I invite you, the viewer, to look at the photographs to derive your own narrative before I give you the story behind the series.
That said the Buffalo Hotel is a historic building in a small town (approx. 100,000 people) that is now boarded up and sitting idle. Thus the project title image is from across the street, of the stores ‘open’ sign with hotel reflected in window, is a juxtaposition of the closed hotel and open shop.
I’ve attempted to take the viewer on a walk around several sides of the build. I’ve also attempted to take you through time, current to past, by finishing the images with the ‘look and feel’ of several time periods and color versus Black and White. Note, all the images are current day images. I do not do photo manipulations (e.g. using texture layers) beyond exposure correction, color correction etc.
You start the tour with a present-day street view. I chose a day with flatter lighting to emphasize that the building has faded from glory and is being forgotten. The framing with the trees hints at past charm, romance and character; all of which, I think, still exist.
The next picture plays with the glory and decay. The Rich Blue (sky) and Golden Yellow are colors of royalty meaning richness… in this case of heritage/history. This is reinforced by the angle of the shot... looking up. But you can see the decay… the rust… broken light-bulbs.
The 3rd shot helps to build some foundation/reference as we move down the street and it introduces the build as being a hotel. The importance of the building is again represented by having the signage dominate the frame. The sun flare is used symbolically like a ‘ray from heaven’ in early religious imagery.
The fourth image is the most loosely connected in the series. I have not built the connection between this image and the prior image(s)… but it is the next point of interest associated to the building as you continue to walk. I attempted to show direction with the reflection in the window and I gave the photo a 70ish feel to it. I, selfishly, cropped it to 16x9 for a cinematic feel but it would be better at 16x10 so the sign brackets wouldn’t be clipped.
Five is the Coffee Sign again but this time I’m giving it more of a 50ish look and feel. This also works, 50ish photos taking, so that I can introduce the metal fire escape on the outside of the building; which is important in building the transition to the B&W.
From here we are at the far end of the walk and are going to be heading back to where we started. The coffee shop sign acts as the reference for where the viewer is. The B&W works to emphasize the time period shown by the metal fire escape… this time you see the last section (ramp) controlled by a pulley which all point to a bygone age.
This shot is just referencing that we are coming back around the corner. Not sure it’s necessary but it does, to me, build the direction we are traveling which you might not otherwise be clear.
The eighth image does two things… It’s our fist time looking at the scene from a eye level perspective. We’re heading toward the signs as if we were going to the hotel. It sets the context of where the building is in relation to its surroundings.
Next, we focus on the entrance… the HOTEL sign. I’m trying to give it the feel of a ‘grand entrance’ so I’m using the light bleed, filling the frame and strong contrast (in part to distract from the decay - again these are all current photos). Side note: I did not use shoots of the actual entrance because they were boarded up thus not part of this story… the B&W represent Old which is when the building was newer and thus wouldn’t be boarded up.
The last image is a suggestion of the stature the building would have had when it began.
Hope you, the viewer, have liked what I presented... and thank you for spending your time on my work.