Tag Archives: Chicago photojournalism

Chicago’s Victorian Heritage

Chicago is a virtual museum of Victorian-era structures.  Sure, an enormous number of buildings were destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, but those were in the downtown and near north area. If you explore Old Town and parts of Lincoln Park today you will discover a treasure trove of Victorian houses and commercial buildings. This just adds to the reputation of Chicago as one of the world’s finest cities for architectural excellence.

Cover photo shoot for Orthodontic Products

Dr Derek Bock and his wife Dr Anokhi Bock are an orthodontist and a pediatric dentist, respectively.  They share a practice in the Chicago suburb of Lake Forest and their business was highlighted in the current issue of Orthodontic Product magazine, and I had the privilege of photographing them and their staff. On a recent morning in August, their office was more like a summer camp with dozens of children from five to 18 filling all areas of the office, and I needed to navigate this near-chaos as I was setting up my array of photographs. Ultimately, it was a fun morning and everyone was tremendously cooperative, and didn’t see one grimace from a kid having their braces tightened.

Chicago’s Big Dig

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Meade has been involved in some of the largest utility-related projects in Chicago for the past 108 years. Clients depend on Meade for all types of design, construction, and maintenance of electrical power and natural gas distribution systems and telecommunications technologies. I spent three chilly days documenting the installation of a natural gas pipeline under the Kennedy Expressway. The massive equipment belied the level of precision needed for this project to be successful–the pipes had to meet up within millimeters under the expressway. Exacting work, and a fascinating photo shoot.

Wicker Park Collage

An apartment rental agency located in the trendy/funky/arty neighborhood of Wicker Park needed a visual representation of the high points of the immediate area to assist them in renting local properties.  They contacted me to produce a 20-foot wide mural of the nearby attractions.  The dozens of images in this collage include churches, school, restaurants, clubs, signage, nightlife, public spaces, and people simply enjoying the vibrant neighborhood.

Wicker Park Collage

Physical Therapy Clinic

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The University of Illinois Chicago and Rush Hospital recently combined forces and opened a state of the art physical therapy clinic.  With abundant space and several treatment rooms, they are much better able to accommodate their large and diverse patient base. I was hired to shoot images of the therapists working so large prints could be displayed around the clinic.

Fulton Street Market

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For the past dozen years, Randolph Street just west of the Loop became the de facto Restaurant Row, fueled by Oprah’s Harpo Studio, the United Center, and a boom in residential development.  Now that expansion is exploding onto the nearby Fulton Street Market area making awkward neighbors of the upscale restaurants and the historic meat packing plants and produce markets.  With the advent of new restaurants and galleries, rents are rising and the meat and produce companies are feeling the pinch.  They provide so much of the character that brought the new tenants to the area in the first place, it would be a shame to have them chased from the neighborhood.  Adding to this mix is the soon-to-be-completed Google headquarters and the showplace Morgan Street transit station; growth is inevitable and change is in the air.

ShamROCK Chicago Going Green

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In the week leading up to St. Patrick’s Day, about two dozen Chicago buildings and icons were illuminated green to showcase Chicago’s Irish pride.  This Global GREENing project (locally called ShamROCK Chicago) also saw famous landmarks around the world also lit green, such as the Sydney Opera House and the Eiffel Tower.  I was commissioned by Tourism Ireland to document all the local buildings glowing green; an amazing project except that the Chicago winter was cruel that week and my fingers were turning green from frostbite. That might be a lot of Blarney, but these photos are colorful evidence that Chicago is the most Irish city this side of Dublin.

Chicago Urban Farms

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Urban farm, it almost sounds like an oxymoron, but trust me, it isn’t. These farms are sprouting up (no pun intended) all over Chicago and other urban areas, and represent an efficient way to re-purpose under-utilized warehouse space in the city, often in economically distressed areas. Plus, they offer a tremendous opportunity for small-scale organic farmers to ply their trade in a supportive and mega-green environment.

I recently had the occasion to photograph two such urban farms: The Plant and Iron Street Farm. The former calls itself “a net-zero energy vertical farm and food business operation” whose purpose is to “promote closed-loop food production and sustainable economic development through education and research.” Now that’s a mouthful (no pun intended). And the later is a “seven-acre site on Chicago’s south side that produces local, healthy, and sustainable food year-round with a focus on serving, training, and engaging vulnerable populations.” Urban farms produce a wide range of products including cheese, vegetables, mushrooms, honey, beer, compost, and even fish. I suspect when we sang “Old McDonald had a farm” this wasn’t exactly the type of farm we were referring to.

 

Dancers Promote Non-Violence

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Alumni from the Kids Can Dance group in Evanston performed a series of dances yesterday at Evanston Township High School. The theme was non-violence, an appropriate message considering the rash of violence plaguing teens locally and around the country. The program is being done in conjunction with “Ten Thousand Ripples”, an art project featuring ten Buddha sculptures being installed around the city, much like the cow exhibit of several years ago.

Chicago Auto Show

Earlier this month, more than one million people came to McCormick Place to visit the world’s largest indoor parking lot, often referred to as the Chicago Auto Show.  For the auto aficionado, this was a once-a-year opportunity to touch the cars you only dream about: Ford, Chevy, Honda, Kia, and even Hyundai.  And those lucky few willing to wait in long lines had the heart-stirring experience of sitting in the front seat and looking out the same windshield that people who actually own these cars will look through.  This is heady stuff.  But the show appealed to the mind and not just the passions of the attendees–vital information could be gleaned from the knowledgeable staff at the show: Does the F-150 come in diesel?  How many cup holders in a Mini-Cooper?  Are floor mats here to stay?  With hundreds of cars buffed to a blinding patina, and the entire convention floor reeking of that “new car smell”, this was the ultimate in Auto Erotica. For me, the highlight was seeing a 1969 black GTO, that sexy muscle car that Gregg and I took across country in the ultimate road trip which became the basis of my book “On the Road”.

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