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Entries in night photography (6)


And This Is How We Begin...

First Foto Of 2012

First foto of 2012: Two of my favorite Geminis in the world.

First meal of 2012: Kung Pao Shrimp

First drink of 2012: Cheap Pilsner

First album of 2012: Black Star

First movie of 2012: Ghost Dog

First cig of 2012: 3 1/2 month old Nat Sherman Menthol

First wish upon a star of 2012: Something about friendship...


Downtown With Anna

Downtown with Anna

I'm one of those weird photographers who like artificial light, especially at night in an urban setting.  I had the chance to take some shots of Anna Fermin downtown last night, and this is probably one of my favorites from the shoot.


Things have been crazy busy (when is it not?) and to make matter worse, my PAYING job has been super busy too, so I'm burning both ends of the candle pretty much every night these days.  Please send me your positive vibes, healthy immune systems and most of all, a dry weekend in Central Michigan where our family will be Friday through Monday.


Shutter Sisters Crosspost: Comfort Zone

A Walk On the Beach

This is from a series of photos I thought I had lost.  They mysteriously reappeared on an SD card I happened to pop in my camera a few days ago.  I'm glad, too.  It was a beautiful night, and I was alone on the beach soaking in the uncharacteristically chilly August air.  I noticed this couple walking slowly, hand in hand, on the very edge of the water, and I thought for a moment that I was inside a movie. 

And the following is my post on Shutter Sisters today:


Once in a great while, I find myself with some free time, in my car, with my camera, and no husband or child to direct my path.  It's usually at night after I've met with friends.  If the stars align just right and the weather cooperates, I more likely than not will feel a magnetic pull to a certain beach about a mile east of our home.

I have a history with the beaches of Chicago's Northside at night.  It's where I've gone on so many other nights during a particularly tumultuous time in my life.  The sound of the waves gently lapping against the shore, again and again, creates a cadence so calming and comforting to me, a sound so primally familiar like the sounds of the womb.  Lake Michigan stretches as far as the eye can see, a black expanse holding up an equally black sky, the sequins of stars dimly visible in the urban haze.  The wind whips my hair to an fro, and I hug myself for warmth, legs dangling over the breakwater.  I breathe deeply and slowly and let the universe wash over me with all the love and tenderness and wisdom I'm able to hold in my empty hands. 

I often feel like I need to push myself out of my comfort zone, to do something Fresh!  Original!  Conceptual!  Challenging!  Scary!  It's an important learning experience, for sure, to be able to step out into unknown territory.  Lately, however, I am realizing the gift of knowing where my comfort lies, and feeling free to return there to rest and wallow in the contentedness of familiarity, whether it's simply listening to an old 80's song or watching my daughter play.  This little beach at night is a symbol of that familiar place within me, and I return to it as often as I can.




You don't see an accordian player on the streets of Chicago very often.  And I'm quite fond of the accordian.  You don't see as many buskers as you used to either, and that makes me a little sad.


Advertise Here

Advertise here

I wonder if in this economy, advertising on the sides of buildings is a lot cheaper than it normally would be.  If I had a bunch of money I didn't need, I would purchase a couple dozen of these ad spaces and have my friends paint murals or print humongo banner sized photos and plaster them onto the sides of these naked buildings.  It would be like a citywide installation or something.


Tender Is the Night

Fulton and Damen

I have a post up on Shutter Sisters today about night photography, which you can read here.  I could have just cross posted the same content here, but since that was a bit of a technical post, I wanted to share something more personal about why night photography means so much to me.

Seven years ago to the day, I watched my dad die from pancreatic cancer in his hospital bed.  For the month preceding his death, I spent all my non-working time doing three things: being by my dad's side in the hospital, going to live music shows and taking photos.  Oh wait.  Add a 4th: blogging.  I started my original blog a couple weeks before my dad went into the hospital, and the events during those first couple months gave me much material for blogging.

It was during this time that I developed a deep appreciation for night photography.  I guess you could say that it was my method of choice for self-soothing.  I would often leave the hospital after visiting hours were over, drive to a spot with a view of the city and take a bunch of photos, wrapped up in my thoughts.  I was grieving the loss of a relationship, the imminent loss of my dad and the possible loss of my faith.  Those were dark times for me, and maybe that's why I took so much comfort in the night.

In the Garden at Night

Sometimes, when I happen to be out for the evening without Ted or Cadence, I'll stop somewhere on my way home to have a mini night photoshoot.  To this day, this is my favorite type of alone time--a date with my camera late at night on the streets of Chicago.  And during those occasions, my thoughts often return to that period in my life when I first embraced the night--to the images of my dad so sick and frail, jaundiced and childlike and helpless; to my overwhelming loneliness that was surprisingly met with comfort emanating from the city around me; to the realization that almost everything I had believed in regarding God and faith were now like dandelion seeds blowing willy nilly; to that yearning for connection and community and meaning that I still feel to this day; and to just how f*cking beautiful the world is during the night.