Strollin’ Down 25th

Something very fun about old streets. During the day, they’re kind of “quaint”, a little old school innocent, and someplace you look forward to walking around with your kids. At night however, old streets become a little dark, obscurely offensive at times, and maybe it is just me, but I think you can feel the nostalgia of days long past.

When I walk 25th at night, camera and tripod in hand (hat flipped backwards of course), I feel like the world sleeps while old streets talk about everyone they’ve encountered along their way. I look up most of the time, because the old bricks, sconces, and window trim from the early 1900’s (assuming early 1900’s because my house is 3 blocks away, and it was built in 1909) feel experienced. I think if they could convey a story to us, it would be time well spent to listen to them.

They (meaning “Developers”) are building a new monstrosity on 25th. I’m sure they got the locals (that’d be me too, but I haven’t attended a town meeting yet) to agree too it with words of grandeur, ideas of delusional imagery, and of course, bringing a healthy bottom line to an already well to do city. I have a soft spot for nostalgia, so I really dislike it when “new blood” comes to town wanting to make a buck off what people have built over the centuries. Since I’ve moved here their are probably 6 or 7 LARGE apartment complexes that have went up. No more roads, no work around for traffic (well, they did just open some public transit for Ogden, but, I do not see it helping the plethora of asses they’re moving into the city). Anyhow, soap box bitch session over, what did I find to take pictures of.

For the most part, I just took pictures of things I’ve already taken pictures of. I did find a coffee shop that I HAVE GOT TO GO TO! I got to hear a man on a cell phone drunk explaining things to someone on the other line that I can only assume was his significant other. He was going on about their kids playing in the yard when he left to go to the bar (sounds about as good in writing as it did listening to him as I walked by). Some other guys were drunk lecturing each other on how to find some money so they could go back to the bar (they were 3 sheets to the wind as it was, so hopefully they couldn’t find anymore money and went home). This is on a school night too folks! (I applaud them for having the gusto to go out on a week night knowing they’ve got to get up and go to work or school tomorrow morning).

I parked on 24th street to start tonight off. There’s a large mural of a man on a horse (that obviously does not want him on its back) and some advertising above it for local areas and such. I like it because the veneer of plaster is cracking off the bricks along the edge and it makes for nice texture, or light contrasts. I just like it.

Wall painting of a man getting bucked by a horse. Text on the image is for "Pioneer Days Rodeo".

Hopefully you can remember this was around midnight. The shutter speeds were between a second, and 30 seconds depending on how much light I let into the camera (called f-Stop – Big numbers small hole, small numbers big hole).

I brought two lenses with me. A Pentax D FA 28-105mm, and an Irix 15mm. I was having so much fun with the Irix lens, I never swapped it for the more versatile 28-105mm. I used my Pentax K1 Mark II also. I’m sometimes torn as to if I should have bought the Pentax K3 Mark III instead of the K1 Mark II. They’re both pro end cameras. The K1 is a full frame sensor camera (sensor is the same size as a frame of 35mm film) so it has better capabilities in my book, but the K3 has more lenses to choose from (They can use each other’s lenses, but the K3 is what’s called a “cropped” sensor, so when I use those lenses it leaves a ring of darkness around the edges on my K1. The Irix lens is also manual focus, so there’s that (and YES I’m going to use that as an excuse if any of these images aren’t sharp 😉 ).

I didn’t do much post editing on these images. I did a little bit of noise reduction (because I used ISO 800 and 400. They can bring up the noise (used to call it grain) in the images). I cropped a few just to get a random branch out, or clear up the focus of the image, but that was about it. I was really happy with the results right from the camera (and that Irix lens is pretty nice, I think I need to clean the glass with something though, I feel it was a “little” foggy).

Here’s another batch .. The gate, with stairs, with lights, and bars, and so fun! The other two are just views of 25th at night. Someday I’ll get a spectacular image of that Historic 25th Street Sign (It is bright).

A few years ago, when I first got back into photography, 25th Street at night was one of my first “This is so much FUN” experiences. There was another year or a year and half after that, where if I wasn’t hiking with my camera, I was playing scenarios over in my head how to stop the cycle of anxiety, pain, worry, regret, and unrelenting feelings of guilt. Most of the scenarios I was having were far from healthy, and would have left a plethora of people very upset with me. Having lived through that hard patch, I can say I “understand” why people choose the path of no return, and I honestly don’t blame them for that choice, but there is light at the end of that tunnel. It might not be the bright light from that 20/20 vision your memory has of younger days, but it is a pretty nice light none the less.

Tonight wasn’t a mission to squash some rough patch I’m going through, or even to work out some mental issues. It is just something I really enjoy doing by my self, in the quiet, creatively wandering around, looking at the world with artistic vision, and seeing how it will look from the back of my camera.

Finally, just before I got back to my car, I passed “Wasatch Roasting Co.“. I never knew it was a coffee joint, but oh my, oh my, I do now! They took the side alley next to their shop, loaded it with graffiti, put up some lights, added some tables, a sign that says Origin Alley” and wallah! Coolest hangout in Ogden. The other two pictures are just “what ever’s”.

That was my night. I love working swing shift and I’m pretty happy with my life right now. The troubles I’m encountering now’a’day aren’t unusual, devastating, or unmanageable, but they are distracting, and can be overwhelming when I forget to breathe.

I’m pooped, time for bed.


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