Earlier this week, I went down to Chicago for a couple of days. Had a chance to spend an hour or two each day on Michigan Avenue shooting people on the street. I haven’t done much of that since early November, so it felt good to get out there and try some things I can’t do at home.
The first two days, it was at dusk and shortly after sunset that I had time, so there were challenges with light. I was able to overcome this by shooting at water tower place, where there were suspended holiday lights over the walkway. For the rest, I found bright store windows and worked with catching people in the light.
On the last day, though, it was warm, for late December, and sunny. I spent most of the time looking for pools of light reflected off buildings and illuminating patches in the shadows, so I could catch people as they moved through them. This was a little harder than I thought, since you need the correct angle from the sun, as well as the right sort of windows doing the reflecting into a place where people could be illuminated from a suitable angle. In spite of this, I did find a few areas that were quite productive.For the most part, I wasn’t trying for tack sharp images, which would have been tough in the lighting conditions I was working in. And the use of 1600 ISO during the evening added to the graininess of those images. I worked to have a sense of motion and emotion to come through. Some photos captured this better than others, especially a few of the dusky photos, such as here, where a face emerged from near-darkness.
One side note: it was curious how many other non-tourist photographers I observed; at least 6 – 8 on Thursday. So I wasn’t alone.