#52weekproject: Week 31 – Walking in a Loop

panning walking

Taken Wednesday, Jan 14th, 2015. I normally tutor on Wednesdays, but since my lil buddy Zerick couldn’t make it, I decided to take a walk down towards Millenium Park for a photo of some ice skaters… The photo didn’t really pan out well… so instead I am posting this photo I took while panning on this fella walking.

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#52weekproject: Week 31 – Chicago Subway – Monroe

Monroe Subway

 

The Accordion Player

Taken Tuesday, Jan 6th, 2015. I’m working on a bunch of new years resolutions, one of which is to continue taking pictures in Chicago. I’ve started to take the Red Line from the Monroe stop in the loop, since it means I get on the train one stop ahead of the other half of the rush hour work crowd. The station here is a little darker, and doesn’t seem quite as lively, but I did find this lady playing her accordion for the waiting passengers. Doesn’t seem to be quite as popular as the singers, but she isn’t quite as interactive either.While I can’t even recall what she was playing, I will say that it takes an immense amount of confidence and thick skin to ply your trade on the subway, where the only feedback you’d get is from the expression of hurried commuters trying to get somewhere. Thanks but no thanks; I think I’ll stick to just sharing my photos on the internet. 😛

So as I watched her play, I took out my camera and waited for the train to pass in the background, and snapped a few shots before I shoved my camera back in my pocket, and dropped the only dollar I had in her bag and boarded the train. Although it was a quick photo, and I was actually able to eyeball exposure and had the settings dialed in just right without even having to futz with my camera too much. Which is something I feel kinda proud of… Like that should earn me a ribbon or something!) Even the the camera is slower, and with the manual controls (or especially because of the manual controls), I am still able to take a quicker shot than I probably could have with this other newer camera I have.

Black and White vs Color

One of the other things I’ve done is converted this to black and white, and brought it into photoshop to do some dodging (to decrease the exposure in some areas, and increase the overall contrast of the image). I’m finding that I like doing that for my black & white conversions, but it would be a terrible pain to include into a workflow for an entire series of photos, but I’m sure that’s just my laziness talking there…

I’m a little torn between whether I like the black and white version, or if I prefer the color version (also dodged a bit). I think each have their own merits.What do you think?

Monroe Subway v2 color

#52weekproject: Week 22 – Looking in the Loop

52wp-w22 - lookin in the loop

 

Taken on Friday, September 12th, 2014. Left work late on a drizzly Friday, when I took this photo on the corner right by my office. I was killing some time waiting for my cousin to come into the city on the Metra, so I had some plans on taking some more train photos in the loop from a parking garage I had spotted earlier that week. While I was checking my settings, I decided to take a few test shots and was checking my manual focus skills when this lady spotted me with my camera. I don’t normally take street photos like this, because it feels a little creepy to take pictures of people I don’t know. But I kinda liked how it turned out, so that’s why I’m posting it here.

If I could change a couple things, I’d have moved a bit to my left, so she would be directly in the middle of the crosswalk lines, where the eyes are naturally drawn by the leading lines, and have the taxi just a little further to the right to balance the picture. The wet streets adds some good contrast, but I would have loved to make it rain a bit more (like I do in the clubs).

Here are a few other photos I took.

52wp-w22 - train in the loop

 

52wp-w22 - uptrain

#52weekproject: Week 20 – The Real Connection

 

The Real Connection

52WP - Week 20 - The Real Connection

 

Taken Tuesday, August 19th, 2014. Once again, I got out of work later than expected, but luckily I got to enjoy a few songs while waiting for the Red Line at the Lake Street stop. Plus, I got a chance to make good on my promise to print out and give these guys the photo I had taken of them for Week 16 (as you can see in the lower right hand corner of the picture).

I actually missed a couple of trains just to chat with these guys a little bit. Their missing buddy was there this time, but that just means I’ve got to give them another picture the next time I see them! (And hopefully I won’t forget their names next time.) I went with a square crop on this photo because I do what I want. (Also, keeps the photo tight and cuts out some of the distracting elements. Makes it seem more personal.)

Oh, the irony…

So when you live in a big city, and take public transportation everyday, whether it’s the train or the bus, you’ll find yourself swimming in a sea of people. (Fun fact: I can’t swim.) And when you have a pretty regular schedule, heading to your 9-5 job everyday during rush hour, you might even find yourself recognizing some of the same people as you cross paths with them as they are make their exact same journey everyday. To me, as a closet introvert, I tend to just pop in my earbuds and leave other people alone. I find myself to be a bit more of a reactive conversationalist; I’m great at keeping a conversation going once we make a connection, but I’m always terrible at sparking up the conversation. And probably because of this, I picture this fence of societal norms which tells me that talking to random strangers is weird. But what previously kept me walking past these guys I would see every so often on my routine commute, was broken by having a photo of them to give. That photo was my ladder over the fence. So, I enjoy the irony of these guys going by “The Real Connection”, since on that day, I shared my photo with them and made a “real connection.” (See what I mean?)

Anyway, that was a little rambling there, but I’m curious… What do you think of random conversations with strangers? And what’s a topic that is a great icebreaker if you’re bored on the train (i.e. you left your earbuds at home)?

#52weekproject: Week 18 – Run River North at Schubas Tavern

52WP-18 Run River North

 

Photo taken Monday, July 21st. (wow, that was a long time ago.) Went out with my friends Rohit and Katie to a concert at one of my favorite concert venues in Chicago, Schubas Tavern. They host a lot of up-and-coming and lesser known bands in an intimate and friendly space, which appeals to my hipster sensibilities. And since the show was sold out, I knew we were gonna be in for quite a show.

Run River North, they are basically my favorite Korean-American Indie Folk Rock band out right now :P. I originally found out about them from an interview on NPR, and they even have a music video featuring Diedrich Bader (whom you may know from the Drew Carey show). So, how can you not like them?! Check em out!