Call these things mistakes or a waste of time and money or even an insult to creative marketing genius. Like a lot of photographers in the Wausau area, I could not help but spend some time on Third Street in Wausau’s downtown this past month. These lights were strung up in place of the umbrellas that hung there just a few months ago. They are part of the creative marketing genius of Mark Craig, General Manager of Compass Properties, the major real estate development company that owns much of the downtown.
As you can see the transformation in these pictures from umbrellas to lights hanging from wires strung across the 300 Block from building front to building front. As a photographer, I tend to look at things and ask myself what do I see in them. The umbrellas and the lights were to be an attraction to draw people into the downtown to visit the bars & restaurants and shop the stores that line the street in this area. They cause people to pause and look up.
Once the lights were up and lit, I looked for a way to interpret them. At first I came downtown to just simply take one or two wide-angle shots like the one you see just below the umbrella photo. Then I though I should try something that I had never did before. My 70-210mm telephoto zoom works like the slide on a trombone. At that I could create the effect of the streaks of light by pushing the lens forward or pulling the front elements back while shooting exposures at slow shutter speeds. With film photography, this can be disgustingly costly in what seems like wasting materials. With digital photography, it is just an image file that can be deleted if it is not worth keeping.
I have already submitted these things to Capture Wisconsin http://www.capturewisconsin.com/photos/2035082/in/profile where they do get critical review from some of the best photographers around the state. I feel like I am in a crowd there where we all give each other pats on the back for the work that we all create.
Wausau is a beautiful city and I am not boasting because it is my hometown. It is a city that fights to move its way forward, and the downtown shows it. If you have not visited our downtown, please do so.