Shimmer Wall Photo Backdrop at Press Conference

Photo by Ginny Skalski

My friend Ginny recently started a new job as the Social Media Strategist for Cree, the RTP-based LED lighting company. In her second week on the job, she was involved in the planning of a major company press conference when they announced the addition of 575 jobs. The governor of NC was in attendance for the announcement.

Ginny wanted an interesting backdrop for the announcement, so she asked me if she could use my photo of the Raleigh Shimmer Wall. Cree was a major sponsor of this downtown public art installation, as it is lit at night with Cree LEDs (scroll down for a night view). I was happy to oblige. Ginny posted several pictures online listing me as the photographer, like the one above of Cree CEO, Chuck Swoboda. Below is my photo, which clearly shows the Cree sponsorship banner.

Shimmer Wall

From the News & Observer Editors’ Blog: Here are 5 things you may or may not have known about the company:

1. Cree chips lit up the Beijing Olympics, with 750,000 red, blue and green LEDs made by Cree helping to light up the Bird’s Nest and Water Cube buildings.

2. The company donated the $1 million LED system backlighting the shimmer wall at the Raleigh Convention Center.

3. Cree was founded in 1987 by brothers Neal and Eric Hunter, N.C. State engineering grads.

4. The company went public in February 1993. We covered it with a paragraph in our Feb. 10, 1993, edition. Market value of the company was less than $100 million.

5. Friday afternoon, Cree’s market value, as measured by the value of its stock, was nearly $4 billion.

Shimmer Wall at Night

The Bain Project

The Bain Project

The Bain Project was a site specific artwork created in the deserted and decommissioned waterworks plant south of downtown Raleigh. In the late 1930s, as Raleigh was growing, the city built a new plant to handle the water needs of the area. Here’s a link to historic information about the Bain Waterworks. This artwork project combined found objects in the plant, organic materials like branches and grass with a deteriorating industrial building. I was more interested in photographing the aging machinery and peeling paint than in the artwork, but some it made interesting photographs.

The Bain Project

Here are the rest of my photos on Flickr and here are photos from other local photographers.

One of the most creative endeavors was a musical piece played by creating sounds on the building itself. A plant buzzer sounded, and a corps of white-coated employees marched down the main aisle and took their positions in the water holding tanks. They proceeded to shake, shudder and pound out the sounds of a working plant. Here’s some video of the piece.

100 Abandoned Houses


I found this great site, one of the handful of interesting things I have found using StumbleUpon, called 100 Abandoned Houses. It is a collection of photographs by Kevin Bauman of abandoned houses in Detroit, Michigan.

The abandoned houses project began innocently enough roughly ten years ago. I actually began photographing abandonment in Detroit in the mid 90’s as a creative outlet, and as a way of satisfying my curiosity with the state of my home town. I had always found it to be amazing, depressing, and perplexing that a once great city could find itself in such great distress, all the while surrounded by such affluence.

Superheroes in Real Life

Mexican-born photographer Dulce Pinzón has spent much of her career dealing with issues related to the duality of Mexican immigrants trying to find their way in the US. Her Superhero project shows Mexican immigrants who toil away in regular jobs, normally unnoticed, but dressed as American and Mexican superheros for the photos. For many of them their real superpower is to provide money for their family back home, each caption includes the amount each sends home each month.

New Hope Waterfowl Waterway

New Hope Waterfowl Area

Yesterday I went to the Durham side of the New Hope Waterfowl Waterway. These are areas that were created to maintain bird habitats by adjusting water flood levels. When I got there the sky was pretty overcast, but the clouds moved out as I was shooting, so I got some great blue skies. I also got some great reflections.

Here’s a link to the rest of the photos on Flickr.