At the beginning of the summer, I made a goal to shoot a ton of photographs in an effort to improve my landscape and architectural photography skills. As a result of this campaign, I have compiled some of my favorite photographs from this summer of exploring in Fort Wayne, Chicago, and the Pacific Northwest in today’s blog post. Full disclosure – there’s not too much tying these photos together outside of them being shot in the window of these past three months.
My visit to Oregon and Washington in July was the first time I explored in the region. I found some dirt cheap tickets out of Chicago a couple weeks before I left. It was thrilling to explore a region of the cuff in such short notice. I traveled alone and knew no one in the areas I visited.
Overall, I enjoyed exploring the Pacific coast more than Portland itself. That’s probably more due to my preference for outdoorsy locales over urban environments. I’d like to visit the region again and explore the Seattle area, which I didn’t have time to see this time around.
I took along my “new-to-me” wide angle lens for my DSLR. I ordered it used from B&H Photo out of New York. It was $1,200 cheaper than new. It still works great with only a few cosmetic defects. I had no issues walking around both downtown Chicago and central Portland with my gear.
After returning to northeast Indiana, it was interesting taking this new lens along and re-exploring places I’ve visited before along with a few new places, which I have intermingled on this list.
I shot several thousand photos over the past few months, which I’ve boiled down to nine of my favorites.
Bob Hawkins House of Fish, Fort Wayne, Indiana
This former (?) seafood restaurant on Pontiac Street and Weisser Park Avenue has been on my shooting wish list for some time. I can’t really tell if it’s permanently closed or not, but it was on this day.
I was late to the game with getting photographs of the remodeled Clyde Theatre in Quimby Village off of Bluffton Road in southwest-central Fort Wayne. The silhouette of these two late model Dodge Challengers parked in the lot helped add to the aesthetic of this shot.
I love aviation photos. A few weeks ago the Collings Foundation Wings of Freedom Tour featuring several World War II planes visited the Fort Wayne Aero Center at Fort Wayne International Airport. This P-51 Mustang was preparing for takeoff in this photo. I took some photos of it in the air, but they were bit too grainy for my liking. This was my first time visiting the Aero Center, which seemed very fresh and modern – didn’t even know it was there!
International Harvester Tower
I’ve always loved the tower at the former International Harvester complex on Fort Wayne’s east side. Did you know it acted as a water tower for the facility at one point? On this day, one of the used car dealers nearby just happened to have this 1973 Chevrolet Monte Carlo parked right in the middle of the sidewalk. When I photograph this area, I usually park at the nearby McCormick Park. This is a fairly quiet and overlooked park. Several small, working class houses surround this park – I’d imagine that employees of the IH plant may have lived here in the old days.
Central Camera Co.
Ever since Fort Wayne’s Sunny Schick Camera Shop closed, I’ve been looking for a great brick and mortar shop experience to buy gear. I stopped by downtown Chicago’s Central Camera Company in July to see what they were all about. If you’re familiar with Sunny Schick, imagine that times four. This place was filled to the brim with equipment and other assorted gear with tons of vintage cameras lining the walls.
I talked with the owner (or one of the owners) while pricing out a new battery for my Canon. He told a story about the attractive neon sign that has been beckoning in customers from the street since 1930. Afterwards, he offered me a free muffin.
Downtown Portland, Oregon
I spent a Sunday afternoon exploring downtown Portland in July. Pictured here is Stark Street. I tried to find the most “Portland-esque” place to dine downtown and decided to go with the Roxy, a 24-hour, hole-in-wall diner located nearby from here. I also visited the very large Powell’s City of Books, which encompasses a city block.
Cape Meares Light
I visited Cape Meares Light along the Oregon coast during my trip to the Pacific Northwest. This light was recently deactivated a few years ago and is situated on a beautiful located near majestic cliffs overlooking the ocean. I noticed a few cracks in the Fresnel lens from an incident a few years ago where intoxicated young people shot up the place at night. Luckily this light has been mostly restored to its original splendor.
You can see the complete set of photos on my original Instagram post here.
Cape Disappointment Light
One place I really wanted to go along the southwest Washington coast was Cape Disappointment Light. Unlike the light above, this one is still active. I wasn’t sure I’d have time to visit before sundown, but I made it just before dusk. This photo was shot from the nearby Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center during the “magic hour.” I also took the 20 minute hike back to the light itself. I briefly chatted with the young Coast Guardsman who was stationed there. It made me think back to my younger days when I strongly considered going in that direction with my career – not a bad gig at that lighthouse, I must say.
Willapa National Wildlife Refuge
I eventually made my way up through the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge while traveling on US 101 to Aberdeen, Washington. This photo doesn’t give justice to just how beautiful Willapa Bay was at dusk. I basically had this spot to myself for a bit before I had to go on my way. It was one of those experiences that makes life worth living.
Feel free to follow along on Instagram @timzink. My account is geared to the public and isn’t an ongoing chronicle of my nonexistent personal life (ha).