This past summer my cousin Joel, who is from the area but currently lives in Denver Colorado, came out for a few days and since he shares the same passions with photography as I do, we spend a day just roaming around taking some photos. We spent part of the day in downtown Rockford, as anybody from the area knows, downtown is suffering and has been for quite sometime. We parked by the dam and just took our time moving through the area and wondering aloud what it must been like when the area was thriving. Joel ended up striking a conversation with a couple of guys who probably have seen better times….

one armed homeless bumI don’t know what to say about this photo, it just shows the clash of cultures that currently downtown Rockford is. The guys were great to talk to, one thing I have learned is that you do have to take them with a grain of salt sometimes, but everyone has a story. We moved to the other side of the river and I took this HDR photo, the bridge the guys are under in the above pic is the same bridge in the photo.

Train bridge over the Rock River in HDR
You can see the hydro electric dam to the right in the photo, the dam is built on one of the shallowest parts of the Rock River. The is where Rockford started as a city and also how it got its name. This part of the river was know as the “rocky fiord” and was one of the few places you could cross the river on foot. People settled along this spot of the river and eventually was called Rockford.

I have always enjoyed a photo that is taking as is, more than a photo that is posed and manufactured. There is a time and place for the posed photo, but I feel it captures less of what is happening at that time. During the day my cousin took a few pictures of me that I didn’t even know he took until we got home and we started to post process our photos. I really like this one he took of me as I was just walking along the river looking for the next photo. This is a great example of a “photo journalistic” approach to a photo. It can be a little more difficult style of photography, but in the end I feel it tells a story better than any other approach to photography. Thank you for the great picture Joel!

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