Photo of the Day: On the Way to Work

Another photo to ponder.

The crowd of pedestrians wait to cross the road at Irving Park, on the way to work
The crowd of pedestrians wait to cross the road at Irving Park, on the way to work

This photo is facing south on Keystone Avenue, looking at oncoming east and westbound traffic on Irving Park Road in Chicago.., IL.

It was at the end of the walk I do to the train every work day that I don’t ride my bike. These folks are waiting for the streetlight to change so they can cross the street, most likely to get on the Irving Park Blue Line el train.

Rehearsal for Reunion

And now… for the moment no one’s been waiting for…

My cousin and good friend Don Shea and I got together tonight to rehearse some old songs. We’ve been in a few bands together but tonight we rehearsed the real crusty oldies from a band we started back in 2002 called the Pubic Hares.

As you can imagine, the subject matter was a bit blue and, being an acoustic rock duo in the early 2000s, we showcased a strong Tenacious D influence. Still, we had a vibe all our own and played shows and parties for the better part of 3 years. It only faded because we got a little tired of the infantile humor and we both joined a far more serious and somber band, Righteous Truth Pail (but that’s a blog for another day!).

Anyway, I don’t feel the need to give a full recap to the rehearsal but, suffice it to say, we sound eerily similar to the way we did then. For some, that might be really horrible news. In any event, we had some fun and may trot out the old setlist for an upcoming get together, along with a few new ones that not many people have heard. I’m particularly excited to hear what people think of my post-fatherhood song, “All Out.”

Photo of the Day: Upended Tree Shows Roots, Morton Grove, IL

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.

Lightning & Thunder Blizzard in Chicago

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.

Concert Photography: Shooting the Solo Singer Guitarist

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.