Focus - Photo Challenge: Same Location / Different Time
The theme for this week's photo challenge (ok, it took two weeks) was to shoot the same location at different times in the day. My thought behind it was just to see how different a spot looks at a different time of day. That might mean being at an outdoor location and finding the differences between the light during the middle of the day (harsh light with washed out color) and during the "golden hour" (that time about an hour after sunrise or about an hour before sunset with soft shadows and nice orange light). Or it might be coming back to the area at night to get a completely different look to the same place than during the day. I did all of that in one location, but I had another thought for this topic. I wanted to find a place that would be completely empty during one time of day but busy during another.
The place I had in mind for the empty/busy contrast was the downtown Fort Worth train station. That proved to be a bit difficult. We don't exactly have a train station that's like a New York subway. The platform is nice and the main lobby is beautiful, but I had this idea of hundreds of people standing along the track waiting for the train and reading newspapers (or, realistically, just staring at their phones). Or I pictured being inside the main lobby with a huge crowd moving through the station. I went to the station multiple times and never saw anything close to that. I didn't go before work, so maybe that's the secret, super-busy time. If anyone knows what that really busy time is please let me know so I can try this again. Oh well, I still got something I was happy with (even though it took a fair amount of time and some Photoshop trickery).
So, my location for getting the scene in different lights was the Tarrant County College campus downtown (Trinity River Campus). This is the location that used to be the Radio Shack Headquarters. It's a very cool looking campus. I focused on the water feature. First, I went during the middle of the day...in July...in Texas...with no shade. You can't tell in this picture, but I actually melted. Surely there should be some reward for my bravery. Or not.
For this shot I added a bit of an effect on this to make it look like a miniature. Honestly, it's tough to get something interesting in the middle of the day.
Next, I came back the same day close to sunset. I thought I might get a different view of the front of the campus, but the sunset looked nice from the same spot. This is my favorite shot of the series. This is actually 2 shots blended together. I shot one that was exposed for the water and one that was exposed for the sky and combined the 2 (basically the top half of one shot and the bottom half of another).
Finally I waited for dark to get the fountain with the lights turned on. Again, I shot this from roughly the same place. And again, I just went ahead and stuck my tripod in the water for a somewhat different perspective. Living dangerously.
And here is the train station. As you can see, this building is pretty amazing. This is the T&P Train Station downtown. It was built in 1931. The lobby features "marble floors, metal-inlaid panel ceilings, and nickel and brass fixtures, incorporating the zigzags and chevrons distinctive of the style." (Wikipedia) I got this shot during the middle of the day. This gave me a nice, bright room lit by natural light. I took 3 shots at different exposures to combine them into this shot. This let me get a wider range of light and dark than just one exposure would allow. The room is huge and had a huge echo each time my shutter fired. This gave me my empty/abandoned look.This next shot was the hard part. As I mentioned above, I never managed to go to the station at a really busy time. I figured my best chance to get what I wanted was to get the after-work crowd. I headed over with enough time to set up and get some test shots. Then I just needed to sit back and wait for the crowd. Well, it didn't quite work. Most of the crowd went the other direction from the tracks (since that's where the main parking lot is), and then some people saw me set up in here and obviously assumed they shouldn't walk through the space, so they went to a different exit. I was actually frustrated with people for being polite. So, what you see below is 14 shots combined. I did 3 shots with no one in the room like I did for the one above to get my base image. Then I took a shot any time a person or group came through the lobby. I took about 20 shots with people in them, but some of them overlapped and couldn't be used. Once I got everything on the computer I layered all of those together (11 shots with people) to get what looked like a room full of people. (That guy in the middle with the black shirt is me.) I would have loved to get all of this in one shot (with even more people), but I did the best I could with what I had.
This theme was probably the most effort for me of any of the past themes. I spent a lot of time planning and researching and a lot of time out shooting for this one - at least 3 trips to the train station and a couple hours at the college campus. Overall this was a good project.
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Keywords: Architecture, Challenge, Downtown Fort Worth, Fort Worth, Fort Worth Photography, Fort Worth Train station, Fountain, Moving people, Outdoor water feature, People moving, People passing, Photo Challenge, Radio Shack, Radio Shack building, T&P Station, T&P Station Lobby, TCC, TCC Trinity River Campus, Tarrant County College, Train, Train station, Water feature
Really nice shots of places we rarely see. I wish train travel was like it used to be.
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