This is the ‘Cloudscape’ sculpture (titled ‘Cloud Gate’) in Millennium Park in downtown Chicago. Every time that I’ve gone to make an image of it, there was always a crowd of tourists and photographers with tripods at the ready. It’s fun to watch the tourists as they use the sculpture like a ‘fun house’ mirror.
I’ve wanted to make an image of the Bean without any people around it so I figured that sunrise would have a minimum number of spectators and indeed, there were only a dozen or so there last Saturday morning. After some processing of a few exposures, I was able to come up with this image of the Bean all by itself seemingly waiting for the onslaught of the day’s visitors.
I was on a photowalk last Saturday with a group of people in downtown Chicago along the river. It was part of an international event with over 28,000 photographers in over 1200 photowalks. It’s a good excuse to go out and make images as well as meet all sorts of people. I worked with photographers from as far away as Crete, Illinois (about 10 miles from me) to a photographer on holiday from his home just outside of London, England.
This image is of the Marina Towers, the upper portion of the Marina City complex. When they were first built, they seemed pretty tall, but now they’re dwarfed by all sorts of structures. They are also famous for the chase scene in Steve McQueen’s final film (The Hunter – 1979) where a car makes an illegal exit from the 17th floor parking garage into the Chicago River.
When I was looking at the tower, I noticed the red object (I think it’s a barbeque grill of some sort) and felt it stuck out nicely against all the dull concrete.
One of those days when we had heavy rain a bit before sunset. As the rain moved east, the sun came out and produced this rainbow. This was the second one I got to photograph this year. It would have been a bit more impressive if it had been a half hour later – the other one produced a complete double rainbow with a touch of a third one at the ends but the sun on the corn stalks was still impressive.
Another image from the 2013 Will County Fair. This was taken after the Fair had closed and the rides were about to be taken down. The total lack of a crowd adds a little loneliness and maybe mystery to the scene.
A sign that I saw a few months ago for the repairs being done on Route 50 near the I-57 intersection. I guess that the sign shop doesn’t have spellcheck.
Another 2013 Will County Fair photo. I’m trying to decide whether or not I’m going to remove the power lines (and possibly the pole too) from the upper right hand corner. I’m pretty sure that I’m going to lighten up the entire stand. The girl was standing under yellow lights and I might try to change the color temperature a bit to make her skin tones closer to reality without losing the overall effect of the yellow lights. It’s things like this that can make finishing and image take forever.
I’ve started processing some images from this year’s Will County Fair. Here’s one of the games on the Midway. I didn’t feel like spending three bucks to see it in action. If anybody needs the info, I know where to buy most of the prizes wholesale.
I was driving home from town today and saw this blimp over the horizon. The bad thing was that my camera and long lens were at home. The good thing is that blimps aren’t too fast. Anyway, I took a few shots for no particular reason. Blimp photos from the ground tend to be unspectacular unless you’re close with just the right background which I wasn’t and it wasn’t. The best photos I ever made were of the Goodyear blimp back in the early 70′s when I was able to photograph it up close while it was coming in for a landing. I wonder what ever became of those negatives. Anyway, I’ll have to check out local sports events in the next few days to see who is using the Direct TV blimp for aerial shots.
So I’m watching the jet fly by the moon and figured, ‘what the heck’ I’ll take a picture. Nothing spectacular, but it was one of those interesting moments. My biggest decision was whether or not to put the accent on the end of ‘cliche’ but I decided against it because some browsers would probably substitute some sort of funky symbol which would be worse than just leaving it off.
HDR stands for High Dynamic Range which is a technique used to capture information in an image ranging from very dark to very bright and present it in a normal way. Usually, if you expose to get detail in the dark shadow areas, the bright highlights will be overexposed and will be white areas without details. In the same way, if you expose so that there is detail in the highlights, the shadow areas will be pure black. Someday, technology may provide us with sensors that capture the entire range, but for now we have to ‘cheat’ by making several exposures ranging from dark to light and then use software to combine the exposures to get the whole range.
Early versions of HDR software tended to produce a ‘look’ that can be quite impressive and interesting, but I always wanted to produce images that were a bit more natural. This image is from the 2011 Will County Fair in Peotone and I published another version from the series on August 27th of 2011 using more of the HDR ‘look’. (Check it out here) Each version has its own merits but I tend to prefer this technique.
(Side Note – I moved to Peotone when I was in the fourth grade and have attended the fair for decades [and decades] but never entered anything. So this year, I broke down and entered a few photos. This one ended up winning best of show in its division. I guess I can stop entering now, ’cause I can only go downhill from here.)