Wings of Progress

Wings of Progress

Wings of Progress

In June of 2011 there was a post in the now defunct ONEOWNER blog with this photo of the Times Square building in Rochester, NY.  Completed in 1930, the top of the building has a tower with a massive structure known as the “Wings of Progress”.  It’s one of the few landmarks in an otherwise nondescript landscape.  Some believe the Wings are Orgone Accumulators or “features common to art deco, raygun gothic and other modernist buildings”.  I shot the photo while working on an assignment at the Rochester Convention Center, which has a terrace over the Genesee River.  This is probably the best view of the structure.

Almost a year after the photo was posted I received an email from a New York book publisher expressing an interest in reproducing it in a book about Wendell Castle, who is “…one of the most important, influential and celebrated designers of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries”.   I believe the original request came from the author, Alastair Gordon.   I have been a fan of Wendell Castle for years and was honored to be a part of the book.  I had also read other books by the author and knew this was going to be well done.  I provided the publisher with a written consent and a high res file for reproduction.  Last week I received a complimentary copy of the book and was shocked to see the photo was a full page reproduction in the 10″ x 12″ book.  I don’t have a coffee table but now I may need to get one.  You can get a copy of the book here.  It’s a great read and full of excellent photos of Mr. Castle’s amazing work.

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23 thoughts on “Wings of Progress

  1. John Linn

    Nice photo and good that you included a “Rochester Sky” as the background. I have always been fascinated by the structure and your photo captures it wonderfully. I will have to check out the book as I am a Castle fan too.

    Reply
    1. oneowner Post author

      Thanks, John. I took this on a rainy April day when the rain stopped for 20 minutes. The flat light and gray sky really are a nice backdrop for the Wings.

      Reply
      1. John Linn

        What processing did you use? The near black edges around most surfaces really adds a lot to the feeling of the photo. Perhaps a little Topaz? Or maybe that is just the result of the rain. I like that you added a black border on the image as it ties in well.

      2. oneowner Post author

        This photo was taken on a dreary and rainy day (you may have seen a few yourself) and needed some punch. The RAW file was very low contrast and Topaz does a nice job with this type of photo. But because it has a lot of sky in it that I didn’t want sharpened, I added a layer in PS5 and used the High Pass filter. It’s a bit old school but it does a nice job of sharpening only the edges and not the negative spaces. I’ve used this before in portraits when I wanted sharp features like eyes and lips but not skin tones. I didn’t have Lightroom at the time but you can do very much the same thing using sliders and it’s non-destructive.

  2. ehpem

    What a wonderful surprise and compliment! So nice to end up in a book like that one, about a person you really admire. This photo is totally worthy of such use – what a fantastic(al) building.

    Reply
    1. oneowner Post author

      Thanks, ehpem. If you’re unfamiliar with Wendell Castle’s work and you like modern sculpture, it’s worthwhile to check this out. He is an amazing artist.

      Reply
  3. Paul

    Congratulations, Ken! What a nice surprise. Now, as you said, you’ll have to get a coffee table so that you can display the book prominently. Get a fancy new bookmark, too, to mark the page so no one could possibly miss it! 😉

    Reply
  4. Face

    This is majestic! Congratulations on the publication. Very well deserved. 🙂

    I just realised, though I am following your new blog, I am not getting an e-mails regarding post updates. What could possibly be wrong?

    Reply
    1. oneowner Post author

      Thanks, Kriti. I wish I knew how WordPress opperates in this matter, but I don’t. There are several blogs I follow but don’t get emails. When I tried to look into it it was a dead end, but I’ll keep trying and if I find anything out I’ll dash you a note.

      Reply

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