february 10, 2020

posted in: photography | 1

“Do not try to fix whatever comes into your life. Fix yourself in such a way that whatever comes you’ll be fine.” ~ Sadhguru


I had the opportunity to do something super cool this morning. I met with Historic Preservation professor Doug Appler and BFF Crystal Heis to photograph Kirwan Commons, one of the many dormitory buildings of the Kirwan Blanding complex that are in the process of deconstruction in order to make room for new dormitories. During last semester’s class, Dr. Appler and I discussed at length photographs for the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS). HABS requirements do not include digital images. Rather, they prefer old fashion large format black and white film stills. The HP Department has such a camera (above), and Doug (also above) has the rest of the needed gear. 

living color I

This morning we spent several hours exploring the Commons building. Featured in this post is the floating staircase at the Kirwan Commons’ entrance.

living color II

The lens that I use most often is not what architectural photography wants, but because it’s a super wide angle (16mm), it allows me to capture a much wider view than normal. If you follow the outhouse at all you’ll recognize the look. It basically means I can capture more of a documentary style scene. The staircase was very difficult to photograph without it because of the glass walls that now encase it. These walls were likely later additions because the staircase would have been quite impressive without being encumbered by them. Still, the floating staircase is a really nice architectural point. It’s too bad it’s being sacrificed with the rest of the complex. I delivered many a pizza to the Kirwan Blanding complex back in the day. It’s bittersweet to see them go. That made me all the more grateful that Dr. Appler included me in the exploration. I learned a lot.

from the top
from the side
from the bottom

  1. Lisa Lockman

    For those of us who worked there, it was just the Complex Commons or Commons for short.

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