Thoughts on the Walk
Chicago 77 - Exploration - A Promise
Chicago is one of those cities that is gorgeous in the central core. The popular spots of the the Loop, Near North Side, Lincoln Park, and even the West Loop areas grab most of the photographic attention of this city. When I moved to this city, I knew I wanted to see all of it. I promised myself that I would.
The people here have been through a lot of change. There have been and still are tough times in many places of the city. There have been and still are great times in those places, too. This dichotomy exists in every single community area of Chicago. It is more obvious in some places than in others. As of this writing, I have been to 27 of these community areas on foot. I have only posted pictures on this site of about 5 of them so far.
This picture, represents the real beginning of the work. In community area 5, they have a section of the Berlin Wall on display at the Brown Line Elevated Train Station at Western Avenue. This is a picture that represents to me a book-end of history signified by a night when my grandfather, a World War II veteran, was watching us at home while my mom and dad were out enjoying themselves. That early evening I asked him if he would ever trust the Russians. I asked because I knew something of 'glasnost' but not much. He responded, "Maybe if they tear down that wall." He clearly meant the Berlin Wall. And I was only 13 at the time, and my family expected this kind of knowledge of world events of me.
That same night, just a few hours later, the wall was coming down. I don't know if he could consume what was going on. I don't know if it registered. It had to. But there was over 60 years separating me from him. It was impossible to know. He still hated communism, the Soviet Union, and everything it represented. This block of concrete and steel represented an end to a block of history that my grandfather had an active, but small part in creating.
As I consider that, I have to consider that the people of Chicago in all of these communities have participated in a city's history in a way that I am only now beginning to understand, but only from this end of that history. It is a history I am struggling but yet trying to understand going forward.
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I love sharing my images to the people for whom they were made. Let me share this image's story...
Back in April 2018 I took a walk from my apartment as one does. I stepped outside and picked a direction and started walking. The sun had just set. When I came across this book store's window, I just had to take a picture of it. At the time I had a very small combination of my 35mm f/2.8 lens on my Sony A7II camera.The neat thing about this lens is that it is able to be held tightly against a pane of glass because of the size and shape of the lens. This allowed for a longer exposure.
I think back in March 2018 I stepped into the store and met the owner just to take a look around and see what's going on. I briefly mentioned that I had taken a picture of the store and the owner didn't even grab a hold of that mention (It's not like she would have understood what that meant to me). I didn't have the image in a place available to show her what it looked like.
Since I had done a lot of work on this site, I finally had a tool to show her the image (and deliver it). I went back to her store and showed her the image on my phone. (I am still working on the site, but it's a lot closer to that goal than ever!) She was very happy with the image! I was able to send her a copy to do what she wants with it. About the store: It's Heirloom Books and I have the GPS co-ordinates embedded into the image. The owner is a really nice woman who clearly LOVES books! If you want to get your book nerd on, you will have a friend at this store. She did want to say that she has MANY more books than this image showed. She now has several more bookshelves. The store is just as friendly and inviting as ever.
I thought that this was a good time to let you know that I am currently putting in a lot of effort into this web site. My plan is to focus on the bones of the web site first. I had to get some things fixed regarding the web site address. I am currently uploading a lot of pictures I had neglected to upload here over the last two years, too.
The Master Gallery: This gallery is currently getting updated very fast. Please come back often as there will be something new all the time! I am uploading all of my images into this main gallery where you will be able to see all my images in chronological order from most recent to the oldest. That said, the story changes because I do not actually upload everything in order. (They do get placed in order!) They get uploaded when the images are ready.
I hope that this might actually tell you something about me. Something that I could not put into words. A story of sorts, if you will.
I currently think I will have the following gallery types:
-Black and White
-Chicago 77 Community Areas Project
These updates will come as fast as I can make them. These additional galleries will be organized in ways that best suit each. Potentially, just what looks right, some will be mostly chronological, though. (Chicago 77 for instance is a project that will take 3-2 more years to complete.)
The walk so far...
Today I renew my commitment to sharing my images on the web. I have had a two year break. It has been an interesting couple of years. I wish I could have kept my blogging up to date through this time, but to be honest, I am glad that I have had the time to process the changes that I have had.
What are these changes?
I had two very important promises I made to myself: Move from the suburbs into the City of Chicago and get a promotion at work. Both of these have been accomplished
In the mean time I had started another promise to myself: Photographing each of Chicago's 77 Well Defined Community Areas.
My promotion at work is more intense than I thought it was going to be. This means I am not going to make promises like some people do of regular posts every day or twice a week, or whatever. But the promise I can make is that when I do come around to blogging that it will be worth it to me.
That also means I hope it will be worth it to you.
About the image: This is one of those images where I had a light-bulb moment about light. I finally understood just how bright sunlight can be and that if I can tame those highlights, just how dramatic the rest of the image will be, too! In this moment I was walking to the Museum Campus under Lake Shore Drive. There is this skylight there and I waited for people to walk through. The bonus was how windy it was! The good news was to freeze the motion I needed a fast shutter, and to tame highlights, I also needed a fast shutter!