The first Twilight Concert at the Santa Monica Pier was last night featuring Mayer Hawthorne and it was one of the more packed shows I have been to. It was so crowded that I couldn’t actually get up on the pier, so I wandered around near the pier and made these images. As always, click on the images so get a larger view.
I really like riding my bike down to the Santa Monica Pier for free music on Thursdays during the summer months. Last week was the final one for this year and one of my new favorite bands, Best Coast was playing. I brought my camera along for fun and made these images. I know it’s out of order, but the first image above was the last one I took that night. It was a beautiful, still night and the colorful lights from the buildings on the right just looked so perfect, and contrasted so well with the powerful orange glow of the city in the background. Check out the gallery for more great images I made from Venice and Santa Monica. Continue reading “Free Music Thursdays in Santa Monica”
A technique I have been wanting to try for a long time now has been balancing a beautiful sunset with a good exposure on a person in the foreground. It’s not entirely simple as the subject should not be lit flat like from an on-camera flash, and the proper balance has to be found. This is my first attempt and I did not have the flash set up properly and didn’t have all the equipment I would have wanted because we just happened to be driving by the beach when we saw this sunset and ran out to grab some photos, but I made do and these are the images I came up with. Thanks to my buddy Bret for being such an accommodating victim. I learned a few things just from that brief foray and will refine the technique from here.
Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
from In Memorium
by Lord Alfred Tennyson
It seems to be becoming a ritual for me to go out just before the New Year and make a few images and this year, just like last, I found myself in Chicago doing just that.
What I was trying to capture with this image was the sense of duality on Wacker Drive. Lower Wacker Drive has always fascinated me and has shown up in several of my other images in various forms, but as I was crossing this bridge I noticed the opening that allowed me to see both lower and upper Wacker Drive, so I composed this image which shows a night scene above ground with colorful incandescent lighting and the city lights reflecting off the fast moving clouds above, and the even warmer sodium vapor light spilling out the opening below.
There is an obvious juxtaposition at that opening also, where the trees and grass are fenced off from the concrete cavern.
From Wacker Drive I drove up north to have drinks and toast the new year with some friends, and on my way home I decided to make my first image of 2011 at the Water Tower on Michigan Ave. for no other reason than I thought it somehow a fitting beginning to a year that holds a lot of hope for so many.
Guangzhou is a big city in southern China just a few hours drive north of Hong Kong. Because I had to wait for my Chinese visa to be issued in HK I had a very limited amount of time in Guangzhou, but the thing that is really striking about the city is the way it is lit up, as though the entire city takes part in a celebration of light when the sun goes down.
I’ve been told that Guangzhou is very a-typical for Chinese cities and that it is a very new city, in fact the part I was photographing was less than a decade old and partly still under construction. Perhaps this is a testament to China’s relatively new foray into capitalism and they want to shine a beacon on it.
In the very short time I was in Guangzhou, I learned very little about the city or the Chinese people. But one fact was unmistakeable: the road between Hong Kong and Guangzhou is about 170 km (105 miles) and what I thought might at least partly be a ride through Chinese countryside was one solid mass of humanity. A megalopolis of manufacturing, mid-rise offices and tenements stretching from one huge city to the next.
This is only my second time to Hong Kong but I love this city. It has a heartbeat like no other I’ve been to: it’s an electric, 60 cycle hum. You can feel it through your feet as you walk on the streets or in your hands as you lean on a railing looking out at Victoria Harbor.
The Funicular railroad that takes you to the peak that overlooks the island is an interesting ride, at one point accelerating while climbing at a 45 degree angle, trundling past the buildings alongside the railroad. Being Saturday evening, the cars were packed and standing in the aisle can be challenging at best. Most people in Hong Kong know this so as soon as the doors open, getting into the train is a free-for-all that is mostly elbows and attitude. But once you get to the top you know that whatever it took to get there was worth it.
Joshua Tree National Park is a surreal landscape in the high desert called Mojave that is scattered with the foreboding, tree-like cacti from which it is named. It’s unique beauty is also reflected in the myriad of other hearty plants that dot the landscape and is oddly interspersed with other-worldly piles of gigantic rocks.
Toward the end of June the full moon came out and I shot some time lapse of it as it rose slowly over one such gathering of rocks appropriately named Jumbo Rocks.
It used to be a writers town and it’s always been a fighter’s town. For writers and fighters and furtive torpedoes, cat-bandit, baggage thieves, hallway headlockers on the prowl, baby photographers and stylish coneroos, this is the spot that is always most convenient, being centrally located, for settling ancestral grudges. Whether the power is in a .38, a typewriter ribbon or a pair of six-ouncers, the place has grown great on bone-deep grudges: of writers and fighters and furtive torpedoes.
Chicago: City On The Make
On a blue moon New Years eve Night in Chicago I wanted to get some more images of my hometown, so before going to the year end celebrations I wandered around the downtown river front until it got too cold. And at 17 degrees, that was a very short time and made the long exposures seem much longer.
The thing I like most about making images in a city at night are the colors, and in Chicago that generally means a golden straw colored hue juxtaposed with cooler tones in the buildings and sky.
Click on the images to see a lightbox of larger images.
Driving around the Chicago suburbs at night, checking out the Christmas decorations.