A couple of weeks ago I was hired to shoot a commercial property in a town called Nampa just to the southwest of Boise.  Now we in Idaho know it’s more than a town; in fact, Nampa is the second largest city in the state.  But when you’re downtown Nampa you can still get a fair idea of how it looked when it was still just dreaming of being a city.

On the job I took the required blue sky shots and then found myself with about two hours down time before finishing up with the twilight shots.  I decided to visit one of my favorite book stores located right in the middle of downtown Nampa, the Yesteryear Shoppe.  By that time the sky had turned gray and foreboding and everything was looking a bit dull so it hadn’t occurred to me to take any pix at all.

Until it did.

I had parked the car a half block away from the old train depot and noticing it when I returned knew there was no way I was going to leave without photographing it.  After that I decided to continue walking around the small downtown area and practice doing some hand held HDR (high dynamic range).

Nampa Train Depot Museum

The old Oregon Short Line Depot (1903) is now a museum

I had assumed that the Union Pacific had built it but I was only partly right.  The Oregon Short Line, one I had never heard of, was one of those trunk railroads that was built by Union Pacific to extend their connection with the shortest route between Wyoming and Oregon.  It drove across the rich farmlands of southern Idaho and planted a station at the little town of Nampa.  Eventually the Short Line went away and it’s senior, the Union Pacific, took over the station and the yard.  There’s actually quite a bit more rail activity in Nampa now than in Boise, which becomes obvious when one peers behind this little example of Old West Gothic architecture.


A Union Pacific Locomotive

Just  around the corner, heading back into the downtown area, there’s one of those typical, nondescript small town bars that seem to be pretty much the same no matter where one goes in America.  This one apparently makes the claim of being here since 1918.

1918 lounge

Just to stay in the mood, I checked out a nearby alley.

Color. . .

Color. . .

alley in Nampa Idaho

. . . or black and white?

downtown nampa

A feeling of Autumn in Downtown Nampa

This surprising photo (to me anyway) gave me a “painterly” feeling so I used a Photoshop filter I’ve never even considered before, the “paintbrush”, to push it over the edge:

two trees on the street

Shooting with broad strokes

(Have I no shame?!)

Look Out toy store

The Lookout Toy Store on 13th Ave. So.

Do you ever look at your photos later and wish you had gone deeper?  That’s the way I feel about this one.  That little andoid/robot thing at the entrance was begging for more attention.

After this shot it was time for me to head back to the job site and get ready for my twilight shots (no HDR), so I took one last shot of downtown Nampa:

downtown nampa, idaho

Looking west on 1st St, South

Although my client was very pleased with my shoot of his strip mall, these were the real success of the day for me!


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3fAkxL96yF0]