Photo 101: Weekend reflection of light

From the top of Merchant Commons, Warren and Fayette streets.

Rooftop reflections, between buildings in Syracuse, N.Y.

My dear wife Karen and I drove to downtown Syracuse for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Saturday afternoon. My primary mission was to capture the mood with my iPhone 6 and my noodle, for my weekly community blog for Syracuse Public Media site You’ll be able to see my column there, as well as a companion piece and photos here, on Wednesday.

After parking on the top level of her usual garage, where I snapped some shots, I asked if we could take the elevator to the higher elevation of the rooftop of the building that houses her SMG employers. It’s closer to the parade route, and thought I might be able to get a good view down on marchers and fans.

Alas, an adjoining building blocked my sight line to the route.

But oh, how that spot was wonderful for this weekend’s Photo 101 assignment to think about the use of light in our photography. I took many shots. I was struck with the way the light danced between the buildings in the photograph up top. And the reflection off the window at right enhances the image, too.

Chase building in Syracuse, N.Y.

Gray can be enlightening.

Immediately above, I like the way the browns of the buildings pop against the striated gray sky. It was gratifying to get this view from the ninth floor.

Up from the ninth floor.

More stairs on the roof.

I was also delighted to find one more rickety iron flight of stairs outside, on the rooftop. I of course had to climb it. That’s where I took the top two shots. I couldn’t resist shooting immediately downward, too, for a different sort of light.

What would you shoot from a city rooftop? Which of the three photos is your favorite, and why? What do you think of the other two?

54 thoughts on “Photo 101: Weekend reflection of light

  1. I like them all very much, but I probably like the bottom one best because it has better lighting and mostly because I like the contrasting textures in the brick wall, the block floor, and the rusty metal rails. Excellent job! πŸ˜€


  2. I am so behind on reading one of my fave blogger’s posts! I blame it on my 21 year old who is home for Spring Break and is always hungry!

    I see at least, 49 shades of gray in these photos. Not 50, but definitely 49. πŸ™‚ I am so envious of your iPhone 6 and its great camera. All the pictures look so crisp. My sister is doing all kinds of things with hers. She’s into doing videos in slow motion and with special effects using her phone. Nice pics, Mr. B. πŸ™‚


    • Let’s get you a new phone/camera setup, Mrs. B. By us, I mean your Mr. B, of course. I support you both in spirit. πŸ˜‰ Your 21-year-old back in the nest, that will keep you busy, my friend. Keep cooking, Mrs. B, keep cooking. We can always catch up afterward. We ain’t going nowhere. Thanks for your kind words about my 49 shades. I’m taking videos, too. I now have my own YouTube channel. Take that, Your Sis. πŸ˜‰


  3. A St. Patrick’s parade already? This month is flying by! How fun. Great photos, Mark. I think my favorite is the last one with the rickety stairs. It just seems the most interesting to me. What’s the story there? It would make a great prompt!


    • Please feel free to use the rickety stairs as a prompt, Amy! Old, metal, go to just a small platform, on which I stood and took the photos. πŸ™‚

      Yes, the parade was Saturday, tomorrow is the day. Halfway through March, we are. Flying past, indeed.


  4. I like #2 bc it looks like happy Christmas decorations on the building. Bows and ribbons. The last one makes me feel like Karen Carpenter. Not bulemic or dead, I mean. But like I’m…on the top of the world, looking down (down) on creation, and the only explanation…


  5. I really like the contrast in your last pic. The brick, the table and chairs and the rusty railing. They all meld into more than just different colors. Very provocative.


  6. The challenge for finding light on a slightly overcast day is immense. I think your reflection of the one building upon the window of the other building is a good one. I also liked the one with the perspective of looking down upon the rusty stairs and patio. I would like a sunny day, with blue sky and plants out on the roof of a building. I like on the show, “Elementary” he has a pigeon coop on his rooftop. Rooftops make me somehow always think of the possibility of super heroes, Mark!


  7. Nicely done, Mark! Love the stairs shot from above. … If we had an assignment today for snow, we’d be all set here in Syracuse. Again.


  8. I like them all, but the third is my favorite. I can’t really tell you why, because I’m not artsy like that, but I think it must have something to do with the stairs and the exposed brick. It speaks to me more than the others. πŸ™‚


    • I don’t get up on big-building rooftops much, Kimi, so this was a photo op treat. Thanks for your kind observations. I know you see the big world in wild proportions from your work space in Atlanta!


  9. Thanks, Paul. The way this workshop makes me think what I’m seeing in front of me through in terms of the image is making me quite happy, too. I’m glad you can see the results along with me.


  10. Awesome Mark! I love the juxtaposition of the new and old. The reflection in the windows is great. And the way there is foreground and background- all differing is very attractive. Nice job.


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