Consider this sign. If it were a slide in your presentation, who would benefit from this information? Develop your presentation with your audiences’ needs first.
Susan says, “From what I can glean, this sign is intended for people leaving Multnomah Falls (the most visited tourist destination in Oregon), because visitors pass this sign on their way to the parking lot. UP has selected six random, it seems to me, suggestions for the tourists’ next stops – by car, of course. Beyond, perhaps, wondering how far it is back to where they came from – most likely Portland – it hardly seems possible that as many as one in twenty would want to go to Boise or Spokane. I wonder if the distances to travel are by car or by rail? Who knows.
What was Union Pacific Thinking?
Although it is Union Pacific signage, the information isn’t visible from a passing train. It is on the side of a railroad bridge afterall so passengers wouldn’t be able to see it even if they were hanging out the window. There is no train station at Multnomah Falls either so this sign isn’t useful to potential passengers. All in all this is one of the oddest signs I’ve come across. It seems primarily useless. I hope in your presentations you consider the usefulness of the information you pass onto your audiences. I never thought of Union Pacific as whimsical, but here’s proof. Still, I’ll grant you, it’s a good looking sign.”
Lucia says, “Yes, I was struck by the un-usefulness of this sign also. It hangs there on the side of the train trestle, over the water flowing from Multnomah Falls. The point of view is from a walkway that passes under the train tracks. This sign seems to be a two dimensional version of those posts with arrows pointing in every direction showing how far it is to places like Timbuktu, Tokyo, or Toronto. But I don’t think it’s useless. It’s a beautiful rendition of an old-timey railroad sign that makes me smile every time I see it.
Colors Make the Scene
After enjoying the whimsy of this sign, I got lost in the colors of this scene. I like the way the color of the sign matches the rusted areas of the trestle. I imagine this was unintentional, but it turned out to be a nice touch anyway. The different shades of blue and green frame the gray railroad bridge creating a nice composition. This composition even contains an accidental, like a note not in the key signature or a vagrant bird. Notice the small reflection of something pink in the water. I waited for the person wearing the pink outfit to move out of the scene, but lost patience and took the shot. I know that I talk a lot about being patient while making a photo. But this time I’m glad I didn’t wait because I like the ‘accidental’. I guess, this is one time impatience paid off.”
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