From Shirt Collars to Software Development

FCDC-140919-028This weeks post showcases one of my commissioned images from a recent architectural interiors shoot at the offices of  This adaptive reuse project by First Columbia real estate/development company converted an entire floor, approximately 30,000 sf, of a former factory and warehouse building located at 433 River Street, Troy NY to support the office needs of a software firm, on the cutting edge of Enterprise Platform development.  This 9 story former high bay manufacturing and warehouse facility, located on the banks of the Hudson River was once the headquarters of Cluett Peabody & Company, a longtime manufacturer of shirts, detachable shirt cuffs and collars. What was once a largely vacant eyesore and symbol of urban decay has been re-named (as Hedley Park Place, re-imagined (as a model of urban waterfront development), and re-purposed (as a multi-use business, technology, innovation and governmental center).  As such it now represents what can be accomplished through creative development, and adaptive reuse of existing building stock.

@firstcolumbia, @hedleydistrict, @apprenda, @RenscoChamber, @TroyBID, #hedleyparkplace, #retailspace, #officespace, #troyny


Nothing Has Changed

Sitting here listening to “Nothing Has Changed”, a compilation album containing some of the best music from the recently late, always great David Bowie and thinking about this week’s post.  Who can forget #Bowie classics such as “Space Oddity”, “Changes”, “China Girl” or “Ashes to Ashes” to name a few of his better known hits.

In a career spanning nearly 5 decades David Jones’ (AKA David Bowie, “Aladdin Sane” and “Ziggy Stardust”) persona, image and sound shifted constantly throughout his extensive career.  Yet through it all his music somehow retained that signature creativity and playfulness that was Bowie. Henri Matisse once said that “Creativity takes courage.” Certainly, none exhibited the wisdom of Matisse’s words better than David Bowie!

Creativity in all its forms, be it the performing arts and music or visual arts such as photography, painting and sculpture enrich and enhance our lives individually and collectively. In the words of the Catholic writer and Trappist monk, Thomas Merton “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”

With the opening verse of “Space Oddity” filling (eight…) the room (seven…), I can’t help but (six…) feel that (five…) if there were (four…) more creativity, (three…) and less conflict (two…) in the world (one…) the stars would indeed “…look very different today.”   To David Bowie 1947 – 2016

Sometimes Things Just Work Out

SCPS-150928-099While enjoying the evening air, … and perhaps one or two pints if I’m to be completely honest, with friends from a rooftop cafe overlooking Trafalgar Square the full moon began to rise over the famed London skyline.  As the moon rose ever higher and higher above the horizon, what had previously been a slightly overcast sky began to clear. Begging forgiveness from several patrons who had the misfortune of being seated near the “Crazy Yank” with the camera & tripod I positioned myself near the ornate iron rail at the periphery of the pub and hoped the fog bank on the horizon wouldn’t spoil my shot!

With Nelson’s Column, which rises some 56 meters above Trafalgar Square, on the left and the London Eye, the largest “cantilevered” Ferris wheel in the world, on the right I watched…and waited! With the moon hanging directly above the Shard,  an 87 story (310 meter) high skyscraper located in the London borough of Southwark, and the haze slowly creeping in I made several “time lapse” exposures, hoped for the best and returned to my friends for another pint or two! The next morning while downloading images from my Nikon to the laptop I got my first real good look at the previous nite’s effort!  I’d be lying to you if I said that every aspect of this image was planned and pre-visualized, but the fact of the matter remains, and the honest truth is… sometimes you just get lucky! That said, the moral of the story I think is… always carry your camera, cause you just never know when things are just gonna work out! Oh yeah… don’t forget the tripod & cable release too! ‪#‎TrafalgerSquare‬, ‪#‎London‬ @Shardldn @TheLondonEye

Afternoon Light

SCPS-150929-141Near the banks of the River Avon in Bath, England late afternoon light caresses centuries old urns lining a footpath to a lovely urban park at the waters edge. This image, captured on a recent trip to the UK, is I think another example of just how important the quality of light is in creating exceptional images. Whether an urn lined colonnade, an architectural detail, or an entire structure, the play of light over surfaces is key to revealing texture and defining form!

#Light, #BathEngland, #Architecture, #UrbanPark


Appreciate Fully, Consciously & Deliberately…

SCPS-150321-036“There are two kinds of light, the glow that illuminates, & the glare that obscures.” – J. Thurber

Recently re-watched the 2013 remake of “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” staring Ben Stiller. First published as a short story by James Thurber in The New Yorker on March 18, 1939 the story line of the 2013 movie follows the exploits of Walter Mitty (played by Ben Stiller), a “negative property asset manager” to recover a lost negative that was to be printed as the final cover of Life Magazine. Contrary to Thurber’s original story line however, Stiller’s Mitty eventually does triumph and in the process is transformed from a socially awkward dreamer into a better, stronger and more confident person able to appreciate fully, consciously, and deliberately “… the purpose of life.”

In addition to being visually stimulating and thought provoking the movie also piqued my curiosity about James Thurber and his writings.  The result of my new found interest inspired this weeks blog entry!

If you have not guessed already, I highly recommend this movie, and also recommend reading James Thurber’s original short story (or the book version entitled “My World and Welcome to It” published in 1942!)

#Aurora, #Finland, #Arctic, #Pallas, #WalterMitty

Museum of the North

DSC_9677The Museum of the North, located on the campus of the University of Alaska at Fairbanks was designed by the . This amazing facility designed by architect Joan Soranno, FAIA and Vice President/Design Principal HGA, Inc, Minneapolis, MN. sits high atop a ridge overlooking the UA Fairbanks campus, the City of Fairbanks, AK, and on a clear day “The Great One”… Denali!  This one is definitely on my top 10 list of amazing buildings! ‪#‎Coolbuildings‬, ‪#‎Architecture‬, ‪#‎Fairbanks‬, ‪#‎Alaska‬


Salute to M. Cartier-Bresson

SCPS-150922-063In 1952, Henri Cartier-Bresson published a book entitled à la sauvette.  The English-language edition of this volume was titled The Decisive Moment. It included a portfolio of 126 of his photos from the East and the West. For his 4,500-word philosophical preface, Cartier-Bresson took his keynote text from the 17th century Cardinal de Retz, “There is nothing in this world that does not have a decisive moment”. Cartier-Bresson, widely regarded as the father of photojournalism, applied this philosophy to his photographic style. He said: “To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as of a precise organization of forms which give that event its proper expression.”

This image of the 19th-century Inverness Castle located on the banks of the River Ness was captured in the waning light of the day.  While sitting in a nearby cafe w/ friends just as it was setting on the distant horizon, the sun poked out from behind a heavy cloud bank sending glorious golden rays streaming across the landscape. Grabbing my camera and racing to the rivers edge this image was captured in the fleeting last light of the day!

Wandering along the banks of the River Ness on my way back to the cafe, and my travel companions, I was reminded of a quote I had once read from M. Cartier-Bresson “…creativity happens in a fraction of a second when you are taking a picture. Your eye must see a composition or an expression that life itself offers, and you must know with intuition when to click the camera. That is the moment the photographer is creative… once you miss it, it is gone forever!”
Amen to that!

The Royal Crescent

SCPS-150929-075Marcus Vitruvius Pollio, more commonly known simply as “Vitruvius”, was a Roman author, architect, civil engineer and military engineer. He once wrote that Ionic design is “an appropriate combination of the severity of the Doric and the delicacy of the Corinthian.” This magnificent example of an Ionic columned colonnade on located on the “Royal Crescent” in Bath England, UK is, I am certain, a classic example of just what he meant! ‪#‎Classic‬ ‪#‎Architecture‬ ‪#‎Design