Archive for June, 2013

June 24, 2013

The other way up 90-94

When I arrived on this site this was the second of three shots I expected to take. The third became the first I posted, the first never materialized, and I have one more I think that will make the blog. Such sequences get spread out over time so as not to bore you, but I think this is an exciting shot, full of energy. There’s not a whole lot to say about it outside of this being the northern way up 90-94 as it parallels the lake on the western edge of downtown. You can see the beginning of it’s significant bend to the northwest as it leaves The Loop. Some of the trucks are so heavy on the elevated sections that you and your tripod bounce along with the bridges.
The other way up 90-94
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June 23, 2013

The site at night

My leg problem has limited my effectiveness. This much was obvious, but the amount of rest needed with a broken bone is more than I expected. Last night I ran out of time for posting, then fell asleep, so I technically missed a day of blogging, but I did finish a photo, and here it is.

This is the other side of the construction area I posted a few weeks back. They have amazingly powerful lights to keep them working through the night. I was lucky that they kept that light on for exactly as long as it took me to take six exposures – enough to produce this photo – then they cut them off literally a second after my shutter closed on the final shot. I was on my way over the bridge and toward the loop.
The site at night
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June 22, 2013

Getting a Grip

This is another from West Town. I shot this from my car just wondering what Grip was, and it turns out it’s a little design shop. That’s probably why they’ve got the glazed windows? I liked the transition from the red truck to the grocer – it’s one of those little corners that goes together because it doesn’t go together. Simple shot. Just for fun. On to the next day.
Getting a Grip
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June 21, 2013

Bunched up in West Town

Thanks to the angular Milwaukee Avenue and the Kennedy, you get a lot of strange corners and crannies in West Town. This one I just happened upon doing a turn around, but I had to stop and shoot it. I love when buildings come together in a stacked-up sort of way. They slam into each other and totally screw with whichever side of the brain deals with perspective. I played with the crop on this image about 50 times. In the end I’m not sure that was productive.
Bunched up in West Town
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June 20, 2013

Mike’s on Ashland

This is a furniture & appliance store near the big intersection of Ashland, Milwaukee and Division – which is a really cool area of Chicago. There are several distinct neighborhoods that kind of crash together here, and you find all walks of life, really. I was heading home from a camera shop when I decided to stop for a cup of coffee (I was feeling highway hypnosis on the Kennedy Expressway), so I opted to take Division over to a Dunkin’ Donuts. This scene presented itself across the street, so I hopped on the median of the boulevard and took a handful of photos.

I realized the store stretched across multiple storefronts and even had advertising in the windows of an apparently vacated building on the corner. Talk about a booming business – and still this loader remained bored and staring into his phone on the front stoop. Two-and-a-half hours after shooting this I was breaking my leg about 20 minutes northwest of here. Lucky find, unlucky fall.
Mike's on Ashland
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June 19, 2013

I broke my leg | Alone on LaSalle

So, today was a bit of a trip. Late for a train, attempting to avoid bumping into someone on a staircase descent, my right heel slipped on the third stair and caught the fourth. My leg bent back awkwardly and I heard a pop. A few people tried to help me, but they couldn’t. I don’t even remember them or what they said. I was so certain I broke my leg – and so focused on being able to walk down the stairs – that I paid attention to nothing but the popping in my fibula as I put pressure on the leg. It was weird.

It turns out I broke it in two places, just above the ankle. I was in a train station when it happened, one with no canteen or bathroom – or anything. I had to wait quite a while before I could get to the hospital, because the CTA doesn’t really do a good job in emergency situations (only took my name and information and let me lay there, and nobody tried to help me walk, even when I had to hobble out another 100 paces and down an elevator). Thankfully my dad was free and picked me up – a 20 minute drive from his house. Ninety minutes after my fall, I was finally getting checked out at a hospital. It took that long just to get ice. I tend to take a lot of photos, so although in a bit of agony after getting to the bottom of the stairs, then up the escalator, then a fifty-pace stumble to my resting place, I got my iPhone out to take a few photos (my camera bag acted as my leg-prop, as you can see in the photo). None of my camera gear broke in the fall, though I’m sure the extra 30 pounds contributed to my ankle’s demise… ouch!

This may put a significant dent into my one-a-day posting habit. My one-a-day posting promise! We’ll see what happens. It looks like no carrying my gear nor tripod for a few weeks. Now I’ve got a broken leg and a previously broken tripod. Thank goodness the camera bodies are intact.
Broken leg wait

I have this habit of pausing on city streets for a few minutes at night. The ambiance gets weird when you take in the size of a building over you that almost disappears up into the dark. Their enormity is shrunken down to the first handful of floors. The street becomes more important to a photo at night. It’s little bit of leftover energy is all that’s left to support the mood. It’s somewhere between empty and electric with the pace of the speeding vehicles.
Alone on LaSalle
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June 18, 2013

Chillaxin’ in the plaza

One of the best things about the open space at Daley Plaza is the availability of loose chairs on the good-weather days. People can grab them and do whatever they feel like. Some drag them over to the fountain, others cluster in groups to chat. My favorites, however, are the strays. These are people who pick any random area and just drop their chair right there. There’s this chaos to the whole thing. Unfortunately, on this day, no great patters emerged between the individuals to make a multi-person photo, but this man stood out to me. He was probably in his fifties, but he was equally attached to his massive white headphones and little iPod as any teenager strolling about. Making even more interest was the mess of chairs forming a nice line off of his position. I assumed he was a traveler with nothing to do, nowhere to go. This was reinforced by his positioning – faced directly into the sun like a bather on the beach.
Chillaxin' in the plaza
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June 17, 2013

Palace Theater after the rain

It’s kind of funny when people write blog posts about places as if they’re writing an encyclopedia. I can’t see that sort of thing as good practice. Didn’t Encyclopedia Britannica just cease publishing last year? Anyway, the last thing I want to do is bore people with “this is such and such and was built in whatever year and Al Capone was a big fan.” If I genuinely know something about a place, I’ll talk about it and my relationship with the place due to said circumstances, but I won’t go researching something I don’t know after already taking the photo. About all I can tell you is I saw Warhorse at this particular theater right around New Years. It was the first time I could remember being at a play in Chicago with a half-empty house. The production was really good, so have plays “jumped the shark” and become too expensive to produce/pay for?
Palace Theater after the rain
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June 16, 2013

Blue sky moon

This is not an HDR image! This is one of those rare occasions where high dynamic range can be overkill. It often adds artifacts to skies and overdoes the clouds, and I just wanted to go simple for once. This saddle-shaped cloud kind of hugged the moon. The three parts – cloud, moon, wisps – hung around nicely most of the afternoon. I went for a three-mile run at 8:30 p.m. and kicked myself the whole way watching the remnants of these clouds going purple and gray against an amazing electric blue sky. Good day for shooting up.
Blue sky moon
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June 15, 2013

Wacker viaduct

Wacker Drive is kind of awesome. I don’t know of many double-decked cities, and this run on the west edge of The Loop is cool both above and below ground. I’ll never forget a cab driver gunning me through the lower section many years ago, as if he were a race car driver. It used to be really dark and dingy under there, and I think the cabbies were certain nobody would be around a corner. Now that they’ve redone it, and the river walk areas are nicer, look out! In this photo a car descends into the now-well-lit corridor below me. I had to put my tripod on the official seal of the reconstruction to get this angle. That was kind of cool.
Wacker viaduct
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