These photos are my personal assualt on the Rule of Thirds. Instead of following that compositional trope, I purposley center each image—and try to avoid including any ‘subject’ at all. No face, no architectural feature. No ‘thing’ that has meaning, no element that the photo is ‘about’.
Cranes + Starlings
These photos are of roughly the same patch of sky around the construction site of the IRS building in Kansas City. The cranes went away when the building was completed, but the birds still flock over SW Boulevard at dusk every winter evening.
People seeing me with a camera asked what I was taking pictures of. At first I told them about wanting to record the look of a place threatened by an "Eminent Domain" ruling. Their eyes glazed over—too many words. Then I said, "I'm an artist, blah, blah, blah...". Glazed eyes. So I edited my explanation to the essentials. "This place - the colors, the people..." A guy in his station wagon considered this, and took a bite on his cigar, "It's a junkya'd". I shrugged, "It's beautiful." He made the slightest head tilting gesture that said, "You're nuts, but if you like it, knock yourself out".
The "junkyard" is a few square acres across the street from the new home of the Mets on Willet's point in Queens.
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These typical 1930's (give or take a decade) buildings in or near downtown Kansas City were built with nice materials and detailing at the street facade for patrons and passers-by to enjoy, but were enclosed on the other sides with whatever low grade brick was cheap and available, usually with little attention to appearance. Utility was the only ‘designer’. Manifest economy. We've invented uglier ways to finish ‘unseen’ buildings since, but brick was the choice in those days if you wanted more than just wood siding.
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