Photography, Preservation

Welcome to Chinatown

Chinatown, Chicago

Our visit to Chicago included a ride on the L down to Chinatown. We just wanted to see it.

Chinatown Metra stop, Chicago

Our view of it began as we exited the train. It stretches out right there before you.

Chinatown, Chicago

Our visit consisted mostly of walking down and back up Chinatown’s main drag, Wentworth Avenue. We were surprised by how varied the buildings’ facades were.

Chinatown, Chicago
Chinatown, Chicago
Chinatown, Chicago

Ours were the only Caucasian faces out and about here this Sunday morning. While nobody appeared to give us a second glance as we walked and made photographs, I had a distinct feeling of not belonging.

Chinatown, Chicago

At least the Chinese Christian Union Church had a very kind word for everyone, emblazoned on the side of their building.

Chinatown, Chicago

Canon PowerShot S95

Click here to get Down the Road in your inbox or reader six days a week!

Advertisements
Standard
Cathedral

Turbaned man passing a Catholic church by
Canon PowerShot S95
2018

Have you ever made a photograph and then, later, you noticed something in it that made the image? This is one of those times for me.

Margaret and I happened upon St. Peter’s Church, on W. Madison St. in the Loop in Chicago. It’s such a stunning structure that we had to pause for photographs. Madison St. is relatively narrow, and I couldn’t back up enough to capture the whole building. So I looked for interesting framing within what I could capture.

The building’s symmetry appealed to me — my goodness, but do I love symmetry — so I went for that. Then today, while reviewing these images, I noticed the man in the turban passing by. What a joyful juxtaposition!

Photography

single frame: Turbaned man passing a Catholic church by

.

Image

I made thousands of photos in 2018. I like these ten best.

Debra

Debra. Pentax ME, 50mm f/1.4 SMC Pentax-M, Fujifilm Superia X-tra 800.

1996

1996. Minolta XG 1, 50mm f/1.4 MD Rokkor-X, Ultrafine Xtreme 100.

Cad fin

Cad fin. Canon AE-1 Program, 50mm f/1.8 Canon FD, Agfa Vista 200 (at EI 100)

On St. Clair St.

On St. Clair St. Pentax ME, 35mm f/2.8 SMC Pentax-A, Agfa APX 100 (x-7/98)

Wheeler Mision

Wheeler Mission. Kodak Brownie Starmatic, Kodak Ektar 100

Lafayette alley

Lafayette alley. Kodak VR35 K40, Kodak Max 400 (expired)

On the beach in Ocean City, MD

On the beach in Ocean City, MD. Canon PowerShot S95.

Under the Clock

Under the clock. Pentax KM, 55mm f/1.8 SMC Pentax, Kodak T-Max 400.

Ballroom

Ballroom. Pentax KM, 55mm f/1.8 SMC Pentax, Kodak T-Max 400.

One Nine Five *EXPLORED*

One Nine Five. Yashica Electro 35 GSN. Kodak Tri-X 400.

Photography

Ten favorite photos of 2018

Here are the ten photos I made in 2018 that I like most.

Image
Photography

Christmas in Millennium Park

Happy Christmas to you and yours!

While Margaret and I had our long weekend in Chicago earlier this month, the big Christmas tree in Millennium Park drew our attention. Here are some photos I made of it. Enjoy!

Christmas tree in Millennium Park, Chicago
Christmas tree in Millennium Park, Chicago
Christmas tree in Millennium Park, Chicago
Christmas tree in Millennium Park, Chicago
Christmas tree in Millennium Park, Chicago
Christmas tree in Millennium Park, Chicago

Canon PowerShot S95

Standard
Photography

Chicago at Christmas on Kodak T-Max P3200

Christmas at Macy's

I loaded my Nikon F3 with Kodak’s resurrected T-Max P3200 film and took it along on our early-December trip to Chicago. It was to be a gray weekend, and we were going to be walking about a lot after dark. That seemed like a perfect opportunity to try this nominal ISO 800 film that cheerfully pushes to 3200.

Wooden soldier

It was so much fun to shoot anywhere and everywhere — indoors, after dark, on an overcast afternoon — at generous apertures and shutter speeds. I was too busy having fun to take notes, but I think I was shooting at f/8 anywhere I wanted with shutter speeds of at least 1/30 second. I never had to worry about camera shake. 

Macy's Christmas

The first two photos are from the Christmas display inside Macy’s on State Street. Here’s a shot of Macy’s exterior all decorated for the holiday. The P3200 needs just a little ambient light to make a plenty usable image.

Marshall Field & Co.

Macy’s bought the former Marshall Field department-store chain. I miss Marshall Field.

Christkindlmarkt

We also walked through Christkindlmarkt twice. The first time was on a busy Saturday afternoon and the second was early on a Monday when we had the place largely to ourselves.

Bulbs at Christkindlmarkt

I shot an ISO 100 film on our Chicago trip last year. That slow film gave me limited depth of field, which limited what I could do. Not so this P3200 — I could shoot up close and choose just how much blurred background I’d get.

Dragon at Christkindlmarkt

Christkindlmarkt offers so many subjects: the market itself, the individual booths, the wares in each booth, and the people enjoying themselves. 

Wooden toys at Christkindlmarkt

The P3200 let me photograph any of it in pretty much any way I pleased. I’ve never had so much flexibility in bad light with a film camera.

Christkindlmarkt

So many people wander Christkindlmarkt with their cameras out that I don’t feel as self-conscious as usual about photographing people. But I’m happy I didn’t notice until this roll was back from the processor that this fellow here spotted me in the act.

Selling nuts at Christkindlmarkt

One night we walked over to Millennium Park to take in the Christmas fun. The ice-skating rink was open late.

Ice skating at Millennium Park

The P3200 wasn’t fast enough to let me freeze the skaters as they sped by. I suppose you can’t have everything.

Ice skating at Millennium Park

We also explored the Great Hall at Union Station. It’s gorgeous; you should see it.

Polar Express, Union Station, Chicago

It, too, was all decked out for the holiday. You might not be able to make it out, but this Christmas tree is decorated with logos from various railroads, past and present.

Christmas tree, Union Station, Chicago

I had a ball shooting Kodak T-Max P3200. Anywhere I went, in virtually any lighting conditions, my Nikon F3 could get a solid exposure and I could make an image.

As you can see, the images I got have good sharpness (through my 35mm f/2.8 AI Nikkor lens) and decent tonality. I especially enjoy the rich blacks this film returned.

These images would make lovely snapshot-sized prints. I’ll bet they’d even make usable 5x7s. But the grain becomes more pronounced the larger you make these images. Click any of them to see them on Flickr, and then click the image there to see it at full scan size. You’ll see: the grain is giant. Fortunately, it’s also really pleasing — and subjects hold their definition.

I’ll definitely buy more P3200 and keep it on ice for gray-day and nighttime shooting. Shooting these two rolls and seeing the wonderful results was a real joy.

Click here to get Down the Road in your inbox or reader six days a week!

Standard
Photography

Chicago all decorated for Christmas

Union Station, Chicago

On our recent long weekend in Chicago, the town was all decked out for Christmas. We’d never been to Union Station before, so we stepped in to see its stunning Great Hall.

Union Station, Chicago

I can’t imagine all the work the city has to put in to wrap so many trees with little lights. The trees are lit on street after street in the Loop.

Lit trees

We walked north across the Chicago River for dinner. The buildings along the river were lit in red and green, and terraces were strung with lights.

December evening on the Chicago River
December evening on the Chicago River *EXPLORED*
December evening on the Chicago River
Looking up at the Merchandise Mart

I live in a small Indiana town that seriously decorates its downtown for Christmas, and it’s charming. But it can’t touch what Chicago has done if for no other reason than its sheer scale.

Chicago Cultural Center

Come back Christmas Day and I’ll show you photographs of the giant Christmas tree in Millennium Park. It’s stunning!

Canon PowerShot S95

Click here to get Down the Road in your inbox or reader six days a week!

Standard