Did a very quick visit to the lakefront just south of Ohio St. Beach and Lakeshore Drive last Friday night. It was quick because it was damn cold. I kept on asking myself, why am I even doing this?
But it was a good way to end a very strange week.
The Indiana Dunes hugs 15 miles of the southern shore of Lake Michigan and is one of the most diverse biomes in the United States and indeed in this part of the world. It consists of 11 types of ecosystems (from wetland to oak savanna to prairie) and has a very very interesting history. Back in the late 1800s, early 1900s, Many of Chicago’s industrialists didn’t want to have the ugliness of industrial landscape in the city, so they built their money making industries (steel and shipping especially) on the shores of Lake Michigan in Northern Indiana.
This stretch of Lake Michigan used to be so polluted that some parts were deemed biologically dead BUT eventually, with community, industry, government and other stakeholders working together, parts of the lakeshore have been restored to their full glory. The restoration is still on going and the success of this movement has served as a model for many other conservation efforts around the world. There is a great documentary called Shifting Sands that chronicles the conservation and sustainability of this region.
Last week, I had a chance to shadow one of the up-and-coming Chicago-based photographers whose work I really admire – Nenad Spasojevic who is on Instagram as well as 500px. Have a look at both sites. His work is so thoughtful and well-crafted and his posts also include his thoughts about his process.
We planned for a sunrise shoot at Monroe Harbor on July 5 and just did that. It turned out to be a short walk – from 5:30 AM at Monroe Harbor to just about fifteen minutes later when the sun was way above the horizon and the colors of the sky turned to lighter shades from the intense reds and oranges at the beginning.
I didn’t get to observe Nenad that much as I came later than I expected and he was situated more south than where I wanted to be. But here is a screen grab of his post on Instagram from that photoshoot last week, and you will get an idea where he is coming from:
As you can see, his eye is totally different from mine even though we were looking at the same view.
I wholeheartedly agree with his philosophy though. In addition, photography-wise, you will have missed really good early morning light you can’t get any other time of the day :-).
BTW, shortly after the walk, I passed by Millennium Park and bumped into two more up-and-coming photographers whose works are also awesome, Vinod K. (blinkofalens on Instagram) of Chicago and Beau R. (beaurogersphoto on Instagram) of Reno. But that is another story.
Two friends and I spent several hours last Sunday afternoon on the breakwater in the Gold Coast, watching the city turn pink from the light setting sun. The sky put up an incredible show – the drama started in the early afternoon with beautiful fluffy cottony cumulus clouds that turned quickly into menacing storm clouds and then back to nice fluffy clouds in the evening during which sunlight filtered from the west, bathing the city with a beautiful pink glow.
It was a beautiful evening to just chill out and end the weekend.
I wake up very early in the morning (at about 4 am or even before that) to prepare for and drive to work in another state, about an hour’s drive away.
So no matter how I wish I to spend more time in bed on weekends, I am already awake by early morning.
What to do? Last April 1 early morning, I looked out the window – and lo and behold – the weather was actually nice. The sun just started to peek out of the horizon. I just had to run to the beach to take some photographs. I know that I was already late but, the colors were still incredibly beautiful.