Friday, September 30, 2011
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Monday, September 26, 2011
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Saturday, September 24, 2011
I shot this with my reversed lens Brownie camera this past summer while riding my bike. This was somewhere along the southern end of the Major Taylor bike trail in Chicago, I'm guessing south of 120th Street. It was a sunny day, and the viewfinders on those old Brownie cameras are pretty much useless in direct sunlight. I just aimed at the building and shot. It turned out ok, although I probably have composed the shot a little differently had I been able to see it.
Friday, September 23, 2011
I shot this a couple of years ago while wandering around downtown Chicago with my camera. Sepia tone courtesy of Photoshop. If you don't get the title of this post or how it relates to the photo, you probably haven't been paying much attention to indie rock over the past few years, not that that's a bad thing.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Monday, September 19, 2011
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Friday, September 16, 2011
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Monday, September 12, 2011
I shot this photo in May, 2010 near Chinatown in Chicago. I’m posting it now because I returned to this location today to shoot a few photos, and was briefly detained by Metra police (Metra is the Chicago commuter rail network). This area sits just north of 18th St. at Wentworth St. There is a gravel, one lane drive leading uphill to a clearing with great views of the city. Most of this area is about to be developed as part of Ping Tom Park, a lovely park on the edge of Chinatown. For now, the gravel drive is used as overflow parking for Chinatown, which can get busy, especially on the weekend.
That’s why I was there. I had gone to Chinatown for lunch and to pick up a few groceries. It was busy, usual for Sunday, and I ended up parking in this area. After lunch and shopping, my plan was to shoot a few photos with my toy cameras.
I had barely started when I noticed what looked like a police officer a couple of hundred feet away, waving me over. I figured he might have a couple of questions, because cameras seem to make everyone paranoid these days. He motioned me over to his police car, parked across some railroad tracks on what was obviously Metra’s property. He was yelling right from the start. I tried explaining that I was just shooting a few photos, but he kept interrupting, saying I was trespassing. I had read, just last night, an ACLU brief about photographer’s rights (again, everyone with a camera is apparently suspect), and thought I knew what to say. But, trying to say anything seemed to infuriate this cop, and, yelling loudly, he threatened to arrest me if I said another word. He made me drop my photo bag, produce my ID, and place my hands on the police car. He frisked me, and called in my ID. All this time, he was being as condescending as possible, insinuating that I shouldn’t be so far from home (Chicago’s Chinatown is about 20 minutes from my house) and refusing to answer my questions.
When my ID came back clean, he softened a bit, and seemed to realize he had been way too aggressive, but still pawed through my camera bag without my permission and kept going on about the “post 9/11 world”. He finally let me go “with a warning”, but I’ve been angry and troubled by it since.
Here’s a screenshot from Google Earth (click on it to see a much larger version). I was standing at about position A, waiting for the sun to come out from behind a cloud so I could shoot the old iron train bridge, B, framed by the branches of the trees. The cop was at position C when he called and waved me over, and we met at his car, D (there’s a car in the Google Earth shot-the Metra Police must park there regularly). I don’t know if I was trespassing or not, to be honest. The area I shaded in blue is the approximate boundary of land owned by the Chicago Park District that is slated for development. I may have been within the Park District property, or I may not have been. Ultimately, that’s unimportant. If someone is photographing on private property, they must cease shooting photos and vacate the property if asked. That’s the law. The law does not state that police have the right to search your belongings and frisk you for trespassing. They can ask you to leave.
I understand the need for security, but I also know that the law is very clear on the fact that it is perfectly legal to photograph infrastructure and buildings, even private property, from public spaces (the Google Earth screenshot above is proof that photos of a location are irrelevant to a potential terrorist, as better views can be found online). If you are on private property, the law is what I described above. I feel that the officer went beyond his legal rights, and as a result violated my rights. I just don’t know what to do about it. I know that a lot of people have had much worse treatment at the hands of the police (and Homeland Security) for photographing things. This is a big enough issue that Googling “photographer's rights” turns up thousands of hits (including one from me that I posted in June, 2008). What happened to me today was stressful and upsetting, but ultimately such a small event that I doubt anyone would care, even if the cop was out of line. So, do I report it, or let it go? I haven’t decided.
Today, my Facebook status read “Remembering the day Americans started giving up their freedoms and rights in order to cultivate a false sense of security.” Yes, the cop was right about one thing. We certainly are living in the post 9/11 world.
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Friday, September 9, 2011
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Here's another animated Gif taken with my Nishika camera. This one was shot on Northerly Island in Chicago about four years ago, on a day when they were doing a controlled burn of the wildflower gardens.
Click on the image to see the animation. I don't know why it isn't working in this post. The first one I posted didn't wok, the second one did, and now this one doesn't. Maybe it's a Blogger issue. I've had problems in the past with them.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
I shot this a couple of months ago while visiting my mom in Michigan. This is what it looks like directly across the street from the house where I grew up (the view from the backyard is pretty much the same). I sometimes miss the quiet and space of the country, but after a couple of days there I start craving something interesting to do.
Monday, September 5, 2011
Sunday, September 4, 2011
Here's an animated GIF of a photo I shot with my Nishika camera in San Francisco. This was the fantastic view from my sister's old apartment.
I've posted photos from my Nishika before, but they usually look like this:
This animation isn't perfect, it was thrown together quickly and I can see some mistakes. I like the 3D effect the animated GIF gives, though, and it's making me want to pull out the Nishika camera and start shooting with it again.
Saturday, September 3, 2011
Animated GIF's from stereoptic photos (click on the photo if it isn't moving). This is my first test, completed just a couple of minutes ago. It's a scanned stereoptic card. Hopefully, tomorrow you'll see an original animated image from my Nishika camera.
Friday, September 2, 2011
95 degrees in Chicago today, and it's forecast to be 97 tomorrow. UGH. At least it's supposed to cool off after some Saturday storms. I heard a forecast today that projected 69 degrees, dry and sunny on Monday. Sounds perfect. Meanwhile, enjoy a photo of frost and think cool thoughts.