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.



Sunrise, November 26, 2017

I didn’t have much chance to do photography the last couple of weeks because of illness. Hopefully, I will bounce back soon.

But the sunrise yesterday as seen from my balcony was just gorgeous. I had to rise from my bedrest and endure the pain just to take these pictures.



Half the Early Birds – September 10, 2017

Only half of the Early Birds group came to the sunrise walk last Sunday. But that was ok. I was really on it for the exercise. According to my iPhone, I did over 5,000 steps that morning – basically walking around Burnham Harbor then to Millennium Park.



And one photo:

Yoga in the Morning

made it to explore on Flickr.

Short and Sweet Walk with an Up-and-coming Photographer

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.

Birth of a Day

Sunrise over Lake Michigan @ Fullerton and Lakeshore Drive, May 13, 2017

Happy Earth Day!


Sunrise over Lake Michigan, Earth Day, April 22, 2017

Epic 12-Hour Walk, Part I

I have this group, which we now call “The Early Risers” because we tend to start our walks as early as possible, even before sunrise, if need be. I started it with Mark Marshall a few weeks ago and for this walk on April 8, Tim K. and Michelle D. have joined us. Who knows who will join us next.

For this epic walk, a day-long walk, we met at North Ave. Beach for sunrise, then drove to the Loop for a train tracks shoot, then the Chicago Riverwalk, after which we drove to the Garfield Conservatory, then back to downtown in River North and ended up in the River Walk again.

I left the house at 5:21 AM and arrived back at the house at 5:21 PM.

Exhausting but exhilarating at the same time.

This is part I of the walk (North Ave. Beach).

Short morning walk – April 1, 2017

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.

Sunday Morning Photowalk – March 19, 2017


This weekend’s walk is at the Chicago lakefront, where else, at Navy Pier to witness the sunrise, and then at Olive Park and Ohio St. Beach. The walk was conducted with my new photowalk buddy, Mark Marshall from Flickr and Chicago Drink and Click®. He wanted to test some new gear for this shoot.

This is the Navy Pier part of the walk.