Red & Blue in Galveston, TX

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red-blue-galveston-tx-800Galveston, Texas is a really cool town for photographers. It’s right on the Gulf of Mexico so you have all the neat stuff along the beach to photograph and the town itself goes waaaaay back.

I spotted this old store while walking around the town looking for interesting things to photograph. It looks like it had been out of business for a long time. I wonder what it was like during its heyday. Architectural photography is my trade, but stumbling upon old buildings and capturing a beautiful visual image for posterity is one of my passions.

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Salvation

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SalvationThis is one of those photographs that you come across from time to time that just really reaches out and grabs you.

I was on one of my many foot tours around downtown Houston when I found myself in the middle of, what used to be Enron Center.  I made a few images there, then moved on. As I did I came upon this little stone church snuggled right up against Enron Center. I found the church to be quite architecturally interesting. As I was walking around it, looking for the best angle, I saw the huge Enron tower overpowering it. Simultaneously, I noticed the phrase “Jesus Saves” on the church tower, and instantly thought this is the picture.

I love finding images like this, but it only happens if you’re out there looking. So grab your camera, put on your walking shoes and see what you can see.

El Jardin

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El Jardin

Brownsville, Texas is a really old town. Its origins are way before the Civil War. It showed great promise being that it was right on the Mexican border. Unfortunately like most border towns it never really reached its potential.

Instead of taking the best of both cultures and running with it, the city fathers always seem to cater to the low end and keep the city buried in the past of old world Mexico.

A case in point is the El Jardin Hotel. This hotel was built in the late 20’s and was a pretty glamorous hotel at that time.  It is where Brownsville used to host many celebrities and movie stars.  However, as years went by, it became a symbol of Yankee decadence and slowly begins to deteriorate.  There had been plans to restore the place since the 90s but it is only now that the El Jardin Project started after Captain McCurry bought the place.

I thought the day I made this photograph was very appropriate. The gleaming white of the hotel contrasted against the stormy sky. The weather had been building up to a bad storm with dark skies and heavy clouds. But just as I finished setting up my 4X5 view camera for the shot the sun burst through a small hole in clouds and gave me this really neat lighting effect.

Doors and Windows

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Doors and WindowsSometimes as I’m walking around looking for something to photograph, a scene or subject would grab my eye without really knowing why. This is a case in point.

This is part of a wall on an old grain elevator. I really liked the different textures.

When I went up close for a good look to see where the doors went, it seemed they had all been boarded up on the inside. Even the window went nowhere.

Hmmm. Does make one curious.

Old New

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Old NewThis photograph was part of my Houston Architecture self project.

The building in the front is the Esperson building.  Build 1927 and 1941, it is the only complete examples of Italian Renaissance architecture in Downtown Houston and is among the most recognizable building there.

The tower behind is JP Morgan Chase Tower.  This 75-story, 5-sided skyscraper is the tallest building in Texas and 13th tallest in the US.

The two architectural styles are really different, showing how much things have changed over the years.

Houston

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HoustonAfter Natalie moved to Houston, we would go to visit and always spent a portion of our time just driving around getting acquainted with the city.

On one particular outing I found myself in this industrial part of town. It was a very hot summer day and the humidity was ridiculously high that late afternoon. I was looking for a skyline scene but couldn’t get a clear one from where I was. Then I saw this old tenement building right in front of the skyline. I thought, what a contradiction – the beauty of Houston’s high rise buildings offset by this old tenement.

I love taking pictures of buildings, which I do for a living. Check out some of my professional architectural photography work on my website.

 

Window Ivy

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Window Ivy

Whenever I go on a pilgrimage back to my home state of  Michigan to visit my family, I would always take time to drive around the countryside to see what had changed and what had remained the same.

I found this old barn during one of my drive and the window caught my attention.  I really liked it.  The barn was covered with ivy and is draping part of the window.