I know, I know: 2009 called … to congratulate me on discovering its Photoshop technology. I just learned that Photoshop Elements will take a series of photos and create a panorama. I started with . . . ok ok I have to fess up to something first. We are supposed to prepare a photo essay for the class I’m taking and because I have no imagination, my essay is on . . . ramps. I know, right? Get over it.
My original concept was to photograph small, out of the way, unlikely ramps, like these two in rural Maine somewhere north of Portland.
I was clearly in need of some coaching in the technical and compositional departments, but you get the idea. My concept was on some level to be able to say to large international chains that remain out of compliance in 2012, “you see! Ralph’s Home Sales of Somewhere Off Rte 1 in Maine, managed to install a ramp; so can you!”
Since I don’t have the time to go anywhere out of the way, I’m left trying to tell a story through photographs of various ramps around Denver. During the class session in which we critiqued one another’s first few essay photos, my classmates had lots of helpful advice like, “your theme could be dogs!” and “you could sit at a coffee shop for a day and photograph the people who patronize it.” But I’m stubborn and don’t have time to sit at a coffee shop all day, so ramps it is. And dammit, I think it’s kind of cool. And! It turns out that panoramic photography is sort of an interesting way to show how a ramp relates to the accessibility of the building it serves:
This was my first attempt at panoramic stitching. (That term gives me the mild creeps, with a sort of Frankenstein vibe.) It was so much fun, I spent today trying to dream up fun ways to use the technology. Turns out graffiti walls make cool panoramic shots.
So does the dragon on Su Teatro’s building. I was too close and trying to do too much, but it’s sort of cool. I think I need to go back in the morning when there are no cars and photograph it from the middle of the street.
Here are three more ramp panos. The first — on 17th at Curtis — is more an illustration of how several levels can come together in an almost imperceptible way.
The ramp below is on University Blvd just north of Asbury, and what I liked the most isn’t really visible from the pano: The fact that the ramp starts low on the right, rises to the entrance and then the red wall keeps rising at the same angle — decoratively only, I believe — continuing the slash of red color from one side of the building to the other.
Finally, this is the west entrance to the DU aw school which is not visually very compelling, but lends itself nicely to panoramic treatment.
Since I was already wandering around the DU campus with a camera, I had to take the following photograph that to me poses a deep and unfathomable question: did anyone anywhere on the design team have an 8th Grader? Access to an 8th Grader? A friend’s 8th Grader to whom he or she could have shown this design? Does anyone even think like an 8th Grader? In other words, DOES ANYONE ELSE SNICKER WHEN THEY SEE BENCHES MADE OF LIPS?
Or is it just me?