A drizzly day in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood is always a great photo opportunity. While on a photo walk with a fellow photographer, I looked down this gangway and saw this visual feast. I decided to use the 85mm lens wide open because it gave just enough reach without compressing the scene while lending an interesting depth of field--thereby preserving the jumbled feel that caught my eye.
Recently, I was photographing for a client. The shoot required me to have an assistant, and my friend Mandy graciously agreed to help out. She was invaluable during the entire day, and I greatly appreciated all of her help. During a moment of down time, I managed to grab this shot of her as we stood on the street waiting for the trolly to take the models and us to our next location.
I was so happy I happened to have my 50mm lens on my camera at the time, because it was the perfect lens for the perfect moment. This lens' color reproduction and the way it handles light is magical. I really liked the feel and tone it created for this photo...and I really like the candid moment I captured as Mandy gazed upward.
Once again, I tip my hat in thanks to Mandy for all her help!
For today, I thought I'd post a couple of black and white images:
I was on a mini photowalk recently, just carrying around my "traveling light" kit which consists of my Fuji X20. While waiting for a traffic light to change, I noticed this short urban ballet unfolding in front of me. I put camera to eye and snapped a few photographs. While the rest of them just didn't work for me, this particular frame felt genuine and presented more story than the rest...so here it is.
I particularly like this photo because it has an elusive street photography feel to it. I respect street photographers because capturing such moments is never as easy as it looks. It is amazing how many throw-away images go into making a single "keeper" when it comes to they dynamics of everyday life.
While on a walk through Chicago's Chinatown, I meandered about with camera in hand looking for interesting scenes to shoot. I happened to see this gentleman and grabbed a shot on the go. I was using my small camera kit comprised of my 7D fitted with Canon's
wonderfully small and high performing 40mm pancake lens. It's an unobtrusive kit that makes for great street photography.
When I captured this image, I was shooting for the visceral moment. It wasn't until I got back to my computer that I saw the second vice--the bottle in his pocket--which ended up transforming this shot from an interesting story into a very interesting story.
On a photo walk a short time ago, I was meandering around Wicker Park and happened to notice this scene. Happily, I had my 85mm lens firmly affixed to the front of my camera...so I opened it up wide and made the shot. For me, that lens is one of the magical ones: rich and creamy bokeh, sharp focus, and a dreamy look.
I don't do nearly as much street photography as I would like, so the fact this one came to me was quite exciting. I would love to know the story that led these two gentlemen to be sitting at that bench at that time. I'm sure it's an intriguing one.
I could sit and watch jellyfish all day long and not even realize any time has passed. These particular jellyfish were a part of the Jellies! exhibit at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. Mesmerizing, to be sure!
Karen and I spent a marvelous afternoon at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium. While there, we enjoyed meandering and looking at the wide varieties of aquatic life (the various stingrays were of particular interest to us).
In one of the tanks, this fish was just hanging out, seemingly amused with watching all the people stroll by. Unlike most of the other animals, he was easy to photograph because he wasn't in any big hurry to get anywhere.
This particular photo, I'll admit, plays on our tendency to personify other animals but I just couldn't resist. The pose he struck here was just too reminiscent of an old-time comedian working up the crowd and delivering the punchline. And as you'll notice, his show has indeed gone blue.... (Insert "groans" here.)
I was driving around an industrial area just looking for interesting scenes to photograph. I came across this highway/bridge/road interchange and pulled over. I walked around a bit, just looking for angles that caught my eye. The more I studied the scene, the more the pillars, buttresses, and sweeping lines became reminiscent of cathedral elements. Rendering the photos in black and white gave them the final push into visual transformation.
While on a photo walk in Wicker Park (Chicago), I couldn't help but pause and photograph this scene. I just loved the way the yellow leaf had landed on the chess table. That, combined with the overcast morning, really gave this scene a distinctive mood and feel. I know that my 85mm lens is a champ at capturing subtle colors and light, so I put that on, opened the aperture all the way, and shot.
Having an intimate knowledge of one's lenses--understanding their strengths as well as their limitations--opens up new creative worlds. It gives us the opportunity to make choices that with help to improve our work. It's just as much a part of the artistic process as composition and subject choice.
I've tried countless times to photograph this bridge, but for some odd reason it has never worked. On this occasion, though, the combination of light and mist contributed to a moody ambiance which I felt worked well.
Yup, it's another pic on an overcast, drizzly day. I was meandering the streets, looking for something interesting to photograph. I happened to look up and see a woman walking toward me...and she wore these fantastic, red boots. As she passed, I aimed my camera toward the ground and snapped a photo hoping to capture her boot against the damp pavement. And boy was I happy when I saw the image on my computer. It's such a kick when one-off opportunities like this pan out!
One of the many things I love about photography is the fact that with good, interesting light, nearly any scene can be beautiful. Case in point, this trash-stren alley. On this particular day, the light was diffused by languid rain clouds. There was a sharpness, a definition to everything I look at. Yes I know I've said it, but I have to say it again, I just love, love, love rainy overcast days for shooting.
As if it wasn't obvious by looking through my photographs, I'm a sucker for an overcast day. For this photograph, I was able to combine the beautiful light of a cloudy morning with the motion of a scooter as it zipped down North Ave. in Chicago.
I couldn't help but be excited by the fact that the orange color was the perfect foil for the soft light and the charcoal-ly pavement.
I was fortunate enough to go on a photo walk through Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood with a photographer friend of mine. I had only known Nikki through our on-line interactions. But recently, she contacted me to say that she and her husband would be visiting Chicago and that she'd like to get together and shoot. Naturally, I jumped at the chance. I've known her for nearly 10 years now, but this was the first time we met face to face.
We had a great time shooting. And of course, it was so much fun to see what she got and compare it with what I got. Even though we walked the same streets, we came away with very different portfolios from the morning. I just love that!
While spending some time doing an art show at the Flatiron Building in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood, I had an opportunity to take a break and lean out of a third story window to take some photographs. I liked the way the panning effect accentuated the motion of the bicyclist, and I really like the suggestion of the other rider as he moves out of frame. Couple this with the lines on the street and I am a very happy photographer.
Wow! It's a bonus Semi-Daily-Photo-of-the-Day today!
While on a photo walk in downtown Chicago, I crossed the Chicago River and paused on the bridge to see if anything interesting would happen. In just a few moments, my patience was rewarded by these kayakers. I made a few exposures as they approached, but just wasn't happy...until they were right below me and the scene just composed itself.
While on a photo walk in Chicago, I paused at the Chicago River. I made a few photographs, but felt I had "seen them a thousand times before" in my viewfinder. So in an effort to spice things up, I put my 90mm tilt-shift lens on the camera and began, well, tilting and shifting and shooting.
These are two of the photos that resulted.
I was walking around downtown Chicago on an overcast, drizzly afternoon. I love shooting on days like this because the light is so wonderfully diffused and soft giving a distinct quality to the colors. In addition, the visual interest of puddles makes me happy.
For this shot, I noticed this gentleman walking across a bridge spanning the Chicago River. HIs hat and flannel were a perfect foil to the urban surroundings. To complete the image, I shot wide open with my 50mm lens.
While driving through Chicago's South-West Suburbs (Darien, to be exact) my wife and I saw a Landscape Supply company on the side of the road. We pulled over (naturally!) and parked right in front of this scene. I couldn't help but grab the camera...and grab this photograph.