a musician, songwriter, and performer based near Chicago

Something New 2:54
a song about the dangers of Digital Marketing
Be Here Now 04:06
a song co-written with Matt Stankiewicz
Standing in Line 04:38
Is it better to dump or be dumped?

Here’s today’s shot.

roots of the treet
Interesting to think about the way the elements eroded the roots of the tree.

I took today’s photo in Morton Grove, IL, behind the shopping center where the old Chernin’s Shoes was.  It was an autumn day (see the leaves!) and I was there to take photos for my friends Gary and Lancy getting engaged.

I saw this upended tree and thought the spectacle of the exposed roots was worth a shot. Didn’t do anything special for settings. Just point and shoot with my Sony a700.

I’m certainly no nature expert so I’m not sure if this tree’s roots separating the soil was the result of natural erosion or if the stream is a man made thing but it was a thing to behold.

Just when you think you’ve seen every possible weather combination, Mother Nature delivers something new: a lightning blizzard.

Here in Chicago, the weather service warned about the impending weather pattern for 3 days. They said to expect 21 inches of snow in a day. I heard the rate would be somewhere around 3 inches per hour through the night.  Of course, Chicagoans expect under-delivery on big weather predictions. 2 feet usually turns out to be 9 inches and 12 inches often becomes 5.

The Lightning Blizzard Arrives

Today though, mother nature made good on her promise.  Right on the weatherman’s call, the winds started to swirl around 2pm. The gusts blew an ungodly amount of powder through the air without pause.  Having walked through a mile of the storm back from work, I can attest that this was the most disruptive winter event I’ve seen. It’s not bitterly cold but the winds are incredibly high and are pushing more snow back up through the air than I can ever recall.  I wore full coverage sunglasses for my entire walk and still had trouble looking up from the ground.

Don’t Fight It, Enjoy the View

So, I’m staying at home tonight. Considering the power and rarity of the event, I thought I’d snap a few photos from the safety of our 3rd floor apartment.   I shot these around 10pm on Tuesday night.

Lightning Blizzard Chicago
Facing Northwest – Lightning Blizzard Chicago 2011
Lightning Blizzard Chicago
Facing Southwest – Lightning Blizzard Chicago 2011
Lightning Blizzard Chicago
Facing Northwest – Lightning Blizzard Chicago 2011

For more information and photos of lightning blizzards or “thunder snow”, check out this weather.com article, the Wiki and this great Quora answer.

Continuing in the series I started about Concert Photography, I thought I’d share some thoughts about shooting the solo singer guitarist performer specifically.

Pete Stein: a solo singer-songwriter from Knoxville, TN

A friend of mine from Williams College is touring right now and swung through Chicago last night.  He had a gig set up at the historic Elbo Room so I grabbed my Sony a700 and went with a friend.