26,271 steps Out of Chicago

Sunday was a heck of a day for me at the Out of Chicago conference. I wound up waking up early (like 5:30AM early) and couldn’t sleep. I had nothing to do before 8:30 when my first session was set to start.

A photographer alone in a new city, unencumbered by anything other than photographic gear always has something to do.

So I headed out for a little photowalk. A black Venti Pike in my left hand, a silver X100F in my right, I hit the streets before most of Chicago was even awake.

(Please click on the images to open them in a lightbox. They’ll look a lot better!)

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Later on, it was time for a street photography photowalk with Marie Laigneau. I learned more than anything else I have a lot to learn about street photography. But I think I got a few interesting shots in, nonetheless.

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I went out for a walk at lunch (what else is there to do, really?) and headed for Millennium Park, which was totally overrun by tourists. The Bean, a must-see piece of public sculpture, is surrounded by throngs of people and is almost impossible to shoot “cleanly”. So I didn’t even bother trying. It makes for some pretty compelling abstracts, though. Rick Sammon’s closing talk at the end of the day inspired my to play around with colour, in honour of the day’s Pride festivities.

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After lunch it was time for yet another photowalk, this time with Angie McMonigal, an exceptionally talented architecture and fine art photographer. She’s really nice, too! Our walk was centred around architecture (naturally) and I think this is where I came into my element a little more.

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After all that, it was time to head back and put my tired feet up.

Photowalking in the Loop

Today was a day of lectures and a photowalk with the one & only Valérie Jardin, where she helped us put the theory of street photography to practice.

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In for Out of Chicago

I am so privileged to be able to attend this year’s Out of Chicago summer conference, in, you guessed it, Chicago.

It’s a 2½ day gathering of photographic enthusiasts and pros, where we get together, network, learn from the best and most importantly, get out and shoot!

Chicago is really a photogenic city unlike any other. Vibrant street life, incredible architecture, characters all around. It’s going to be a great weekend!

Not so suite

Modern suburban mid-range hotels are strange. We all know who stays there: families on road trips and business travelers. People who want to be anywhere else, like home. 

These hotels are waypoints, not destinations.

And yet, they couch themselves in an aura of fake “luxury,” by calling their rooms “suites” and dolling up the reception areas with a thin veneer of modernity and aspirational luxe.

But the rooms themselves offer no illusion.

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DTW is cooler than I thought

The last time I changed planes in Detroit—too many years ago to admit—DTW was a dingy, dusty, musty terminal that seemed firmly planted in its 1960’s roots and desperately in need of a refresh. It was a hub for Northwest Airlines and certainly lived up to “Northworst’s” reputation.

My how things have changed.


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Bright, airy, modern. Good food. Good coffee. What more could you want?


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Photo Essay #12: High Tension


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There are high tension power lines not terribly far from my home, that connect the Québec power grid to Ontario’s. Most of the line runs through rural farmland, and the towers are built using the standard, relatively cheap and ugly steel framing that we’re all familiar with.

When this power line passes through the built-up areas of the cookie-cutter suburban subdivisionland that is Orléans, these ugly steel towers are upgraded to these relatively good-looking, sleek, modern posts. They still stick out (that’s their job) but at least they look half-decent doing so.

I took a few minutes to examine one of these monters up close when I was on a bike ride yesterday. “Solid” only begins to describe how they’re built.

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