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Chicago & The Lomography Blues

I decided to take a last minute trip to Chicago which is fairly close to Michigan. I needed a break from my "routine" and it was their Pride weekend so I thought, do it! Last minute trip or not, I always think about what I'm going to shoot so I pack carefully because film photography has many moving parts; literally. I love adding plastic cameras because they weigh nothing. I'm completely over heavy bags and complicated set ups.

I packed two Holgas both 120 but I outfitted one with a 35 mm film back that I knew I wouldn't re-load. If you've used one you already know that you need total darkness to rewind the film and a black changing bag was not going with me. I also packed three Lomo LCAs. They're small and magical. All said and done with my tripod, cameras, and film my bag was maybe ten pounds.

Chicago has a different vibe than New York I often compare the two. I find it to be more earthy; the smell of urine is faint but prevalent throughout downtown. There is a homeless problem there so don't be surprised if someone follows you into a restaurant and asks for money. I went to Einstein's for a bagel and I was surprised to see this very large restaurant without a single table or chair in sight. Not one. It was buy and eat elsewhere so I went down to the riverfront.

When I travel I like to start upon arrival and this time was no different. I worked about 6 hours that took me into late afternoon. After a three hour siesta I headed back out after dark with my tripod. The city was buzzing and I was glad to have the company. I had gorgeous weather all day but as history often repeats itself it began to down pour after 1ish thereby ending my first day.

I'm not sure if it was the two Red Bulls that was given to me, and I drank double fisted, or stupidity, but I was super brazen with my night shooting. I was walking by an alley and the Goodman Theater sign caught my eye. It was a red beacon at the other end on the next street over. As I walked through this dark alley, all alone, I stopped to take a picture of a stage door, keeping in mind that the exposures are Holga and long, 11-15 seconds.

Long story short I'm safe and I am very pleased with the Holga images. I'm waiting for my Scala chemicals to ship so I'll post the black and white images in a later post or add them to the Lomo Love gallery which is updated often.

Don't think, just shoot and change your plans at will. I didn't go to Pride because it rained about two hours before the start and left behind this wonderful dramatic sky. I walked about three miles down the shoreline to the Adler Planetarium and happily spent my day.

Here are some of the Chicago images. I've already added the color Holga images to the Lomo Love gallery and the black and white images are forthcoming. Click to view larger; galleries and slide shows are cropped.

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