CLASSICAL PHOTOGRAPHY by Jess Isaiah Levin, Raleigh, NC

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May 20, 2009

Natural and Artificial Sculpture

During a whirlwind trip through four towns in North Carolina and South Carolina (The North Carolina Symphony's "Blue Skies, Golden Sands" tour), I sought characteristic features of Charlotte [NC], Columbia [SC], Georgetown [SC], and Wilmington [NC]. Outdoor sculpture is common in most cities throughout the U.S. One of the first things I spotted, when taking my first look in many years at downtown Charlotte, was a wheel-like object that looked very familiar. In the double image below, on the right is the version in Charlotte. On the left is what I photographed in 2005 during a visit to the Pepsico gardens in Purchase, NY.

rediscovered sculpture

Here's a fanciful piece that invites examination from many angles. I spotted the plane appearing above the building, and timed the shot to keep the contrail separate from object edges.

outdoor sculpture

Just a few minutes later, I stumbled upon a re-enactment of a battle that took place in Charlotte before the colonies formally declared independence. I knew nothing about the re-enactment until I turned a corner and saw old styles of clothing and weapons. When someone yelled "fire!", I fired without hesitation, and caught this:

firing sequence

There's a Howitzer in the background. Loud! Three hours later, I was in Columbia, with my hearing still intact. Checking into a hotel, I saw that a former time-locked bank vault had been turned into a restaurant. The "reduced security" allowed me to get close to and photograph another disk-shaped "sculpture".

bank vault as sculpture

The hotel itself has a lot of sculptural details. Here's an exterior shot featuring a lantern with great patina.

lantern and sky

The new building across the street makes quite a contrast. The next day, I explored South Carolina's capitol.


All images on this site © Jess Isaiah Levin