The View from On High

by David Vernon

Back in late May, I ended up on the top of the Commerce Bank tower in downtown Peoria in search of a shot. But not particularly THIS shot. What we had in mind was a vertical shot, and this one was quite horizontal in its original form. Yet obviously these shots can be bent to the will of a graphic artist—like this one was—and it ended up on the cover of Peoria Magazines’ 2018 Media Guide (and also as a double-truck shot under the Table of Contents in the July 2017 issue of Peoria Progress).

In late April/early May, Jon Wright and I plotted for a possible cover shot for a future issue of Peoria Progress. The idea was to visit at least one rooftop in downtown Peoria and see what we could see. The folks who own the Commerce Bank building at Main and Jefferson were very accommodating... but plans are only good until the battle starts.

We had to delay the shoot for about three weeks. It turned out that one of Peoria's resident downtown falcons was nesting just below the roof, and while she sat on her egg, her mate was buzzing anyone and anything that set foot on the roof. So we waited a while for nature to take its course, and we juggled schedules to wait for the light and everyone's availability, and we finally got up there at the end of May.

A lunchtime scout gave me a feeling of what we could get, and then we returned for almost 90 minutes of shooting at sunset, wherein we made this shot and a few others, which you'll see sometime next year. When you stand on the street beneath the building, you can't really make out much detail—but let's just say there's not a lot of room at the foot of the tower that makes the top of the building so unique. But there is a small 360-degree walkway that is almost wide enough to set up a tripod on. Mix in an amazing Peoria sunset behind the Pere and the West Bluff, and the shot you weren't looking for can reveal itself.

—David Vernon |

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