Nick Exposed

A Creative Community Hosted By Photog/Designer Nick Mayo

Archive for the tag “Urban”

Beautiful Simplicity

ISO 200 55mm f/7.1 1/60sec

Our crazy weather is back on to melting the snow once more, and its actually quit interesting that with everything covered in a white blanket the last week, the absence of snow has re-heightened my vision of interest around me. As if I had a brief vacation from the normal world and was returning to experience it once again. Adding highlights to the scenes around us the gentle lines of remaining snow reminds us not to forget what season we are in. These quick shifts in weather provide opening for gratitude and appreciation of what we encounter on a day to day basis, whether it be a beautiful winter wonder scene or the often overlooked “works of art” that lies in everyday places the contrasting elements add more dimension to our lives.

Among other things, Im a sucker for simplicity, geometric shapes and architecture and when they come together I get really really excited! I absolutely love everything in this scene! I love the two brief highlights of snow, the simple rectangles, triangles and the circle especially. On top of that the cropping of the scene leaves the sky in the same diagonally cut rectangle shape as the different cinder blocks that make up the top portion of the wall. The texture of the cement helps break it free from the overcast sky, and the inside roofing of the building just about looks like it doesn’t belong. In my mind I picture a parallel world through the hole and cant help but to want to peak through. And of course I love the blue within the ring of the circle, probably one of my all time fav shades of blue. Its such a simple scene yet it holds so much detail and  has quit the story to tell. At least thats my thought 😉

Domino wall

ISO 500 4.28mm f/2.4 1/15sec

Lately I’ve been trying to retrain myself to shoot more with my iphone when I don’t have my Canon with me (which is actually a funny sentence to read if you didn’t know I was talking about photography haha). I’ve grown so accustom to my big bad dslr that I tend to forget that the iPhone packs a mean camera as well. My goal is to get to the point that Im shoot literally thousands of pictures a day. They say you have to have around 10,000 hours  into something before you can truly master it. Well its going to be some time before I hit that, but getting in thousands of shots a day will get me there faster.

Theres something about finding amazement in so many things through out the day that… well amazes me. Like I’ve said in recent exposures, I love finding beauty and interest in things that people often take for granted and pass by every single day. I love connecting stories with a scene, even if the story seems so disconnected at first. As a creative I love letting my imagination run free throughout the day.

As the title of the photo suggests, when I looked at this wall I immediately seen the domino, the great chinese game that my loving Grandma would try to teach me time and time again. But of course being the hyperactive kid that I was, I would instead turn the dining room table into a striped maze of 2in x 1in white and black blocks that would wake anyone trying to get an afternoon nap in when they finally came crashing down, launching a good handful of them off the table. I was half tempted to give the wall a good shove to see if it would budge taking anything in its path out as it would flip down the stairs behind it. I wonder if the designer of this structure had similar childhood memories in mind when he created this wall?

Hidden Wonders

ISO 400 131mm f/5 1/13sec

This has to be one of my favorite pictures I’ve taken to date, and most of that has to do with the nature of the subject in the photo. This of course is in downtown Grand Rapids, but would be nearly impossible to find unless you knew where to look. I was walking around taking pictures in the rougher more rundown part of town with not much traffic and only a few running buildings, the rest have been abandoned by businesses and adopted by the homeless. Its actually a rather beautiful area if you can appreciate the grunge that goes with it. As I was on my photo walk taking pictures of the broken windows and rusted railing I was walking past a courtyard opening that separated one half of this building to the other. On the other side of the courtyard there was a hill that peaked at the top of a garage that connected the two buildings. Of course me being curious I had to venture over to see what was over top this hill, I slowly approached the hill because again this is not exactly the best part of town to be trekking into unknown areas (which has been a reoccurring theme in my posts lately. I just like grungy pictures haha). I got to the top of this small hill and looked down upon two gorgeous grungy green doors, a garage bay door on the left building and a matching conventional door on the right building. I have no idea what a garage door was doing down here as there was no signs of any loading docks or paths for anything to get down to it, but either way it made for a very interesting discovery on my part. If that wasn’t good enough there was this weathered star bolted to the building to add the extra bit of interest.

The whole scene reminded me of the club houses my buddies and I used to put together back when we were kids. We would go hiking through some woods around our house until we found a spot we didn’t think anyone would ever find. We painted the trees and built tree forts over the creek that ran by, and we would always have a symbol for the fort, because whats a fort without a symbol to help it stand apart.

After getting my shots and spending a moment to take in the familiar feeling of the scene i bid this fort a farewell and ventured on to more experiences through the lens.

Beautiful Symmetry

ISO 800 109mm f/5.0 1/8sec

There’s starting to be a reoccurring theme in my photos right now, and that is in Street/Urban photography. I promise variety is in store for future shoots, but I can’t deny I do love the beauty of shots taken in town. We often walk by these frames in real life and tune them out as some sort of white noise. I love bringing these things back into focus and taking time to truly appreciate the beauty that surrounds us.

I love the Heraldic like crest in between these two archways, which adds a subtle sense of interest and elegance. It beautifully contrasts the common geometric shapes that surround it. The empty flag stand to the left sparks my creative wonder of, if this were a building of royalty and elegance, which flag would hang there. hmm..

Strict Authority

ISO 100 60mm f/4.0 1/125sec

This photo is accompanied by a funny story. These signs are on a car port at a condo community around from my house. Every time I drive past it always catches my eye, making me wonder what kind of biker hating people live in this little community. Well I found out when I stopped to take the picture. I pulled into the drive and parked the car to jump out real quick to take a few shots, when a older lady pulls up behind me and starts layin on the horn. So kindly I pulled forward out of her way and turned around to park right at the exit of the drive. I get out of the car with my camera, give the lady a generous smile and start taking pictures. I start to hear shouts “You cant park there!” “You have to leave”. I quickly started to understand the signs I was starring at through the lens. I look up and her she is storming over to me yelling at me “You cant park there” “You cant take pictures here” “What are you taking pictures of”. At this point I cant help but to laugh that this lady is letting this ruin her day. I told her I was taking picture of the sign because I like the way it looked. Her reply… “Yea its absolutely gorgeous… Im calling the cops”. I found my answer… Thats the kind of person who lives here.

I do love this image however. Up until today it evoked such mystery on who would be so strict as to not allow bikes right off a main road. Creatively I love the stark contrast between the new no biking sign and the tattered old private property sign. The brick makes the white in the sign and rain gutter below just pop. The bricks and rust trail on the bottom sign work as good leading lines to the dominating sign above.

Tavern Lights

ISO 400 79mm f/4.5 1/25 sec

I spent the evening walking around downtown Grand Rapids tonight, much to the risk of getting shot or stabbed in some cases. I often check my back and keep an eye out on those passing by, especially when Im walking around with a big camera dangling around my neck like a crazy Flava Flav accessory. I do love shooting downtown however. Theres so much to be seen and appreciated in every single walk. At the same time I hate it as well, because coming back with so many interesting pictures its difficult to decide on one that is worthy of the daily spot.

This shot was actually one of my first for the day. I had just parked my car in the convenient 2 dollar lot and across the street was this tavern pizzeria bar and sports lounge. I loved the deep colors of the wood and building behind with the highlights from the lamps giving a bit of extra interest. I didn’t want to shoot in a conventional level composition. Instead I thought a angled vertical shot would a bit more interest to the shot. What I love about this photo is the many different angles creating almost a matrix of lines allowing your eye to find its own interest point. I have a black and white version as well but being the color was the reason I shot it in the first place I couldn’t justify posting it.

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