The Tin Ceiling at Dusek’s
My friend, Hana, works for the folks who developed and own Michelin-starred Dusek’s restaurant and Thalia Hall, an exciting music venue in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago, on 18th Street one block west of Racine. I’ve shoot a lot of music concerts around town, but haven’t worked there yet. Hana set aside some time on a hot beautiful June morning to give me tours of both.
There are dining rooms and bars of varying sizes for both public and private events. The restaurants are always busy. Menu items change often. I was surprised to learn that they do a big business in weddings too. Bars stay open until 2 am.
Thalia Hall one flight up is a real theatre with a wrap around balcony, flexible seating and standing areas, and with great sound and lighting. Capacity is probably in the 900 person range. Michael Che had performed there the night before. Sorry I missed him. I love his special on Netflix and his Weekly Update reporting on SNL.
I made my notes and began planning a series of photo shoots for upcoming shows.
As we were leaving we walked into a main area of the restaurant again and the light pouring in from outside forced me to look up at the ceiling. What a marvelous display! The first loft I lived in had a tin ceiling that was endlessly graphic and exciting. This one had a different pattern, but was equally cool.
As a bonus a restored antique chandelier was hanging in its middle with old fashioned bulbs blazing away (if you can call that kind of low watt bulb a “blazer”).
I’m a photographer. I love design, mood, and light. I couldn’t not shoot it. Luckily I had my Canon G15 with me. Set it to “P” and underexposed a third of a stop. I hoped not to burn out highlights and knew I would get a raw digital file at least 12 MB in size. That’s the raw meat I love to begin my processing with.
Back on the computer I pushed and pulled, adjusted and tweaked to discover how best to finish the image. I had an idea of how it might look in my mind. Now was the time to explore how to make that idea become real.
I like the image posted above very much. For now, I’m happy. Yet, my attitude these days is that I should always review finished images after a time to discover if I “see” them differently.
I am always looking, shooting, practicing, experimenting to keep my skills current. It is not unusual to look at an image finished a few years ago and think that I could or should change it this way or that. Like practicing a piano – you play the same piece over and over for a time, then you don’t, then you revisit it and hear it new. Rethink it new.