Category Archives: Architecture

What is Behind?

Door Handles – Raymond Library, Yakima Valley College

My friend exclaimed “LOOK!”.  I turned and saw these interesting door handles.  They looked more like little sculptures than handles.  As I squinted, the glass doors became darker and the light reflecting off the handles became less harsh.  It gave me a little feeling of mystery, “What is behind these doors?”.

What is the Clock Tower Doing in This Building?

Raymond Library – Yakima Valley College

What in the heck is the Clock Tower doing in the Library?  It doesn’t belong there! That thought flashed through my mind as I was strolling around the YVC campus this past weekend.

This is a good example of seeing the unusual in the usual.  The contrast made the image interesting to me.

Diagonals and Contrast

“Diagonals and Contrast”

Look forward, turn and look around, look down, look up … it is amazing what gifts are out there waiting to be received. Light, shadows, shapes, diagonals abound everywhere.  It is ours for the seeing.  This simple skylight in Glenn Anthon Hall (Yakima Valley College) caught my interest.  I just walked around to get the diagonal perspectives and balance I was looking for.

Memories of a Long Time Ago

Old Northern Pacific Train Station – Yakima, WA

The bright red-orange roof against the blue sky caught my eye as I was walking down Front Street.  The color and shape of the building. looking through a street tree caught my interest.  But ofd memories kept my attention.

When I was just a little boy, I remember my grandfather taking me down to the train station to see Uncle Ben off and to pick him up from his annual winter trip back to Pittsburgh.  I became fascinated with the idea of riding a train across the country.  When I was five, I had my opportunity for such a grand trip.  My grandfather took me back to Pittsburgh to see the “Aunts”!  I remember anxiously sitting in the “grand train station” waiting for the train to stop and pick us up.  It seemed like an eternity, the ceiling was so high, and the room so large.  I could not sit still.  It seems like just yesterday.

My last trip through the station was in the late 70’s. My wife and I decided to take the train from Seattle to Yakima instead of driving.  It was a wonderful trip over the Pass and through the Canyon.  My father and a brother picked us up at the station.  It was still such a great place.

So many wonderful memories.  I am thankful that the old station has been put back in productive use.

Contemplative Photography Lesson

Sunlit Entryway – Yakima, WA

I have been working to develop my process for contemplative photography.  My assignment today was to take a walk with a fresh open mind not looking for any specific thing to photograph.  The practice objective was to just wander and let the world around me catch my eye.  If something caught my eye, I needed to keep my mind open, take my time, and explore specifically what was it that captured my eye, what was important, and what was not.  Only then I could raise my camera and frame the image.

Walking along Front Street, I saw a bright orange flash that stopped me dead in my tracks.  It was in stark contrast with the surrounding area of old stucco and bricks. Shadows from a metal gate added to the contrast.  Soft mottled shadows from a street tree graced its surface.  The vertical bars of the gate framed the brilliant orange.  What a wonderful gift I was given.

Contemplating Back in Time

WWI Soldier Grotesque – Smith Hall, Univ. of Washington

This WWI soldier grotesque has intrigued me since I first attended the University of Washington in 1968. It is located on Smith Hall in the University of Washington Quadrangle.  The figure commemorates WWI complete with the gas mask.

Over the years, I have photographed this grotesque multiple times.  For some reason, my images have not turned out:  out of focus, too light, too dark, or branches/leaves cluttering the image.  During my last visit, I was determined to get an acceptable image.  I was lucky that it was an overcast day.  The soft light on the soldier was relatively even without deep shadows. I walked around to get a perspective that gave me the most eerie mood.


Great Memories

“The Columns” – Sylvan Theater, University of Washington Campus

A couple of weeks ago, I spent several hours walking around the University of Washington campus.  I had not been there for about 15 years.  How much things have changed.  My old hangout, the EEB (Electrical Engineering Building) has been completely remodeled and enlarged with a large new section for Computer Science..  When I was there, Computer Science was just a small part of the EE Department.  Now it is its own Department with over 1300 students.

During class breaks, I use to go to the Sylvan Theater and the Columns just behind the EEB.  It was a wonderful peaceful place to sit and wonder about what the future would bring,  The Sylvan Theater was just about the same as I recall it was 50 years ago.  However, there were several students there with hard hats, surveying equipment, and tape measures.  They were taking measurements to design a new courtyard to replace a good part of the grass.  I feel a little sorrow to see my old memories change.  But I guess it is for the best.  Those memories are great ones!


Looking Back at Me

Salt Collecting Rocks at Lapakahi Historical Park

I was walking along a path in a historic Hawaiian Village when I saw this face looking back up at me.  I couldn’t resist stopping and capturing an image.  See the eyes, nose and mouth.

These small hollowed-out stones were used by the Hawaiians to collect salt. Sea water was poured into hollowed-out stones like these.  Sun evaporated the water leaving pa’akai (salt crystals.  Salt was used to preserve fish and season food.

Beautiful Day!

Fuji X-T1, XF55-200mm @ 86mm, f/13, 1/340 sec, ISO 400

It was a beautiful day with a bright blue sky and the sun shining down on this bucolic rural scene just below Hearst Castle along the central California coast.  You can see the Castle on the hill above.  It was just fun being out enjoying the countryside.  I waited until the horses moved around to frame the country school house.  I felt like I was going back in time.  This area will be a place I come back to in future years.

Christmas at Fonthill – Conclusion

151231_FonthillChristmas_YellowTreeDetail_Impression by Karl Graf. Fonthill Yellow Room Christmas Tree Impressionistic Detail

This image is an impressionistic perspective of yesterday’s post of the Yellow Room Christmas tree detail.  I used Topaz Impressionism plug in to achieve the look.

This posting ends my series on the Fonthill Castle Christmas Decoration Exhibit.  I hope you have enjoyed the series.  I have enjoyed sharing it.

This probably be my last major project at Fonthill.  I will be moving back to the Washington State next Spring.  I have thoroughly enjoyed my experiences at Fonthill starting with a workshop led by my good friend John Barclay.  I want to also thank Ed Reidell and the staff at Fonthill for the opportunities to help out.  It was truly my pleasure.  I enjoyed every moment of it.

Tomorrow starts a New Year.  Every day is a gift to be enjoyed to the fullest.