May 22, 2015  •  1 Comment




I found out a long time ago you can't rush and then be totally happy with the results in any endeavor especially if you want better photography.  SILO CITY is a large area with many opportunities for any type of photographer.  My last trip to the Silos in October 2014 was the same amount of time, the same amount of buildings but the weather was totally different.  I made a plan to shoot the spiral staircase that I didn't know existed until the end of the time.  I went looking but didn't find it.  I can't pass up a great staircase in great light so that was my mission.  That is where this type of work shop excels.  I needed help finding it.  So besides the help with photography you can get help finding things to shoot.  Jim the caretaker knows the place better than anyone and if you can describe it he can get you there.  Being a big place there may be more than one way and he can tell you the best one.  Not that it will be easy anyway you go.  The first day I found the stair case and spend a lot of time working my way from the bottom up.  The light ever changing because of the window or opening in the missing wall structure.  I did not go all the way up but thought I was close.  I wasn't.   I really wanted to get to the top for a photo op on the rope at the top of the elevator so after a long day I decided to back in the morning and try again. 

The next morning I was talking to Jim about it.  He told me another way without going up from the bottom.  It turns out the last visit I was about 20 feet from the stair case and never saw it.  Just a simple right instead of left opened up a new area I had completely missed last trip.  This day was different light and a different view and I would like to think it was a better photography day.  I made the attempt to go to the top but the cat walks got smaller and smaller and the building opened up with missing side walls.  One more flight and I couldn't do it.  Not a fan of heights anyway.  Going down the stairs was much easier that going up.  The perspective of a stair case changes when looking up or looking down so I took a few more photos hoping I get the photo I want. 

This workshop had a lot more people which I was concerned about having to wait around for my turn.  Not so in fact in 3 days I may have seen 5 others in the same place at the same time.  This trip I did not go into two of the buildings at all and a third only to use the stair case to get over to the spiral stair case.  I still found two areas I had not seen before and since the weather and light was so much different I reshot a few things from before at different angles and distance. I also had a goal to get some backgrounds for composites.  Last trip is was shooting with Cliff Lenderman who was there for that purpose.  I just never thought I would want them.  How things change.  That meant I wanted to get back to Concrete Central for some graffiti.  I am not a people person but Mark Maio who runs the workshop ask me if I did portraits  and we ended up doing a mini shot with Mark and Liliana Heckler.  I kind of like what I shot and maybe I need to think about doing the model workshop offered by Bill Woody and the Silo City workshop.








Some of the things I took notice that were workshop related;  someone went from point and shoot to using an SLR on full manual, several people trying out medium format cameras supplied by Chris Snipes of Capture Integration , there were some with camera and lens rentals and a lot of information sharing.  Everyone got along and helped each other.  Information flowed.  Mark was talking to someone and mentioned he would rather under promise and over deliver.  Although I didn't need much help in taking a photo the opportunity to go there I did learn a lot by seeing what others did and listening to how people approached photography in general.  Thanks to Jim and hope to stop in and visit next time I'm in Buffalo.

I said it last time and feel even stronger that if you never went to a work shop this one will put the others to the test for how a work shop should be done.




Mark Maio(non-registered)
Dennis, Thanks for a wonderful post and all the nice things you had to say about my workshop. Your last sentence was such a great compliment and reinforces what I want attendees to feel about the experience. Thanks again for doing the portrait.
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