Picture Window

A piece of advise we were given before graduation from photography school was to look at as much photography in the genre that you wanted to pursue a career in. Back before the internet, the best way to do this was by looking at magazines and other print material. So being interested in Nature, Landscape and Travel, I decided that I would subscribe to several magazines.

One of those magazines was Condé Nast Traveler. It had great stories and exceptional photography from all sorts of destinations around the world. In the back the magazine, they ran a contest called “Room with a view” there would be a photo looking out of some hotel room and a few clues as to where this location was, readers were to send their guess as to the location every  month. I have long forgotten what the prize for the winning answer was, but that contest gave me an idea that was more valuable than a reward.

That idea was another way to see the world around me. How to make an image more interesting by adding design elements to the story the photo was telling. It did not necessarily mean photographing through a window. The Idea was to use some element to frame the picture within the photo.

Back in the 1930’s a man by the name of Sherry Bowen built a home made out of stone for his family in the middle of  what is now Tucson Mountian Park. The Bowens lived in the home for approximately fourteen years before moving to New Your City. The remains of the house still stand, though the roof,  windows and doors are long gone. In order to visit the house you need to hike in or ride a mountain bike to it. The shortest trail (little more than a mile) is from the Camino de Oeste  trailhead.

On the day that I made the image “Picture Window” I chose to visit early in the day so that there would be sunlight on the west facing interior wall, and it would allow us (my then 15-year-old grandson Devon wanted to see the house)  to get in and out before it got too hot.

In framing the photo in camera, I could hear the echoes of a former instructor talking about photographing buildings “You are not driving a tank so there is no reason to line up on it dead center.”  After making several exposures of this and other windows, I turned my attention back to Devon who was trying to nap in the remains of the old bathtub.