Draws You In, Doesn’t It?

Railroad Bridge across Cedar River to Quaker Oats, Cedar Rapids, Linn County, Iowa

Here’s yet another example of finding an older photo and seeing it in a different light for the first time.  And this time this one has quickly turned into one of my all-time favorites.  In color this shot was nice, but… meh.  In black and white it popped, and I couldn’t stop staring at it… or should I say ‘staring INTO it’?  That’s the key here, the image draws you in and you can’t help but look all the way down to the end, trying to look even farther.  The combination of the starkness and simplicity of the black and white, the symmetry, along with the lines leading… pulling… you in is simply incredible.  This will end up on my wall, somewhere.

This is the railroad bridge that leads to the Quaker Oats plan in downtown Cedar Rapids over the Cedar River.  It is “unsecured”, as in no gates or barriers into the plant, but rumor has it that if you even set foot on the bridge as it heads over the water you will be greeted by a couple burly security guards from the other end, and will be not-so-kindly warned and escorted back to where you came from.

I also like how the plant and the sign itself peeks out from the side, providing context.

This was taken a few years ago one evening as part of another photo shoot sponsored by my photo club.  Something that I probably never would have done on my own.  An active and pro-active photo club can be an invaluable resource.

Storm chasing… or, rather, storm avoiding

IMG_4425_6_7_8_9_tonemapped - FBFrom the looks of this shot, you’d never know that I was in between storm deluges.  Everything looks so dry and calm and peaceful, but we had some really serious downpours about an hour before, and it started raining again just about 10 minutes after I took this shot.

I drive by this railroad bridge almost every day.  It is easily seen from the highway, and I had always wanted to stop and take some shots.  I also have an affinity for clouds… big puffy clouds… and as you can see I got the best of both worlds in this one.

This railroad bridge is just east of Ryan, Iowa, off Hwy 13.  Personally, I think it’s rather intriguing.  I may be stopping by more in the future and see what else I can find.

The Value of a Good Photo Club

IMG_4001-600I have been a bad photographer.  I blew off my photo club meeting today.  (I had too much ‘at home’ stuff that needed to get done.)  But, that doesn’t mean a good photo club isn’t worth one’s time or effort.  Far from it.

I belong to the Linn Area Photo Club (LAPC) in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  We strive to be an educational and teaching club, and we do a pretty good job of that, in my opinion.  Almost every meeting has an educational aspect of some kind.  We have contests, too, of course, but unlike many clubs contests are not our primary focus (no pun intended).

We also have “photo shoots”, or outings where we get together as a group and go shoot a specific place or event.  In January we visited the Hawkeye Model Railroad Club in Coralville, Iowa.  It was super cold out, so the indoor shoot was most welcome.  The people were very friendly and accommodating, and it was a great deal of fun.

This photo is one of mine from that shoot.  I spent a lot of time doing “low depth-of-field” shots like this, and I wished I still had my tilt-shift lens, but I still got some very nice shots.  I hope you enjoy it.