The Faces of Chelsea, Michigan
I joined up with a group of photographers for the Kelby World Wide Photowalk last month. Our destination was Chelsea, Michigan.
We gathered in the parking lot behind the town hall. Two blocks away down an alley, the white tents of the farmers market shown in the sunlight. Under the awnings there was a collage of colors: orange carrots, purple eggplant, peppers in green, yellow and red, stripped squash and gourds. It was a good thing I had my hands full of photo equipment or I would’ve been buying.
The smell of gourmet coffee and baked goods drifted through the booths. A fresh-baked apple fritter hit the spot since my early morning breakfast had long ago faded away. While I was enjoying the sweet treat I spotted a man selling bouquets of dahlias. I’m a gardener and the daughter of a gardener but the flowers had color combinations I’d never seen. As the vendor and I chatted he told me of his dahlia farm and the many varieties he’s raised. Then he let me take his picture.
After the farmers market, we photographers took to the streets, wandering down Main street, pausing often to capture store-front displays, textures, reflections and decorative signs.
The side streets revealed intriguing nooks and crannies. An alley held a hidden reading niche next to a used book store – my favorite kind of shop.
The outdoor display area of an antique/gardening store was full of whimsical lawn ornaments, planters and statues.
A guided tour through the famous Clock Tower was a learning experience with some unique photo opportunities. Monica Monsma, Executive Director of the Chelsea Chamber of Commerce and the tower’s caretaker were our guides. Once inside, we climbed the handsome wooden stairs to the upper levels. The caretaker told us of the tower’s history and many uses over the years. We reached a door that led out to the stone covered roof. Seeing downtown from that height was worth climbing all those stairs. But I have to confess, the very last flight that led to the clocks inner workings, proved too much for my courage. The cement steps were old, narrow and short. I had visions of slipping and tumbling all the way down.
Our stomachs were growling by the time the tour was finished so we decided to have lunch at a downtown restaurant; Smokehouse 52. The food was delicious and we spent a good hour talking about the sights we’d seen and the photos we’d taken.
After I got home and looked over the pictures I’d captured, I saw that the theme I’d unconsciously picked for the day was Faces; from the wall of portraits,