Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Another Day. Another Photo Ramble.

Hampton Roads Maritime Association Building, 2010

It seems like whenever I describe the context of some of my pictures, I always seem to start with something about how it was an intolerably cold day. Well, so much for that. This past weekend was wonderfully spring-like. I have no excuses.

After having spent some time recently focusing on architectural details in buildings in New York, I decided to do the same in downtown Norfolk, Virginia. I worked downtown for about ten years. My grandmother lived downtown when I was a child. I’m there a lot for meetings. It’s not exactly unfamiliar territory.

I was downtown recently and happened to notice a particularly interesting view from the 8th floor of the parking deck where I’d left my car. My new iPhone takes better pictures than the old one. But the view demanded a more thoughtful return. So this past Saturday I decided to focus on taking pictures from parking decks in downtown Norfolk.

Yeah, I know. Parking decks? Pretty silly. But all I was looking for was a starting point. A parking deck was as good as anything else I could think of at the moment.

Years ago I did a research project for the ad agency that represented the tourism authority in Asheville, North Carolina, a small city and summer retreat in the mountains of western North Carolina probably best known as the birthplace of Thomas Wolfe and the site of the Biltmore Estate. The agency wanted me to gather consumer impressions of their then-latest theme line, “Altitude Affects Attitude.” People understood the line, but thought the way it was portrayed visually in print ads was inconsistent with their experience in Asheville. The client got mad at the agency for trying to hide the research results. The agency got mad at me. Apparently the client and the agency made up later on because the last time I looked Asheville still uses the same tag line.

Where was I going? Oh yeah, altitude. A lot of the pictures I took on Saturday were clichés, perspective I had captured before. But I liked a few because changing my perspective—mainly my altitude—forced me to notice things about familiar places that I hadn’t noticed before.

1 comment:

  1. Hahaaa! These are all great--I always enjoy your photos of buildings--you have a really good eye for 'em. I always forget about Thomas Wolfe in Asheville--next time I'm there I'll have to think about heading to his home. (Just 'cause he can't go home again doesn't mean I couldn't.)