Growing up, the St. Louis Arch was always a staple in my life. It was not because we lived by it. No. I grew up in Oklahoma (and will always be a Oklahoma girl), but my grandparents lived in Illinois. We would visit them at least once a year and it always involved us traveling through St. Louis. At some point those travels would always involve a nightly pass by. I was always fascinated by the Arch; especially, at night. The lights illuminating it…quite beautiful against that midnight blue sky.
We never stopped at it, though. My mom had been there once before and she never really liked doing anything that she had already done. Even if my dad wanted, if it had been in my mom’s life prior to marriage and kids…it never got done with us. Maybe that is where I get it. There are some places that I have not revisited, because I’ve already been there. Still, I would like to think that I would revisit some of those places…at least some day, so that my children can see it. Alas, that is a soapbox and I will try to avoid that.
As I got older and started traveling on my own, I would often visit places that involved me passing through St. Louis. The first couple of times I felt that the Arch was too touristy and I refused to be that kind of girl. Then I was really getting into my photography and decided that the Arch had some serious photographic potential. I also decided life was too short not to be a little touristy every now and then.
When I first stopped at the Arch, I had just gotten my DSLR and it was used. Not knocking used, we use what we can afford, but it meant there were things I didn’t know (or understand since I had never owned a DSLR and didn’t get a manual with it). For example, features or why there were these smudges on these beautiful, sunny day pictures (when my lens was clean).
Still, I needed the practice and I was in tourist mode. I was able to get some amazing shots that I truly enjoyed and was able to clean up to a seemingly acceptable manner. They are not of a nightly nature, because one thing I’ve learned is that even the most fearless of girls should not stop in St. Louis, down by the Arch, at night by herself. I can hold my own, but just the same.
I’ve not stopped at the Arch since, because I’ve already been there. Still, I hope that one day, I can take my kids to see it just once.