Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Day in Chicago

This past Saturday, I spent the day in Chicago with a couple of other members of the Midwest Large Format Asylum.  For the middle of March it turned out to be a great day to be outside.  Nice weather all day, and in fact I may have dressed a little bit too warmly for the day.

It started out early, by 9 am (Michigan time), I was sitting in a restaurant with the other two folks, planning the day.  I had brought some of my B&W prints made from digital negatives to show, and one of the other guys brought some work also.  We talked about it over breakfast.  I always like looking at other peoples work.  While I don't want to copy it, I usually get an idea I want to try sometime in the future.

We decided to start out at an old railroad swing bridge nearby.  It was one of the first things I photographed when I started with the group and I wanted to go back.  I have to admit, I was disappointed.  The city and the railroad had cleaned it up, repainted it and turned it into a dual use park.   Instead of the rusty textures I was expecting, I got nothing.  The area around the bridge had also been cleaned up, and a lot of development had taken place.  Good for the local area, not good for me.

After that, we stopped by the downtown Calumet Photo warehouse store.  They have been going downhill for quite some time as a destination for me, and this just confirmed it.  They had less product displayed than the last time I was there, and if it wasn't a house brand, it wasn't out on the floor.

Since two of use like the grungy warehouse look to photograph, we spent some time in the neighborhood photographing.  We could have spent some more, but we had other places to go.

Since I had never been to Helix Photography, we stopped by there next.  The guys warned my not to expect much, but I was not disappointed.  The first floor of the building is for repairs and rentals, so you have to go to the second floor for the store.  A real camera store.  Everything you would want in once place, sort of what Calumet used to be.  We spent some time there, schmoozed with one of the salesman and we all made purchases.  A definite stop the next time I'm in the area.

We next headed up to the old stockyards area.  We passed some places I would have liked to photograph, I need to remember those for next time.  We did see a Greek Orthodox church we would have liked to go in and photograph, but the doors weren't open.  When we first drove up, it looked almost new to me, but the cornerstone had been laid over 100 years ago.

We did end up in the old stockyards area finally.  Nothing I saw really floated my boat, but one of the guys made some exposures.  After that it was lunchtime, at 3 pm for me.  More photography discussion and general BS.  I took my leave after that and headed home.

All in all, a great day.

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