Saturday, September 08, 2007

Different Views

Perspective is a problem.

It's Round Robin time again, now on Saturdays instead of Wednesdays. This week's topic, "Something Different," comes to us from Nancy of Nancy Luvs Pix, by way of the new Round Robin suggestion kitty. Nancy suggests that we "take a shot at something that they would never normally try to photograph. It's time for us to get out of our comfort zones, and open our eyes to the various art that exists, but is perhaps hidden somewhat."

I'm not sure I can live up to all that, but this Challenge comes at an appropriate moment for me. As many of you know, I recently started work at a new job, across town from my old job at First Magnus. For over two years I had spent most of my time on one three mile stretch of Wilmot Road, obsessively photographing the many moods of the Santa Catalina Mountains as seen from Fifth and Wilmot, plus the grounds of St. Michael's, sunsets seen from Safeway, and miscellaneous neighborhood sights.

Stone Avenue southbound, looking downtown

But now suddenly I'm driving about 19 miles roundtrip each day, down Golf Links to Aviation Highway, and north across downtown and beyond to get to my office. Instead of staring at Mount Lemmon and the Crosswalk of Death, I'm navigating a corridor that separates the city from Davis Monthan Air Force Base, and through construction, heavy traffic and one way streets at what is called City Center but is really just east of I-10 on the western edge of Tucson. That's where downtown is, near the ancient, buried habitations of people that came before, cowboys and miners, the Spanish and, across many centuries, several different native tribes and civilizations.

This crumbling warehouse has a lot of character.

Of course, I'm not actually seeing the Spanish and the Hohokam and the rest these days, much less photographing them. What I've photographed this week, mostly pointing my camera out a car window as I rush past shortly before sunset, is a selection of 20th century architecture.

The old Federal courthouse building is tricky to photograph.

This is not an ideal way to photograph anything, let alone large buildings that are too close to photograph in their entirety, without perspective problems and bits of my car showing. But here are some of the more successful attempts, mostly edited to compensate for pre-sunset murkiness and distorted angles.

A modern sign and mural adorn an older building on Congress St.

This isn't the first time I've set out to photograph architecture, though. When I was about 13 years old, I went to Cape Cod with my family, and blew an entire roll of film on Cape Cod architecture. Since then I've occasionally photographed buildings and bridges, signs and structures. Even so, it's different from the bulk of what I've been photographing over the past several years.

The underpass on Stone near Sixth, as a freight train starts across.

I have to say I'm not terribly happy with the photos I've managed to take so far. If I had an hour for lunch, or got off work when the sun was higher in the sky, or dragged myself across town before rush hour instead of during or after (yeah, like that's going to happen!), then maybe I could find a way to photograph these buildings and bridges and signs properly in bright sunshine, from the right distance at the right angles. But these will do for now, snapshots of my daily commute, very different views and different subject matter from the same old mountains, the same old sunsets.

Construction blocks the way to the rail station, and obscures our view.

I suppose if I really were to go for photographic subjects that I normally stay away from, I'd try for butterflies and bees, or human portraiture. These aren't feasible for me right now, though. I've been working long hours at this new job, with nary a butterfly in sight. And while I'm surrounded by people, I hesitate to ask to photograph anyone. My job is not really a done deal yet. I'm still a temp, hoping to learn next week that I'm to be a real employee of the company itself. Even though I'm careful not to write anything too specific about Anonymous Regional Retailer! online, I'd rather not advertise the fact that I take my words and pictures and put them online. Although I'm not be doing anything wrong, explaining the whole blogging thing and related privacy issues would probably not be a good idea right now, with my professional future on the line.

If you'd like to participate in the Round Robin Photo Challenges, you're more than welcome! Please check the Round Robin blog for details. Meanwhile, here's a list of people participating in this Challenge. Check them out!


Linking List

Karen - POSTED!
Outpost Mâvarin

Carly - POSTED!

Janet - POSTED!
Fond Of Photography

Pictures of Craziness

Nancy - POSTED!
Nancy Luvs Pix

Suzanne R - POSTED!
New Suzanne R's Life

Jessica - POSTED!
QuickSilver Dreams

Boliyou - POSTED!

Vicki - POSTED!

Gina - POSTED!
Gina's Space

Gattina - POSTED!
Keyhole Pictures

Tara - POSTED!
A Long Walk Home ***Welcome New Member***

(sometimes photoblog)

Teena - POSTED!
It's all about me!


Carly said...

Hi Karen

I like the pictures you posted. It's kind of nice to see what your view is as you drive to work. Got shots by the way... moody in some respects. I especially liked the train crossing at 6th, and the crumbling warehouse. It would be interesting to see how it looks at different times of the day. I dunno... as you said... "it has a lot of character." Black and white could be interesting also.

Always, Carly

Janet said...

it's funny how we're motivated by things we like and how it's hard to be motivated by things we don't. Nevertheless, I enjoyed your pictures!

Suzanne R said...

I'm amazed that you are able to get such good photos while driving, Karen. And your southwestern architecture is so interesting -- much different than ours here in the Northwest (except for the occasional Mexican restaurant). I wish you the best on your job becoming permanent. :-)

Nancy said...

Well, well, well...what a FINE job you did with this challenge! (you're rather hard on yourself)

Very creative and great use of the new changes in your life to incorporate within it.


MyMaracas said...

I really like these, especially the train one. I can't believe you can do this and drive at the same time -- I'm impressed!

Congrats on the job, and here's hoping it does become permanent for you.


Jessica said...

Good shots and best of wishes on the new job...change is challenging...but challenges are good!

boliyou said...

I like the shots you got on your drive. Nice work!

Gattina said...

Your pictures are very nice ! I would even have done them normally ! I also found some things of which normally I would never haven taken a picture !

Gattina said...

Hahaha ! you really made me laugh with your comment on the bank picture !!! It's a bank specialized for mortgagage credits !!

alphawoman said...

As always, you come through with some great shots and perspective!

gina said...

first, i want to say congrats on the new job and good luck in it becoming a permanent position. secondly, i'm sure you miss those mountains and sunsets that you are accustomed to shooting...but you did a wonderful job with the pix you chose to post for this challenge...esp from a moving car. i've tried my hand at that before, with mixed results...but still have some successess of things that i wouldn't have captured otherwise. :)

Teena said...

Thanks for taking us to work with you ... and not making us do anything :)

Thanks for stopping by mine :)

Steven said...

Nice look at your new commute. You've got a lot to work with with those buildings. Some neat features. Love that railroad bridge. Don't see many that look like that anymore.