“You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.”
I love this quote and I stand in awe of Ansel Adams’ book of work.
But, as I learned from my first Out of Chicago photography conference, you do make a photo with a camera, and a lens, and a tripod, and increasingly sophisticated software.
I have a long way to go.
Still, I thoroughly enjoyed myself as I rubbed shoulders with some of the country’s most talented street photographers, learned about post-production techniques and found myself trapped by an overzealous, under-mommied security guard.
I loved it all.
My first session, with the inspiring Marie Laigneau, pumped me up so much that I skipped lunch and headed out to shoot a few street scenes around Chicago.
I wanted to capture the contrasts in a city I’d grown to love, and I lost all track of time and self as I worked my way down to the lakefront, where the ITU World Triathlon happened to be taking place. I snapped away, thrilled to be in the midst of such concentrated talent.
A tactical error landed me just in front of a barricade on Lakeshore Drive, with great access to the transition area but also directly in the sight line of a crazed race official.
I’m not sure what set him off, but he yelled in the general direction of me and all of the other race fans gathered behind me.
“I’m through being nice. I hope you all went to the bathroom because it’s going to be a long time before I let you cross this street!”
A long time turned out to be 93 minutes, but who’s counting?
What a nut.
Eventually, we stormed the barricades and headed across, sun-burnt, parched, collectively late for our various events and utterly triumphant. Viva la revolucion!
Enjoy these basically unedited pictures I snapped with a camera that needs a new lens. I had hoped to capture the contrasts I found. While I remain thrilled by the experience, I am less than excited about the photos I made.
I plan to invest in the art of photography in the coming year and I can’t wait to attend the Out of Chicago conference next year.
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