The Right Place at the Right Time: The Peery Apartments

As part of my mission to get out and shoot more, I took another walk today, this time opting to head eastbound up 24th. Originally, I had wanted to check out one of the churches on the corner, but it was unfortunately all closed up and I was forced to find something else. Luckily, as I mosey’d down the street, I came across a boarded up apartment complex that has been built in 1910. While wandering around the outside looking to see if there was a way in, I happened upon the woman who manages the place! Turns out, they are working to remodel the inside of the building to update it and start renting out the apartments again. In our small talk I mentioned that I was just out shooting photos and was interested in old buildings and architecture. Since she was waiting on a plumber to come by and take a look at a few things, she asked if I’d like to see the inside, to which I jumped at the chance. And boy howdy am I happy I did!

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Not only did I get a full tour of the building, it turns out her mom had lived in the building for 28 years before it got closed down and she was well versed in every nook and cranny of the place. This gave me the opportunity to snap some cool photos from a series of apartments. Mostly, because my awesome tour guide knew which apartments had all the best accouterments like this ornament over one of the fireplaces:

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Or these awesome heaters in the various bedrooms:

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Seeing these types of things always forces me to wonder why we don’t put this kind of effort into anything anymore. It’s also primarily the reason that both my wife and I agree that when we get to the point where we are going to buy a home, we want something old. I want the ornate woodwork on the stairwells, and the embellishments in all the finer details. I mean, just look at the interior stairwells for crying out loud:

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And on top of all of that, one of the cooler parts about these apartments, is that they’re trying to keep as much of the old stuff as they can during the renovation. So things, like these awesome mailboxes:

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Or this sweet vintage call-box system in which you can buzz an apartment from the front door all Seinfeld status:

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Of course, what good is a trip into an old, dirty, run-down building without a few pictures of some grimey stuff or some crunchy textures? Don’t worry dear reader, I’ve got you covered on that front as well:

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All in all, it was an awesome little excursion and the lady who manages the apartments was super sweet. I look forward to them being finished in all their old meets new glory (i.e., they plan to keep the apartments mostly the same and simply add new appliances and some cool modern features). I also hope you’re enjoying these posts as much as I do because with any luck, they won’t be ending anytime soon!

As always, until next time –Thanks for reading!
-D

Jumping the Gun on a New Me: Mid-day Photowalk

For the regular readers, you’ve likely noticed a sharp decline in the posts I’ve been making. After switching roles at work I got into a bit of a funk where I felt wholly unsatisfied with my job and my current state in the world. In turn, it led to me not getting and out and shooting as much and seriously lacking inspiration. Earlier this week, I decided that wasn’t good enough anymore and I needed to shake things up some. I promised myself I would simply “be happier”, I’d work harder, and I’d also push to focus on the things I care about more. One of those obviously being photography. I figured that if nothing else, I could burn up my hour lunch break at work by instead of sitting around on my phone, going out for a walk and snapping some photos of random things. It would of course be mostly downtown Ogden near my office, but for now it would force me to shoot something. Anything really.

Yesterday was day one of the new method and it went exceptionally well as while I was wondering the street behind my work, I caught a few construction workers who were working on the old Keisel Building, which I’ve wanted to explore the inside of for a while, and I asked if I could poke around. They said it was fine but just look out for stray nails and such as it was a construction zone after all.

As it currently stands, the building is mostly done with the demolition side of the long term renovation plans and the interior has been pretty much gutted. However, there are still a number of the more interesting embellishments from the original building which made for some neat photos. Since the Kiesel building was primarily office spaces and home to a number of businesses, one of the cooler features was the mail chute that ran alongside the elevators from the top floor to the bottom:

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Aside from those, the elevator control mechanism on the top floor was open to dig through as well as a huge vault on the first floor:

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Outside of the fun, little things, I got a cool shot of the stairwell, and a fun picture of a busted up window on one of the top floors:

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Finally, I got up to the roof where I got a panorama shot of the clouds rolling in over the mountains now that our first good snow is completed:

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All in all it was a great day. I got some good work done, I got some sweet photos, and my mood was much better than it had been in a while. Even a nasty puddle was looking pretty good:

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So hopefully I will be posting here a little more often, as I get out and shoot more and who knows, maybe I’ll find the inspiration I’ve been wanting (even though I’m not sure what it would even look like at this point).

As always, until next time –thanks for reading!
-D

Jazz at the Station: The Corey Christiansen Trio

Earlier this month, much like the past few, I got called upon to shoot another jazz group in downtown Ogden at the Union Station. This time, unlike the others was much more of what I was expecting when someone tells me there is a jazz gig being played somewhere. Classically trained and exceptionally brilliant on the guitar was a local Utahan whose been travelling the country and becoming a well known name in the jazz world. Corey, who got his start at Utah State University had been pitched to me by one of my buddies as one of the best Jazz guitarists he’s ever heard. He wasn’t kidding. It’s one of those things where you can’t really write about how good something is, you just have to show people. So I suggest you check out his site here or drop him a listen on Spotify as his new album is up there.

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With Corey, was drummer Steven Shindo Lyman who may be one of the best drummer’s I’ve ever heard. Sadly, I can’t find a website for him, but if you ever hear that name or see it on a flyer, be sure to check him out as he’s an absolute beast. So much so I ended up getting a few more pictures of him than I usually do with other drummers. Here’s a couple:

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Last but not least, jumping in on the keyboard was Ryan Conger. I’ve written about him in my last two Jazz at the Station posts, so I won’t go into a lot of that here as you already know about him.

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All in all, the show was killer good, as they played a lot more of what I guess is now considered traditional jazz. I managed to swing some pretty decent shots out of the gig and look forward to whoever will be playing next month, as this is becoming a staple in my monthly calendar.

That’s all for this one, as always, until next time –Thanks for reading!
-D

Lackadaisical Saturays

This wasn’t one of my more productive weeks for photography as even though I had my camera with me I didn’t take it out much as I wasn’t terribly inspired by the things I was seeing. Saturday was a fun and eventful day nonetheless, as I took the kiddo down to Farmington Station on the Railrunner (our local Amtrak). I caught a few photos on the way home that I thought were kind of neat, but otherwise the day was comprised of shopping and walking and just spending some time with the kiddo. Here’s a pair of street shots at the train platform:

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The clouds made for some fun pictures that a lot of my friends took. In hindsight I should have been a little more active on the shutter, but alas it was a carelessly lazy weekend.

Next weekend seems like it should be more exciting as I am dropping the kiddo off with her grandparents for the month of June, as we have the last few years. In doing so, I’ll get to meander around Denver a little where I hope to get some fun street shots and some cool architecture work in. The blog post will likely be a little late as it’s a three day weekend for me and around the time of mine and my wife’s wedding anniversary, so we’ll be puttering around to take advantage of the day off of work.

That’s all for this time. As always, until next time — Thanks for reading!
-D

#OgdenWide photowalk and My BTS work.

As I mentioned in a previous post I got an offer to go and do some behind the scenes shots for a short film with some great people. While I still can’t post any real shots of the setup (to not give it away) I did manage to get a few HDR shots of the cast on set for the second weekend of shooting. I even managed to bring the kiddo along and put her to work helping to decorate the set:

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“Helping to decorate”
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“HDR Director”
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“Production Crew Shenanigans”
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“Memorizing lines”
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“Directing Extras”
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“The Magic of Friendship”
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“Red Dress”

I gotta say, if you ever get the chance to work on a movie set, it’s one of the most fun (read: exhausting) and rewarding experiences I can think of. Seeing a bunch of seemingly unrelated clips and knowing they’ll come together to make an entire film is out of this world.

Aside from that, yesterday a couple of my friends put together a photo-walk for the photographers of Ogden to meet, hang out and shoot some local scenery. I had a blast hanging out with the people for two big reasons: 1) They are all super talented and fun to be around; and 2) Their passion for photography and art is infectious. Getting to chat with people who want to hear about your cook-y ideas and get excited for you is just phenomenal. Thanks to them, I have not only a fun idea for a photoshoot, but now I have a few more ideas to add in that should make it even better! Unfortunately, that will have to wait until this summer once I’ve upgraded my camera gear, gotten a lighting set-up, and put in the leg work to find models, props, and a location. So since there is still a ton of work to be done there, I’ll show you a couple of the photos I took from yesterdays walk instead to tide you over:

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I’m pretty excited to check back into the area with the rotted out car ports and stuffed animal, even though I didn’t get as good a focus on bear as I would have liked. There is an abandoned apartment complex, that has gone onto my list of places to explore. So hopefully you’ll get to see the inside of it soon as well in a future post.

Well that’s it for this one, as always … Thanks for reading!
-D

Lessons in Shooting Water, or Why TLC Was Wrong About Everything …

Today was moderately productive as far as picture taking goes. I failed to heed the warnings of the mid 90s pop icons and in fact, chased some waterfalls. Granted, these waterfalls weren’t very large, or symbolic of poor life choices, or whatever it was they were getting at. To be fair, at that time I was too busy listening to punk rock and learning to skateboard to be concerned with any sort of life lesson that may benefit me in the future.

Nonetheless, as I mentioned, today I got a chance to do something I’d been working on for a while, which was to pull water into that nice, soft, silky texture without having to buy a hundred dollar ND filter. I’ve always been aware of the process, but lighting conditions have usually prevented me from getting what I wanted as no matter how low I forced the F stop, the light was always such that anything slower than a “one second” shutter speed would white wash the entire thing into oblivion. Well not today folks! Today once I had finished goofing off with the kiddo at the park, the clouds had rolled in and just darkened up the sky enough I could pull 3.5-4 seconds. And because of that I was able to accomplish this:

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Of course, it required getting put into one of my sweet personalized Lightroom presets to get the overall feel I wanted (that slightly warmer, yet still cloudy day feel). But overall, very little processing was necessary and the image wasn’t a sheet of printer paper to start with. So in my best Borat impression I must say … Great Success! Very Nice!

I nabbed one other shot that was salvageable. This one of course, simply uses one of my other standard Landscape presets and isn’t as warm. The focus for this is much more on the cloudy day:

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As for yesterday, if you follow me on any of the various sosh-meeds I mentioned I would be rolling back out to the causeway again. This time of course was more or less just to let my buddy Ben Sant over at BTS Photography get a feel for the sweet landscapes available and hammer out some ideas for a more dystopian styled shoot using the rusted out tugboats from my last post here.

I did manage one shot of the tracks which came out better than the ones I shot last week, and I think I prefer the black and white on it more as well, given how harsh the sun was:

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I was a little bummed as I had planned on giving him a quick run-down on landscapes but the wind was blowing pretty hard across the lake and the cloud cover wasn’t terribly interesting. So that was a bit of a whiff. Of course, the day wasn’t lost as brainstorming was done, and things were learned (at least on my part anyways) as I was able to get a pretty strong primer on lighting. I am actually pretty excited to get out and do a legit model shoot with some of the ideas I have. But that unfortunately for you the reader, will have to wait for another day. As always, Thanks for reading!
-D

TFW You’re Actually Productive!

Yesterday I had every intention on waking up early and going out to a spot near park city that a friend of mine and I had stumbled upon last year. In case you’re wondering, it would have been magical. However, when 5 O’clock rolled around, things went awry and it didn’t happen. Had this been like any of the last few weekends, I probably would have been discouraged enough to just fart around the house and not get out and take any photos at all. However, yesterday was a little different. I actually felt somewhat inspired to get out and shoot! Knowing this feeling has been coming in waves as of late I figured I shouldn’t pass it up and decided to find my way out to a place that I had been wanting to see for a while.

I did end up puttering around the house for a bit before eventually leaving, double-checking the google map to make sure I knew the right unmarked dirt road to turn off on to get myself out onto the Southern Pacific Causeway. I’m pretty glad I went. while the drive itself was a little tedious given the awful condition of the dirt road that runs along the side of the train tracks. Once you get out far enough down the road to where you’re in a part of the Salt Lake where water is a thing, the view is nothing short of incredible. Just clear still water as far as you can see. So still it’s basically glass. Which makes for some nice reflection shots:

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I did even try recording a few videos on my iphone while I was out there too. I’m not entirely sure I’ll be uploading them though as I um’d and uh’d quite a bit and have no idea how to edit video. So it would be long and awkward, which I’d rather not subject you all too.

One of the main reasons I chose the causeway was because I’d heard of various ship/boat wreckage that was located along the road and given my love of old, ugly and rusty stuff I knew this would be right up my alley. I was not disappointed at all when I finally stumbled upon them:

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I think this trip was probably one of my most productive excursions to date. I got to try some more infrared work, which to be honest didn’t come out nearly as well as I had hoped, but was still pretty cool:

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This one is MUCH too blue, but at the same time, if I tried warming it up in post, it just got this ugly purple hue instead. I had a few shots that would have been the right color mix, but I forgot to set the manual focus and ended up with blurry blue blobs. Whoops! So I suppose I’ll chalk this up as a loss and try again the next time I go out.

As for the rest of the excursion, I got to meet a guy I’ve only known online to this point who is also a pretty talented photographer (who specializes in Sports Photography, which is awesome!) You can check out his work here:

https://www.facebook.com/saltedempirephoto/?pnref=lhc

I also managed to find lots of neat broken junk like so:

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I’m not entirely sure why there is a calculator out there, but it made for a cool photo. I also managed to shoot a few other reflection shots that I am pretty happy with:

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And here’s an artsy one of some stacked rocks out in the dry bed part of the lake:

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On top of all the fun new photos I got, I also made it a point to snap a few on the way home for my “There’s No Time” Project, both of which ended up WAY better than I expected for a point and snap while shooting out the window of my car. The Bottom one was especially neat as I was turning a corner to get back on the road to head home and just started snapping away knowing that if I pulled over to try and get a “good” shot the deer would have long since ran off. Sometimes you just get super lucky. Which is entirely the point of the project!

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That’s it for this one. As always, until next time — Thanks for reading!
-D