Take Two Chicago

Chicago Trip for SPE

I had time to shoot two rolls in Chicago.

I’m not a street photographer, but my coworker Kent and I ventured out with several of Chicago’s finest photo-friends and we made do with what we had. The weather, thank God, held out JUST long enough for us to wander the streets in search of the elusive snap or two. I am a total wuss, and temps below 85 degrees send me into near panic, but what had to be done had to be done.

Chicago Trip for SPE

Chicago Trip for SPE

Chicago Trip for SPE

Chicago Trip for SPE

Just being able to wander with camera in hand is really enough to get me going. I don’t need to always make contact. I find myself, at times, so lost in thought while I’m supposed to be making pictures that I sometimes feel these moments for me are more like therapy than photography. Chicago has history, and you have to pay your respects, in some way, before the city begins to reveal itself to you. There is no “add water, get photograph,” even when it rains. These have all been done, and will be done again. My fingerprints are on them, but the CSI would have a hard time finding mine amongst the thousands of others.

Chicago Trip for SPE

Chicago Trip for SPE

Chicago Trip for SPE

I try to be methodical about these type picture making moments. I come home and the film gets dropped right away. The images are scanned, uploaded, downloaded by me and then edited and tweaked. I rename them, renumber them and then start to figure out what they are about or if they actually mean something I can’t initially see. Are they worth anything? Of course but what? I want to thank all of you who came out and walked the streets with us. We learn a lot from you and appreciate your time and energy. Not to rub it in but it’s 80 degrees here today in California. Oh, not a cloud in the sky. Again, thank you and keep snapping.

Chicago Trip for SPE

Chicago Trip for SPE

14 Responses to “Take Two Chicago”

  1. zeno watson says:

    Happy to read what you have been up to Dan, and your take, on your journey. I am liking your use of depth, texture, geometry and of course the human element. I am slightly concerned about your mental health though, as that is another self reflection photo.

    As usual I can related to your words “lost in thought” and “therapy” through photography. I don’t know if is the switching from the every day scattered light, thoughts, noise in my head to a focused light, being at one with the camera body and reflex of the fingers, feeling for what makes a great photo from what you are presented with in that moment.

    From what you have done in Chicago, would you be tempted to do more street photography?

    Have a good week

    Zeno

    • Smogranch says:

      Zeno,
      What if I’m starting to like the self-reflection photos? As for street photography, don’t think so. It’s not my thing. I like to get a bit more in depth. I tend to work on long-term projects and getting to really know who I’m working with is a huge part of it.

  2. Chris Fuller says:

    Love Chicago. Nice to hear the sound of an L train. I particularly like the “Stop Deportations” shot. As for the weather, take heart. In Montana we say that the four seasons are Almost Winter, Winter, Still Winter, and road construction. As I ponder a return to film at some point in the future, I am curious. Do you have your film developed and scanned? if so, by whom? Also, what you do to “tweak” your photos?

    • Smogranch says:

      Chris,
      Both. I use a lab at times and do it myself at other times. Scanning too. Tweaking all depends on what I’m shooting and how I’m printing it. Scanning and post online you can do anything to an image, darkroom printing and tweaking is entirely different. Standard stuff however. Curves, levels, dodge, burn, resize. Nothing else.

  3. LionelB says:

    We were basking in 45 degrees F today. Perfect for getting out and about with a camera. Plumes of steam were billowing nicely in the cold air and when everything is grey monochrome needs no visualisation …

  4. bob soltys says:

    Great shots, thanks to you and Kent for leading the walk. Long live the Bean!

  5. David Manning says:

    Wow, Dan…an F6. I loved mine…sold it for an M6…realized the camera didn’t matter.

    I find street shooting very difficult (I mean, to capture provocative images…not just to photograph weird strangers). I keep trying anyway…it’s a fun way to see a city.

    Hope all is well.

  6. Aguirre says:

    That’s a particularly good bean shot. Love pieces that disorientate for a moment. Also like the way you provided context and depth with a shallow DOF in “Stop Deportations.” You CAN street talk, man. Admit it.

  7. Dan dude!
    Your blog has been hacked! Seriously, you’re going to need to look into this and fast!

    There is some guy claiming to be you shooting with an SLR, no Leica?

    @!@#$#@! Right?? Thats what I said!?!?

    Anyway it was great to see you in Chicago, hope we can have you back soon!

    Dirk

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