesn't mean they haven't made into images before by others. i can't follow billions upon billions of images posted. lol. but hopefully i'm offering a different perspective on how you've seen the locations or focal points.



abstract art design in window of union depot head house

lowertown st. paul, mn



i've often looked at this hanging art piece when i'm in the area. this is just a small portion of the display that is framed by bars in the window. i like the negative space of the crisp and orderly lines abruptly broken by the chaotic display of the squares.


backlit aspen and bokeh colored lights in mears park

lowertown st. paul, mn



while i was walking in mears park, my eyes kept being drawn to the aspens (my guess as they did not have the distinctive peeling bark of birches) that were being backlit. ever since i saw mossy trees in northern california being backlit along the edges of trunks and branches by the sun, i've fallen in love with the look and feel of trees lit along the edges. i'm not familiar enough with the park to know if these lights are up all year round but i thought they added a playful splash of color to a rather monochromatic image.



red fire escape

lowertown st. paul, mn



i saw another image with this fire escape and i knew i had to find it. fortunately, one of the comments in the other image gave a clue to help me narrow down where to look for it. i don't know that i would have found it otherwise. a google search revealed other images of this fire escape but not the general location. this was taken at night and i love all the various sources of light adding ambience in this alley. the textures of the cobblestone and the stone and bricks of the buildings are awesome.


truth be told, i did keep looking back over my shoulder as it didn't seem like the best alleyway to be in at night. there were quite a few policemen hanging out in front of the union depot. i asked why at one point, letting the policeman know i was hearing impaired. i had hoped that info would have him pulling down his mask as i stood back a safe distance. but he didn't as he proceeded to tell me what was going on. i don't blame him for not pulling his mask down. but i never did understand why they were all there. lol.



river smoke along the stone arch bridge

minneapolis, mn



i never made it up north to lake superior when the sea smoke was in full force this winter. my "consolation prize" was hitting the tail end of river smoke rising from the mississippi river. you can see it better when you click on the image above to bring it up full size. rest assured the ice was fine where i was.


i'd love to hear your comments on these images and this blog if you have any thoughts about them to share. i read them all and answer them all.


these images are all available for purchase for your home and/or business. they would also make great gifts for that special someone in your life, be it family, friend or other relationship. check them out in my st. paul and minneapolis winter galleries here in my website. my online store is in progress and only has landscape options to purchase at the moment but these cityscape images are, again, available for purchase as well. simply click on the menu icon in the upper right and go from there to see the images in the aforementioned galleries. if you want to purchase any of these images, please leave a message for me using the contact form below. i will get back to you with a response as soon as possible.


thanks so much for continuing to support my photography by reading and sharing my blogs! i hope you enjoy reading them as much as i enjoy writing and sharing them with you all. i'll be back soon with another blog and more "images from a quiet world"!


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