Glass Houses

I find the fetish for glass covered new buildings odd. Not being an architect, maybe I’m missing the point. Perhaps the new developments that I see in my travels are more efficient, when constructed this way.

If so, I still find them lacking in style and imagination. This aesthetic is common around the world now. There is no local identity or culture in them. It’s plain and boring.

It’s strange to me that we live in a world so consumed with the notion of privacy, that new office buildings and condominiums are seemingly nothing but window towers.┬áPeople inside can watch passers-by on the street but would likely cry foul if the passers-by turned and looked at them.

This seems too insular and one-way to me, and it encourages distance and isolation in urban areas where vibrant public interaction is essential. New and old buildings are necessary. But Dublin, like many great cities, deserves better than repetitive glass houses.

 

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Salmon Street Springs

salmon street springs fountain portland oregon

“I have a photography assignment for you… Salmon Street Springs Fountain.”

Recently we had a heat wave in Portland, Oregon. Here that is 90 degrees Fahrenheit or more which may not be hot compared to your summer weather but it’s scorching to local residents. The fountain in downtown Portland was recommended to me as a photo opportunity because during the summer, and especially during a heat wave, people are likely to be playing in the water.

It may seem cliche’ but fountain shots are always fun and sometimes you have a white balance challenge, especially during sunset, when this photo was shot. The first photo you see above is my favorite of the session. The fountain had changed and I didn’t think the spray was appealing to the camera. As the sunset descended towards the horizon people were going home for the day. But I decided to hang out more and as you can see above, I got a bit lucky.

There is an explosion of water behind her. You see so many photos of kids running from actual explosions these days it’s refreshing to see a kid running from the soft and playful explosion of water instead. It’s how it should be.

salmon street springs fountain portland oregon

This second photo is busy. You can make the case the buildings in the background are a distraction. I like this second photo of Salmon Street Springs anyway. It captures everything that was happening at that moment. How many different stories are at play here? Also, this was shot at a 55mm focal length which I love for its realism.

Exploring and being spontaneous on your own is good. Planning your own photo shoots is good too. But sometimes you’ll be rewarded if you listen and take others up on their recommendations. I really didn’t feel like going downtown that day but now I’m happy that I did.