This was one of the best summers that I can remember. It was rarely hot, so the windows stayed open and the A/C remained off throughout most of the summer. Here are some of some recent pictures of the end of this summer. I’ve included thoughts and explanations about each shot in the captions.
Every once and a while in the evening a warm yellow light will pour in through the windows and fill the room. When that’s the case, that means there’s a beautiful sunset outside. Here’s a shot from the back patio.
Here’s a shot of the same sunset, but from three floors up.
A shot of a couple women sitting along Lake Michigan.
As the sun set I saw the light filling the pedals of these flowers outside my apartment.
On my way to Indiana one weekend, I saw this incredible scene as I drove. I had to snap a picture.
The back fence along the apartment building is filled with grape vines. The leaves are big and when it rains it creates great opportunities to take nice pictures.
Part of the trick of creating a photo I like is deciding upon the depth of field and where to put the focus. In this picture I wanted to capture both the water droplets and the sharp edges of the leaves.
I loved the evening light on this leaf, so I wanted to capture most of the leaf in this shot.
Choosing a different white balance can change the look of a photo completely. This one has a lot more yellow and less blue in it than the other shots. I liked the shallow depth of field to allow for the blur of the mums below.
I don’t always carry my camera with me, but there are many times when I want to capture something I see. With the camera on phones like the iPhone you can take a quality picture. It’s about composition at that point. Here’s some street art near the el train in my neighborhood.
Here’s a shot of an Indiana sunset from the driveway of my childhood home.
Sometimes I take pictures for myself. They are the everyday time of shot that doesn’t necessarily scream “artistic” but captures something I see nearly every day.
Night shots lend themselves for nice high contrast black and white shots. This is the sign leading into the main strip of my neighborhood.
Because we live in a German-American neighborhood we have events multiple times a year in which the smell of beer and brats fill the air and the lederhosen are brought out of the closets. This is one of the ticket booths for German-American festival.
At German-American fest there is a carnival set up in the parking lot. Here is a shot of some of the prizes.
Sometimes taking a picture intentionally out of focus can create a cool “bokeh” effect.
Another prize from the German-American festival. (It reminded me of the bear from Toy Story 3.)
Carnival duckies. Notice I chose I nice warm feel for this shot and chose for the focus to be very narrow.
Beer and gambling – always a wise decision. I chose for this to be in black and white for a more dramatic feel.
While all the other carnival games seemed to be low on people, the gambling booth seemed to have people well into the night.
It had been raining off and on throughout the evening. Water droplets collected on the table clothes. I chose a narrow depth of field for a neat effect.
As the night wrapped up, I saw this kid in the middle of the street playing with a toy car in between the double yellow line.
Here’s a shot from a different angle of the same kid. Notice the yellow lighting from the street light overhead.
This is an intentionally out of focus shot of “Yogurt Square,” the local the frozen yogurt shop.
Here’s a local shop that will be closing very soon. Apparently the owner has been here for over 20 years. No small feat for shops in this area.
Lincoln Square’s most iconic feature is the fountain at the center of the square. Here it is in the evening street light.
Here’s another shot of it in black and white.
Street lights an set up for some hard lighting situations. I thought the light bouncing off these leaves looked pretty neat.
It’s dangerous having a gelato place so close. The backlighting of the sign makes for a neat effect.
He’s a shot of my front gate in the yellow lighting from the street lamp.
One of the more amazing aspects of modern DSLR cameras is their ability to take good quality shots in really low lighting situations without having to keep the shutter open for very long at all. This shot was taken at 1/40th of a second.
Here’s another shot of the grape leaves behind my place, but this time in the harsher light from a light over the doorway.
This shot has a very shallow depth of field. The aperture is wide open allowing for nice yellow bokeh balls in contrast to the green leaf.
I recently went back to Indianapolis for a wedding and attended a spur of the moment show with a friend. Here’s another shot from my iPhone 5S. (It’s square because it’s on Instagram…)
While in Indy, I stopped by the home I grew up in one last time. It looks to be sold very soon. The ping-pong table was still set up in the basement, and so I played one last game with two childhood friends that have spent a lot of time in that basement with me playing music.
This shot (also taken on my iPhone) is a picture of a shed in the backyard of one of my friend’s house. It just screams Indiana to me.
Instagram has a great community of creative users. The way that people use hashtags are also very creative. I once saw a post like this with the hashtag #roofline_envelope because he thought it looked like an envelope. If you’re on Instagram, you should check it out.
I’m not sure what kind of flowers these are, but they seem to last through most of the summer. I really like them. And they lend themselves for some great pictures.
While in Indiana, we stayed out at Sarah’s mom’s place. The house is surrounded by fields of corn and soybeans.
Fields of corn is not a sight often seen in Chicago. But this is Indiana through and through.
Indiana. What more can I say?
Sarah’s mother’s place has dozens of cacti both inside and outside.
With the end of summer comes the end of many of the flowers.
Raindrops along the roofline of my friend’s house.
Another intentionally out of focus shot. This time of raindrops along the roofline, allowing for a neat effect. It almost looks like Christmas lights.
A lamp with the aperture wide open.
On the drive between Indiana and Chicago you pass these fields of windmills. I can’t help but take pictures every time we drive by.
One of the aspects of the windmills is their deceptive size. They look big, but it is only when you see a blade be transported on the interstate, or crews working on one that you really begin to see just how huge these things are.
My wife Sarah recently picked up a kiddie pool on clearance at Walgreens. She had the day off today, and it is a rather warm day, so we thought Micah might enjoy a “backyard” dip in the pool.
Wasn’t allowed to bring my camera, so these are all from my phone. Awesome show. Jack White and Sigur Ros definitely stand out. Great day of weather, too.
Rory and I spent the day at Lollapalooza 2012
This was on the train on the way to Union Station
BEFORE all the people
Bombay Bicycle club
This was the crowd for Bombay Bicycle Club, now imagine what it was for Sigor Ros and Jack White!
Trampled by Turtles — notice they don’t have a drummer.
Yep, that’s Jonsi singing into his guitar. SIGUR ROS!!!
Jonsi playing the guitar like he does. And yes, that’s how close we were.
Jack White! He had two separate bands that switch midway through. The first half was an all male band, then the second half was an all female band. Pretty cool stuff. Incredible musicians. I saw the White Stripes before, but this is just incredibly better.
Same in black and white
black and white version
Jack White playing “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground.” Very cool to hear it with a full band. The picture is blurry because the entire crowd was shifting, shoving, moving, jumping. Couldn’t stand still.
Here’s the switchover to the female band.
As soon as the encore ended my friend and I bolted as fast as we could. That’s hard to do when your knee is sore, the ground is nothing but mud, and you’re trying to walk through 100,000 people to get to the train on time.
Here are just a few of the pictures I’ve taken recently. To see more of my photography, visit either my photoblog or my flickr. (On the sidebar of the blog…)