They Go Up

They Go Up

I’m not sure what these ledges are that stick out from below each window of this college dormitory, but something tells me they were once used to hold window air conditioning units. I have no idea if that’s true or not, but the mystery of the ledges is one that I think I would rather not have solved, thank you very much. Sometimes not knowing is even more compelling than the opposite :)

I thought it would make for an interesting photo to capture the shadows cast by each of these ledges in the late afternoon sun, but as I went out to photograph the building I noticed that none of my pictures looked all that compelling. You could see the building, the ledges, and the shadows, but somehow they all seemed bland and empty. Turns out the solution was right in front of me the whole time: use a tree to frame the shot. The idea of framing your subject is something that took me a while to learn, and I still need a great deal of practice at it, but this is an example of how adding another element to a picture can serve to enhance your subject instead of detract from it, as you might think.

And the name? Well, for some reason the ledges reminded me of a massive outdoor staircase, which in turn reminded me of a line Bill Murray said in Ghostbusters that always makes me smile.


  1. What makes me wonder is why only some window ledges have an additional vertical slab on the front of the ledges.

    • That’s a good question. I think this dorm is slated for demolition in the near future, and part of me wants to find out answers or else we might never know…

  2. Odd to have ledges like those protruding out from beneath each window, and air conditioning units seem like an accident waiting to happen, but who knows? I know for sure Spiderman would have had a hay day doing fancy par-cor tricks on these ledges as he made his way up to the roof of this building!

    • Oh wow, now all I can think about is some crazy kids doing stunts off these ledges. Gah! I wonder if that ever happens…

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