Archive for June, 2012

June 30, 2012

Sunset train stop

This is Cumberland. It’s one of the busy suburban L stops and might be the busiest on the blue line, but it’s actually in Chicago. The suburbs surround this area, so most commuters come from outside of Chicago. The top of the parking garage provides this view of the Kennedy expressway and the platform. A sunset makes this gritty place a bit more digestible in a photograph, but you can see the rust on the white facade of the station and crumbling rooftop on the covered walkway at the far left.
Sunset train stop
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June 29, 2012

The frozen chair

It’s been very hot here lately, so I went through my more recent winter photos to dig up some more frigid times. This chair stands beneath an ice-compacted gutter which drips down on the chair’s seat and creates these massive icicles. Varying sun and shade combine to help the process. What looks to be bubbles on top is actually created by the splattering drips from the gutter. The drops pile up and freeze very quickly when the chair is in the shade, creating this effect. A watering can sits on the chair, frozen to its brim. The hose is also frozen, but it managed to survive the winter.
The frozen chair
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June 28, 2012

End of boardwalk

Damen sometimes feels like it was ripped straight out of some film noir. Maybe its the ubiquitous cabs scurrying about below making me think of Taxi Driver. I’m not sure. It’s probably more of the light that reminds me of that film. A lot of strange colors pop out at Damen and give it this restless unease. But then black and white is the origin of the noir motif, and Damen photographs very well in this way. I feel like some Chicago mobster could walk up this very boardwalk into the frame. There’s also something sinister about the wrapped rail shadow raking across the brick building.
End of boardwalk
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June 27, 2012

Fire truck cuts through fog

I like foggy nights. I’m not sure what I like about them more — the magical quality of the blanketing clouds or the fact that everything seems to slow down as if to hesitate in these conditions. I’d been taking photos for a good hour in this murk when I heard the fire truck coming. In three exposures I captured the truck at the beginning, middle and end of the small portion of the street below and was very fortunate to get so much of its lights as the timing had to be perfect. Trying to retain as much of the mist as possible took quite a bit of work, but it feels moody and quiet outside of the rush to conflagration. I wonder what it’s like to fight a fire in the fog.
Fire truck cuts through fog
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June 26, 2012

Lady in the street

It was a long light, and she waited there very patiently while the traffic screamed past her. When I processed the image it looked like her hair was being blown by the moving cars. It was probably just a breeze, but there’s this quality to the distance between her and the streak of light rushing by. It’s like a force field that will not let her go a step closer to wherever she’s headed.
Lady in the street
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June 25, 2012

International 5

The international section at O’Hare airport is numbered as the fifth terminal at an airport with only four terminals. I guess the international terminal was No. 4 back in the day, but due to renovation became No. 5 and no No. 4 was ever reopened. Most times I travel the trains between hubs I see an out-of-towner gazing up at the airport map trying to figure out where No. 4 went. No. 5 is pretty, especially during blue hour on a cloudy night when the flags are flapping.
International 5
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June 24, 2012

A lot of control

With the sun already setting behind O’Hare International Airport I decided to get as high up as possible to catch the control tower against the magenta clouds. The massive parking garage, which stretches across three huge terminals, is the only place I know for such a vantage point. The sixth floor was eerily empty on this night. Cheap fluorescent bulbs that light the parking lot create a greenish hue in the pavement which contrasts nicely with the pinks and purples.
A lot of control
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June 23, 2012

Outside the night wedding

My friend wrote a screenplay called “Night Wedding” a few years ago. I’m not sure that he’s still pursuing it as a film, but I like the concept of adding darkness to a wedding day. Usually we think of lightness, color and a sunny day. There’s something more powerful about light at night, the way it cuts against the black. If you look closely at this image you can see the bride and groom in the center window saluting their party. I wonder if their wedding photographer grabbed one like this.
Outside the night wedding
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June 22, 2012

Ambleside row houses

A name like Ambleside suggests a walking community, and with around 3,000 inhabitants this English hillside town at the top of Lake Windermere in Cumbria is exactly that. Built up on top of itself, Ambleside offers spectacular views of the picturesque Lake District. This little row of cottages near the town center is typical dwelling in Ambleside. Stone walls, gravel drives and color adorn most everything. It would be quite a challenge to find any area of the UK more quaint and beautiful than the Lake District. This photo, taken on a point-and-shoot, is three exposures and hand-held against the stone.
Ambleside row houses
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June 21, 2012

Bus stand minimalism / graffiti tile

I don’t often manipulate my photographs beyond the application of HDR and some relatively minor touch-ups. This is different. I like the stark minimalism of the original, but having known some very talented graffiti artists from my college days, this looked like the perfect place for them to do their work. The two photos below are the exact same photo, but the second is “liquified” via Photoshop to achieve the warped look on the tile. Hanging out with my friends, I decided if I was ever a graffiti artist my tag would be the word “Left” for myriad reasons, but mostly because you could play with it in so many ways. Here I decided to yank on these tiles rather than leave my tag. Anyway, the shot was taken at a bus stand on a narrow strip of Chicago property that connects O’Hare Airport to the city proper. I guess if Chicago can get away with that I can toy with the outcome of the photo as I please.

Bus stand minimalism
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Bus stand graffiti tile
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