Photographer Captures Sunrises and Sunsets on Cast Iron Street Gratings
In early March, just before COVID social distancing took effect, Duncan and Carla Brown hung their art prints in anshow entitled, Jordan River Arts Council April 2020 Malleable Metals II Show. The show which was to close in early April, is held over and is still awaiting its audience.
On a 2018 walk, Duncan Brown discovered a fish sculpture encased on street gratings – warning people to dump no waste to waterways below. Using special lenses and techniques, Brown was surprised to find a different image at each session. 18 hydroxides and oxides of iron within the fish serve as tiny mirrors reflecting a different angle and intensity of the sun depending on the season and time of day. He has since located 200 fish nearby in Indiana and Michigan and has taken over 6,500 photographs.
Brown discovered that at Golden Hour, just after sunrise and just before sunrise, the gratings reflect the delicate light of the sun. The resulting prints are full of sunlight, providing upliftment and nourishment during COVID times.
When the General Manager of EJ, which is a worldwide manufacturer of iron construction castings located in East Jordan, saw the art, he gave Duncan Brown permission to use the photographs in his art work, and he introduced the Browns (who create the final images together) to the Jordan River Arts Council. This show is the Brown’s fourth.
Brown explained that he and his wife, Carla, who edits the prints, found that cast iron, exposed to weathering and other environmental influences and photographed during the “golden hour” (just after sunrise and just before sunset) displays a stunning array of colors. We go to some lengths to adjust the “color temperature” the camera is set to before shooting (using the gray-card technique) in order to insure true and accurate colors. While we “bring up” those colors in editing, we do not add or change colors for effect. The colors seen are the inherent colors in the images at a particular moment. Those colors change on each fish (sometimes subtly and sometimes dramatically) from minute to minute, from day to day, from season to season and from year to year.
Carla Brown is and adjunct professor at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, where she and Duncan Brown with a team of medical doctors teach the Transcendental Meditation technique to medical students and doctors.