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For some reason, the reopening of the Union Depot in St. Paul happened in December without me knowing the first thing about it! Likely someone found out my opinion on mass, state funded transit and decided to keep me out of the loop – we won’t go there, though :). The restoration of the old building was completed in December and it is now open for business, taking over as the center point for all buses and light rail coming through St. Paul, including the Central Corridor project that will connect St. Paul and Minneapolis by light rail.
This news didn’t reach me until Thursday of last week and, even though both the Winter Carnival and Crashed Ice events were happening in downtown St. Paul, the Depot became my main point of photographic interest for the weekend! Good thing, too, with most people involved in the other events, very few people were hanging out at the depot – virtually had the place to myself, except for a couple of security guards! Much to my surprise, one security guard was totally cool with me sporting the tripod and D-SLR in the depot. He even gave me some information regarding the restoration that was very helpful! How cool is that!
Over the next couple of days I’ll share a few shots from the shoot and wanted to start out with a couple of shots from the outside of the building, which is pretty impressive, sporting 10 huge pillars out front that give the building more formal, government look to it. The detail around the pillars does not take away from it either! The first shot, above, shows off both the detail and the pillars, along with some dramatic cloud movement from a 90 second exposure.
The shot below was a bit of fun and was shared through my social networks on Saturday and Sunday. It’s a 13 shot, handheld panorama taken specifically to produce heavy distortion on the center of the building. It was a technique I learned from watching Gavin Hoey in his Take & Make Great Photography on AdoramaTV – here’s a link to the episode on YouTube: http://youtu.be/xji5MKk-S4c. It was a ton of fun putting together except it took some serious content aware healing and also cloning to fill out the entire image! I highly suggest giving it a try!