Shooting Like a Wide-Eyed Tourist Visiting Philadelphia for the First Time, December 10, 2017


 

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We’re gonna take a spin, kids.  Hold on because it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.  Why Ma?  Because this is Philadelphia.  And, because the carousel in the City Hall Courtyard is so pretty at night.  Photographed by Tieshka Smith, December 10, 2017

Hey photography enthusiasts:  When was the last time you walked around like a tourist in your home city and took touristy photographs? Has it been a minute?

I’m ashamed to admit that it’s been a long while for me.

I love my adopted hometown of Philadelphia, but I’ve been so busy and unmotivated to make photographs for the very reason why I got into photography, that I needed to re-evaluate my life.  So, after I left the closing celebration for Philadelphia Assembled at the Perelman Building of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, I decided that I was going to take out my Nikon and make some night photographs of Philadelphia’s most popular/newest holiday attractions.

During the three-month run of the Philadelphia Assembled exhibit, I took many walks down the Parkway to City Hall during the evenings. But because I rarely had my DSLR camera with me, I missed a lot of opportunities to make images, and I really didn’t want to pull out my trusty iPad to make some half-assed stuff.   Instead, I would put my earbuds in and listen to my favorite walking music, keeping my head down and eyes straight ahead, because yeah, this is Philly and also because my heart wasn’t in making anything.

But this night was different.  We had our first snow of the season, the air was crisp and chilly and I was in no real hurry to get home (and, I could still feel my fingers).  So… why not?

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When I came across this, I was like, whoa!! And given the sheer number of footprints in the snow, I would assume lots of other people felt the same way about one of the newest public art installations in Philadelphia.  Anyway, this 26-foot illuminated beauty in Aviator Park near the Franklin Institute is by artist Jennifer Steinkamp and is one of 4 domes commemorating the 100th birthday of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.  I’ll have to find the other three and photograph them as well! Photographed by Tieshka Smith, December 10, 2017
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No, I’m not being a stalker, I’m just looking east toward City Hall at the people who are enjoying the iconic Christmas Festival in Love Park.  Capitalism never looked so sparkly and bright!  Photographed by Tieshka Smith, December 10, 2017

 

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Look, Ma, there are people assembling to watch the Deck the Hall Light Show in City Hall!  It’s remarkable how many people will stand in the cold, straining their necks to see a bunch of flashing lights and colors for an extended period of time.  Dilworth Plaza, I love thee.  Oh, and  I think Billy Penn could use some warming up, though.  Photographed by Tieshka Smith, December 10, 2017

 

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More people!  And yeah, there’s a beautiful carousel in the middle of City Hall’s Courtyard.  I may have to take a ride before it disappears after the holidays.  Photographed by Tieshka Smith, December 10, 2017

 

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Since I was in the area, I thought, why not check on Michelle?  I’ll admit, I was holding my breath because, yeah, this is Philly and shit gets damaged real quick.  But I was pleasantly surprised (and relieved).  Good looking out, fair citizens of Philadelphia, thank you for not vandalizing this!  Photographed by Tieshka Smith, December 10, 2017
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We (sometimes) share the road.  By the way, I’ve never done one of these horse-drawn carriage rides, have you?  I also need to do one of those double-decker bus tours, just for shits and giggles! Photographed by Tieshka Smith, December 10, 2017

Philly is pretty awesome, especially during the holiday season! Oh, and by the way, Happy Holidays and thank you as always for your support!

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