Reflections on a year in 365 photographs

Posts Tagged ‘building


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Architectural details in North Charleston


The green oxidized copper patina of the roofline trim and gutters against the bright red brick initially drew my eye to these details.  I worked the imaged in color but just was not satisfied with the results.  I cropped to square format, converted to black and white, and tri-toned the image to get what I’m posting here as my image for the day.

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Written by Brian Fancher

March 5, 2010 at 8:01 pm


with 3 comments

Saint Michael's in Charleston, SC

Saint Michael's

Here in Charleston, SC you cannot drive more than a block or two downtown without running into some sort of church building.  Saint Michael’s is probably the most well known of the buildings.  It would be hard not to include it in this project in one way or another.  While I’m not all that enthusiastic about the churches themselves, I find the architectural details compelling.  Here, the stark white steeple shows the intricate ornamentation off in the directional light treatment.

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Written by Brian Fancher

February 9, 2010 at 11:41 pm


with one comment

A photograph of the old power station on the Naval Base at Charleston, SC

Lights Out

Here is another of the old buildings decaying on the abandoned Naval Base at Charleston, SC.  This is the old power station and I suspect it will remain in place, but abandoned for a long time due to asbestos issues.  The building is clearly from another time where ornamental architectural appointments were de rigueur.  Today, the exterior might have been simple corrugated metal or solid concrete at best.  As it stands, the building makes an imposing presence square in the middle of the former Naval Base property.  In this particular image I love the way the clouds create an illusion of energy and mystery around the cold, dead Power House.

For this photograph, I used my 24mm f2.8 prime but found it was not wide enough in the available space to capture the entire building since my camera is a 1.6x crop sensor Canon 40D.  I was not happy with the horizontal shots, even when converted in HDR.  The composition just didn’t work.  So I stayed with the vertical, cropped to 8×10 format and went with black and white for the final image.  I like these kinds of images but will have to work toward a true wide-angle lens if I want to capture the truly stunning wide-angle shots.

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Written by Brian Fancher

February 8, 2010 at 8:53 pm


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Photography is not about the equipment….mostly.  While some equipment can surely get you images you might not otherwise capture, you don’t need a million-dollar rig to make good photographs.  Chase Jarvis proves it in his iPhone book.  What he and other great photographers have is instinct….an eye for the images they want.  Every one of you can develop that just by making the effort to take photographs often.  Bags full of gear and shelves full of books won’t do it for you.  Get out and make photographs!

I left the DSLR behind today on a quick jaunt over to Columbia, SC to see the Ansel Adams exhibition at the SC Museum of Art.  The only camera I had with me was my Droid Eris.  If you’ve read any of the online reviews the camera in that phone may be one of the worst of the current crop of phones…worse, even, than the iPhone which has 2 million fewer pixels.  Some of the reviewers are downright hostile.

I don’t know about any of that.  This particular image won’t win many competitions on technical merit and the composition is a bit trite.  But when I consider this photo came from a camera phone that I have with me nearly all the time, I know I’ve always got a camera for those times when I wished I’d had one!

This one’s for you, Kevin.  Thanks.

Written by Brian Fancher

January 18, 2010 at 12:43 am


with 6 comments


One reason I undertook this project is to stretch my photographic horizons in hope that I’ll settle on a style or even just a genre to focus on and master.  Of the thousands of photographs I’ve taken in my life, the majority have been travel or event related, usually in conjunction with a military deployment of some sort.  I have shot the twin towers in New York from the flight deck of the USS Kennedy.  I’ve traveled the length and breadth of Japan and other countries, capturing the unique cultures and peoples.  I have photographed miles of U.S. scenic roads and trails.

But in all that time, I don’t recall ever taking a photograph like this.  Photographer Chase Jarvis has found fame with his iPhone photography book “The Best Camera Is The One Thats With You.”  I have passed ruined tobacco barns on the back roads of down east North Carolina and not had a camera at hand.  I’ve inspected rotten buildings scheduled for destruction overseas that the military somehow renovates into expeditionary quarters or housing and not had a camera at hand.  For every image I have on film, print or slide, there are two or three missed opportunities I hold in my mind’s eye.

So today I determined to photograph in an abandoned building that I pass every day on my commute.  By appearances of the heavy construction equipment around it, I may have found it not even standing by the end of next week.  I may have taken the last photographs that will ever be taken inside this decayed old plant building.  This time I have the photographs!

As for this image, I have seen photographs of this type of urban decay quite often.  Many are graphically disturbing.  Some produce a profound sense of nostalgia.   Several convey a sense of lost beauty surrounded by a sea of modern plastic and glass.  A few, perhaps even this one, elevate the mundane to works of art.  I doubt that I’ll take up “urban decay” as my photographic muse, but I’m pleased with this shot.

As always, comment and critique are welcome.  When was the last time you passed a photo opportunity?

***Updated:  Check out my Flikr photostream for more images from this shoot, including a remarkably 3D-like HDR composite.***

Written by Brian Fancher

January 9, 2010 at 12:48 am


with one comment


Today is a graphic image of a building near my workplace.  The strong lines and monotone nature of the concrete structure lend themselves nicely to this sort of image.  Shooting from a diagonal added drama to what might otherwise be a boring image.

Lesson for the day:  Look at old things in new ways.  One of the benefits I hope to gain from this project is learning more about what my camera sees of the world.

Critiques are always welcome here.  I welcome dialog on any aspect of this project.  Thanks!

Written by Brian Fancher

January 5, 2010 at 10:52 pm