Posts tagged ‘Fullerton Beach’

May 10, 2013

Chicago colored

I’ll write more on this when I have time, but for today, here is a colorful view of the city…
Chicago colored
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April 27, 2013

The arced horizon (& extras!)

EXTRAS!
What, you ask? What are these extras you speak of?

Well, yes, I’m doing multiple photos today. I’ve been overproducing stuff lately – coming up with a couple or more versions of some of the photos I’m doing, so I’ve decided to share those considerations. After today’s photo you’ll get versions of several others I’ve done recently with some writing on why I did what I did. Win.

TODAY’S PHOTO: THE ARCED HOIRZON
If you’ve been here before (this blog, Neverphoto), you know my love-hate relationship with Fullerton Beach. I’ve decided to love it, because it is spectacular, but I know it’s one of the most photographed places in Chicago. Any photographer falling in love with the obvious is, well, obvious… and not to be trusted! So, trust me less, but know that I do have a concern in the matter in an effort not to be obvious. Trust me more?

The lens I used to shoot this with has a barreling affect, which means it distorts toward the edges of the photo, especially the corners. Think of it as looking down a barrel – those rounded walls as you look down into it – that’s kind of what happens to the photo. Long story short, this creates warped or curved horizons like the one you see in this photo. Normally I fix those things and straighten them out, but here I was enamored with the left edge looking straight and curving the city slightly downward to the right. I like slightly surreal-looking photos. Just slightly. You know, less obvious stuff. In this case it presented a curvature-of-the-earth type look to my eye, so there you go.
The arced horizon
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HERE ARE THE EXTRAS!
Looking away from the crowd

This three-photo grouping is not my favorite I’ve ever done, but I liked the mood I ended up with. After creating the HDR image the red became too intense, so I took the color out and nearly went with the black & white. After some deliberation I felt it needed to go cold, and arrived at a messy, painted look in colorized B&W. I like all three, but the blue version of the B&W felt right for posting. I think maybe I was so dissatisfied by the red HDR version of the original that I attempted to cool it off. Interesting, now that I think about it. The original red photo I started from – the core of the HDR bracket – is the red I’m displaying first:
Looking away from the crowed - red
Looking away from the crowd - B&W
Looking away from the crowd - Blue

Caught between stations
This was originally all about the strange combination of imagery – a city street/massive skyscraper/old city hall/Public art/Jesus/the cross/moving traffic – all at once. Then the man ran down the middle of the street! In the traffic! It was all too odd, and I loved it. He became the focal point, and I made color decisions based on this. At first I used a heavy vignette and flattened the background color to draw the eye to the middle, but then I decided color was distracting the eye in too many directions. I blued the shadows to force energy to the middle even more. The building stood out for me too much, and therefor the color had to go. I had this idea of “man on fire” in my head, so I went with this brownish hue – more toward red. I then cropped in a touch tighter to take away some of the dead elements left on the edges. Voila!
Caught between stations - color
Caught between stations - blue cast
Caught between stations - gold
Caught between stations - final crop

The crisis clock
This is the clock that seals my fate as far as making my late train. It’s a gorgeous white face on a gray body against teal framework and yellow-lit black windows. This all adds up to quite the spectacle, but I found it just as interesting with a few tweaks after turning black & white. The color version made the blog in the end, but I like where the black & white took me after rendering the version published here a handful of days ago.
The crisis clock
The crisis clock - B&W

Human beings (are not disposable)
This, like the crisis clock, deserved two renderings. I’m not sure what I like so much about the color one, but I had to post it here. I think the disparate elements maybe show off well in the color – from the cars’ motion to the man to the signs. I really don’t know. I just had to post the color here. The black and white, though more austere, still conveys something emotional – leaving that closing-in feeling of the city on top of you while perhaps focusing more attention on the motion.
Human beings (are not disposable) - color
Human beings (are not disposable) - B&W

April 21, 2013

The Hancock in the purple

It’s back to the beach as I continue to unload the remainder of the photos I took at Fullerton Beach. I think there are only two or three left now, and originally the plan was to share maybe two… or three. I’m not sure how many I’ve posted now, but it’s probably a week’s worth of images. This came just moments before sunrise but after first light had colored a little bit of purple into the sky around the city. I had to tweak this so it would come across the right way. Tweaking is good in photography.
The Hancock in the purple
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April 19, 2013

A day for a gaze

Today was one of those surreal days where things just seem off. For me it started with following Boston, Massachusetts and Federal law enforcement in an unprecedentedly accessible manhunt via social media, especially on Twitter. I was busy editing photos before getting pretty wrapped up in the coverage for a couple of hours before bed. Already a bit tired from watching it unfold, the first bother confronted me with barely making a train this morning after a young woman was stuck unable to understand how to pay for her parking. That made me the unlucky soul anxiously waiting behind her to pay my own. It worked out, barely.

The train rolled past some massively flooded areas, places I’d seen flooded before, but after 40 hours of downpour they were incoherently high with water. It was a weird day at work where very little seemed to go right. No need to bore with the details. On my way home it was back on Twitter to witness the capture of Suspect 2. My daughter fought sleep for hours tonight, and now I look out the window and think I see fog clouding the streetlights. No, it’s snow. There’s a dusting on the ground already, and it appears we could get a bit more.

If only this were my view.
A day for a gaze
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April 15, 2013

For the birds or for the audience?

I’ve had a change of heart over my Fullerton Beach photos. I’d been holding back from posting many of them, mostly because of my initial stance that producing what I consider to be cliche or typical viewpoints of the city was not going to be what this blog is about. I felt like doing what is expected or unoriginal is for the birds. Now I feel like it doesn’t really matter. I just want great images on this blog, and it probably is of no consideration to whomever shows up, anyway. There’s been a lot of really nice feedback on these images, too, so why hold them back from seeing the light of day? Oh, that’s perfect, this was at daybreak, and birds are part of the leading line to something more concrete. Well, I guess that’s a skyscraper made of metal and glass not concrete. You don’t care. You weren’t reading into anything anyway…
FOr the birds or for the audience?
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April 10, 2013

Framing up Fullerton Beach before Fall

Back to a familiar and favorite spot among Chicago photographers for various reasons. I’ve never posted from this deep, which is the traditional viewpoint from Fullerton Beach as far as I’m concerned. When you get back this far you earn yourself an obvious line to the buildings as frame by the pilings and the curvature of the rock wall against the rock & concrete beach.

I’ve been feeling a bit claustrophobic walking through downtown without a chance to visit expansive viewpoints. This late summer shot was a last chance to enjoy decent temperatures before the ceiling caved in with winter cold. Tonight it’s pouring rain and we’re dropping back into the 30s. In fact it just feel to 39 as I’m writing this. I’ll be hoping to have a decent shoot day this weekend, but things are not looking up as the rain may carry through into Saturday.
Framing up Fullerton Beach before Fall
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February 18, 2013

Cliched Chicago from the corner of the beach

GETTING OUT OF THE DOLDRUMS
Lately I’ve heard from a few photographers both here and elsewhere that are feeling kind of trapped by a creativity lapse. Call it creative doldrums. I’m not completely out of my drag, but I’m feeling more inspired today knowing I might be finding a little bit of time to shoot a few things.

For anyone else feeling this way, I’m sharing Dylan and Donovan today. I think of this kind of doldrums as an annoying conversation, which reminds me of this scene from a film about Dylan from so many decades ago. Bothered by a man attempting to win his friendship or something, it once seemed to me that Dylan promoted this nuisance onto what followed. I used to think Dylan found Donovan boring and uninteresting and was almost mocking him with his “that’s a great song, man.” But I don’t think so anymore. Now I notice that Donovan asked Dylan to play Baby Blue, and Dylan obliged. It’s a nice moment between artists, and I like how they use the music to change the feeling in an otherwise tense room. And that’s the point, for me. When confronted with that block of creativity it seems most important to get inspired again, especially by someone doing similar things to what you’re doing.

DAILY PHOTO: Cliched Chicago from the corner of the beach
Everyone and anyone who’s somewhat serious about photography in Chicago has taken a photo from this location. I avoided it until I suddenly found myself there at the end of last summer on a perfect morning. At one point while shooting the sunrise I looked up and realized I was in position for this shot by complete accident. It was too perfect to pass up, and so I took maybe six or nine exposures from this location and moved on to other things. For five months the images burned a hole in my pocket and finally one of them tumbles out today.

In processing this last night I realized there were 50 or 60 directions I could take. Straight out of the camera the image was very strong, and I had a hard time deciding which direction to take. I could go with any mood desired, it was just one of those types of photos. In the end, I tried to stay as true to the moment as possible, leaving it a touch warm. While I was once cold on the location I’m very happy I stopped by and did what everyone else does. Call it warming to what is popular.
Cliched Chicago
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February 16, 2013

Looking into the sun and across Lake Michigan

My friend Michael and I met up for a sunrise in September. He caught me shooting a few photos, and I caught him. At this point the sun was high and mighty enough to start taking color out of the sky. I think Michael kind of lamented that the best shooting was over, so he sat on the rock and just kind of watched it bleed away. I refocused efforts toward the city and then took this of him looking back into the sun. I’m sure he’s blind by now.
Looking into the sun and across Lake Michigan
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February 13, 2013

Gray for a day

I returned to a favorite old spot to produce today’s photo. There was actually a ton of color in this, but I waited for it to wash away after the sunrise and then ventured over to this spot. In post process I took the rest out. I like an emotionless landscape from time to time. Flat. Plain Jane and blank. There are days where you feel disconnected from place, where you are moving through and not really part of what’s happening. Washed out and colorless. Just for a day.
Gray for a day
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October 5, 2012

Untitled I

I couldn’t think up a title for this. The file is called “line of light,” because at first the stretch of sunlight stood out to me. The more I processed the photo, the more the pink came out. Then the extension between the sun and myself became more apparent via the piling and its shadow. So, I’m not sure. It seems like some sort of slightly skewed reach at something beautiful now. Not in a bad way. I think I’ll leave it untitled until it hits me. Suggestions welcomed, and remember that I do not use one-word titles whenever possible. Thanks.

Of note, and not relating to naming the photo, there’s a yacht right above the piling at the horizon. They sat in the sun’s stretch of light as the sun rose up over the horizon. You can see a few birds out in the red if you look closely, too.
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