Runners Enter Chinatown

color photo of marathon runners in Chinatown

Runners in the 2015 Chicago Marathon Enter Chinatown on Wentorth.

It’s always a treat whenever I can get to Chicago’s Chinatown on a Sunday morning. I like to visit my favorite bakery for what, at a German Bakery, would be called Apple Strudel. Super tasty! Anyway, today there was an added treat in watching the runners enter this special place in the city.

All artwork is available for sale as archival prints at saatchiart.com/harveytillis .

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Outside Andy’s

color photo of Chicago street scene

Outside Andy’s Jazz Club and Restaurant in Chicago

I left after the first set was finished at Andy’s. Walked into a cool Friday early Fall night in Chicago. Looking west I saw a riot of colors and motion. Made several exposures quickly, then picked the colors and details I wanted to finally create this composite image.

All artwork is available for sale as archival prints at saatchiart.com/harveytillis .

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Richard’s Bar

color street photography

Richard’s Bar on Grand Avenue near Halsted in Chicago.

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Body Language

color photo of commuters riding in a subway car

Commuters in a Chicago subway car at the end of the day.

I have never seen public transportation decorated so completely as in this car. It practically screamed, “I dare you not to photograph me.” So I did. My main issue was to avoid being able to clearly identify the passengers which I feel has been accomplished. I had this printed very large on museum quality 100% paper using archival ink and was shocked at the quality. Just saying’…

All artwork is available for sale as archival prints at saatchiart.com/harveytillis .

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Twilight At Mill Park

color photo in Millennium Park Chicago

A section of the Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park in Chicago at one of the last concerts of the 2015 summer season.

All artwork is available for sale as archival prints at saatchiart.com/harveytillis .

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Lily Pads Along The Mississippi River

color photo of lily pads

My interpretation of lily pads found along the Mississippi River.

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My Mystery Building

color photo of older building

My Mystery Building, found on a bicycle ride through the city.

I cannot say which street this building is on. I do remember that there was no address on the building and that there was a single heavy chain across the entryway. This is an old building, but in very good condition. I used Photoshop filters to make it more like an illustration than a straight photo.

All artwork is available for sale as archival prints at saatchiart.com/harveytillis .

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The Curse Of Photography

color photo through storefront window

The Curse Of Photography

I see potential images everywhere – this one as I passed a closed store late one night. Something about the lines and light at that exact moment attracted me. This is hardly a beautiful mountain landscape. I call it the curse because I can’t not shoot it wherever I find it.

All artwork is available for sale as archival prints at saatchiart.com/harveytillis .

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Small Town Summer

color photo of rural town Main Street

A quiet afternoon on Main Street in a small Illinois town.

I saw this scene on a muggy, hot afternoon while driving through one of the very small towns that dot the banks along the Mississippi River in Illinois. It was totally quiet with no traffic on this Main Street. The young boy was engrossed in some smartphone activity, unaware of me. He was the only person I saw. Come to think of it, he is the only person I have seen anywhere in this town over the past few years as I drive through it.

All artwork is available for sale as archival prints at saatchiart.com/harveytillis .

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West On Randolph At State

color photo of traffic in downtown Chicago

West On Randolph At State Street in downtown Chicago at the end of a morning rush hour.

I was attracted by the vertical lines and signage. Photoshop helped me bring out some details and contrast, but most of all emphasized the brightness of this scene.

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Rainy Highway

My impression of a two lane country road through corn fields on a rainy afternoon.

My impression of a two lane country road through corn fields on a rainy afternoon.

I’ll take a two lane highway over an interstate anytime. This one cut through a tasseling corn field during a rain storm. I photographed in color, but the feeling was for toned black and white which is what you see here.

All artwork is available for sale as archival prints at saatchiart.com/harveytillis .

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Beautiful City Light

Beautiful city light in the afternoon on one of Chicago's busy streets.

Beautiful city light in the afternoon on one of Chicago’s busy streets.

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And The Letter Said…

color photo of dry dock on Mississippi River

Referring to this image overlooking the Mississippi River, the letter said in part, “It’s been an honor to show your photography as part of the Fifth Annual Exposure Award…Your photography was included in the Architecture Collection and was presented at a private reception hosted at Musee du Louvre, 75058 Paris – France, July 13th, 2015.” Well, how about that?! Again I say that I couldn’t have done it without more than a little help from so many, many friends.

All artwork is available for sale as archival prints at saatchiart.com/harveytillis .

 

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Chicago Board of Trade

LaSalle Street Looking South

LaSalle Street Looking South

As of today, July 6, 2015, almost all open outcry pit trading on Chicago’s commodity futures exchanges will cease. Computers replaced the trading floors. This 300 piece collage was created in 1989 when the scene was quite different. LaSalle Street and the Board of Trade were in the heart of the city’s financial district.

All artwork is available for sale as archival prints at saatchiart.com/harveytillis .

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Ready Tables

color photo of restaurant tables

Restaurant tables ready for hungry diners.

Early in the evening, before the working crowd arrives for drinks, recapping of the days’ events, and the making of plans for tomorrow, dining tables wait patiently in the warm, friendly supper club.

Photoshop levels and luminance adjustments, a few masks, plus a generous dose of Dust and Sprinkles allowed me to achieve the results here.

All artwork is available for sale as archival prints at saatchiart.com/harveytillis .

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Fisher Building, Chicago

The Fisher Building in Chicago's Loop District

The Fisher Building in Chicago’s Loop District

This building, with ornate details and solid footprint, has always been a favorite of mine. I stared at the details over this entrance for a very long time, finally deciding to include a piece of the old elevated train section which may have been constructed about the same time.  After exploring the image in Photoshop I decided to make it black and white and to create a grainy, graphic look. I’m pleased with the results.

The Fisher Building’s web site provides a look into history. “Completed in 1896 The Fisher Building was commissioned by paper industry magnate Lucius Fisher and designed by famed Chicago Architect Daniel Burnham.  It was the 2nd tallest building in Chicago at the time and is the oldest remaining 18 story building in Chicago…On March 16, 1976 The Fisher Building was deemed worthy of preservation by the federal government and added to the National Register of Historic Places…On June 7th, 1978 The Fisher Building was designated as a Chicago Landmark by the Chicago Architecture foundation…The Fisher Building and the Village Green Family (the developers) have won the National Customer Service Excellence award 5 years running with The Fisher Building specifically receiving  the Platinum A-List award.”

All artwork is available for sale as archival prints at saatchiart.com/harveytillis .

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Waiting For The Subway Train

Waiting for the next train.

Waiting for the next train.

It was a quiet moment in one of Chicago’s long, cavernous downtown subway stations. No sounds except the echoes of a busker somewhere with guitar, softly singing. A tired man sits with eyes closed waiting for the distant rumble of his train to grow into the roar that will wake him for his journey. This is a straight photograph with just a few adjustments in Photoshop.

All artwork is available for sale as archival prints at saatchiart.com/harveytillis .

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Needing Some Help From My Friends

I entered a competition, The Fifth Annual EXPOSURE Photography Award, and I’m asking you to vote for me AND…AND, briefly comment at the link below, just below the “Click to Vote” button, where it says, “Add a comment.” Spread the word if you can. If I win and go to Paris for the opening I promise to send you all postcards. Thanks.

The 5th Annual EXPOSURE Award

The 5th Annual EXPOSURE Award

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Bridge Over The Fried Shrimp Shack

color photo of bridge on highway

A bridge on the Chicago Skyway that rises high above a favorite famous fish smoke house and fried shrimp shack.

This skyway winds through and above a sprawling industrial Chicago landscape. Shipping waterways and last century factories offer so many exciting photo vantage points for me. I especially love this bridge at the highest point on the road and the curves that lead to it from either direction. It also reminds me that a favorite old fish smoke house and shrimp shack is below. I stop there every time I am in this neighborhood for a pound of fried shrimp with hot sauce. Cash only, pick up and eat in your car, that wonderful smell lingering long after the last crunch is gone. I should write a letter to the department of transportation suggesting they put an exit at this bridge that leads to the shack. Maybe they like shrimp too.

All artwork is available for sale as archival prints at saatchiart.com/harveytillis .

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West Side Braids

African Hair Braiding and Beauty Supply shop in Chicago

Color photo of African Hair Braiding and Beauty Supply shop on Chicago’s west side.

I drove past this busy place on a chilly, wet Saturday afternoon. Wasn’t sure what the person outside was doing. Turns out he or she was checking their smartphone. This image is straight with just a few adjustments.

All artwork is available for sale as archival prints at saatchiart.com/harveytillis .

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Industry Integrating With Nature

Industry Integrating With Nature

Industry Integrating With Nature

I’m not sure what this structure is or what it does/did. All I knew was that I loved the juxtaposition of it’s rusting colors with the surroundings. The grooved, lined pavement adds as much for me as the sky and baren trees. Adjustments in Photoshop plus some selective HDR filtering helped achieve this look.

All artwork is available for sale as archival prints at saatchiart.com/harveytillis .

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Oldest Known Cave Painting Of A Sax Player

Oldest Known Cave Painting of Ancient Sax Player

Oldest Known Cave Painting of Ancient Sax Player

We do the best we can under the circumstances. I mean, when I shoot in a dimly lit music club and the shutter speed is so slow that everything gets blurred you just have to improvise if you want something to come of it. I could have said, as the title of the image suggests, that this is a painting from a just discovered ancient cave that proves music was a powerful force thousands of years ago. (It probably was.) Instead, I inserted a colored, textured background, applied the image over it, then pushed and pulled the pixels until I got what I wanted.

All artwork is available for sale as archival prints at saatchiart.com/harveytillis .

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Evening Rain At The Loft

color photo of rain on urban loft roofs

Evening Rain at the Loft.

It was late afternoon on a day that started warm and sunny. Now soft Spring rain was falling, gentle enough to keep the windows open so we could hear it and feel the cool breeze it brought. Some people believe views from city lofts aren’t very pretty. We disagree. Here is the roof of a factory next door with more lofts and the skyline in the distance – a quiet Sunday evening as street lights come on.

This is a straight photograph with some levels and contrast adjustments.

All artwork is available for sale as archival prints at saatchiart.com/harveytillis .

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Parked.

color photo of railroad tracks

Cleaning equipment parked by railroad tracks on a quiet, sunny morning.

The tracks in this rail maintenance yard are usually bustling with a dozen commuter trains and all the people who clean and service them. It was unique to see it this still early one weekend morning. So much heavy equipment is used as work goes on. I was surprised to see the simple wagons quietly parked there. It was as if a suburban housewife had left them there while she went into her house to make breakfast for the kids.

This is a straight photo with little enhancement. I just loved the graphics and light. Sometimes, simple works just fine.

All artwork is available for sale as archival prints at saatchiart.com/harveytillis .

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Aficionados

“Aficionados” at Chicago’s Green Mill for late night jazz.

From 9 pm until 3 am, what a fine place for a jazz music lover to be! Michael Raynor flew in from Portland for a weekend gig. Dennis Luxion joined him on piano, Dennis Carroll on bass, and Greg Ward on sax. When they finished a jam session began at 1. A cordial, varied crowd pulled in by the music and the history of the place. I looked around and decided to photograph the listeners instead of the performers. As I look at the image now seems like I owe a debt of gratitude to New York Movie, 1939 by Edward Hopper.

This, again, is my impression of a scene rather than a straight photograph. No noise thanks to many tools in Photoshop.

All artwork is available for sale as archival prints at saatchiart.com/harveytillis .

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Broadway Detour

Late night on the corner of Sheridan Road and Lawrence in Chicago.

I’ve always been a street shooter. Used to walk long distances down streets in daytimes or at night just looking, watching lines and colors come together, deciding which ones to capture. Years of practice with Photoshop opened up so many possibilities I could quickly experiment with, build upon or reject. Knowing the digital workflow processes as I visualize makes my time shooting so much easier and rewarding than it was when I needed the right film, lens, developer and paper to achieve my goals.   This scene popped up in front of me at a red light. I quickdrew my camera, composed, shot, the light turned green and off we went.

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Xpress Food Mart

run down mini grocery store photo

The corner grocery and general store in a deserted part of town.

This corner grocery store was the only building at an intersection in a far southside, low income suburb. The other three corners were empty lots. No customer traffic outside. Dark inside, yet open for business.

The image is my impression from the photo I shot derived with the help of Photoshop adjustments and filters as well as some effects supplied by Snapseed.

All artwork is available for sale as archival prints at saatchiart.com/harveytillis .

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Bassist With Sax

Bassist Christian Dillingham performing in a group at the Jazz Record Art Collective.

“Jazz Record Art Collective is a collaboration between Chris Anderson, club manager of the Green Mill Jazz Club, and Joe Lanasa, director of the Fulton Street Collective. The series occurs the third Wednesday of every month and provides local bands and visual artists alike an opportunity to coproduce a live performance in response and homage to an iconic Jazz album.” That’s where I was to hear the Tim Fitzgerald Septet pay tribute and perform the music from Wes Montgomery’s appearance in the 1960’s on the BBC-TV show Jazz 625. The band consisted of some of the best jazz musicians around. I captured Christian as he soloed. Not satisfied with a straight photograph, I applied a variety of techniques to achieve this final image.

All artwork is available for sale as archival prints at saatchiart.com/harveytillis .

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Impression of State and Adams

My impression of the intersection of State and Adams in downtown Chicago.

My impression of the intersection of State and Adams in downtown Chicago.

I’ve been a street shooter for years. Love it. I see combinations of lines, curves and colors everywhere. These days I continue to experiment with shifting from the literal nature of straight photography to a more impressionistic look. Here is my latest adventure. Removed many details, pumped up some of the colors and contrasts, a little masking here and there, adjusted levels – and here you go. A nice Spring day in the city.

All artwork is available for sale as archival prints at saatchiart.com/harveytillis .

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Chi-Town Jazz Festival Highlights

2015 marked the 6th year of the Chi-Town Jazz Festival Supporting Hunger Relief in Chicago. The four day event took place at major music venues including The Jazz Showcase, Andy’s Jazz Club & Restaurant, Green Mill, and FitzGerald’s. A performance of Monk compositions was hosted at pianoForte and Jazz Vespers featuring Sacred Music by Duke Ellington was featured at the First Presbyterian Church in Evanston. All venues donated their space and musicians donated their time and considerable talents. Money collected was donated to four nonprofits this year including Care For Real, Top Box Foods, West Suburban PADS, and Catholic Charities. Complete details about the Festival as well as many more photos are at http://chitownjazzfestival.org . I am honored to have been the photographer for this event every year since it began.

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Blue Line Subway Stop at Monroe

Blue Line Subway Stop at Monroe

Blue Line Subway Stop at Monroe

This is the subway station we waited at for the ride home on a beautiful Saturday afternoon after seeing the A. J. Motley exhibit at the Cultural Center, after having lunch at the Middle Eastern restaurant my wife found in the back of a jewelry store, after meeting Dana at Flax who told us about a wonderful photographer who makes immense collages that are framed at her store, after walking in crowds on one of the new crisp clear days of Spring. This image was manipulated with Photoshop adjustments and filters to combine some graphic effects with the otherwise straight photo.

All artwork is available for sale as archival prints at saatchiart.com/harveytillis .

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Jazz Club Bar Scene

Jazz Club Bar Scene

There are some wonderful places in the city to hear music. To me, this is the grandaddy of them all, Joe & Wayne Segal’s Jazz Showcase. I know, the Green Mill has been around since Al Capone days and its owner, Dave Jemilo has made his room one of the hottest spots in town. Yet the Showcase always reminds me of my first time I ever went to a bar to hear jazz. I was not quite 21. Joe Segal hosted a Sunday afternoon session in an old mansion just off Rush Street in a location that today is replaced by a pancake restaurant. It was 2:00 o’clock. I walked in wearing my double breasted plaid Miles Davis suit trying to look as cool and hip as a 20 year old could look, told Joe I wasn’t 21, he said that was OK they’d serve me some milk, and I sat down to listen to a piano trio. When leaving I asked Joe how to know when jazz was good. “Listen kid,” said Joe, “if you like it it’s good. If you don’t it isn’t.” Still works for me today.

I shot this in color, but decided to process it as a toned black and white image, decreasing details in the customers, also adding crosshatching and paint brush effects. Here is a section of this image to show the effects achieved.

Jazz Club Bar Scene - Section showing effects achieved using Photoshop.

Jazz Club Bar Scene – Section showing effects achieved using Photoshop.

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Before The Event Began

Before The Event Began

Before The Event Began

As a working photographer I cover many kinds of events. This one was at a research center in Chicago. TV stations were setting up for the press event, researchers, department heads, and PR people were milling about, networking, anticipating the arrival of speakers. I was attracted by the light. Didn’t want a straight photo. Didn’t want to be able to identify anyone. Just wanted to present the feel of the time and place. Photoshop filters applied the effects I needed. Pixels are replaced with brush strokes and crosshatching.

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At The Concert

At The Concert

At The Concert

I looked around as the lights dimmed and saw this scene. Everyone was looking at the stage, but I was looking at the room. Like so many of my photos, I don’t want to identify individuals. Instead, I wish to capture the feeling of a space. Photoshop filters and levels adjustments were used to replace pixels with brush strokes and cross-hatching.

All artwork is available for sale as archival prints at saatchiart.com/harveytillis .

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Pharaoh At A Fair

Pharaoh At A Fair

Pharaoh At A Fair

This antique photo from a lost archive in the corner of an old library somewhere in the city depicts a forgotten ruler in an ancient land reminding me of the Shelley poem, “OZYMANDIAS,” and the lines,

I met a traveller from an antique land

Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone

Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,

Half sunk, a shatter’d visage lies, whose frown

And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command

Tell that its sculptor well those passions read

Which yet survive, stamp’d on these lifeless things,

The hand that mock’d them and the heart that fed.

And on the pedestal these words appear:

“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:

Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”

Nothing beside remains: round the decay

Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,

The lone and level sands stretch far away.

No…wait. It’s just the front of a children’s ride at a summer street fair. It swings up and back, holding 2-3 squealing, screaming, laughing kids on warm nights surrounded by electric lights, the smells of carnival food, and clumps of every size and shape people slowly walking, talking. I worked it up in Photoshop. It was late at night in winter when I just had to create an image. Looked through many photos on file, then came to this one. Pushed and pulled, cropped, removed then added color. A nice experiment. Sorry for the confusion.

All artwork is available for sale as archival prints at saatchiart.com/harveytillis .

 

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Arnie’s Liquors

I am fascinated with city street corners. Sometimes I process them into paintings where you only see brush strokes and the effect of Photoshop filters. In this image I wanted to see a straight photo with details. Feels just right to me. I love the people walking along, each in their own world. Arnie’s is closed at this time of day, but may be open all night long. A street corner is prime space.

All artwork is available for sale as archival prints at saatchiart.com/harveytillis .

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New Stop Food & Tobacco

New Stop Food & Tobacco

New Stop Food & Tobacco

Little grocery stores like this one are all over the city. Buy a slushie, a sandwich, basic groceries for cooking, and don’t forget your lottery tickets. I found this one on a rainy, cold day in January. Photoshop helped me achieve the feeling I wanted by using a variety of adjustments and artist filters.

All artwork is available for sale as archival prints at saatchiart.com/harveytillis .

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Buy Sell Trade Fix At The Corner Of Kedzie And Somewhere

Buy Sell Trade Fix At The Corner Of Kedzie And Somewhere.

Buy Sell Trade Fix At The Corner Of Kedzie And Somewhere.

This is another example of my fascination with cityscapes and city corners. Here is a brief moment when there was no traffic moving through this usually busy intersection on the west side of Chicago. I shoot quickly as the design and color elements come together before me. Then they are gone. I have to do a book of city corners this year.

All artwork is available for sale as archival prints at saatchiart.com/harveytillis .

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Gail and Dave’s View

Gail and Daves View

Gail and Dave’s View

Since our friends were spending a long weekend in the city we planned to meet for dinner and to hear some music, but the bitter cold and Chicago wind made us rethink the evening. Instead we decided to just stop and hang out. We ordered food, relaxed, then caught up on so many events and stories that speed by in busy lives. We also made time to just look out the windows to enjoy their views of the night. I processed this photo into a painting using Photoshop filters, adjustments, and cross-hatching. Details are still there, but not like a photograph. Sometimes I think that implying what is there is more effective than showing it in sharp detail.

All artwork is available for sale as archival prints at saatchiart.com/harveytillis .

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A Home In The City

A home in the city.

A home in the city.

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Outside NMH

Outside NMH

Outside NMH

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A Summer Memory

A Summer Memory

A Summer Memory

I love to post a summer photo when the weather turns cold, the wind blows cold, and snow threatens.

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Pilsen Pizzeria Milan

Pilsen Pizzeria Milan in early Spring.

Pilsen Pizzeria Milan in early Spring.

We walked up 18th Street on the first warm night of Spring in Chicago. Everyplace looked interesting if not exciting. Even this pizzeria. I create my images from whatever moves me. In this case I preconceived that the image had to include the alley and it had to be converted into black and white. Since shooting with so little light leads to noisy (pixelated) images I decided to use Photoshop adjustments to minimize them which changed the final effect from being completely photographic to being, I don’t know, maybe a little more painterly.

All artwork is available for sale as archival prints at saatchiart.com/harveytillis .

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Smoked Fish & Fried Shrimp

Smoked Fish & Fried Shrimp are the best at Calumet Fisheries

Smoked Fish & Fried Shrimp are the best at Calumet Fisheries

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A Fleeting Glance From The Middle Of Nowhere

A Fleeting Glance From The Middle Of Nowhere

A Fleeting Glance From The Middle Of Nowhere

I was the lone passenger as we speeded down an almost empty street in the poor section of a distant suburb racing to my next assignment. This site almost flashed by me. The colors and design caught my eye so I quickly grabbed two shots through the car window. Many Photoshop adjustments yielded to image you see now.

All artwork is available for sale as archival prints at saatchiart.com/harveytillis .

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Farm By The Road

A farm in late fall along the highway in central Illinois.

A farm in late fall along the highway in central Illinois.

The light and mood of the afternoon changed as I drove along a country road on my way to a shoot. Fog rolled in, clouds disappeared, mist added a glow to the landscape. There was nowhere to stop, but I couldn’t stop myself from reacting, expecting to see and hoping to capture something of the countryside as everything flew by me. My trusty point and shoot delivered the basics. Back at my computer I just pushed and pulled the pixels, color, tinting, anything I could find or remember to get this final result.

All artwork is available for sale as archival prints at saatchiart.com/harveytillis .

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Welcome Home!

Welcome Home!

Welcome Home!

All artwork is available for sale as archival prints at saatchiart.com/harveytillis .

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An Important Affair

An Important Affair

An Important Affair

All artwork is available for sale as archival prints at saatchiart.com/harveytillis .

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Grand Opening America

Grand Opening America

Grand Opening America

All artwork is available for sale as archival prints at saatchiart.com/harveytillis .

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The Nite Cap

Nite Cap

The Nite Cap

All artwork is available for sale as archival prints at saatchiart.com/harveytillis .

Posted in Digital Art, Digital Art Photography, Documentary, Documentary Photography, Editorial Photography, Editorial Photos, Fine Art Photography, Photography | Leave a comment