Greening of the Chicago River

Mr. Ireland

At the greening of the Chicago River, March 17, 2018 in celebration of Chicago’s Irish Community. St. Patrick’s Day, 2018.

Before sunrise, March 11, 2018

Once I hit middle age, my internal rhythm went out of whack. I found myself waking up earlier and earlier. Suddenly, I was faced with the dilemma of what to do, what to do in the wee hours of the morning. I didn’t face that before because I didn’t get out of bed before 8 am unless I had to. Then I remembered what the great Bryan Peterson (author of Understanding Exposure and other books) said about missing more than 80 percent of photography when waking up late. So I made the habit of going out before sunrise to photowalk. That’s why you see a lot of sunrises in this blog. Granted, I drive out of Chicago very early in the morning to go to work in Indiana … but this habit of getting very early preceded that. And it’s a great exercise too, without really realizing I am exercising. I walk at least anywhere from 3 – 14 miles every weekend.

This morning, I went out for a walk around the Navy Pier area, arriving at the end of Navy Pier way before sunrise. It was blissful not to be among the crowd. Because I can only see in one eye now, I have difficulty navigating crowded areas. I was the only one there, save for some runners who ran in and out. It was incredibly uplifting to soak in the power of the sun while it rose above the horizon.

And then the sun showed up.

Oh Happy Day!

This morning’s sunrise (March 4, 2018) reminded me of the gospel song, “Oh Happy Day!” by Edwin Hawkins (sung by Edwin Hawkins, Lynette Hawkins Stephens and the Edwin Hawkins Singers) which goes this way:

Oh happy day (oh happy day)
Oh happy day (oh happy day)
When Jesus washed (when Jesus washed)
When Jesus washed (when Jesus washed)
When Jesus washed (when Jesus washed)
He washed my sins away (oh happy day)
Oh happy day (oh happy day).

Edwin Hawkins is considered to be one of the originators of the urban contemporary gospel sound. “Oh Happy Day” was popularized (at least to me) by the movie, Sister Act II.

Happy New Year of the Dog!

iPhone photos of the lions at yesterday’s Lunar New Year Parade on Argyle St. in Uptown. Argyle St. is home to many ethnic-Chinese Vietnamese businesses and the heart of the Vietnamese community in the city. The parade is smaller than the one in Chinatown but it’s not too crowded and you basically see the same features of the big parade in a smaller scale.

These are iPhone photos that I took before the parade began.

Fire and Ice, February 24, 2018

Chicago’s Full Moon Jam group was at its best last night at its Fire and Ice performance at the skating ribbon in Maggie Daley Park at the lakefront. It was one of the off-season jams that the group holds once in a while. Regular jams are held every full moon during the summer on the lakefront just south of Foster Ave. Beach in Uptown.

No drumming last night but it was still very awesome.

Random Winter Scenes

Winter Scenes, Chicago, Northwest Indiana and Michigan. Created with Adobe Sparks.

Macro Shoot, Lincoln Park Conservatory

When I am out of ideas, I go macro. It always satisfies the craving for new perspectives.

And the best way is to go deeper into the private lives of plants, especially flowering plants.

Without the guilt of intrusion.

Shot these flowers at the Lincoln Park Conservatory with the usual suspects, Mark Marshall and Tim Karas, February 18, 2018.

Mark and Tim

Snow Day at the Park, February 17, 2018

Just a regular snow fall, albeit, the whole day. So I went to Millennium Park to photograph. There were a lot of people there. It wasn’t that cold, that’s why.

Throwback, Lunar New Year 2004 Argyle St. Uptown

Fire and ice!

Scenes salvaged from the Lunar New Year celebration on Argyle St. in Uptown, Chicago back in 2004. As mentioned in a previous post, a hard drive containing my 2004 photos crashed and most of its content were unrecoverable or could be recovered at a very prohibitive cost (at that time more than $2000). But I managed to find some pictures from the Chinese New Year celebration that year – snow and firecrackers at the same time!

Back in 2004, I had an Olympus C-720 Camedia that took damn good pictures (Olympus lenses are quite good) with a 8x optical zoom but was very slow. But nevertheless, it was a great entry camera for me to serious photography and have even some photos accepted in Getty Images using this point and shoot.

Now that the lunar New Year celebration is approaching (it’s going to be on the 24th here on Argyle St. and the 25th in Chinatown), I thought I resurrect these photos from 14 years ago.

Xīnnián kuàilè

It’s the year of the dog!

Throwback, First Digital Photochallenge Meet-up, July 4 weekend 2004

Back in 2004, as a beginning photographer, I was very active in the DPC (Digital Photochallenge) community and even had a blue ribbon award and other prize-winning photos in some of the challenges that I entered. I learned a lot from the comments from like-minded community members. During the July 4 weekend of 2004 (if I remember correctly), the midwest members decided to have a meet up (or GTG as we called it then) in Chicago. Members coming from as far as Ohio and Kentucky (again, if I remember correctly) came for a two-day meet up.

Unfortunately, my 2004 hard drive crashed and valuable photos of that event and many other events in 2004 were lost, except for these that I managed to find. Fun times then!