Archive for October, 2012

October 31, 2012

Eyes in the window

I spent much of the last 24 hours looking for something very Halloween-like to photograph. Nothing popped out, but my neighbor did light up the street with these fiendish eyes in his upstairs window. I’ve seen this sort of thing before, but it’s never been on my street. It beats the front-yard graveyard and orange lights in the bushes.
Eyes in the window
Purchase a print of this photo

October 30, 2012

Monument with Standing Beast

This sculpture is one of the best in Chicago – after it rains. Before it rains there are no reflections, no bouncing colors off the pavement. After it rains, everything goes crazy and if you get down low in the puddles with a tripod you can make it all jump off the page. The sculpture is nicknamed “Snoopy in a blender,” but I like the idea of it being a beast. Snoopy is no beast.
Monument with Standing Beast
Purchase a print of this photo

October 29, 2012

Wind farm on the plain

All over Central Illinois wind farms are popping up. Their purpose and need is obvious, but their affect on the countryside is just amazing. I used to drive this stretch of road maybe twice a week, and it’s almost unrecognizable with the dozens of nearly 400-foot towers lining the plain. The area looks foreign and almost otherworldly.

Yesterday I only had a few minutes to snap away, but I could’ve spent an entire day here. I read an article about how these giant propellers hum like jet engines, but I didn’t hear a sound. Both parts majestic and eerie, they draw you toward them from a great distance. I wanted to drive through and feel them tower over me, but this is as about as close as I could get due to time restraints. From what I understand the farms on which they’re positioned have to deal with “light flicker” in the earliest and latest hours of the day with the sun getting blocked momentarily by the blades again and again and again. At night, in the pitch dark, it must be weird knowing they’re there and lining the horizon and not see them. I can’t wait to go back.
Wind farm on the plain
Purchase a print of this photo

October 28, 2012

Cornered sky

I woke up today three hours from home and after the journey back, doing yard work and going to a meeting, I realized I’m the type of person who feels like he is never accomplishing anything despite all that I am doing. That made me think of this photo, which I loved when I took it and then felt entirely disappointed about just days later.

The grain and the lighting is what I worried about after the fact, but the composition was simply about forcing something untouchable into a corner. I set my tripod up on my car and snapped maybe 15 images, of which I used maybe four or five to create the composite. It is flawed in terms of image quality due to the nature of making an HDR photo from a point-and-shoot and overcooking the processing at the time, but I don’t care anymore, because so too flawed is the idea of cornering the sky.
Cornered sky
Purchase a print of this photo

October 27, 2012

Leaved walk

I never noticed just how much the light changes during fall in Chicago until I moved south. After a few years away I realized night lights at 4:30 p.m. is actually quite unacceptable. In winter we live in almost total darkness – staying inside during working hours and venturing home only after the sun is long gone.

Fall used to be far and away my favorite time of year. The crispness in the air and color was something I looked forward to throughout those overheated summer months. Now, its a bit sad to have fall arrive. The color is still gorgeous, but the darkness is more and more obviously hanging overhead. I caught both on this rainy night.
Leaved walk
Purchase a print of this photo

October 26, 2012

The beds

All around Chicago are flower beds. When the days get shorter and the air cools, the fragile flowers get replaced by hardier plants like those in this particular planter on Dearborn. Across the street in the windows housing ads for some ridiculous-looking play at Goodman Theatre are homeless people sleeping in makeshift beds of their own creation. The inset windows keep them out of the heavy rain.
The beds
Purchase a print of this photo

October 25, 2012

Peeking Hancock

I’m constantly aware of the big buildings and whether they are immediately visible or not. It’s like they follow me around and peek out at various corners or in the gaps between other tall and shorter structures. When I was standing on Saint Clair Street it was easy to get lost in the color of the trees and buildings nearest to me, but the Hancock stood silently right over their shoulders. I loved the stacking back to its famous towers.
Peeking Hancock
Purchase a print of this photo

October 24, 2012

Any average street

I raked leaves all evening, but I couldn’t get the job done before it darkened up. I was left to guess at the property line, and I think I helped my neighbor out a little bit by pulling a bunch from his side down to the street. We’re allowed to rake the leaves into the gutter for the city to scoop up. There’s a problem, though. Sometimes cars come shredding through and they fly back up onto the lawns and scatter into the street. When it rains they stick to the tires and the pavement and end up getting all over everything.
Any average street
Purchase a print of this photo

October 23, 2012

Saint Clair

My favorite streets are the secondary routes like this one off of Michigan Avenue. The sidewalks are packed one block away, full with tourists and shoppers. Here they are open and calm. It’s like the hustle and bustle aren’t even there. I like the busy nature of a city, but I also like to step out of it on a whim and walk around over here for a bit.

I don’t see a middle ground in this photo. It’s all foreground and background the way I look at it. The trees up front are actually the same exact color as the trees at the back, but the sun peeked out just enough to splash the background with light. That’s why they look so bright yellow.
Saint Clair
Purchase a print of this photo

October 22, 2012

The way to the game

It took 134 posts to earn 1,000 likes on this blog. Thanks for the support. Yesterday I came across someone who didn’t like me.

I made a wrong turn and ended up in stadium traffic, which was surprising since the game was already in the third quarter. I got out of it with a quick right off of Central and ended up here. The lady whose house I stopped in front of was at the ready with her dog. They stood at their door like curious security guards hoping to make that trumped-up bust at the mall. You know the one… where the teenage shoplifters set off the alarm and get busted red-handed with something in their bag still clipped to an alarm badge… only to find out the item is on the receipt… and it’s the store’s fault not to have clipped it. The sign said NO PARKING, not NO STANDING. She stayed inside, and I took with me her otherwise perfect view. I’m assuming she hates stadium traffic. She’s probably laughing on the inside that Northwestern lost to Nebraska, 29-28.
The way to the game
Purchase a print of this photo

%d bloggers like this: