Welcome to Water Street: Rich Hall’s Shot of the Iconic Street

Rich Hall captures a quieter side of the iconic street.
Rich Hall’s shot of Excelsior won second place in the City Landmarks category in the 2014 Lens on Lake Minnetonka Photo Contest.

Rich Hall, an amateur photographer, has a lot of experience shooting people in action. From weddings to girls’ high school hockey, he knows how to take the excitement of human life and freeze it. Yet it is this shot of quiet, empty downtown Excelsior that caught his eye.

Hall, a resident of Excelsior who often bikes through downtown, says, “I wanted to shoot it without all the cars distracting from the buildings.” As anyone who’s familiar with Water Street knows, it’s anything but quiet; we often think of the hustle and bustle as defining it. So early one Saturday morning, Hall got up, got a coffee and started along the street.

Though Hall knew he wanted to reveal a quieter Water Street than the one we usually come across, he can’t always control what’s in the shot. “Many times, creative elements, such as people, come up and distract, which isn’t all bad,” he says. “But in this case I got what I wanted.”

In this photo, we may perceive the juxtaposed styles of neighboring stores, or how the streetlamp illuminates overlooked brickwork. It’s the Water Street we know and love, through new eyes.