Piece description from the artist
This image was created at the Kansas City Royals 2015 World Series victory parade and rally November 3, 2015. Shot from the roof of Union Station Kansas City
I photographed the restoration of Union Station beginning in 1994 and finished that phase of my volunteer documentation of America’s second-largest train station in 1999. I have continued to shoot all aspects of the old depot as part of my volunteer contribution. My book Kansas City's Union Station: Reflections after 100 years was published in 2014.
From my long association with the station I can usually access any part of it, including the roof.
This particular day, November 3, 2015, photography was a bit more difficult because the pyrotechnic guys were set up to shoot off fireworks from the roof. The fire marshal was there as well. With the help of some great Union Station people we were able to convince him to give us five minutes to shoot if we promised to be off the roof before the fireworks began.
The rampart around the roof is about 12’ high, so a ladder was required to reach over the top. The only ladder that we could access in the allotted time was 8’. So in order to reach the top of the wall, we had to prop the bottom end against the A/C unit box and the top end against the rampart. My assistant, brother George Inman, stood on the bottom rung to stabilize it as I crawled up it and onto the ledge. As I pulled myself up and looked over the side at the literal sea of humanity, my jaw dropped and I am sure my eyes flew wide open. I may have uttered a profound profanity of discovery☺ By the time we got the ladder in position, I made my way to the top, and clutched my camera with my free hand, I only had time to made eight exposures. From those eight I picked four to stitch together to create the panoramic image. So the photograph was made under considerable pressure, both logistically and psychologically :)
Roy Inman's "Checkered photography career," as he refers to it, hints at the extensive variety of images he has created and the considerable amount of geography they represent. It all began shooting floods, fires and accidents in the wilds of Kansas City, Kansas decades ago. A time-lapse summary of his publications work would include: Photography for Time-Life publications, Ebony, The New York Times, General Electric, The Los Angeles Times, Smithsonian Magazine, The Washington Post, Better Homes and Gardens, Trains Magazine, American Artist, and more.
Roy documented a "Day with the Goodyear Blimp" for the "Kansas City Star Sunday Magazine." It was a memorable assignment that provided him the opportunity to ride and actually drive the Goodyear Blimp! The Marine Amphib base on Coronado Island off the coast of California found him with a contingent of US Navy Seals, and another trip to the West coast was the jumping-off point for a junket with the USS Kansas City, and a helicopter airlift to board the USS Enterprise, America’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. Another highlight was his five-year, 70,000-image documentation of the restoration of Union Station Kansas City, the second largest rail terminal in America, after New York's Grand Central Terminal. A couple of World Series', a Super Bowl, and a few Presidents later, Roy's focus shifted from documentary photography to the more interpretive side of image capture.
This new direction led him to collaborate with innovative, award-winning interior designer and empowerment author Kelle Katillac in the creation of two books: "House of Belief: Creating Your Personal Style," and "Kids' Sacred Places.” Roy has photographed entirely, or contributed to, more than a dozen books, and has photographed many calendars for the nationally-acclaimed Boelte-Hall printing company in Kansas City. His most recent books are: "City of Fountains: Kansas City’s Legacy of Beauty and Motion” and “Last Bite: 100 Simple Recipes from Kansas City’s Best Chefs and Cooks,” which featured food photography shot in a more simple, classic style than is typical.