Tag Archives: Victorian

Heritage Hill – Grand Rapids, Michigan – Excerpts from a Photo Shoot

The holidays were filled with travel, family and friends. The warmth we experienced meeting our middle daughter’s new in-laws, was incredible and that experience led to the attached shots. So, let me back up just a bit. With three adult daughters and two of them married and our third (our youngest) in a serious relationship heading in that direction, we rotate Christmas. Every other year we host all of them and the off years, they spend with their significant others family. I’m sure this will change again whenever grand children arrive, but for now, that’s what we do. This was the “off” year and all three spent Christmas with their in-laws or soon to be in-laws. Our middle daughter and her husband hosted us to a Christmas in Michigan to meet the members of his family that we had not met. They rented this charming Victorian house in an area called Heritage Hill just two blocks from downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan. The entire area is vibrant with growth and restoration of homes found throughout the neighborhood. After our arrival, I went for a walk and couldn’t stop taking shots of these houses. I appreciate architecture, especially the architecture found in older large homes you typically see in many Midwestern and Eastern towns, here in the US. I have attached 10 of my favorites:


This first shot is typical of the size of homes in the area.

Heritage Hill 1

Heritage Hill 1


 

 

The second capture is another large rambling structure. I love the detail in the trim. This particular house has been split up into multiple rental units as are about 50 % of these large old homes.

Heritage Hill 2

Heritage Hill 2


 

Picture three was a shot that typified the look and feel of the neighborhood. I can only image how beautiful this setting is in the spring, summer and fall.

Heritage Hill 3

Heritage Hill 3


 

Shot number four reminds me of the large rambling house I grew up in as a small child when we lived in a small farm town in Iowa.

Heritage Hill 4

Heritage Hill 4


 

Capture number five looks like a small castle. The detail work with the rock (and I am assuming local stone) is incredible.

Heritage Hill 5

Heritage Hill 5


 

Picture number 6 is the first of three for this house. I was able to get to multiple sides of the home for a complete look at the architecture of this structure. This is actually the side of the home, where a carriage would pull up to disembark passengers.

Heritage Hill 6

Heritage Hill 6


 

This shot shows the front of the house from the street…

Heritage Hill 7

Heritage Hill 7


 

And the last capture shows the opposite side of the home from the carriage porch of picture number 6. Rather large estate…

Heritage Hill 8

Heritage Hill 8


 

Picture number nine and ten are of a house that has been restored and turned into a museum. It is located a couple of homes away from the last series. I love the wrap around porch and you can see the old carriage house in the background. This particular street was obviously a very prominent and wealthy street in it’s day.

Heritage Hill 9

Heritage Hill 9


 

Shot number ten shows the wrap around porch and massive chimneys.

Heritage Hill 10

Heritage Hill 10


 

So much of this history and architecture has been destroyed in the name of progress across the country and I was happy to see a city embrace the heritage and encourage new growth in this area. Since it is within walking distance to downtown, it is very active with young adults and families allowing close access to work and the many restaurants and shops located there. Thoughts?

(The neighborhood also has a Frank Loyd Wright house, which I will share in a future post.)

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New Orleans Victorian – Featured Art Print

“New Orleans Victorian” is an art print I am featuring from my Architecture Gallery. The print was created using a gothic technique that creates an old world look using earth tones and bold brush strokes. Using this style with the subject matter seems a perfect fit.

The setting is the garden district of New Orleans with large mansions and tree lined streets. I love the look of this particular house with all of the architectural detail. Notice the intricacies of the railings and support posts.

I think the technique I used with this print creates an old world look with the rich earth tones. Thoughts?

I invite you to visit my Architecture Gallery to enjoy this print and many more.

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Victorian Hallway – Excerpts From a Photo Shoot

The excerpts from a photo shoot I want to share today are of a hallway in the Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia. The shot was taken a few years back on an excursion to that beautiful city. We stayed at the hotel and enjoyed the Victorian elegance and tradition it is known for. You might ask me what why I took a shot of a hallway and that would be a legitimate question. It’s the visual depth the architecture of the hallway has. I actually took a number of shots; vertical, horizontal, zoomed in, normal, etc. All of that said, I haven’t done anything with the shots until now. I came across them recently and find them intriguing, so I thought I would use this one in particular to demonstrate an example on how you can take one photograph and create a variety of looks of the same subject.

Original

Original

The first shot is the original. I didn’t use a flash and depended on natural lighting. It isn’t the most technically correct shot, but it does have an interesting element to it (and yes the hallway really is that wide and that long). The natural lighting creates a shot with strong golden hues. The color works with the style as it lends to a warm comfortable feel.

Sepia

Sepia

The second shot is with a sepia tone. The sepia tone element is easy to do and lends itself well to the age of the Victorian hallway. Using this tone plays on the history of the Victorian Era. The sepia format was the look of photography in that era.

Black and White

Black and White

The third shot is in black and white. The black and white aspect doesn’t play to the style of the hallway and the era it depicts, but to the architectural elements of the hallway. The strong lines and contrast work very well when you take a color photo to the world of black and white. Notice how it presents a totally different look to this shot.

Fresco Watercolor

Fresco Watercolor

With the fourth shot, I went a few steps further. As I have stated, I haven’t done anything with these shots, but there is an element to them that appeals to me. Trying to figure out how to pull that out in the best manner to tell a story is the fun part of what I do. A lot of it is trial and error with most of it being archived or deleted. With this last print I used a fresco watercolor technique highlighting the architectural lines and the warm golden tones.

From one photograph, we now have four different looks to the same hallway. Two of the three changes were easy with the fresco watercolor a little more challenging. Thoughts?

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New Orleans Victorian House – Featured Art Print

I love this scene of an old Victorian home located in New Orleans. This print was done many years ago long before Katrina hit the city. I was there on business and had some time to kill before I had to leave for the airport. Some co-workers and myself just wondered around the tree-lined streets. I came across this old Victorian house and fell in love with the look. Using that picture as my inspiration with a sketching technique, I did this print. I love black and white for the purpose of telling a story without color. Successfully doing that creates an art print that should emote a mood or tone that highlights the subject matter. In this case, I took the original shot and looked at it as a black and white photograph. That still looked a little flat to me with the detail of this architecture. Creating the sketch changed the dynamic. The sketch brings sharp lines and intricate detail to life. I loved the depth and intricacy it brought to this subject matter. Thoughts?

I invite you to come into the gallery to view the new additions to the collection in Black and White Sketches.

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