Finding Treasures in Darkroom Discards – Public Art

Over the last six months, I have been mobility-compromised — on and off crutches.  I haven’t really been able to go on photography outings, which I would normally do about twice a month.  That may not sound like a lot, but since I am what some have called an “over-taker,” those few outings generated a LOT of images.   Over time, I built a fairly  large image catalog, with many more images than I actually used.

I soon realized that if I wanted to rekindle this blog, I had to rely on images I already had.  I began to mine my photo archives and update categories and key words. I looked for images that I had previously passed by – my darkroom discards, so to speak.  Then, there were others that I just needed to look at in a different way, and find new perspective on the images.  Not to mention the images and outings I had completely forgotten.  Those were a bonus.

I started out selecting images based on a theme, or feature in the image – for example, shadows, reflections, public art.  Then, there were others that I had downgraded because I perceived it had flaws – but since Lightroom has new healing capabilities, and I am a better editor now, ‘flaws’ can be addressed.  Then there were others that once I began to focus on a specific area of interest (that IS what an editor is supposed to do!), I could see even greater beauty in the image.  I gained a new level of appreciation for images that I had previously devalued.

I found quite a collection on public art, and rescued them from the darkroom discards.  Hope you enjoy these selections.


  • Paul Lawrence Dunbar: With the iconic Willis Tower (nee Sears Tower) in the background, this monument to the distinguished poet (sculptor:  Debra L. Hand) graces Dunbar Park in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood.  One of Dunbar’s connections to Chicago – he read some of his work at the World’s Colombian Exposition in Chicago.  The statue is imposing against the vibrant blue sky, and what is not to love about a man who both writes and reads?


  • A View from the Museum Campus: You know you are in Chicago when you see the Willis Tower.  This conceptual cubic sculpture, resembling a crumpled box, sits atop a hill in front of the Museum Campus.  It is a wonderful site to see as you walk up the hill to the bus stop, with the Willis Tower in the background.  The crumpled box (It’s actually called “Habakuk (Homage to Max Ernst)” artist:  Everdt Hilgemann) with its reflecting panes offer a great opportunity for other photos (next outing!).


  • Zoom! V2 – Ontario: This dynamic sculpture by Randall Anderson of Montreal has Canada’s Parliament building in the background.  For Canadians, and especially Ottawa residents, this is location near the Alexandria Bridge is easily recognizable.  I love the energy evoking a windy day!  Then, there are public comments, written as if on a post-it note, adding to the vibrancy of the work.


  • L’Odyssee (the Odyssey) – Quebec City: I must confess that Andy Warhol paintings have always fascinated me – images of everyday items, recreated as a color block painting, or in this case, a faithfully reproduced can of soup, displaying artistic beauty in its simplicity.  So imagine my surprise when I found these pigeons staring down the can of soup, just as I crossed the Alexandria Bridge into Quebec City!   Love them!  (artist:  Cooke-Sasseville).


  • Thomas Jefferson Memorial:  DC does memorials right!  It’s hard to find a bad one, or one that is not well situated for its environment.  I visited the city during the cherry blossom festival, and captured this image of the Jefferson Memorial from across the Tidal Basin.  In addition to its memorable architecture, I was lucky enough to capture an airplane in the background — the Memorial is close the departure runways for Regan International Airport.

Before this trek through my image archives, I had a task on my To Do list:  “Go through image archives and delete unused images.”  Boy has that task been cancelled!  I’m looking forward to appreciating other images from my archives, and posting them here.  I hope you enjoyed these rescued treasures from the darkroom discard pile!

See more outtakes from this and other photography outings by following me on Instagram @eyevpointofview.



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