Thursday, July 18, 2013

Exploring my own home town - San Jose City Hall

I have photographed so many cities around the world, that I have actually lost count. Cities like Sydney, Rio, Cologne, London, New York, San Francisco, Toronto... The list goes on. But what I realized a couple of months ago, that I really have not photographed any part of downtown of San Jose, my home city. So a couple or weeks ago, I met up with my best friend and we went on our own little photo walk in our city.

As part of that walk, we came across the new San Jose City Hall, which I had never visited.


Here is a wide shot of the City Hall, to show you what we first saw when approaching the building.


The building itself is really interesting, but I did not see the true photographic interest until I turned the corner and saw the amazing shadows.



I really liked the leading lines which draw your attention through the image.


And then, once I walked further into the complex, I saw these really bold shadows. This is one of those times when shooting at high noon with the sun directly over me worked to my advantage. The shadows were cast straight down below the architecture.





This setting just begged for me to shoot in all directions. (Photographer's note: When you find an interesting location or subject, take your time to really work it. Try different angles, shooting portrait and landscape, moving to different locations, and using different lenses and camera settings.)



The same angle as above, but photographed in portrait. When reviewing these photos on my computer, this image really stood out for me. I love the way that the lines converge from the top and bottom of the image.


I turned the camera and angled the image to emphasize the straight walkway against the circular lines.


This is a shot straight through the glass dome.



Again, using the shadows to my advantage, I moved to a point where the angular shadow would become the "frame" at the bottom of my image.



One could argue that the stair case is distracting to this image, but I liked the conflict between the angled lines against the circular dome. I also framed this shot to get the old Bank of American building in the background.



Here is a photo of my best friend, Glenn, sporting his digital camera and his medium format film camera. Yep - he is a purist!


Looking over Glenn's shoulder and down on his film shot.


Lastly, here is a view of a very quiet, and very hot Saturday afternoon, in downtown San Jose from the upper walkway of City Hall.

As I write this blog, I wonder how many other people have traveled long distances to photograph interesting places and forgotten to capture their own hometown. If you are one of those people, I encourage you to get out and find the beauty close to home.

3 comments:

Patrick said...

Great shots- as always Jeff- I am actually thinking about moving to San Jose from NYC in a few years... how do you like the city?

Jeff Cable said...

Patrick - it is a great area. Look into Los Gatos or Saratoga for the nicest spots in the South Bay. :)

John de Jong said...

In your hometown everthing looks "as usual". Probably you've seen everything a thousand times. If you come to Amsterdam (the Netherlands) you will find a lot of nice places to shoot pictures. If I go out with my camera everything looks "as usual" and is it harder to find great shots, although there's enough to shoot