One Frame at a Time Photography: Blog en-us (C) Shannon Davis Brier [email protected] (One Frame at a Time Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:06:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:06:00 GMT One Frame at a Time Photography: Blog 96 120 Inspiration and investigating the mundane DSC_8359No longer bright, but still barred up Yesterday, I sat down with a notebook that contains a lot of things; some are journal entries, some recipe ideas, some funny moments in my life I want to remember, others assorted moments, memories, random thoughts I have.  Yesterday, I sat down and dedicated a page of that notebook to things I want to photograph, challenges I want to give myself, random ideas of series.  Lots of photo ideas.  Today, I took on one of those ideas/challenges.

In this notebook, I had jotted down a note about a shed at lacrosse practice.  For several years, I've been eyeing that particular building.  It's in various states of disrepair, though still functional as a park district building.  It is in plain sight, but hidden.  It is wedged between the high rises that rim Grant and  Lincoln Park and Lakeshore Drive and the shores of Lake Michigan.  No one would ever see it unless your sport, or your child's sport landed you in a particular remote parking lot.  We've spent a lot of time in that remote parking lot.   DSC_8357Paint bubbles Today, I went back to that parking lot.  No one was there. The city was throbbing and pulsing around me.  Cars flying down Lakeshore drive.  The constant sound of sirens, a distant L train.  Horns blaring.  Seagulls squawking.  Birds heralding spring.  The skies were overcast and the planes coming into Chicago's airports, low and loud.  Peace in the city is fleeting, at times.  But, that, ultimately depends on how you describe peace.

I've learned to find peace behind my lens and viewfinder.  I have learned to find peace in searching out what others do not see.  I know that hundreds of lacrosse parents, soccer parents, rugby players, and coaches of all have passed by this shed and never noticed the detail in this rundown park district shed.  I know that I passed by it many, many times over several years before I thought I need to take a closer look.  I encourage you all to take a closer look, too. It isn't always what it seems.  You can find the rest of this location shoot here. DSC_8362Barn door hinge, in the city

[email protected] (One Frame at a Time Photography) Fri, 21 Apr 2017 03:05:13 GMT
Must. Shoot. Photos. ReflectionsBertram Goldberg's "corn cob" buildings (Marina City) reflected in the windows of 35 W Wacker, the Leo Burnett building. I have been missing myself here of late. For a good long time, I've been missing myself. I have had a rough couple of years. Lots of turmoil in my life. I have failed myself by not keeping my wonderful and trusty Nikons by my side. I am afraid, I lost myself.

What I have realized is that, I need my camera. I must shoot photos! Good, bad, or ugly, I have to shoot. Though, I hope that they are none of the above. My cameras are my security blanket.  hey make me feel whole and connected. Mostly, they give me a release and a way to express myself. Being an introvert, sometimes, it is difficult to find a way to connect yourself with the outside world. My cameras, they do that for me!

My children are on spring break. There was no vacation for us this for a variety of reasons. So, a lot of time was spent in jammies, video gaming, hitting up extra sport practices, a sleep over here and there, breakfast for dinner, and all that good stuff.

Mother Nature gave us a wacky day at the end of Spring Break. Temperatures soared to nearly 80 degrees. Being the evil, horrible mom that I am, I forced the children out of their basement habitat and into the sunlight. We grabbed the public transit pass, inhaled some lunch, and then hit the L into the Loop. I'd stashed my camera in my bag, but we spent nearly an hour looking for sunglasses for the boy. The 12 year old boy. He, apparently, has very high standards for sunglasses. Me, I wasn't complaining. It was a beautiful day and we were outside in late March enjoying upper 70s and just wandering the city.

I took one photo with my "good" camera that adventure. That photo is the one above. I could not be happier with this photo. I am no Chicago architecture aficionado, but I do know that Bertrand Goldberg was the architect behind Marina City, which he fashioned after corn cobs as a tribute to the city's heritage and the vast grain market. To me, well, they look like where the Jetsons lived.  And, I so loved the Jetsons.

Since moving here and several trips up and down the Chicago River and countless hours watching WTTW and Geoffrey Baer and his wonderful Chicago based series, my eyes have been opened to what an amazing canvas I have in front of me. I hope to explore that beautiful canvas more, keep my soul charged and engaged, and just make art.

[email protected] (One Frame at a Time Photography) Sun, 26 Mar 2017 02:00:06 GMT
Lifeline. I decided to set out to find where my lust and love for capturing nature had gone.  Where had my soul disappeared to?  What had happened to me?  I had a clue what had happened to me, but I had to outgrow the negative.  The best way to outgrow a negative is to submerse yourself in a positive.

So, I packed up my camera bag, for the first time in forever, and I put my car in gear and I drove to the Lincoln Park Conservatory.  As a rural girl with a degree in plant biology, this place, well, is one of my happiest places in the crowded, bustling, loud city.  I can, truly, spend hours here.  It’s a good size for being in the city, but not really huge.  That doesn’t stop me.  I can sit for an hour on a bench drinking it all in.  Mostly breathing in the beauty.  I don’t know what it is, there is a peace that comes over me when I’m in a greenhouse.  And, I hope that never changes.

I am very pleased with many images that I captured on this trip. This one, it speaks to me.  It’s okay to branch off.  

[email protected] (One Frame at a Time Photography) #bentbutnotbroken #findsomebeauty Chicago Lincoln Park Conservatory Mon, 28 Mar 2016 22:37:28 GMT
Finding beauty in fear I'm a chicken when it comes to storms.  A full blown, terrified, trying not to lose my senses kind of person.  I have been since I was born.  So many nights squished between my parents in their double bed waiting out the thunder and lightning.  This, did stop as I hit double digits.  Instead, I'd cower in my own bed and contemplate hiding under it.  With a weather radio, of course!

My family mocks me.  A lot.  If there is any hint of potential tornadic activity anywhere near me, the first thing I do is put on my tennies.  Why?  If I'm going to have to crawl out of the wreckage of my home, I don't want to be barefoot!  And, I'm usually barefoot in my home.  I grab a flashlight and the lone transistor radio I still have, after a battery check, and I'm ready to head to the basement if need be.  They just shake their heads and go with it.  They've not seen tornadoes first hand, nor have they had a funnel cloud dance over their home and yard, tearing up a tree and flipping over their beloved swingset from the Sears catalog.

As an (supposed) adult, I do try to find ways to come to grips with my insane fear of storms.  Not just for me, but also that I don't appear hysterically fearful and decidedly on the verge of death in front of my kids.  This Mom thing, it's tough.  I've taken to turning my camera to situations I can't control, when I can safely do so, that is, because I'm not chasing storms!  I may not be able to control what is going on around me with the weather, but I can control how I capture it.  I'm not a control freak, I swear!  But, for me, being able to capture the beauty in weather that makes me fearful gives me some ground.

DSC_4469DSC_4469 Captured with Nikon D810.  Nikkor 24-70mm, f/2.8 at 24mm.  ISO 200, f/16, 1/80s.  Edited in Adobe Photoshop with Totally Rad's RadLab and tricks of my own.

Backstory, storms were bearing down on the area of Wisconsin where we were calling home at the time.  We'd only been there two days and weren't terribly familiar with the area or the counties.  Warnings and such, of course, issued by counties and towns.  We had no cell signal.  So, it was batten down the hatches and pray a wee bit.  Make best guesses based on the tv maps!  We missed the 60+ mph winds and the massive hail and as a result, got to watch the storms roll in and then out over Lake Michigan.  Definitely a beautiful experience for us.

[email protected] (One Frame at a Time Photography) #findsomebeauty Lake Michigan Wisconsin clouds storm storm clouds Fri, 14 Aug 2015 05:19:56 GMT
Third Coast Beauty The Brier clan basically went off the grid for a good week.  We rented a house, last minute, on the shores of Lake Michigan.  Yes, we call Chicago home.  Yes, we live about a mile and a half from the lake.  However, this is not the same as living in a house at the end of the lane in rural Wisconsin.  The sounds we were accompanied by were all water based.  Crashing waves or the gentle swish of the tide.  No sirens, no horns, no helicopters.  Far different Third Coast than the one we call home.

The whole family really needed to find some beauty.  Work pressure.  Crazy schedules.  Camp drops offs and pick ups.  Games.  Competitions.  Passing each other in the hallway as one comes in and the other goes out.  Or waving at each other on the road.  It's been that sort of few weeks.  With both kids doing their first sleep away camp, we'd not had both kids home for more than a night for two weeks.  So, we, I searched to find something last minute.  We lucked out.

As a photographer, I always hope for the SOOC (straight out of camera) shot that I don't have to do a single thing with.  Yes, I use Photoshop.  Just like I used to use a darkroom.  Sometimes, though, there is that shot that comes along and I look at it and I think, "if I do a thing to this, I'm going to ruin it."  This photo was one of those.  I think, too, it represents more than the just the beauty of a Lake Michigan sunset (looking east) to me.  It's bigger than that.  It's the relaxing, unwinding, doing nothing, hanging out, lounging and listening to the sound of the surf, and just spending time together. (Did I mention little to no cell signal?) 

DSC_4434Lake Michigan sunset looking east from Oostburg, Wisconsin.

Captured with Nikon D810 with 24-70mm f/2.8.  ISO 200, 66mm, 1/100s, f/4.5.

[email protected] (One Frame at a Time Photography) #findsomebeauty Lake Michigan Wisconsin pastels peace Tue, 11 Aug 2015 04:33:17 GMT
Sometimes all you have to do is step outside It's a hot one here.  After what seemed like endless rain, summer arrived and arrived with a bang, in the 90s.  This clematis seemed to be searching to see if the watering can had anything to give.  There's no real story to tell other than this tiny little flower against my weathered, old English watering can made me smile.  And that is what this challenge is all about.  Finding something to smile about.

clematisclematis Taken with a Samsung Galaxy s5.  Edited in Photoshop with Totally Rad's Rad Lab.

[email protected] (One Frame at a Time Photography) #findsomebeauty Chicago flower former life Tue, 28 Jul 2015 23:53:55 GMT
Beauty in a teaching moment that was accepted I have a 12 year old, soon to be 13 year old daughter.  I call her Booh.  She's my most favorite girl in the world.  I love her with all my heart.  But, if all moms of preteen children were honest, like I'm about to be, I don't always like her.  We butt heads, often.  She's strong willed and independent.  As I want her to be.  Except when I'm trying to tell her something!  She's smart and savvy.  As I want her to be.  Except when I'm trying to save her from a mistake.  She is a good great kid.  She knows, most of the time, that she's being crazy and making me crazy.  And, she apologizes, sometimes, for the whole antics.  I know that I did the same to my mom.  Bad news, my mom is dead so I can't call her and apologize.  Again.

Booh is an only child for a few days, just as Stink was last week.  We all slept in a bit late.  She's an Irish dancer and I'd been gone for the weekend with her on, yet another, tour of exotic Midwestern US locations.  We logged about 600 miles in about 55 hours.  So, we were beat.  Thus, the sleeping in.  She had a private practice again tonight, so after having lunch as family, she and I had but a brief time to do her only child thing.  She called for Dairy Queen.  I said, you do know that not all meals end with dessert, right?  I got the YES. and an eyeroll.  We came back home to drop off the husband/dad to go back to work and for her to pack her bag for dance practice.  We had only about an hour and half to do whatever.  But, NOT Dairy Queen.

She's been asking for some time, to learn how to use the camera I'd purchased for mom about a year before Mom died.  Booh's used it a couple of times, but without help and all on auto.  So, I started packing up that kit and told her we were heading out.  Since it wasn't her plan, I was met with more crappy looks and sighs.  I just kept on going and we drove to Montrose Harbor here in Chicago.  It is one of my absolute favorite places in the city.  Even when bustling with people, you can carve out a quiet bit.  The whole park was alive today.  Lots of beach traffic and boats heading in and out of the harbor.  Fisherman.  Joggers.  Walkers.  Sailors.  Mexican cart vendors with their ices and elote.  Seagulls and the damn geese.  People picnicking.  Blankets on the grass.  Sunbathers.  But, it is still possible to find a moment of peace.  This is where I go when life deals me a curveball and I need to process, to think, to cry, to gain strength.

I've taken the kids there before.  But, this time, I took just Booh and I took the camera.  This time, for her to use.  We talked basic stuff on the way there.  Shutter, aperture, depth of field.  She perked up on DOF and explained what they'd learned in art and how it applied to social studies.  And she was well on the right track and I told her that.  Disdain for this non Dairy Queen adventure seemed to turn a bit at that point.  We found some parking and did some basic, intro to a camera that's not on auto work.  She took to it so easily.  I clearly should have MADE time to do this earlier.  And, somehow, me, the anti-teacher, found some patience.

Booh + CameraNifty Fifty and my girl

(taken with Samsung Galaxy S5, edited in Adobe Photoshop and Totally Rad's RadLab)

I set her up with my nifty fifty.  Nikkor 50mm f/1.4  I let her play with a few other lenses, but we came back to this one.  I learned on a nifty fifty and I, being an old fart, thought it best to teach on that.  We did some aperture work today regarding depth of field (DOF.)  She's dying to do macro work, though.  Sadly, my old macro doesn't respond with this newer body, but I told her, work that lens you've on now.  Push it and try things. DSC_0100Booh's picture (taken with Nikon D3100 and 50mm f/1.4.  1/640s at 50mm, ISO 100, SOOC with no in camera or post processing)

While not tack sharp, I'm proud of her for giving this a shot.  This, along with mid range and far range subjects and changing apertures, I think she's got a decent feel for depth of field.  The much BIGGER thing?!?  She and I worked together.  No fighting.  No sass from her.  No anger from me.  She recognized me as knowing more than her and she let me teach her.  And, I was able to teach her.  It was a beautiful day.


[email protected] (One Frame at a Time Photography) #findsomebeauty Booh the photographer Chicago finding peace flower let it go love my daughter mom for the win Tue, 28 Jul 2015 03:25:16 GMT
Beauty when the Beast sleeps I have to be honest.  He's not really a beast.  But "Beauty when the 10 year old dynamo of a son, after 12 hours, finally stops asking questions and actually sleeps" isn't nearly as catchy.  And, that is what he is.  A 10 year old boy full of questions, wonderment, "what if" situations, and any other, possible thing you could manipulate into a question format.  And, you are a really skilled 10 year old boy, you can ask the same question about 17 times, only repeating the original format 3 times.  Apparently, it is a gift.  For the 10 year old boys.  For me, it isn't.  And it is something that also wears on my patience.

Until now.  He's off to his first sleepaway camp.  Due to a scheduling conflict with the girl's dance, I can't go and be there at camp drop off. Truth be told, probably a good thing.  Let his Da handle it.  Stink, well, he's over the moon!!  Doesn't really care that I can't be there, he's a man of 1001 questions regarding how this whole camp is going to work.  From toilet paper to tournament, he's got a question for that.

Tonight, though, he came upstairs totally unable to sleep.  I asked him if he might be, just, a wee bit excited about this whole thing and that was why he couldn't sleep.  He shrugged, smirked, and gave a little giggle and then admitted he might be a bit nervous and a lot excited.  I tucked him in on the couch and finished up the laundry required to get him off to camp.  I'll kiss him goodbye and he'll go off without me.  He'll be okay.  He will have a good time.  He will make new friends.  We will survive.  His sister will be annoyed he's back.  And life will come back to normal.

So, my this my little beast, beauty with angel kisses dotting his nose and cheekbones.  For the angels only come in the dark of night to kiss the wee ones, protect them with their love, and leave a tiny mark of a freckle.  Can't wait to see how many angels kiss him while he is gone. DSC_4433DSC_4433 Taken with a Nikon D810 and a  24-70mm f/2.8 lens. Specs:  1/100s, f/2.8, 70mm, ISO 4000.  Edited in Adobe Photoshop along with Totally Rad's Rad Lab.

[email protected] (One Frame at a Time Photography) #findsomebeauty angel kisses freckles Sat, 25 Jul 2015 02:44:30 GMT
Beauty and the graveyard My oldest is off at a sleepaway sports camp for the week.  That left the youngest as a temporary only child.  To say he is enjoying it, is an understatement!  Today, he and I decided "to adventure."  His words.  What we chose was something that would leave the older child dead with boredom.  So what better time for this adventure, than when she was gone?

We went to a military museum.  The indoor part of the facility filled with an amazing collection of artifacts (and some memorabilia like model plane collections) from WWI to present day military.  Preserved front pages from Chicago newspapers on significant dates.  Three ring binders full of photos.  Uniforms and medals donated with handwritten notes still attached.  POW items, enemy items, MRE displays, ammunition, models, dioramas, a life sized Elvis cut out in his Army uniform.  It was all there.  Some well preserved vehicles and equipment sprinkled about the large pole barn housing this part of the museum.  After donning a real flak jacket and an Army metal bucket helmet and posing in front of a tank for a photo, we made our way outside.

Wedged between the expressway and a country frontage road, a military equipment graveyard spread out before us.  There were a handful of vehicles (five to be exact) that he was allowed to climb on, through, explore, investigate.  All of which he did, thoroughly.  Pretending to be a gunner in a helicopter.  Driving a Hummer with a shot up windshield complete with his own artillery sounds.  Popping up through the hatch on a tracked vehicle to point and command troops.  He was in full 10 year old boy mode and loving every, single minute of it.  After he was done with that, we ventured out into the rest of the outdoor exhibit. 

Spread out over a dilapidated parking lot and grassy, prairie like areas, were hundreds of military vehicles and equipment.  Tanks, helicopters, jeeps, searchlights, Howitzer guns, planes, missiles, amphibious vehicles, and so on...  We were fascinated by the fact that the tanks were sinking into the pavement.  Proving we really didn't know just how much they weigh.

Being the daughter of a USAF veteran, planes hold a special place in my heart.  It was so sad to see these once great beasts deteriorating in the harsh Lake Michigan winters.  But, I saw what joy it brought my son to wander through this graveyard and explore, read, talk, ask questions, postulate theories, and just explore something he loves.  History.  Specifically, military history.

I spotted these Queen Anne's Lace flowers bobbing their heads in the wind with the (former) military might standing behind them.  How many of the men and women involved in the flight and support of these vehicles once picked the Queen Anne's Lace bouquets for their moms?  Or scampered through a field dreaming of flying one day?  Or have wandered through an equipment graveyard, detailing so much to their mom and will go on to great things?

Queen Anne's Lace is a biennial.  It has a two year life span.  The first year, rising up out of the ground from seed, no flowers and just hope for survival.  The next year, flowers come on in their full glory, but signify and impending death.  Couldn't help but to find the scene ironic with the great flying beasts slowly dying in the background.

queen annes and planesqueen annes and planes

Taken with a Samsung Galaxy s5 and edited with Adobe Photoshop and Totally Rad's Rad Lab.

[email protected] (One Frame at a Time Photography) #findsomebeauty US flower life with 10yo history buff veterans Wed, 22 Jul 2015 06:51:27 GMT
It's a hard day to find beauty. I am the daughter, daughter in law, sister in law, cousin, granddaughter, niece, great niece, great granddaughter, great great... and so and so forth of veterans.  Not to mention my friends, too.  Military roots run long, deep, wide in my family.  I did not serve.  I had a chance at an academy, but I passed.  It wasn't for me.  Even so, I still feel a very deep connection to the US Armed Forces.  My dad was USAF.  I carry his dog tags.  His dress hat sits in a place of honor in my home.  My kids stand still with their hands over their hearts at every National Anthem.  We ALL remove our hats.  Girls, too.  We wanted equal rights, we got 'em.  So, I take off my hat.  Booh does, too.  My heart breaks tonight.

Again, this was taken, roughly, a year ago.  My heart was heavy with emotion while we visited the war memorials.  So thankful, but so devastated.  Tonight, I am having the same feelings swirling around.  God bless and God speed those involved in the tragedy in Tennessee.  My prayers and my thoughts are with the families, the friends of the soldiers lost and with the USMC and all the men and women who serve our country.

Bless our veterans

Taken with Nikon D600, Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 lens.  36mm, f/2.8, 1/4000sec, ISO 200.  Edited in Adobe Photoshop with Totally Rad's Rad Lab and some tricks of my own, too.

[email protected] (One Frame at a Time Photography) #findsomebeauty US Washington DC oldie but goodie safe keepers veterans Fri, 17 Jul 2015 06:11:31 GMT
Old beauty I'm a stay at home mom of two, very active kids.  One could argue "very active" because my husband and I move Heaven and Earth to keep them active.  Active in the summer sometimes often cuts into my my time.  Who am I kidding?  It's not just summer time!  But, I'm happy to be able to do for my kids.  Not really complaining!!!  I'm going to be gone for the girl's Irish dance comps both this weekend and next.  She's off to lacrosse camp in between those competition weekends and the boy is off to lacrosse camp the second weekend I'm gone.  Right now, a flurry of laundry, supply gathering, etc.  I've not packed them before for a sleep away camp (first for both of them) so there is some Mom anxiety tossed in there, too.  And not just the anxiety of not packing sunscreen or bug spray.

I've not forgotten my endeavour to #findsomebeauty in each day.  I've grabbed a couple of shots on my phone to find them rather gross once I looked at them!  I need to make a conscious effort to start packing my camera with me each day.  I would like state, though, that my cell phone has more megapixels than my first digital and is a damn good camera under the right conditions!  The conditions I've shot under in the past few days, I would have been far better served to have my "real" camera with me.  (See above about packing it with me each day.)  So due to my technical difficulties, I'm sharing some beauty I found about this time last year.

We'd packed it up as a family and headed to Washington DC where both the kids competed in Irish dance.  We took the long way home via a more Southern route that took us through Kentucky's beautiful horse country and the Bourbon Trail.  This may, or may not, have been "accidentally" planned on my part.  Ahem.

I took this photo at the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky.  We didn't have a specific game plan and were hitting the distilleries on the trail in a hodge podge manner.  Many were sold out.  Poor planning on our part.  However, we found a gem here.  And are looking forward to going back again to visit.  Even the kids were engaged and interested as we clambered through old, old buildings and learned a little history.  This capture is a warehouse where they age the whiskey.  You could smell the Angel's Cut wafting through the open windows.  My kids and my husband had wandered on towards the parking lot and all turned around and gave me a heavy sigh.  Mom.  Again.  With the camera.  "Are you seriously taking a picture of a wall?"  Yes, yes, I am.  I hope that I can encourage them to #findsomebeauty in things like a warehouse wall.  And, to their credit, when I sat down that night and started editing photos from our adventures today, I heard "okay, now the wall makes more sense."

DSC_4619Buffalo Trace Distillery Warehouse Captured with Nikon D600, Nikon 28-70mm f/2.8.  Exposure info 70mm; 1/640 sec; f/3.2; ISO 100, bright slightly overcast day.

[email protected] (One Frame at a Time Photography) #findsomebeauty Buffalo Trace Distillery Kentucky oldie but goodie Wed, 15 Jul 2015 02:17:36 GMT
Beauty, exhausted. I have two children.  I'll call them Booh (a not quite 13yo girl) and Stink (just shy of 11yo boy.)  I love them more than I ever thought I could possibly love.  They also annoy me more than I ever thought I could possibly be annoyed.  By all accounts, they are good kids.  I'm lucky and blessed, even though I want to go all Homer on them at times and give 'em a good Bart Strangle.

They are both very active kids.  I log hours at basketball, volleyball, football, baseball, drama, art, and choir.  In addition, both play lacrosse year round.  On top of that, they are both Irish dancers.  Booh is much more serious about dance.  It's her full time, primary sport.  Stink does it here and there, when it suits him.

Today was one of the days we look forward to all year long.  Our annual performance at the Irish American Heritage Center's Irish Fest.  Both kids danced and then, the dress clothes were off and the fun was on.  Unlike another fave, Gaelic Park's Irish Fest, there is no carnival, but the kids seem to make their own fun.  Green River and ice cream for them.  Bangers, chips, fish, and beers for the adults.  It is a little enclave on the northside where we can let the kids roam and just kick back with our parent friends.  The kids came up with their own games in the side yard of the building.  Keeping each other entertained.  No outsiders needed.  Well, except for outsider (aka Mean Mom) intervention regarding tackle football over a flip flop is not a good idea and the port-a-pot is NOT a toy/hide and seek place, that is.  They played hard.  Hard.

And, this it he result.  It's not a good photo, but it captures that final moment at the fest.  That blob on the stage?  That's Stink.  Taking a nap.  Game. Over. Man.  Fun well had.  Beautiful night.


[email protected] (One Frame at a Time Photography) #findsomebeauty Chicago Irish Fest exhaustion friendship life is good summer in the city Sat, 11 Jul 2015 07:17:57 GMT
Small towns, big city Chicago is a beautiful and amazing city.  Despite my love/hate relationship with this city, it is now, my home.  "Chicago" is what I answer, now, when someone asks me, "where are you from?" There is a local commercial that equates this city to being made up of a bunch of small towns that are all gathered into one big city.  Likening the neighborhoods to the small towns scattered about the non-city Midwest.  Having grown up in a small town in the Midwest, I would say that it is NOT a stretch to say that about the neighborhoods here.  Store clerks in our neighborhood know us by face, if not name.  We bump into families from school and our sports teams, daily.  Our involvement in sports has lead us to meet and make friends in other communities.  Which we run into, all the time, too.  A city made up of small towns, yes, I can get on board with that.

I was struck, today, by something I see all the time.  The steps leading up to the L in the Loop.  The trains listed on the risers.  The rainbow of the lines written out in plain type to make it easy to navigate.  Simple words, designating the the terminal points for each line.   What, I saw, though, was the myriad of neighborhoods the L passes through.  A shiny, silver snake that winds its way through the city.  That connects so many neighborhoods, vastly different, to one another.  Linking them all together.  Small towns.  Big city.  For a small town Indiana girl, finding comfort in a neighborhood in a big city, that is beauty. 

And those four ripped off placards above the Orange Line/Midway, well, I'm intrigued.
L stairsL stairs Taken with Samsung Galaxy S5.  Edited in PS along with Totally Rad's RadLab.  Blur intentional.


[email protected] (One Frame at a Time Photography) #findsomebeauty Chicago the L Fri, 10 Jul 2015 04:46:38 GMT
Beauty in Destruction I live in a neighborhood undergoing a lot of transformation.  Not really gentrification.  We moved in, 11 years ago, at the end of that phase.  Others blazed the trail and we were happy to find our way into a warm, quiet, safe community with a quaint little gazebo park and streets completely canopied by ancient trees.  Now, it seems that a lot of the multi-family buildings and rental buildings are meeting their demise.  Some sadly, some not so sadly.  Some of the new construction is amazing.  Some, leaves me shaking my head.  Still, what remains is my fascination with the demolition process.  I don't know what it is that fascinates me about this, but I'm drawn in.  Watching the whole procedure.  It might be that something that took months, or more, to build can be gone in the matter of a day or two.  Perhaps it is, even though a destructive process, it is carefully planned and executed.  Mostly, though, I think it is because it seems as if the coming and goings of all the residents of all the years past are suddenly exposed to the elements, ripped open, and shown to the world.  And, I find that fascinating.

I think, sometimes (or a lot of the time,) I see and feel things others don't.  I frequently get odd looks or the "uh huh" expression from my family and friends.  This could explain the "weird" label that was has been attached to me throughout my life.  And perhaps, this is one of those moments that would get me that label.  I saw this, today, on a walk through the neighborhood.  Not sure if anyone else will find this "beautiful," but I did.  At some point, someone had a lot of fun putting all those handprints there.  And, as I peered through the remnants of the walls yet to fall, it made me smile and brought me some joy.  In my book, that is beautiful.


Taken with a Samsung Galaxy S5.  Edited in Photoshop along with Totally Rad! RadLab

[email protected] (One Frame at a Time Photography) #findsomebeauty Chicago demolition destruction Thu, 09 Jul 2015 03:50:39 GMT
Chasing beauty I'm only on day two of my project, but I do admit, I've been thinking about this for a long while.  I've shot ahead.  I've toyed with the idea and I've taken many shots.  Some of which I tossed immediately.  I, now, regret that.  I want to this to be something that comes from living in a moment, enjoying a moment, pondering a moment.  Finding a light in the dark.  The smile under a frown.  Or just having fun.

I took this photo about a week ago while strolling home from the 7/11 at the end of my block.  I've passed this scene too many times to count.  Yet, this was the first time I noticed these chairs at the end of the gangway, perched in a backyard.  I would like to think it was the position of the sun shining down on them that finally brought them to my attention.  Truth is, it might be that I actually looked around my block instead of plowing ahead to my destination.

red chairsRed chairs at the end of the gangway Taken with Samsung Galaxy S5, edited with Photoshop and Totally Rad's Rad Lab.

#findsomebeauty #oneframephotog

[email protected] (One Frame at a Time Photography) #findsomebeauty Chicago gangway Wed, 08 Jul 2015 01:27:20 GMT
Finding beauty in the humdrum daily grind I am a resident of Chicago.  Chicago proper.  Just a short walk to Wrigley Field.  My home situated between two L lines and the constant, distant rumble of trains.  Nonstop horns and sirens.  The occasional staccato rip of (mostly) distant gunfire.  The blatherings of a mayor and a police chief constantly telling me crime is down while I watch neighbor sites and blogs report the exact opposite.  Even the news reports that come after the talking heads, don't bolster that "crime is down" mantra.  The city is going broke.  Bills can't be paid.  Strikes loom.  Taxes are going up.  New taxes are being created almost daily, it seems.  My feet seem sluggish and my head would hang low if it didn't need to be on constant swivel to keep from being an easy target.

Once upon a time, though, when I first moved here, I slowly fell in love with this city, despite being alone, removed from my family and my (then) career and uprooting my life for my spouse to pursue his dream.   I started exploring the nooks and crannies with my human baby in tow.  My camera, my former baby, I'd had to leave behind for my former career.  Now, the camera baby was tucked in the stroller basket or on the passenger seat next to me.  I still didn't really have any friends, but I had my camera and I had a vast city to explore.  Yes, I ended up places I probably should not have been, but I got out there.  I was looking at the canvas of Chicago with a clean, unjaded eye and I was exploring all that I could.  I was taking some typical tourist shots, but they were mine and I was happy to be out with camera in hand.  As the newness of the city wore off, I tried to dissect things more and find details some people, or my friends and family from my more rural upbringing, wouldn't think would were even remotely possibly in the city.  I had fun with that.  Then, I let life get in the way and I found myself with my camera less and less and more and more time being spent running here and there as my, now, two kids got older and more active.  I don't regret that and I'm still running here and there all the time and wouldn't trade that for the world.

What I do regret is letting the negativity that comes with this city seep into my head, my eyes, my heart.  It's hard not to let that happen.  So much ugly going on around here.  And, that ugly, like I said, I've let get to me.  That's not who I am, nor who I want to be.  So, I'm challenging myself to find something beautiful in each day.  It doesn't have to be anything earth shattering, mind blowing, or a perfect photo that garners $ for me.  It doesn't have to be a sweeping panorama that could grace a billboard or an action shot SI would covet.  It might be my "good" camera, it might be my cell phone.  I just want  NEED to find something beautiful in each day.  I would challenge all of you to do the same.  Especially if you've ever felt a bit like me, just mucking away and slogging along and that isn't you or how you want to be.  Let's get out there and find some beauty in our every day lives.

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viola and cigaretteviola and cigarette

Viola and cigarette butt - love the gumption of this petite little beauty to fight for ground in a sidewalk crack while the grime of the city seems to go on around it.  (captured with Samsung Galaxy S5, edited in Photoshop with RadLab)

[email protected] (One Frame at a Time Photography) #findsomebeauty Chicago Tue, 07 Jul 2015 04:14:26 GMT