The renovated American Building is an Art Deco high rise on Cincinnati's Central Parkway. The building has recently been converted to condos. Here is a link to a home tour of one of the penthouse suites
Below is a select black and white gallery of the building and a few details. Note Cincinnati's new streetcar being tested in the foreground of the first photo.

PictureDoctors' Building, as seen from Piatt Park
My next architectural project is a late gothic revival building on Garfield Place in Cincinnati. This building was specifically designed as a medical office building in the 1920's. It is a brick building with a terracotta facade. The towering structure in the middle holds a small penthouse.
Once again, my hope is to spend some time getting to know the building as a whole, and down to some of the smaller details. I then want to be able to select 5 or 6 images that will capture the essence of the building. These images will be printed, matted, and given away at the end of the project, so keep your eyes peeled for the announcement. Once the images are ready, I will give one of the images to the first person to request one. 
Here are some images from the project so far.

What do I love about photography?

Photography as Seeing: First, I believe it helps me slow down and really see things. I've spent 25-30 years keeping my head down and turning a blind eye to the world around me. I used to be fascinated with light, color and shape. Photography opens me up to the world again and helps me to see things with a fresh eye.

Creative Outlet: Second, it gives me an opportunity to be creative--something I've always craved. I've tried my hand at music, writing, and drawing, and I just never felt the connection I have experienced through my photography. Not only has it given me a chance to see, it's enabled me to share what I see.

Technical Mastery: Third, it fulfills my desire to be technically proficient at something. I've always had an interest in technology and science. Photography gives me a chance to combine it with art.

Photography as Connector: Finally, it gives me a chance to connect with others. I'm not very good at small talk, or making introductions. Photography is a bridge, a way of connecting with other people and their wants and desires.

These are some of the things that I enjoy about photography. What about you?

Sometimes, you just want to shoot something beautiful. Magnolias at the public library's reading garden will work just fine.
I have been giving some thought to the purpose of my photography, and how it has impacted my practice. Here are some reasons I have for engaging in photography.

Beauty: Sometimes, I think that I will just shoot as a hobby, without purpose - just finding pretty things and capturing them. Sharing them with the world. But where is the point to that? There are already billions of pretty photos out there. Who will see anything unique in that?

Professional Status: Sometimes, I think I'd like to shoot professionally. I would love money to help me add to my gear. I would love the validation that comes with an income. I would love the knowledge that my talents were valued by someone. But I don't really want the business tasks that come with it. I also don't want to be beholden to other people for the content and style of what I shoot.

Journalistic Photography: I've also considered editorial or journalistic photography. I could record stories and present them to the world, to inspire others to move. However, I don't believe that the world is moved by most photography any more. We see so many images every day, we become immune to their power. An image may move us for a moment, but we forget as soon as we see the next image. It seems that we can only bear so much emotional content at a time, too.

Visual Diary: Sometimes, I see my photography as a visual diary of sorts - a way to record what I see so that I won't forget. This is a valid outlet in some ways. I could use some help remembering what I see. I have also found that I see more when I'm thinking photographically. I would like it to be more than that, though. I would like to share what I see.

So you see, I had already given some thought to why I shoot photos, but nothing quite seemed to grab me--apart from the compulsion to shoot and share. I wanted something that would motivate me to continue my projects without feeling like it was pointless.

Do you have any thoughts on these four drivers of photography? Do you have any to add?

My next post on this series will focus on what I actually enjoy about photography.



We create a building to serve a purpose. We design it with certain aesthetic intents. Then we place it in the middle of competing aesthetics. We feel the effects of competing aesthetic interests. We feel the effects of the elements, the wind, and the light as they are channeled and controlled by the structures we create. This is yet another impact on our environment.



We see in the buildings of our past lost dreams of a future. We see how our ancestors hoped and dreamed of a glorious future for their children. We wonder what became of it all.



How do buildings affect us? We build them ourselves, but then we live our lives around them, live in them. They shape our memories, our feelings, our comforts and distresses.
Well, it's been nearly a year since I've made any changes or updates to the blog on this site. Truth be told, I've been going through a bit of an existential (photographic) crisis. After a pretty hectic 4-5 years of learning about photography, and taking pictures of nearly everything under the sun, I began to take a look around me--at the avalanche of photos, good, bad, and otherwise, pouring into places like Flickr, 500px, Instagram, Facebook, G+, Behance, etc.--and I thought, "What's the point?"
What's the point when the number of great photographs being created has expanded exponentially?
What's the point when natural wonders that were difficult to reach and photograph, now have crowds of tripod wielding photographers fighting for elbow room for the shot of a lifetime?
What's the point when everyone is producing "pretty" photographs?
What's the point when digital artists are on the verge of being able to create photo quality images of whatever they want, limited only by imagination?
What's the point of trying to create a powerful image when viewers are inundated with an unlimited quantity of moving photos?
If I'm not impressing anyone, capturing anything unique, or making a difference, why continue to shoot at all?
Needless to say, this put me in quite a dark place.
After a while, though, I began to miss shooting. That, in and of itself, should have told me something, but I still needed to work through some things in order to move forward. I needed to sit down and decide why I'm doing this. Is there a good reason (or more than one) to continue this quixotic quest?
That is what I will be working out on this blog over the next few weeks or so. This will not be a deep philosophical debate so much as a personal examination of the purpose of my own photography. I hope that this will provide some fodder for thought, and that it may encourage many of you if you are facing the same questions, so check back on this blog over the next few weeks.
Have any of you struggled with these same doubts? If so, please share.

Here are the next articles in this series:
Part 2--Purpose and Photography
Part 3--What I Love About Photography