Daily Shoot #445: Make a photograph that emphasizes the sky.


I took a break this afternoon to walk over to the UMW Bookstore and buy Radio: An Illustrated Guide (which my students are going to be reading as we enter into the audio portion of the class). Afterwards, I decided to take a roundabout way back to my office and see if I could find a good shot for today’s assignment. I was heading to the new footbridge over Route 1, because I thought I might be able to get a nice sky shot looking north towards downtown (and I’ve never been on the bridge so I thought it might be nice to check it out.)

On the way, I passed the Library and saw Alvey Hall and Arrington Hall in front of me. They are both dorms; until recently, they were the newest dorms on campus, but both were built when I was a student here over 15 years ago. I took a bunch of shots with my DSLR and with my iPod, using Instagram and Hipstamatic. This shot is with Hipstamatic, which I feel better about using ever since D’Arcy told me it isn’t cheating.

I think the shot captures a particular kind of atmosphere — sort of cold and even snowy. It was pretty cold here today, but, after yesterday, most of the snow is gone. I like the way the brick building sort of glows and the tree branches crawl out of the corner.

Alvey Hall isn’t a very beautiful building, but this shot makes it seem more interesting. I’ve only been in the building once since I graduated in 1996 — a few years ago I helped out during freshman move-in and helped students get connected to the internet. In 1993, I actually spent a lot of time in Arrington Hall (which is identical to Alvey and sits behind it, just out of this shot.) At that point it was just called “New Hall” because it was, well, new. In the fall of 1993, UMW renovated the fine arts triplex (where I now work), and many of the faculty and classes were housed in New. That fall, I auditioned for a play with the theatre department and was cast. Since the theatre was being renovated, all of the rehersals were either in New Hall or in the dance studio in the gym. I remember New Hall smelled overly-clean and chemically. Like new carpets. It used to give me headaches.

When the play went up, we performed it in the old Underground which was then a coffee shop under Lee Hall, one of our main administrative buildings. A few years ago, Lee Hall was thoroughly gutted and extensively renovated, including the Underground which now serves coffee, sandwiches, and even beer. One of the other occupants of Lee Hall is the UMW Bookstore where I went today to buy Radio: An Illustrated Guide.

(One of the themes of my life is that I am caught in a vortex between Lee Hall and Arrington/New Hall. That vortex is also known as the campus of Mary Washington, and I keep circling around it. I never seem to make it to that bridge. )