Karen and I were on our way to a gallery in Elgin, IL when we drove past this scene. She looked at me and wondered why I was still driving. Simultaneously, I was looking for a place where I could turn around. After doubling back, I pulled into the parking lot and hopped out of the car, camera in hand. I made a few shots of the scene, but then I decided that a panorama may be just the ticket to capture the mood and scope of what was in front of me.
Furthermore, I had envisioned this photo in black and white. The day itself was black and white: overcast, cold, and decidedly desaturated. The scene, too, just had a black and white feel. My next challenge was to communicate the lonely, aged feel that crept over me while standing there. I knew the building would do it, and I knew the barren intersection--criss-crossed with street lights and power lines--would do it too. But I felt it was the sign, blankly and poetically declaring "Last Chance," was my center piece. Given the panoramic aspect ratio, I felt putting that sign smack dab in the center and flanking it with the building and the intersection would communicate what I saw and felt by creating a meaningful fulcrum that tied the other two elements together.