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Sarah-Ji Photography
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Friday
Jul252008

Sun Flare


One of my favorite things to capture these days is sun flare.  I used to never shoot into the sun because I didn't know how to control the exposure, but once I figured out that if I just narrowed the aperture (f-stop) quite a bit (i.e. f/16 in this shot), I could still shoot into the sun without blowing out the whole photo.  Plus, the narrower the aperture I use, the slower the shutter speed I can use, thereby increasing the starlike quality of the flare.

Thursday
Jul242008

Framing It Just Right


Sometimes, when I take a photo, there is an opportunity for me to frame [as in create a border for] the shot with whatever is in the environment.  In the case of this photo, there was a rather short, partially opened window on the back porch through which I positioned the shot so that it would look like a letterboxed film on a TV.  I normally add a vignette (darkened edges) to my photos, so it's nice when I can do that naturally.

Wednesday
Jul232008

Get On the Floor


As you can tell from my entries, I like taking photos from the ground.  The trick is aiming so that what I want to be in focus is actually in focus.  I've had happy accidents in this arena, but I'm glad that for this shot, the focus is on my friend Jan, who's playing w/ her brother Jeff in their band Sibship (get it?  SIBship?).

This was taking in the Lincoln Square Theatre inside Berry Church.  I love all the photoshoots I've done in this space.   The wood floor is just perfect for taking shots like this.  And I really like how the floor acts as an almost equal divider of the photo in half.

Tuesday
Jul222008

Feet and Chairs


I love taking photos of people's feet.  It used to be a standard shot for me of bands when I did a lot of live music photography.  Sometimes I like trying to guess whose feet they are by the shoes.  As for this shot, I have no idea.

Monday
Jul212008

Marshall Amp


I've always had a thing for Marshall amps.  I'm pretty sure it's the font.  It just looks so classic.  And with a can of Miller Lite on top of it?  Just perfect.  This lovely piece of equipment happens to belong to The Moves.

Sunday
Jul202008

Breaking Rules

I've got a new post up on Shutter Sisters today about Breaking Rules.  I took this photo on Friday night in Nichols Park in the Hyde Park neighborhood on the south side.  I was doing a long exposure with the camera on the ground, but instead of keeping the camera still, I lifted it up slightly in the middle of the exposure.  This is not a sharp photo, and to some eyes it just looks like a mistake, but to me it's beautiful, and it inspired a series of long exposure experiments this weekend.

While it helps to know the technical aspects of photography, I have to admit that sometimes I just like to play around and see what happens.  It breaks up the monotony, and every now and then I learn a new way to take photos. 

Friday
Jul182008

Somebody's Junk

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I'm not really sure what this sign is referring to, but I liked the juxtaposition of the junk truck next to it.  You see these a lot in our neighborhood, and I'm glad that there are people who can get some cash off the junk folks put in their dumpsters.  

I often find that I am drawn to the dilapidated, rough-around-the-edges scenes that are so commonplace in many areas of our city.   You may look at that pile of stuff and see just junk, but that junk may be what's feeding a family or paying the rent.

Thursday
Jul172008

I Love This Town

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Sometimes you have to be sneaky when you're taking photos.  I saw this girl coming down the street, and I didn't want to be snapping away in her face, so I kept my camera to my eye (so she would think I wasn't paying any attention to her) and then right when she appeared in the viewfinder, I clicked the shutter. 

I love this town. 

Wednesday
Jul162008

In Motion

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I like taking photos while I'm in motion, such as when I'm in a moving vehicle.  Granted, if I'm the one behind the wheel, it means I'm shooting blind, like for this shot taken while driving very slowly out of a parking garage.  Sometimes life moves by you in a blur, and sometimes you yourself are the blur, and I think it's important to capture those moments when we can. 

Tuesday
Jul152008

Sunset In the City

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This was the sunset we got the evening of the exhibit/WPG Rent Party fundraiser.  I ran outside to snap a couple shots looking west from Western Avenue.  I've always loved photos of gas stations at night for some reason.  I'm not saying that I like gas stations themselves, but just the way they look in photos, especially at night.  They do serve as beacons of light (and snacks and pit stops) when you're on a dark highway in the middle of a long road trip.  I thought the sky looked especially beautiful, with the blazing pink and purple, especially as the backdrop to such an urban scene.

Tuesday
Jul152008

With The Band

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This girl is the wife of the frontman for the band playing in the background.  They are a band called The Moves, and they performed at WPG's Rent Party on Saturday night.  I like to observe folks who are "with the band" at the show.  Some of them are all nonchalant about it, like they're too cool to even listen, and they'll go play pool or talk loudly in the corner or get really drunk at the bar. Others, like this girl and her friends, are gung-ho and show their unabashed love, singing along and dancing and hollering.

I like that.    

Monday
Jul142008

From Behind

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Some of  my favorite photos are those taken of people from behind.  I happen to be pretty shy about taking photos of strangers (esp. since so many of my images end up on the internet), and so this is a good way to take photos of people that maintain their anonymity.  I knew I had to get a shot of these two women as they were walking through the Clark Street Festival in our neighborhood yesterday.  They seemed to be deep in conversation, and I love how they were walking in sync with each other.

Sunday
Jul132008

The Exhibit

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The opening to my exhibit, part of Wicker Park Grace's Rent Party fundraiser, went splendidly.  I was surprised by so many of my friends who showed up, and my brother brought a contingent from his church.  Both my donations to the silent auction sold, as well as 4 of the 12 pieces hanging on the wall, and I have orders for 3 more.  Lots of people showed up for the fundraiser as well, so all in all it was a good night.  I'm still recuperating today.  I just woke up from a 3 hour nap, which I needed quite badly.

Thanks to everyone who showed up, and for everyone else who helped me select photos for the exhibit or gave words of support and encouragement.  Special thanks to the Shutter Sisters community who have pushed me to be a better photographer.  All but one one of the selections for my exhibit were photos taken AFTER I joined the Sisterhood, and I think that says a lot.  And thanks to my local PhotoPeeps Justin and Yvonne for sharing their thoughts, time and equipment.

Saturday
Jul122008

Birds on a Wire

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Saw this the other evening, and I ran inside for the camera.  I'm glad they didn't fly away.  They looked so content, like two old-time lovers, comfortable in their silence, enjoying the evening breeze.

Friday
Jul112008

The After Church Reading Club

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This is becoming a monthly ritual.  The two sneak off upstairs to where the big pile of books are in the hallway and sit and read.  Sometimes they share their books and sometimes they fight over books.  It's all good, though. 

Thursday
Jul102008

Newsflash! Exhibit Information

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I will be exhibiting a dozen or so of my photographs from the past year at the Acme Building, home of Wicker Park Grace, which is an emergent faith community led by my friend Nanette Sawyer.  The opening will be part of a fundraiser event for WPG called Rent Party: A Skiffle of Sorts.  See more info on WPG's site here.

I've been scrambling around this week getting prints made, finding frames that will fit 8x12s (difficult to find this size), narrowing down my choices for the exhibit, getting this website up (I basically put it together in the past 24 hours), designing interim business cards, etc.  I really like how the finished framed photos look, and can't wait to see them on the walls.  Two of them will be donated to the silent auction that night, and the rest will be on display for a month or so and will also be for sale.  I've had lots of help from friends on picking photos, so I'm really grateful for that.  This is my first exhibit, and while it's exciting, I have to admit I feel a bit out of my element.  It's all great experience, though. 

Here's the 411 on the event:

Rent Party:A Skiffle of Sorts

Wicker Park Grace

Acme Building

1741 N. Western Ave

Chicago, IL

Saturday, July 12, 2008

8pm

Admission: $15 for free food and mojitos

Live music, dance and silent auction (plus my photos!)
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