I attended Day 1 of the Smyth Sewn Photo Book Workshop today and received a tutorial on design and layout for my first book, Evolving Wicker Park: Volume 1. We were all given a 25 sheet pack of Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Duo, an amazingly thick fine art photo paper that must be experienced in-person to truly appreciate.
Printing at this level brings feelings of joy and terror simultaneously. On one hand you get to experience the production of a beautiful, tangible photograph and on the other hand you involve yourself in printer jams, paper tearing, and layers of Photoshop Hell. The frustrations are worth it. Plus the entire process allows you to reflect back and understand how an idea or concept develops and falls into the frame of a camera, to eventually be selected for print, and then sequenced and bound into a book. Cool stuff.
The agenda for tomorrow will be to fold, glue, sew, and bind (I think). I have no idea what I’m doing.
Evolving Wicker Park Exhibition at Bru Cafe Art Gallery ( @bruchicago ).
My exhibition will be up at Bru Cafe until October 10th. I have been thrilled to share this project in print to the public. The annual Filter Photo Festival begins this week. Tomorrow I will be attending the Smyth Sewn Photo Book Workshop with photographer and bookmaker April Wilkins. I have selected 16 photographs to include in my initial “dummy” version that I will present to reviewers over the weekend. Aerials, landscapes, house portraits, and Portrait Project will be included in what I will refer to for now as Volume 1.
On Tuesday we will be printing the images for the book and on the following day we will assemble and bind the prints together. Smyth sewing is a traditional method of booking binding in which a series of folded pages are stitched together to create high quality, long-lasting books. When my first photo book is complete I will be sure to share the results.
Beach Season Dwindling, North Avenue
The Classic Lady, Chicago River
Last night, at dusk, the lights on the 9th and 10th floors of the Coyote Building were lit up. Over the summer construction has been underway to convert the nearly century old Northwest Tower to a 120-room boutique hotel. As Wicker Park’s most iconic building, all eyes are watching the redevelopment of this Chicago landmark.
Wind Turbines, Fowler Ridge Wind Farm, Indiana
Last weekend we took a trip to Indianapolis for my cousin’s wedding and on the way drive by this 15 mile stretch of wind turbines off I-65 just northwest of Layfette. I have driven by this stretch for years and have always wanted to stop for pictures. On our way back to Chicago we pulled off onto the side of Highway 18 and made some pictures using both the Nikon wide and 200mm telephoto zoom.
The wind farm stretches to as far as the eye can see. I have always been fascinated by the technology of these turbines, but at the same time, fearful of their soullessness. But that’s just me.
The American flag shown here is in the etching of the name James Patrick White.
"James Patrick White was sitting over a beer in a bar in Hoboken, N.J., with two high school buddies when they got the idea. They would take off for Spain and run with the bulls at Pamplona.The night before the run they drank a lot of beer and were so worried they would oversleep and miss the bulls that they slept on the street in their clothes. Somehow, they survived the stampede. "It was very scary," said Tom Kane, one of the friends. "We kind of leaned on each other to get the courage to do it.
Mr. White, 34, a Cantor Fitzgerald bond broker, was the oldest of five children, three of them boys. He played varsity tennis in high school in Hightstown, N.J., skiied, rode mountain bikes and ran the New York City Marathon three times, twice with his brother Mike. It took him 4 hours, 40 minutes the first time. Then four hours. “The third time we were lazy,” said Mike, who had run one year with their brother Greg. “Our time wasn’t so good. But we finished.” - first published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on 12/05/2001
Mr. White was a bond broker for Cantor Fitzgerald which had offices on the 101st-105th floors of One World Trade Center, the first tower hit by American Airlines Flight 11. The company was located 2-6 floors above the impact zone of the hijacked plane. I also learned that Cantor Fitzgerald just settled a lawsuit with American Airlines for 135 million dollars in December 2013. Cantor Fitzgerald said the airline was negligent for allowing hijackers to board a passenger plane and sued for loss of property and interruption of business (per Benjamin Weiser of the New York Times).
It’s amazing the things you learn just by Googling someone’s name.
The North Pool, National September 11 Memorial & Museum
On our trip to New York last November we took the subway to Brooklyn Heights to photograph the downtown skyline from the famous promenade. The exterior of the Freedom Tower (the tallest building seen here) was nearing completion so I wanted to capture a reasonably complete view of Lower Manhattan. It had been 12 years since the 9/11 attacks and from this view it seemed obvious how far we have come in just a little over a decade given the magnitude of the destruction.
As we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge into Lower Manhattan we made our way through the cobblestone streets and government institutions that define the Financial District. As we approached the two footprints of the World Trade Center the construction zones were all around the area and it seemed clear that this site will continue to be a work in progress for years and years to come. As the sun was setting, we patiently waited to enter the 9/11 Memorial Waterfalls from Fulton Street following the crowd in a single-filed line to the North and South Pools. By the time we reached the footprints with the hundreds of people around us there was stern sense of quiet and calm. The water flowing through the footprints is absolutely stunning. The reflecting pools contain the names of the victims from the 2001 and 1993 attacks etched into the bronze protective wall and are back-lit so that they can be read at night. The architects and engineers involved in making this 9/11 Memorial a reality have a succeeded admirably.
This is Heaven (at Heaven Gallery).
Alley mural, Milwaukee Ave
Skyline view circling around the Navy Pier Ferris Wheel
Over the weekend we were able to play like tourists and hopped on the Navy Pier Ferris Wheel. Just like I remembered from years ago, the view was incredible. This unobstructed vantage point can only been seen from high above the famous wheel (or flying low on a Chopper!). Luckily it was a beautiful day and the late afternoon light was perfect for photos. This unique angle illustrates a descending skyline down the lakefront from Streeterville through the Gold Coast to Lincoln Park. The Ferris Wheel rotates very slowly, so if you’re prepared (and cautious), you can create a some great beyond the plastic protective shield within the carriage.