Posts tagged ‘night scene’

June 12, 2013

365 straight COMPLETED | The dawn of a new blog year

This is it! Three hundred and sixty-five straight days of photo blogging, complete! I’m quite relieved to be done, but I really screwed things up by 1) posting twice before I began my run, offsetting my personal calendar by a couple of days… and 2) Blogging into a leap year! Because 2012 has one extra day, to complete my full year of every-day blogging I’ve got day 366 tomorrow. That’s ok, I’ve got a photo set for that, and going 365 was the goal, so we’ve arrived! Today marks exactly one year of blogging every single day for one earth orbit around the sun.

1) I’m not a very organized person.
Lady in the streetLollapalooza souvenirs
Only for a few short months did I actually get ahead in this process and have posts done ahead of time. Probably half of the days were spent trying to finish a photo in the final hour before midnight. I should have paid more attention in school. I always think of myself as a capable writer, but I’ve forgotten a lot. My grammar is decent at best, I think. I break rules with writing all the time, but that’s OK, I break rules with photos, too!

When blogging every day for a year you go on autopilot after a while. I just knew things would work out after about six months of blogging every day. It was funny how I could keep it in the back of my head on most days that things will just get done when they need getting done. You don’t realize you’ve gone on AP, you just do. You learn to live with imperfection and roll with posts that make you 75% satisfied, but most of the time you end up really happy with what you’ve done. It’s not for lack of effort – it’s just that you get in this mental groove at times and can’t impress yourself with what you’re doing for a time.

You start to see patterns in how you work. Everything becomes cyclical in this process. You repeat patterns, habits. It’s a challenge to change things up. I also have a slightly negative writing tone. I’m a bit cynical, as I feared. Sarcasm doesn’t always maybe come off properly here. I wish I was more positive. Things to work on!

2) Few people understand what you’re doing, especially why, but people are nice!

Moving manProtester
I can’t remember how many times people (friends) have asked me what all this photography is about. Well, it’s about being creative. I didn’t feel creative for a couple of years and decided to take this on. It was a way to build a portfolio quickly. That’s worked nicely. People are also nice. The blogging community is something I’ve only started to connect with even after one full year of blogging. I’ve been kind of insular while taking this all on, but it’s fun to see what others are thinking and doing with their blogs. I’m branching out and learning to live by likes and comments is not a healthy thing to do… though it does motivate you to do more when getting positive feedback.

3) There will be at least two bouts with creative block.
Fireworks 2012Driver's license
Though they try (and bless them for their kindness), nobody can actually help you blog. You have to motivate yourself, and that’s a trying thing about 10% of the time. In a year’s time you really go through a creative impasse once or twice, but that’s to be expected. You just drag yourself through. Draggggggg. You’re not sure what you accomplished though you’re happy with just doing this in the end, and though you end up with a pretty good portfolio, in the end they are married with enough clunkers to make you feel far less accomplished. I also discovered that sleep deprivation causes memory loss (especially shorter term memory), though it doesn’t limit your creative output. I started this project when my daughter was seven months old. I’m tired.

4) You live in fear of stumbling upon someone whose work can crush your own.
Grungy doorwayClark & Wrightwood
You don’t care about that really, but it’s always in the back of your mind. Will you see something today that makes you say, “what’s the point? Why am I even tying?” Well, there are different opinions on what is good anyway, so why give in to expectations or critics, especially photo critics? They seem to be a misguided, angry bunch. I live with photography, I’ve been doing it every day of my life for 13 years. Therefore, I’m not like other photographers, though photographers are, in part, all the same. You have to be part of the photo world and unique to yourself all at the same time. I hate cliche, and at times must be cliche. You can’t entirely escape convention. It’s emotional, enigmatic… but that’s what is great about photography: you have to care about what you’re doing and it has to read. You get instant feedback on what you produce. That’s what makes it unlike most creative mediums.

5) You realize you know less about where you live and that others’ have a distinctly unique and somehow similar understanding from your own.

I’ve learned a lot about how Chicago fits together as a city in the past year, and I’ve seen so many photographers attempting to capture it as I do. I wonder where all their pictures are? There are simultaneously not enough and far too many photographers in Chicago. They are everywhere, but finding a good photo of the city is still rather arduous, even with Google connecting us all better and better each day.

6) I have no conclusion to draw from my year of blogging.

I guess, in a way, I’m still on autopilot. You just keep going and creating, because you can’t possibly succeed at this – you can only hope it becomes successful. I had one lawsuit threatened against me for a photo I posted of a barbershop and found two copyright infringements of my own work. Neither ended up a major issue.

7) I want to improve.

RooftopsParking lot
When you do something you love every day, you want to do it better and better.

So that’s it. That’s my year of blogging in a single post. I’m sure I forgot something. I have memory loss, remember, and I’m probably floating through on autopilot again today. To those that have asked here and elsewhere, I will be continuing. I see no reason to stop. Not now.

I took these photos today! It was just after midnight, and I’d just gotten home. I noticed a car roll up the street with its headlights off – slowly. That was weird. You don’t see that very often, and it makes you wonder. I stopped and waited to see if something happened, but he rolled out of sight. So, I was left standing there, listening, and then I looked up. The sky was weird with these puffy clouds, and I liked how the light was streaming through the bushes and against the trees from different electrical sources.

I captured about 10 photos of 100 seconds exposure and was about to call it a night when a police car rolled the street, U-turned and headed off in the direction of the car with no headlights. That was weird. I got this very uneasy feeling and yet couldn’t move. I watched the clouds roll past the trees and toward the city lights. My blogging year was coming to a close amid strange circumstances. That seems about right. They sky is blue at night, too.
Night skies I
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Night skies II
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March 15, 2013

After hours at the steakhouse on the river

Tomorrow the Chicago River goes green with the observance of St. Patrick’s Day – one of several big party holidays in the city. They dye the whole thing fluorescent green, which is a big change from the thick brown of every day. The usual color is what makes me surprised that anyone has a restaurant on the river – especially a higher-end steakhouse with views of the water. I guess it looks dark and reflects light at night. That works.
After hours at the steakhouse on the river
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