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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Serendipity, Orange Grove Avenue

I was trying to figure the best way to get a picture of this building at 837 E. Orange Grove Avenue in Pasadena. It looks like a nice building, with its reflective windows framed by green tiles. I thought it might be worth a photo. It's empty right now and I don't see much about it on the web; it might have been a real estate office at one time.

Sometimes when I'm considering a subject I do a wide shot, then move in closer to find the best detail shots--kind of like in movies and TV when they shoot a master of a scene, then move in for two-shots and close-ups.

So this was the master. And this woman rode through on her Vespa or whatever it is and I had already clicked. I didn't realize she was smiling until I put the shot up on the computer screen. Aren't I lucky she came through? It makes a photograph out of something that, before her arrival, was only a reference for my files. I like that the photo is mostly greens and blues, even the woman's motorcycle, except for the pinks and tans around the woman herself. And there's that one-way sign so you can't miss her! But what I love most is that she's smiling.

It was all so serendipitous. Those who follow Glimpses of South Pasadena will know why I thought of Laurie.

27 comments:

Tanya said...

What a fun picture and I too was thinking of Laurie's "Serendipity" photo. Kind of like a "Where's Waldo" thing going on!

Saretta said...

One way...or the other!

Hope said...

I also thought of Laurie's post. I like this photo for too all the reasons you've already mentioned. It's kinda cool that the woman is traveling against the sign....I know she's in another lane...but still it's nice for the photo!

pasadenaadjacent.com said...

Don't forget that pony pal Pokey too! (can be serendipitous)

dina said...

I like, I like -- gazing and reading here.
Master, two-shots, close-ups? Oh no, you really know what you are doing! What are these words...?
(Don't answer that. Don't wanna know. But I'm impressed that YOU know.)

Benjamin Madison said...

I always like a person in the picture, especially if it's a landscape but even street shots/buildings I think always benefit from having someone in the frame. For me that's the most powerful way to express the meaning or significance of a scene. Someone once said the eye is always drawn to anything in a picture that is red. I suspect our eyes always look for people in pictures too and are drawn to look at them when we find them.

Laurie said...

This is great, Petrea! I predict a photo series developing here...

ben wideman said...

you and Laurie are on fire this week!

Virginia said...

You are so right about the lady making this shot. I tried to take a ho hum photo of the entrance to the Louvre. I patiently waited for everyone to get out of the photo. I finally gave up and took it anyway. The people silhouetted against the Pyramid absolutely MADE the shot. I don't think I remember that enough though.

Bernie K. said...

"I always like a person in the picture."
—penultimate murmur of the Creator, Who is Absent

USelaine said...

I love it too. And she is in just the right position. I wonder if anything in particular was on her mind besides the joy of riding her scooter.

I also want to turn that building into something - a gallery? artist's studio? loft conversion? bicycle shop?

Trish said...

LOVE the shot!

The reflections are fantastic---especially the newspaper rack so bright in the dark window.

I love the contrasts too---the woman on the scooter, the One Way sign, the white of the building, the dark of the windows, the graffiti, security lights and video cameras, the green of the vegetation, the industrial setting and the little bit of Mt Wilson peeking over the building in places.

For a shot of "oh cr@p, a person got in my photo!" it turned out fantastic!

And yes, it totally reminded me of Laurie's shot!

I don't know about the real estate office being there, but I believe eons ago it was a bicycle shop for a bit. Back when the earth was cooling (when I was a kid) as my nephew would say.

Petrea said...

Thanks, all. As Benjamin Madison says, a person gives significance to the scene.

Gotta remember the horsey. Thanks, PA.

I was looking at the building in the way Elaine thinks of it; it needs to be used for something. It's one of those spots no one really notices. The building next to it is an older beauty as well (still in use, I'll get pics).

Thanks for your info, Trish. A bicycle shop would work. I don't think I thought so much "Oh crap" when she came into the photo, just "I'll take another one." Digital gives that advantage over film.

USelaine said...

Once in a long while, Willits gets hit with serendipity.

marley said...

What a brilliant photo. You couldn't have done better if you'd tried to stage it. I love the fact she is smiling! Priceless!

Tash said...

& you got a live person - on motorized wheels - & SMILING! that's true serendipity! Kim & Chuck in Seattle would like this one too!

Miss Havisham said...

You need a song. I owe you. She Ramble s On as I do.

That place has been empty for some time. It's on my muumuu jogging route. A gallery or an office space...a cafe, a bookstore. It has great light.

Ted Thompson said...

One way, her way?

LOL - actually I think she and the Vespa (sure looks like one) are perfect, adding a bit of irregularity to what would otherwise be a very symmetrical image.

I also have to say I too find that architecture charming - it's a neat little building, I hope it finds purpose and isn't just scuttled in the name of progress.

Ms M said...

Very interesting with the woman and the One Way sign "at odds" -- and that she's smiling. Non-conformist fantasy?

Petrea said...

Well, I like that Willits serendipity. I think every place has some if you open your eyes.

Thank you for the song, Miss H. You knew I'd like it. Gimme the Zep and I'm happy. What is muumuu jogging? Tonny's Restaurant is next door. Have you been there? Any good? If it is, then let's make this place a book store.

Ted, if that's a Vespa I'll be shocked. I was soooooo guessing.

Ha! Non-conformist fantasy, you betcha.

Bibi said...

Hi, Petrea! Love your photo; actually mine yesterday was like that--two men carrying umbrellas walked in front of part of my photo when I pressed the shutter, and the photo turned out to be much more interesting than just the honey seller!

As for the spy lens, haven't actually used my new one yet, but will this weekend.... Tell Lord of the Lens the lady in Belgrade sent you...

Bibi said...

Ooops. Not yesterday's photo; the day before...

Rose said...

My husband who says that "the only way to take great photos is by taking many because eventually you get lucky and take a fantastic one."
You got lucky!

Trish said...

P--I usually say "oh cr@p!" because, it was not what I intended.

I am all for taking LOTS of photos of things and having just a few be ones that I am happy with. Out of the old 36 exposure rolls if 1 or 2 or maybe 3 were good, I would be happy. Ditto for digital---but the really bad ones can be deleted!

muumuu jogging? as in "I'd better run this route to avoid having a muumuu as my only clothing option?"

Petrea said...

Thanks Bibi. I love the umbrella shot! Discovering Belgrade with you is delight. It looks inviting.

Rose & Trish, I understand even the pros have to take a lot of pictures. That's why I take so many, of course. I'm trying to be a professional.

jill said...

It's great when it all just comes together like that. I'm still waiting... Great shot. I like the building's style.

Lydia said...

A very special and totally fun shot!