Week 45 – Pearl Street Reflections

In West Michigan this weekend, we enjoyed more bright sun and warm temperatures.

Usually this time of year I start to grump about cold hands and trying to work a camera. That’ll come next week, probably. But not yesterday.

I spent a couple of hours shooting in downtown Grand Rapids on Saturday, over lunch. My favorite images from this session are reflections in the windows of stores and restaurants on Pearl Street.

As in the past couple of weeks, I’ve been seeing images mostly in black and white, a reflection of the strong sun and deep shadows. The old buildings and reflections on Pearl Street reminded me a bit of film noir cinematography. Here’s a few of them.

And, the best of the day, in my view, the one that to me felt the most like a scene in a 1930s “private eye” film, perhaps about a murder at a wedding:

The rest of the images, from nearby streets, are more oriented around architecture. This one is simply about the lines and the shapes of areas of shadow and bright light.

Here’s another that’s all about the lines in the architecture, aided once again by the light and shadows in the parking structure.

The next one is more about the visual busyness of city streets, even without a lot of people.

And, finally, from a building wall near Kendall College of Art and St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, part of a mural. This one is, I suppose, not so much my artwork as a photo of someone else’s. I made the picture because I liked the mystery it leaves about what he’s listening for.

It has been a strange week. With the high number of COVID19 cases in West Michigan and the Upper Midwest, and the mix of uncertainty, hope, stress, and excitement about the presidential election in the U.S., I did not feel very productive this week. So it was nice to end the week relaxing with a camera and coming home with some images I like.

Stay warm. And stay safe!

Categories: Grand Rapids, Weekly ImageTags: , , , , , ,


  1. Darts and Letters

    I’ve been really enjoying your photography from around west Michigan and downtown GR. I grew up someplace in the middle of nowhere between Muskegon and Grand Rapids. Having moved away to the Pacific Northwest a couple of decades ago, it was only with some time that I came to realize I hardly knew the places I was from, a distinct disappointment but also an opportunity. Whenever I’m back to visit dear extended family I always quite enjoy exploring a handful of new places around the area and GR. Hope you will stay reasonably warm and safe during this really rough time of the pandemic.

    • Will Katerberg

      Thanks for the note, Jason. I’m glad you’ve been enjoying my work. Every once in a while, I wish I was in a bigger, busier city, or a more famous and exotic city (say, the Italian equivalent in size of GR). But, mostly, I love learning to see what is interesting about wherever I am. And most of the time, I’m in Grand Rapids. Best wishes to you as well! Stay warm and stay safe.

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