Christmas in Iowa

A lot has changed since I last posted here. My family has moved from Chicago and into the Omaha area. We are currently staying with my mom in Iowa as we figure out exactly where we are going to be living next. Here are a few pictures from the last few weeks. I sadly have not gotten my camera out very often through the course of all that has been going on. Here are some that I have taken, however.

The Bean
As I wrapped things up in Chicago, I walked over to the bean one morning to take some final shots of one of Chicago’s more iconic places. It was a foggy, cold day – but I think it made for some nice shots.
The Bean
The bean, officially called “Cloud Gate,” makes for some nice pictures of one of the world’s greatest skylines.
The Bean
Here’s me trying to capture how cold and foggy it felt that day.
Foggy Chicago
Another one of Chicago’s iconic buildings. Same architects as those who designed the World Trade Center towers that fell on 9/11.
The Bean
Another angle of the Bean
Tree
I stayed with some friends at the beginning of December as I finished some things up in Chicago. This is of their tree.
Christmas Bokeh
Some artsy Christmas bokeh.
Micah zoned out
A shot of Micah – a bit zoned out after getting up from bed.
Clint
My sister’s boyfriend, Clint, goofing around with a Christmas decoration in my mom’s place.
Lauren
My sister, giving me a stare down.
Opening their present
My family always opens one present each on Christmas Eve, one of our few true traditions. Here, Sarah and the boys are opening Ezra’s first Christmas present.
The boys playing with their new present
Of course, Micah instantly wanted to play with Ezra and his new toy.
Sarah and the boys on Christmas Eve
Sarah and the boys and the new Christmas toy.
Lauren and Clint
Lauren and clint react after Lauren opens her present.
Sarah and Micah's new sled
Micah got his first sled. (Sarah seems just as happy…)
Micah coloring
Micah coloring in a new coloring book from his Uncle Matt.
Ezra and Micah Playing
It’s been fun seeing Micah and Ezra play together as they both get older.

A Rainy Autumn Day

Today I went on a brief walk in my neighborhood. I threw on some headphones, started an audiobook, and took my camera with me to capture some shots of autumn in my neighborhood. I ended up taking a stroll alongside the Brown line. The first three shots are from my iPhone 5s. The rest are from my Pentax K-01.

Fence on fire? Nope - it's just fall. {#vscocam #iphone5s #chicago #lincolnsquareliving #autumncolors #fallcolors}
As I walked down the street I saw a bright burst of orange popping out over a fence. I thought it almost made it look like the fence was on fire.
Wonder when the last time this guy was driven. It's currently parked under the brown line.{#vscocam #ford #truck #lincolnsquare #igerschicago}
This truck is parked under the brown line. It doesn’t look like it’s been driven anytime recently. I loved the color and look of it in the grass.
This just feels like autumn in Chicago to me. This is in a back alley near the Damen Brown line stop. {#vscocam #basketball #lincolnsquare #igerschicago #chihood #autumn #fall}
This, to me, really captures how my Chicago neighborhood feels during this wet autumn weather.
Reflecting the things above. {#vscocam #cta #brownline #reflection #theL #chicago #lincolnsquare #igerschicago}
With the water pooling up in the alleyways I thought I’d capture a picture of a puddle reflection of the CTA brown line train going past.
Neighbor's Yard
My neighbors decorate for nearly every major holiday. They have a number of things throughout their yard. This is a sample of the least creepy stuff.
Leaves and Curb
The leaves are starting to pile up in the yards and on the sidewalks.
Garage
Loved the look of this garage with finger graffiti written into the dust and grime.
Garages
I love all the greenery that grows up over all the various buildings and garages in my neighborhood.
Old Truck
Here’s another shot of that truck. This time with my camera as opposed to my iPhone. Notice the reflections in the windshield and the water in front of the truck.
Cars in Autumn
Trees are dumping all their leaves on the parked cars along the side streets of Chicago.
Alleyway Hoop
Here’s another shot of that garage that I liked, this time with my camera.
Autumn Rose
An autumn rose. I’ve seen many flowers and plants throughout people’s yards. This is the only rose I’ve seen.
Bright Colors
In all the autumn rains and winds the bright leaves try hanging on for their lives, but they are quickly falling from all the trees.
Water Droplet on Leaf
The colorful red leaves popped out among the green. The water drops are also a nice touch, reflecting both the reds and greens.
After the rain
Here’s another shot of this plant. The lens I’m using (a 50mm F1.7) really allows for a sharp focus on the water drop with a nice smooth bokeh effect in the background.
Droplets on Grass
Capturing some water droplets on some blades of grass.
Fall colors
This shot has a nice warm feeling, despite the dreary grey day.
Leaf losing its Green
While some trees have bright reds, yellows, and oranges – some leaves try to hold off as long as possible. Here’s a leaf in which the orange is just now bursting through.
Trash Day
Trash day? I let this shot lack depth and detail and added a bit of a grainy effect to make something as typical as trash cans an artsy flair.
Leaf and Bokeh
A leaf with yellow starting to poke its way through.
Autumn Sidewalk
Now this is autumn.
Leaves on Car
Here are some leaves on the hood of a car. Thought it looked neat with the faint reflection of trees.
Hanging on
A wet leaf sticks to the window of a parked car on my street.

Photo Walking in Chicago (Part 1)

Over the past month or so I’ve been on a couple photo walks through the city of Chicago. The first one was in celebration of Flickr’s 10th anniversary. Flickr had a global photo walk in which people in cities all around the world came together to met up and take pictures together. The second photo walk was I attended was similar, only it was organized through Instagram. It was Instagram’s 9th global “Instameet” where local Instagrammers get together and take pictures. Chicago instagrammers tag their photos #igerschicago. It’s a creative and fun community of people.

People often criticize social media of distancing us from having real relationships with one another. We interact with people online rather than face-to-face. And in the process, we lose the ability to really connect with people (supposedly). I don’t believe that social media is the enemy. I believe social media is an incredible tool to enhance and enable real relationships in this 21st century, technology driven culture. Social media is tool – and it can be used to drive one to seclusion or it can be used to connect to real people with common interests – people who you would never come in contact with otherwise.

Flickr and Instagram have two of the largest online photo communities. People from all over the world post pictures from their communities, their families, their travels, and their lives. We get glimpses into corners of the world that we will never visit. We get to see what life is like for a 17 year old girl living in eastern Russia or a 35 year old dad of three living in Norway. We may even get a glimpse of someone living right down the street that we’ve passed on the street a number of times without even knowing it. Are they showing us only the aspects of their life that they want others to see? Sure. That’s ok. I don’t like seeing my own dirty house, why would I really want to see someone else’s dirty house? I understand that most people’s lives aren’t as beautiful as their Instagram feeds or their Flickr photo stream seems to suggest.

In the process of these photo walks, you spend half a day walking around with people with similar interests to you. You meet people from all walks of life, and from all over the region you live in. On the Flickr photo walk I met people who’ve been doing this sort of thing for years and years, walking around Chicago taking pictures of every building from every imaginable angle. These people loved the city. Every brick. They knew the history of the areas.

I remember when this was just a field, now it’s a high rise.

The Instagram photo walk had a lot more participants — probably about 150 or so. And most were younger than those on the Flickr photo walk. Some came armed with their $5,000 cameras and lenses, while some only came with their smart phones. It was neat to see people walk around and capture angles of the city in ways that most walking by would never even notice or think twice about.

After a day of shooting and chatting as we walked, we ended up at The Billy Goat to get some burgers and chat.I remember coming home from the Flickr photo walk and thinking to myself, “These are my kind of people.”

I’ll include some photos from my Flickr photo walk here. Some will have been taken on my iPhone 5s, some on my Pentax K-5, and some on my Pentax K-01. The one’s on my iPhone will be more obvious due to their small size. I’ll make a second blog post including my shots from the Instameet.

On my way to Chicago's #flickr10 photo walk. {#vscocam #vscochicago #vsco #igerschicago #thel #cta}

Waiting for the pink line. #flickr10 {#vscocam #vsco #igerschicago #chicago}

At Sunset

Look

Sky

Watching You

Squares

Meat Packing

Corner

Morgan Station

Crane

Chicago Streets 2

Merchandise Mart

Underbelly

New Line Tavern

Economy Packing

Entrance

Graffiti Truck

Meat Packing

Condos

Water Tower

The L tracks

Sky

Under the L

Bolts

Under the L

Sidewalk Closed

Walking

Garage

Merchandise Mart

Seagull at the Chicago River

Mail

Corner

Squares

Chicago

Dunkin

Chicago

Looking up

Shadows

Chicago River

Through the Bridge

Haute Living

Poking through

Halved

Draw Bridge

Tracks

Chicago building

Biking (on the sidewalk)

Ferry

Chicago

Willis Tower. {#vscocam #vsco #vscophile #vscochicago #chicago #chicagoisbeautiful #igerschicago #instachicago #willistower not the #searstower}

Buildings

Chicago Building

Towers

Duality

Golden Hour

Moon and Westin

Live Music

Golden Hour

Golden Hour

Trump and Moon

Flag 2

Moon 2

Skyline

Skyline at Dusk

Billy Goat

 

Heavy Hearted

Yesterday as I was coming home from work I heard news briefs about five topics in the matter a few minutes that really made me heavy hearted for the rest of the trip home. We are living in a very interesting time in history right now.

Botched Execution in Oklahoma


I don’t believe in using the death penalty. I do not believe it is a deterrent for crime, nor do I believe that it balances out any injustices committed by a criminal. America is split down the middle about it. 50% of Americans support the death penalty. (Obviously, 50% therefore are not in support of it). In states that practice capital punishment, however, it makes a lot of sense to have transparency on the drugs being used to kill someone. If we are desiring to use lethal injection as a means to be as civil and humane as possible when killing someone (something that is not civil, nor humane IMO), then you’d think that we’d also want to make sure that the drugs (poison) being used should be administered in a way that reflects that supposed desire. It has not been that simple.

Ironically, the same groups of people who are incredibly (and rightfully) angry about this situation are the same groups that have made it hard for state’s to have access to the drugs (poison) that are used for lethal injections. States have been having to figure out other ways of getting access to drugs to use, leading to highly secretive sources and basically experimental death cocktails. In this case, the drugs didn’t have their intended impact. What has happened in Oklahoma is exactly what the anti-death penalty groups have been saying could happen if states decided to use drugs (poison) in ways that have not been confirmed as actually being able ot be  “humanely” administered and successfully lethal.

The guy was even talking before he died of an alleged heart attack. Yikes.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/04/30/308278139/botched-oklahoma-execution-prompts-questions-about-procedure

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/01/opinion/state-sponsored-horror-in-oklahoma.html?ref=opinion

Donald Sterling


I don’t have much to add to anything anyone else has, but I’ll right just a few thoughts down about this whole fiasco. Did Donald Sterling deserve to be booted for life from the NBA? Yes. Should it have happened years ago? Yes. Is it right that he got fined the league maximum $2.5 million, and banned for life because some horrible comments made in private to his girlfriend/mistriss? Maybe – but I’m pretty actually leaning towards the direction of ‘no.’

Having Donald Sterling out of the NBA is a good thing, I wholeheartedly believe that. I just find it very strange that in our day of promoting freedom of speech to the grave I don’t hear much being discussed about the fact that this all blew up because of some pretty dumb, bigoted comments spoken to his girlfriend in the privacy of his own home. It wasn’t in public. It wasn’t during a press conference.

There has been practically unequivocal support of the NBA’s decision and bold statement. Ultimately though, I think those who have been the most outspoken in their support of this situation have done it to make themselves look good. What he said was so obviously stupid that practically everyone agrees that it was a bad thing to say, not to mention weirdly inconsistent.

I think it would have been a much stronger statement for the NBA to go deeper and specifically mention his history of actual racist actions over some kind of stupid argument with his girlfriend. He’s had lawsuits against him with clear evidence of housing discrimination. For some reason that gets primarily overlooked, especially by the NBA. (Many people who write about racism, classism, and even some sports columnists have brought this issue up before now – and they are the ones that seem the most frustrated by this whole ordeal). That is where the real issues of racism have actually hurt people. That kind of racism is the structural racism that contributes to the communities we constantly hear about being violent gang-ridden.

We are seemingly getting more and more reactionary as a culture. The CEO of Mozilla recently was pressured to resign because he had donated substantially to support Prop-8 in California. Now we are fining someone $2.5 million and banning him from life because of something he said in private. The New York Times and countless other companies quickly voice their overwhelming support. I hate the “slippery slope” argument – because it usually is a fallacy – but boy, this feels to me like a slippery slope. Isn’t he free to believe what he wants, even if it is hateful and ignorant? Isn’t he allowed to say dumb, inconsistent things to his mistress? Let’s react to the actions that stem from those beliefs and words – not his private conversations. Maybe I’m missing something here, but I think we’re going to look back in a few years on this time of high social pressure in America and realize just how reactionary we were about things like this.

Chic-fil-a, Duck Dynasty, Mozilla, World Vision, Donald Sterling — is this how things are going to continue to be or is this just a result of the high pressure society that’s been created due to the nature of our media, social media, and desire to be politically correct and to never look intolerant in any way? Are we ever going to slow down enough to have meaningful conversations that lead to real change rather than immediately jumping at opportunities to point fingers, condemn, and make ourselves look good?

This!!! –http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/01/opinion/blow-deep-in-the-heart-of-don.html?ref=opinion

No More Plastic Bags in Chicago


Chicago voted yesterday to ban plastic bags from grocery stores starting next year. It makes a lot of sense. Plastic is horrible. It really is. I like that my city is trying to take meaningful steps to be “greener.” (Again, this could be more about making us feel good about ourselves, rather than really attempting to make real changes, but who knows?) It makes a lot of sense, right? Well, the city council’s decision was not unanimous. Why? The south side of Chicago struggles to have very many grocery stores. I heard an Alder(wo)man say that she voted no because it doesn’t matter what bags they use where she’s from in the city. There’s no grocery stores to use them in. Stores will be expected to provide alternatives to plastic bags, but paper bags cost three times more than plastic bags. It’s argued that this would be just one more hurtle that keeps grocery stores from being built in the south side neighborhoods. Interesting thoughts to consider, for sure.

I’ll be happy to stop using plastic bags. But what’s to stop me from using thing now?

http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-aldermen-crack-down-plastic-bags-pedicabs-110113

Oil Spill in Lynchburg


I was very sad to hear about another crude oil spill – this time in Virginia. And it’s polluting the local water. Not much to say about it, other than it seems like these types of occurrences seem to be happening more often.

http://wtvr.com/2014/04/30/lynchburg-train-derailment/

Minimum Wage Vote Blocked


Democrats (and some Republicans) want to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 over the course of two years – but the bill was blocked from going to a vote by the GOP in the Senate. Obama wasn’t happy about it being blocked, and it seems that this topic is starting to become a central issue for the Democrats. I’m totally okay with that!

http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/30/politics/senate-wage/


It’s hard to listen to the news sometimes. I didn’t even mention anything about Ukraine, or about the near 200 girls that have been kidnapped in Nigeria, many who have probably been sold or forced into marriage by their captors. There’s so much going on out there sometimes that it makes me just want to never listen to the radio or read any headlines. But that’s not helpful. I’m an optimist – and I believe that things can change for the better. We just need to take the time to listen to each other, work together, and not focus so much about making ourselves look good.

 

Rory Tyer Band at Metro Chicago

Thanks to Rory Tyer I was able to get all access to Metro Chicago to take some shots of Rory Tyer Band playing for their second time at this venue. I wasn’t the primary photographer this time, so I had some freedom to just relax a bit and enjoy their great performance. I took a few pictures at the front of the stage, and then headed up to the balcony to grab a few shots. It was a great night of music. I love the venue and it was fun to get a few shots.

I’ll explain a bit of my photo taking process at a show like this, and parts of the joys and challenges of shooting concert shots.

Rory Tyer Band
It was good to see a line waiting outside of Metro Chicago when I arrived.
Rory Tyer Band
Some of my personal favorite shots are often of bands before they even play. There is a sense of anticipation from the crowd and excitement from the band as they set up. Here Rory holds their set list for the show.
Rory Tyer Band
There’s plenty of emotion shown throughout a band’s performance. I love to capture the moments right before the first notes are played as well. Here, moments before their set started, Rory seems lost in thought. The black and white seems to fit the mood of the shot. Not all of his face is seen, and there’s a bit of grit in the picture, which seems to fit well.
Rory Tyer Band
I am typically partial to black and white shots, especially portraits or concert photos like this one. For me it lends itself to less distractions. It draws you entirely to the person in view. It tends to lend itself for the picture to be felt, at least for me. I love the old shots of smoky concert halls with a single spotlight on someone like Bob Dylan. I think that’s why I often prefer black and white.
Rory Tyer Band
But black and white shots have an aged feel for them, for sure. Probably because it’s really hard to get good color photos at concerts because of the harshness of the lights as well as the ever-changing colors. Sometimes a good shot can be a challenge. But thanks to our modern day DSLR cameras being so good, and having the ability to practically take as many shots as we like, it’s no wonder why we see so many more color shots of concerts today than in the days of film.
Rory Tyer Band
I like the intensity of Rory’s face in this shot. And the shadow on the wall. This is actually one that I think I prefer the color shot over the black and white one.
Rory Tyer Band
Here you can begin to see the challenges of concert photography. If you notice the white light above Rory’s shoulder, it is overexposed – completely washed out. Everything around Rory is hazy and has a red and blue glow. In a black and white shot of this picture, the white light over his shoulder would not pop out as much and therefore not be as distracting. But because of the darkness of the stage, I chose to have the shutter speed at about 1/80th of a second for me to be able to have enough light to capture the detail of his face, yet fast enough to not blur the picture.
Rory Tyer Band
In this picture of Danny, their bass player, you see all sorts of reds and magentas. Personally, I find these colors to be the hardest to work with because they don’t seem very natural, as opposed to yellow and blue, and even sometimes green. Most of the pictures I end up liking are not the ones which have a lot of reds and magentas in them. It sometimes seems over-saturated and hard to compensate for even with good post-processing programs like Lightroom.
Rory Tyer Band
Here’s my attempt at one of those old Bob Dylan single spotlight shots from the 60s. For me, this type of shot screams to be in black and white.
Rory Tyer Band
One of the hardest aspects of concert photography is deciding on shutter speed. There is always a trade off. The faster your shutter speed, the better you can capture images with motion in them, but you also need more light or else you’ll end up with a grainy picture. So a photographer often has to choose – grainy or blurred? I typically choose grainy, because it can add character to a shot, and it allows you to capture some neat moments in the show. This particular shot is a bit grainier than I’d prefer, but I chose to do this because of how much Dave (their guitarist) was moving.
Rory Tyer Band
Here’s an example of trying to find the right balance between grainy and blurry. I had a fast enough shutter speed to limit Rory as he danced around stage, and just enough grain to add character, yet not take too much away from the quality of the shot.
Rory Tyer Band
Drummers always get the short end of the stick (pun intended?) in concert shots. They’re usually tucked away in the back, poorly lit, and moving incredibly fast – all aspects which don’t lend themselves to good pictures. As a drummer myself, I understand this issue and try to get at least one good shot of the drummer each concert I go to.
Rory Tyer Band
Here’s a wider angle shot to show where I was standing for the pictures I’ve already shown you. It’s nice to be able to have free access to the band so close. But it does limit the types of shots you can take. (And I kind of feel bad standing in front of someone to take a picture. That’s something I’ve been told I need to just get over as a photographer).
Rory Tyer Band
I moved out of the front part of the stage and into the crowd to capture a few shots. Here’s a shot with red spotlights. Sometimes the challenge at this distance is knowing whether or not your shot is really in focus. I typically use a manual focus lens, making things that much harder for myself…
Rory Tyer Band
Yellow light looks so much more natural and tends to give me better pictures.
Rory Tyer Band
Here’s a picture that gives you a sense of the the stage and venue. The best pictures at this distance really are more centered. The place was decently packed out at this time, and because I wasn’t the main photographer of the night, I didn’t ask people to move to get a more centered shot.
Rory Tyer Band
I went up to the balcony to get some different angled shots. Some of my favorite shots are often not the ones in which I’m only a few feet away from them. It is much harder to see whether or not they are in focus, which just means that you need to take more shots, changing up the focus and shutter speed (and ISO) every so often.
Rory Tyer Band
Sometimes it’s hard to get shots of the whole band, so I try and get a couple members at a time. I like this one because of the shadow of Rory on the wall.
Rory Tyer Band
Various musicians will play more than one instrument, so it’s important to try and capture them playing all their respective instruments throughout the night.
Rory Tyer Band
Sometimes what the band is wearing changes midway through a show, and so even though you already have plenty of shots of the band at a certain angle, you want to go ahead and get more. Here Rory had taken off his fedora, so I grabbed a few shots.
Rory Tyer Band
I used two lenses during the evening – a 17-70mm lens and a 50mm lens. Sometimes when you are using a fixed focal length lens you are stuck with a shot that doesn’t allow you to fit everyone into the frame like you might like. I would have really liked to have gotten all of Danny in this shot. Hey, but at least I got Dave, their drummer!
Rory Tyer Band
I noticed more movement and bumped up the shutter speed. For me, more noise means a transition to more black and white shots.
Rory Tyer Band
Another shot in black and white, this time with a much faster shutter speed and therefore a darker picture.
Rory Tyer Band
Another example to show that even though a shot of the entire band is nice, a centered shot seems about ten times better. The center of the balcony was packed out, so I didn’t push my way in for a shot. But looking back at it, I usually regret that I’m not more aggressive during a show, especially if it’s only for a few shots.
Rory Tyer Band
Action shot of Danny, high shutter speed = more grain. But worth it for this shot not to be blurry.
Rory Tyer Band
Like I said, I prefer black and white shots when there’s quite a bit of noise, but here’s one in color of Danny.
Rory Tyer Band
And sometimes using a fast shutter speed will get you a shot like this, in which Rory seems to be mimicking some variation of a dance by a Bird of Paradise.
Rory Tyer Band
Ending moments of a show are full of energy, and generally mean having a decently fast shutter speed. Here Rory is winding down after moving all about the stage.
Rory Tyer Band
Final moment of the shows are always one of my favorite moments to catch. Here is this night’s last moment. Notice this is decently centered. I ran over and held the camera over everyone’s heads and prayed for a good shot.
Rory Tyer Band
And the band thanks everyone for coming. It’s a bit deceiving because it makes it look like the place isn’t very full. But there were plenty of people behind those true fans at the front barrier.

Dark and Wet Chicago

Grandma #2 came into town on Thursday to meet Ezra. She took the bus up to Chicago. It was a windy and rainy evening. I snapped a few pictures before her bus came.

Willis Tower (aka Sears Tower) - rainy night
Willis Tower (aka Sears Tower) – as you can see on the right it was quite rainy.
Pillars at night
Wet streets make for neat reflections.
Chicago Union Station at night
The clock on Union Station.
Chicago Union Station at night
Union Station in Chicago
Chicago Union Station at night
Union Station looks quite impressive at night.

On the Brink of Spring

I snapped a few pictures on the way to pick up some milk this morning. The sky was beautiful and the neighborhood was rather quiet. We are on the brink of spring. It’s in the air. I can feel it.

plane in sky
Skies we nice and dramatic as the planes flew overhead into O’Hare airport.
plane in sky
Plane overhead
do not feed pigeons
Hefty fines for feeding the pigeons in my neighborhood. And demons?
delivery
Streets were oddly quiet today.
drama
Sky looked great in contrast to the buildings around.
plane in sky
Another plane flying overhead
Delivery truck
Truck making a morning delivery.
Lincoln Square sign
Entrance into my neighborhood.
Sad Balloons
A month after Valentine’s day and already the love is dead and mangled.
Weather Vane
Weather vane of my neighbors house looked nice in the morning sun.
Pi Day
Today was Pi(e) day, and the weather was beautiful. So Micah, my mother-in-law, and I went on a walk to my favorite pie place. It was buy one, get one free, too!

A Snowy March Day

After two wonderfully mild days with temperatures in the 50s, it snowed again. Overnight in the Chicago area it snowed 3-7 inches. I don’t think anyone was wanting to see any more snow, but at least it’s beautiful. Here are some pictures from around my apartment in Chicago.

Snowy March Day

Snowy March Day

Snowy March Day

Snowy March Day

Snowy March Day

Snowy March Day

Snowy March Day

Snowy March Day

Snowy March Day

Snowy March Day

Snowy March Day

Snowy March Day

Snowy March Day

Snowy March Day

Snowy March Day

These are from a bit later in the day:

snowy sign

snowy day in March

snowy day in March

snowy day in March

snowy day in March

snowy day in March

snowy day in March

snowy day in March

Eric and His New Bike

My good friend Eric recently decided to move out of the city, downsize all of his belongings, buy a bike, and start farming. Today was the start of his new grand adventure. After a brief stay with Sarah, Micah, and me, he set out for Indiana. Before he settles down to start farming here in a couple weeks, he’s biking all across Indiana to meet up with family and friends. To read more about his biking and farming endeavors go to ericradoux.com

He had a bike custom made by Green Machine Cycles over the course of the last month or two and a couple days ago he picked it up. I must say, it was quite the nice looking machine. Yesterday we decided to take a few pictures of him and his new bike before his journey. Here’s a sample of some of the pictures:

Eric + Bike

Eric + Bike

Eric + Bike

Eric + Bike

Inside of Bike

Handlebars

Pedal

Pedal

Front of Bike

Led Light

Brake handle

Gears

Bag

Rear View

Pedal

Pump

Bruce Gordon

Brooks Saddle

Tire

A Cold Bike Ride

Took a cold bike ride today with a friend. It’s been years since I’ve ridden more than a few blocks, so it was nice to get out and bike, even if it was face-numbing cold. We biked over to Lake Michigan which, sad to say, I hadn’t been to since moving into Chicago.

We biked over to a dog beach where there were a number of dogs out running around. The day was hazy, so the Chicago skyline was a bit overcast, but it’s always nice to see no matter what the weather looks like.

Here are a few pictures I took.

Dogs BW

Man and friend - BW

Man and Friend

Chase

Dogs eat Dog

Chicago

Cold Gulls

Eric at the edge of Lake Michigan