Yes, I went to Chicago in January. Yes, it was pretty damn cold, even with the mild winter we had. Yes, I would do it again. But thankfully we have seasons here instead of just a years-long Westeros-type winter. So I went back to Chicago in April and enjoyed more great cityscaping and streetscaping without the snow and cold.
The more photography I create - from the time I stop and frame the shot, to the time when I am hitting "Upload" to put my work on this website - the more I find that I am developing my own style, which is kind of cool. Much of what you learn, whether it is about a hobby or a job or anything that you are trying to do yourself, is learned through some form of mimicry. You are shown how to complete the action, and so that's what you first begin with, that method that was shown to you. Golf swings, pool strokes, math problems - any and all of it can be done in more than one way and done well.
In photography today there exists an ability to visually learn through new daily content. No one ever taught me how to see what I was photographing; my mom taught me how to hold the camera and push the button, but the seeing is mine alone. It is the same for every photographer I know - even looking at the same subject, people see it differently, frame it differently. And as I see more and more of others' work through sites like Instagram, I find myself getting better at my own work. I see familiar subjects in new ways, and that different perspective can go a long way in helping me to create something that is unfamiliar and attractive.
This last trip to Chicago seems to have done a lot for my photography - I feel like the images I am producing are sharper, and I know my editing skills are getting much stronger. It is so rewarding to learn something new that I enjoy - this is how I felt about sports as a kid!
Plus, my purchase of a Wacom Intuos Pro is by far one of the best decisions I have made in regards to my photography! I am not trying to sell anything or chump for those who suffer from GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) - I like having the latest and greatest gear, but if it isn't going to be useful to my photography business I will pass. I don't just own stuff to say I own it. I was skeptical of how well a pen/tablet combo would work for my editing, but man, so happy to say I was wrong to be skeptical! This damn thing has completely changed my editing style, both in terms of how well I can edit an image (that little pen is SUPER ACCURATE) and how quickly I can get my editing done (I'd say 25-30% faster per image, and that's after only having it for a few weeks).
This image is a prime example of the awesomeness of the Intuos Pro - I was able to completely underexpose the skyline in just a few minutes, with a great degree of accuracy.
Anyways, back to my April visit to the Windy City. What can I say, Chicago is a wonderful place to visit, relatively convenient to home and a big change compared to walking around downtown Toledo (which is pretty awesome in its own way!) I stayed once again at the Palmer House, mainly because I am trying to rack up some consistent rewards points somewhere and the Palmer House, apart from being somewhat sentimental for me (my brother was married there), is right in the heart of the Loop, which allows me easy, fast access to all the major CTA lines, as well as constant shots from underneath the L itself. In fact, one of my goals on my next photography visit is to rack up some early hours when it should be relatively dead, get some long, empty-street shots before sunrise and then find some new places to watch the sun come up over the city. My Instagram has introduced me to a slew of amazing Chicago-based photographers who know all about chasing the sun across the city; I will be sure to try and connect with them and use their knowledge to the fullest extent I can.
Until next Wednesday, enjoy this slideshow of some of my favorite images from my April Chicago trip, or check out the whole gallery here on the website.