Archive for the ‘Jones Island’ Category

I am hopelessly and forevermore drawn to industrial settings for their hard and gritty look. Pile on some rust and railroad tracks, concrete and crumble, and I am a girl gone crazy in love with her surroundings. 

Lately, though, I have found myself playing with my captures, buffing out the gritty and softening the harsh. The results are one or two steps removed from reality and more evocative of illustrations in a child’s book than the original captures would be.

This is Milwaukee’s Jones Island, an aggressively industrial setting if there ever was one, but transformed here into a quieter, more gentle world.

If you are viewing on a full-sized monitor, the pictures really pop to that storybook look when viewed large.

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 Why? Because, as I have pointed out to you many, many times, I am a woman easily amused.

On Jones Island, the discovery of giant piles of SOMETHING, swathed in acres of heavy plastic. I was loving the plastic, all shiny with interesting folds and wrinkles and the weights placed properly over it all. 

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And wet. Remember wet, because it was raining. I’m not sure why, but the rain seemed to provide a compelling reason for me to get out of the car to shoot.

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I assume that there are many among you who regularly drive for two hours in order to hang around in industrial areas and take two dozen pictures of plastic-dressed mystery piles whilst standing in the rain.

Anyone?

Anyone?

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And what were those mountains of heavy plastic tarp hiding? This was a great cosmic puzzle until we drove down a road BEHIND the mystery piles.

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 This salt pile, a mountain of lovely blues, yellows and whites, reminded me of the paintings of Lawren Harris, a member of Canada’s Group of Seven. I can remember visiting the McMichael Center north of Toronto years ago, eager to finally see Harris’s “Pic Island” in person. I knew it was big, but I hadn’t realized that it filled one wall. When I walked into the room where it hung, my eyes did a cartoon pop and “boing!” and I ended up just sitting on a bench in front of the painting, unable to leave the room for a long while. For a look at some of Harris’s work, follow the link below.

http://www.wikiart.org/en/lawren-harris/pic-island-lake-superior-1924

Jones Island in the rain.

Most of the pictures I took here were from inside the car since the weather ranged from light rain to heavy downpour and back the whole time we were there, providing a thick gray filter for my shots. After a while, the routine was window down, shoot shoot shoot, window up. Wipe down camera. Mop inside of car. Rinse. Repeat.

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This is a very bleak part of Milwaukee with little traffic but for trucks. Jones Island began as a marshy island between two rivers and has been gradually transformed to the (working) harbor/pier area of the city. “The land is heavily industrialized and only contains a couple of mature trees,” according to one account I read and I can offer a big “You betcha” to that one.

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Going all medieval on you for the next shot. I am not sure if this is THE Baxter Grain Elevator or A Baxter grain elevator, since Mr. Baxter, the designer, actually did a stint in Milwaukee for 12 years before taking his talents as Grain Elevator Maven off to Buffalo, New York. Either way, you need only crop the silos and you are left with an evil fortress located somewhere in the Austrian Alps: Schloss Bösen.

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And the ever-so-famous “Bridge to Nowhere,” currently undergoing major repairs.

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Skipped the “window down” step on this last one and proceeded directly to “shoot shoot shoot.”

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