Colorful Café

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The Louvre Café in Opera Alley, Eureka, California
The Louvre Café in Opera Alley, Eureka, California

This former café hints at a colorful past during the 19th century redwood timber and gold rush in the mountainous country near the seaport of Eureka, California, USA.

This doorway is in a narrow alley behind a restaurant. I noticed it one day when I was walking around looking for photographic ideas. I planned to return, but didn’t think very much about exactly when. When I finally got a chance to photograph it I set up my tripod and started taking picures late in the afternoon. It was only luck that at the time of year when I was there the direction of the sunlight  was almost in alignment with the surface of the brick wall. As the afternoon progressed, and the angle of light descended, the shadows extended across the bricks. Eventually the shadow of the iron frame around the doorway, which is only about an inch above the bricks, developed a curved shape and the supports for the frame cast long shadows across the wall.

Between the buildings in this alley the coastal breezes swirled and carried dust, leaves, and a napkin. The wind gusted several times and floated the napkin into the photo. And I missed it several times.  So I gave the napkin more chances to be in the photo by placing it on the ground to the left side of the door and waited for the wind to swirl and lift it up again. During the afternoon I took several hundred photos as the shadows grew. The napkin was just an added feature that completed this photograph.  Photo: 1/400 s at f/3.2   (2007)

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