A photo essay by Jason S. Sullivan, 04-03-20
I recently became interested in photography and editing photos. I especially like photographing architecture and buildings, and I love black and white. I’m a casual photographer wanting to make it more of a hobby. While I’m still a beginner — and hardly a photographer — I think I’m getting better. It takes practice and persistence.
I took lots of photos in March. I won’t bore you with every single one of them. Instead, these are ten of my favorites. I plan to turn this into a monthly series.
By The Horns Brewery — Mansfield, Texas
This is a neat building in a fun part of downtown Mansfield. I love old trucks, and you can get up close to this one. Yes, this photo has a pretty heavy filter on it. I like the way that it brings out the patina in the truck and the details in the building. I also like the patch of green grass. The pattern and lines of the garage door are interesting, too. It’s a fun, nostalgic scene that begs you to take a photo of it. This is one that I want to print out, frame, and hang in my house.
Old house — Mansfield, Texas
This photo looks great in color or black and white. I usually favor black and white, but the color version won me over. I like the paint peeling in certain parts of the house. It didn’t look quite the same in black and white. I also like the way the trees frame the house. There’s something about the porch, windows, and awnings that make this one unique.
Dilapidated building — Arlington, Texas
I drive past the old “Mr. Blue Jeans” building every day on my way to and from work. It used to be a retail store that sold jeans, but it’s been empty for many, many years. I’ve often thought it would make an interesting photo, especially in black and white. I finally dared to stop and attempt it. When a building has this much personality, it can be intimidating for a beginner. Did I capture the true spirit of this building? I’m undecided. I think I can do better. I may have to try again before I’m fully satisfied with it.
Tong’s Mongolian Grill — Arlington, Texas
I live near here, but I’ve never been to this restaurant. I like the way this photo and the editing turned out. The building looks sleek in black and white, but the cloudy sky with a hint of color really does it for me. There’s also some interesting detail in the parking lot.
Milo the Cat, #1 — casa de Sullivan
This is Milo, our youngest cat. I like the way he’s posed. He looks stoic and contemplative — what’s on his mind? The black and white adds a soft innocence. The darkness of the background almost gives it an existential or ‘Twilight Zone’ feel to it — at least I thought so.
Milo the Cat, #2 — casa de Sullivan
Milo can be photogenic when he’s not bouncing off the walls. In this one, he’s in a paper sack from Trader Joe’s. (Cats love stuff like that.) I like the way the paper sack seems to frame his head and ears. There’s also a pleasant contrast of black and white.
Handley Methodist Church — Fort Worth, Texas
This is in the Handley Historic District, which was a fun place to explore and take photos. I took many photos there, and a few of this church. It’s hauntingly beautiful in black and white against the cloudy sky. I like the lines, angles, windows, and outlining cement in the grass. There are lots of details in this one.
“Sarsen Caer” at Caelum Moor — Arlington, Texas
There are five of these massive granite monuments in Arlington’s Entertainment District. They’re in Richard Greene Linear Park, near Cowboys Stadium and Rangers Ballpark. Each monument is different, but I like this one the best. It has a classic shape and appearance.
A building at UTA — Arlington, Texas
The University of Texas at Arlington campus has many interesting buildings. I like the brickwork on this one. I also like the simple, soothing, and repeating pattern of the windows and frames. This picture didn’t turn out as expected (I tried to get the whole building), but I liked the final result.
“Wicked Monsters” — Mansfield, Texas
I saved my favorite for last. The original photo showed public art in downtown Mansfield. It was a decent photo, but there was a car in the background that ruined it for me. I wanted to remove it — and I did — but decided to keep going. Obviously, I made some substantial edits to this photo. I had no idea it would turn out like this! Zoom in on this one. There looks to be faces, eyes, and ghosts in it, along with eerie shadows. Monsters chasing monsters — I love the irony. This photo is wicked! I could never replicate the effects I did on this one, so it’s truly unique. If I make a top ten list for the year, this one would surely be on it.
And there you have it. Ten photos that I captured and edited as a novice photographer. It wasn’t easy to whittle this down to my top ten. Which one was your favorite?
By posting this, I’ve put some pressure on myself (in a positive way) to get out there and take more photos. It’s a new hobby that I want to pursue further. I have a new respect for people who take amazing photos. It’s not as easy as it looks.
Instead of taking meaningless selfies try taking a genuine photograph. You never know what will develop — and it’s far more satisfying.