Posts tagged ‘Lake Michigan’

March 4, 2015

Winter’s dust

We are the hard sounds:
crushing, crashing, breaking stuff
You are a soft sound,
puffed apart as dust
p ff d p rt s d st
The hard of winter
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April 22, 2014

Vortex revisited

This probably shouldn’t be called “revisited,” because it’s the first photo I’ve posted from either of the two polar vortex events in Chicago this winter. This is the second massive dip in temperatures from February. I had 45 minutes in eight-degree weather to wander a beach on the north side of the city and ended up in waist-deep snow. After finding my way along a wall protruding up just above the drift, jumping from section to section across four-foot divides, I ended up along this ledge. Here, the lake separated from the ice, and a half-dozen ducks swam in the water. The wind gusted, justifying the -8 windchill.

I didn’t post this for a while, because it seemed like a thousand vortex photos floated around from various photographers at the time. I had no motivation. Now that it’s spring, it’s nice to know how far things have come. The temps climbed up over 70 degrees the past couple of days, and yet I still strolled past a parking lot with a pile of snow in the corner just ten days ago.
Vortex revisited

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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 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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April 8, 2013

Rocks to the rules

This is called breaking a rule. It’s OK, though, because I like this photo a lot. Normally I don’t post from the same location on back-to-back days, but here’s a second shot from Wilmette Beach just 24 hours after posting from 100 yards away yesterday. It’s my blog. I can do this. These rocks also had at least 5 signs on them saying STAY OFF THE ROCKS. I did, but I put my tripod on them. That’s two rules broken.
Rocks to the rules
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April 7, 2013

Walking Wilmette Beach, kind of

My daughter is past old enough to walk, but she’s not too interested in the matter. We took her to the beach today along with her grandmother thinking it would be a good trial-and-error location (soft-yet-firm sand helps both the feet and the falls), but she was more interested in digging her fingers in the sand and watching the seagulls running from the waves. It’s a process. One day Evangeline will likely outdo me in everything. Today she made me laugh.

Her little feet trudged through the sand past this bench on the way out. The multi-trunked tree on the right (or are those three trees?) acts like a perfect canopy over the sitting spot. I’ll have to return in summer to see how this looks full of leaves. I felt it was a fitting shot to capture the end of an outing on a cool-breeze Sunday with a high of 57 (14 Celsius). We’re attempting to get on our feet weather-wise, too. Green stuff is sprouting out of the ground, but there are no buds on the trees.
Walking Wilmette Beach, kind of
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March 6, 2013

The creeping fog over the ice shelf

When I was out shooting on this day I assumed this would be my best photo of a batch of maybe 30 or 40. As it turned out, it was maybe my second or third favorite. I’m curious to see how it will be received, as I like it very much. The fog crept in across the lake from east to west, so in this photo I’m looking Southwest. In fact, if you traveled toward the dead-center of the frame and continued past the buildings you’d eventually hit St. Louis. The snow-covered ice forms a shelf that hits the shelf I’m standing on. It was about six to eight feet beneath my boots, though it might not look too far in the photo. Walking back through the snow I hit an ice patch and nearly went down. Nobody was around to notice.
The creeping fog over the ice shelf
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March 2, 2013

Nowhere to go

I recently posted an even more desolate view of this same scene, but since then this photo has grown on me almost as much. The ladder I stood over to shoot the previous ice & horizon shot pokes up over the edge of the concrete beach to the left. You got a sense that you could climb down and walk out to the horizon; the fog made it seem that close. Still, you knew you’d never get there.
Nowhere to go
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February 22, 2013

This one keeps me alive – Lake Michigan frozen

You could see cars zipping up and down Lake Shore Drive, but you couldn’t hear them. Snow mutes almost everything. From beneath the frozen skin of lake Michigan came the only sound – moving water licking at the ice surface. I’d never venture out even with the ladder from the concrete beach laying directly in front of me and ending at the jagged ice. It was a good eight feet between us.

I felt this a very austere landscape but an invigorating one, so I spent much of the day thinking about what to call it. I looked up some lyrics that had been floating around my head from recent car trips, and learned I’d got most of them wrong. The refrain from one of those songs ultimately won. I was only slightly disappointed to learn “This one keeps me alive” to be a bit off the actual intent. I still like it. For me, the sky makes this photo. It is caused by a thick fog a half-mile out.
This one keeps me alive - Lake Michigan frozen
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