Category Archives: Documentary Photography

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Haunted On Lake Street

Street photography – An Annual Halloween Tale. I was hurrying to my car parked under elevated tracks on a dark rainy Halloween night in the city. A train overhead thundered by – this building came into view – then silence. No people or cars around. Street light, moonlight, and a few windows lit from inside too, especially bright in the tower. What might be happening there? I quickened my pace. Oooooo… See “Prints for Sale” above.

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Street photography – the 57th Street Art Fair in Chicago’s Hyde Park early every June. Soon to be tan legs of all ages testing out the day’s warmth. Shadows on the sidewalks from bright new green leaves overhead. The feel of warm breezes – finally! I remember this scene and these moments especially today, a gray day with snow showers this morning. Button up, buckle down, get ready for the long winter. Just don’t forget the Fair will come again. For sale in https://harveysphotoart.com

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Art Fans

Several years ago I documented a special event at Chicago’s Art Institute where guests were allowed to view an extensive exhibit after hours of Toulouse-Lautrec and some of his contemporaries. Here are two guests, I […]

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Fisher Building Window With Table And Chairs

Here is a Fisher Building window in downtown Chicago. It was early morning so tables and chairs had not been set up yet for the café inside. This image is beautiful as a straight photograph. […]

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Oak Street Mini Storage

Street photography – I love ivy covered buildings and this one looked like it had gone crazy. For all I know it has been completely covered by now and has blended in to the surrounding foliage of trees and yards. I can imagine walking into one of its walls if I wasn’t paying attention. The signage says it is used for storage, but I think it is the perfect size to create a living space for leprechauns. For sale in “Prints For Sale” above.

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Lines And Curves

Architecture photography. Lines and curves. I love ’em. Always have. My eyes have traced them since I was a kid. Don’t know why. Is it bad or good? Too late now. Just see them, capture, and move on. For sale in “Prints For Sale” above.

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Going Home

Architecture – This building is on the corner of a six way intersection. Buses, shops and banking on some streets. Homes and apartment buildings down others. An old building with a history of many incarnations…at the end of a normal work weekday as passersby move along in their own worlds oblivious to its majesty. For sale in “Prints For Sale” above.

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A Little Bit Of Everything

Street photography – A busy storefront in Chicago’s Little Village. Abundant signage seems to imply you can get almost anything you need right here. Travel and tours, legal advice, tax prep. And for good measure there’s clothing to the left, tacos to the right, and a Dollar Store just across the street. For sale in “Prints For Sale” above.

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CTA Stairs Up On Wabash

Architecture – The entrance stairway here on Wabash leads to one of the downtown elevated rapid transit “L” platforms where most of these Lines stop. Capturing the graphic lines that caught my eye was a challenge I couldn’t pass up. Love those lines.

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Ari Brown and Kirk Brown at Chicago’s Jazz Showcase

Jazz musicians – 1/31/20, The Ari Brown Quartet performed at Joe and Wayne Segal’s Jazz Showcase in Chicago. Ari Brown on tenor sax, Kirk Brown piano, Yosef Ben Israel on bass, and Avreeayl Ra on drums.

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An Ice Cream Kind of Night

Street photography – Quiet Sunday evening in the city. The right time for a late night frosty cone at Shelly’s Freeze Cone Stand in Chicago.

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Evening Rush Hour Begins

Architecture. …The city’s afternoon light was changing to dusk. Office lights brightened. Looking down I saw workers begin to travel back to their homes using taxis, buses, cars, and walking to nearby commuter train stations. Evening rush hour had begun. Afterwards, as I processed this image I felt that it required more than an exact representation of the time.

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Bar At The Blue Nocturne

Fine art photography available at “Prints For Sale” above. … the bar was readied and last minute checked. Then came the wait for doors to open. This image was created during the wait. My capture isn’t a still life, it is a low light moment in time challenge. I had to quickly estimate the best possible exposure in order to collect enough raw pixels for processing so I could achieve what my mind saw. This image doesn’t have to be “perfect”, whatever that means. It just has to look “right” to me and it does.

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New Book Available Now

CLICK ON THE PHOTO ABOVE … for a slideshow of performers and details about my book celebrating SPACE, the music hall in Evanston, IL during its first 10 years.

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Alvarez Hardware At Night

Street photography. Alvarez Hardware in Chicago has been a family owned business for over 30 years. Friendly service, low prices, same day window repairs, screens, double, windows, insulated windows. All keys available. Name brand door […]

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Looptopia

Street photography. …”Looptopia” sounded like a good idea, but didn’t work out for more than two years. Happily, it did offer me an opportunity to capture and then experiment with this spontaneous scene in a crowded plaza very late one night. For sale at “Prints For Sale” above.

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Calumet Fish Inc.

Architecture street photography. For sale in “Prints For Sale” above. This fast food fried and smoked fish shack is in a sparse urban landscape on Chicago’s south side at one end of a bridge over busy industrial water traffic. No seating. Cash only…if there is a heaven, a place like this is waiting on a bridge like this, always open with a welcome mat at the front door.

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Archi Wall On Mich Ave

Architecture. Here is a sample of the variety of architecture styles along Michigan Avenue in Chicago. Available in “Prints For Sale” above.

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Entrance To 1221

Architecture – Entrance to a modernized apartment building in an older Chicago neighborhood. Lighting is from street lamps outside and lobby bulbs inside. Available in “Prints For Sale” above.

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Stopped By A Riot Of Color And Food

I was driving down the street minding my own business when this explosion of color caught my eye. Jammed on the brakes. Pulledover. Took in the scene. Standing there staring I became wrapped in the scent of delicious Mexican food. It was definitely time for lunch. Yes it was. This print and others are for sale at https://harveysphotoart.com.

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Armand’s Pizzeria

Armand’s Pizzeria
Gourmet pizza, by the jumbo slice if preferred plus ribs, salads, pasta, soup and sandwiches. Since 1956. Just north of Irving Park on Western Avenue in Chicago. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it. This print and more is for sale at https://harveysphotoart.com.

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My Interview with Chicago Jazz Magazine

I shared my background as well as some useful information about issues photographers face as we capture musicians in this Chicago Jazz Magazine interview. Take a look.

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Entrance To The Blue Nocturne

Entrance to the intimate, stylish Blue Nocturne performance venue on the lower level of Chicago’s Chopin Theatre is through this tiny room.

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Thomas & Rockwell

FOR SALE IN MY SHOP – Discovered on a Sunday morning bike ride. The scene felt like a painting to me so I photographed it, then processed it to look like a painting.

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Greem Mill Cocktail Lounge Chicago

It’s unusual to see this normally crowded legendary jazz club empty. Covid time made it so. Here’s hoping it reopens very soon.

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Welcome to Summer

This sculpture is in the middle of an expressway in Chicago, not easily viewed when speeding by. She’s quite a beauty, open, warm, inviting, welcoming the way I think Summer should be. Her name is Magdalene. She was created by Dessa Kirk and my research found the following info…

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Music & Musicians – Chicago #3

SLIDESHOW – Chicago was asked to stay at home during Spring 2020. All clubs were closed. Here is a slideshow as an exercise in remembering and celebrating the talents of some wonderful jazz and blues musicians.

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Music & Musicians – Chicago #2

SLIDESHOW – Chicago was asked to stay at home during Spring 2020. All clubs were closed. Here is a slideshow as an exercise in remembering and celebrating the talents of some wonderful jazz and blues musicians.

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Music & Musicians – Chicago #1

SLIDESHOW – The city was asked to stay at home during Spring 2020. All clubs were closed. I decided to reach back to earlier dates as an exercise in remembering and enjoying some wonderful jazz and blues musicians. Here is the first of a series of slideshows to celebrate their talents. Photos include Guy King, Juan Daniel Pastor, Patricia Barber, Dana Hall, Hunter Jay Diamond, Quentin Coaxum, Paul Wertico, and Isaiah Collier.

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I Love Ya Tomorrow

I thought of this image during the Covid-19 2020 stay-at-home Spring and words from the musical Annie popped into my brain; “Tomorrow, Tomorrow, I Love Ya, Tomorrow”. The song finishes “It’s only a day away”. I replaced that line with the word “Whenever” because right now I/we don’t know when life like the image above will return. 

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2525 North South East West Any Street in the City

2525 North South East West Any Street in the City. This image is interesting to me by itself as a piece of architecture. It was captured during the 2020 Covid-19 stay at home order. It symbolizes doors closed and secured, people safe inside, stay away.

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CGQ Plays Captain Marvel

SLIDESHOW – Chris Greene Quintet performed Stan Getz ‘s CAPTAIN MARVEL at the Jazz Record Art Collective. The visual artist was Abena Motaboli. Chris Greene on reeds, Damian Espinosa piano/keyboards, Marc Piane bass, Steve Corley drums. Chris Edwards percussionist

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Documenting Chi-Town Jazz Festival #11

SLIDESHOW – Here are some photo highlights from the 11th Annual Chi-Town Jazz Festival Supporting Hunger Relief.

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Music and Songs by Milton Suggs

SLIDESHOW – Vocalist Milton Suggs returned home to Chicago for an evening of swing, soul, and his original music at Chris Anderson’s Fulton Street Collective.

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Train Yard With Stairs

The interplay of light, shadows and lines at night attracted me to this scene in a Chicago Metra maintenance yard. This is a very noisy/grainy image which makes it look very graphic. I think that’s beautiful. It’s an “…in the eye of the beholder” kind of thing.

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Time Out To Visit GPC

SLIDESHOW – I decided to take a break from winter weather, news, and work. The nearby Garfield Park Conservatory offered welcome relief. 

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Nightlife At The Jazz Showcase

Late night bar scene at Joe and Wayne Segal’s Jazz Showcase in Chicago where Tim Warfield brought his Jazzy Christmas crew to perform during the holiday. Sold out and rightly so.

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Friendly Light On A Bitter Cold Night

A scene in the urban landscape processed to look like a painting. This diner’s sign in the window offering, “Coffee, Booze, Dessert,” known to some as the three basic food groups, caught my eye. A late night hang for body and/or soul.

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Documenting Creation of an Artwork

SLIDESHOW – Sculptor John Preus constructs and installs his project , Adaptation, in Keller Center for Harris Policy Lab at the University of Chicago. All photos by Harvey Tillis Photography.

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Documenting Jazz Gospel Inspired Handel

SLIDESHOW – 1/18/20 – The 15th annual concert of Handel’s classic Messiah was reimagined as a spirited jazz-gospel makeover at Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre…and also kicked off the “Year of Chicago Music”.

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Checking The Tunes

A couple reviews the variety of music on the juke box between live jazz performances at Chicago’s Green Mill.

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Chicago Athletic Association Building

The Chicago Athletic Association building on Michigan Avenue across from Millennium Park

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Brandee Younger, Jazz Harpist

Listening to Brandee Younger now on WBGO brought back memories of her from 8/29/18 when Dana Hall’s band performed MCoy Tyner’s “Extensions” at Chris Anderson’s Jazz Record Art Collective, JRAC, in Chicago.

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Street Fair in the Spring

Here is a city street fair with whirling rides seen through the leaves and branches of a tree in early Spring.

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Life Is Great, Be Cool To Each Other

The news is so extreme, divisive and tense that I had to pull this memory out from a pleasant bicycle ride through the city. “Life Is Great Be Cool To Each Other” is a graffiti artist’s mural in a quiet Pilsen neighborhood.

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Logan Blvd Western Ave Underpass

Street traffic in the rain at night.

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A Quiet Night In The City

A quiet night In the city on Christmas night.

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Patricia Barber at the Green Mill

12/23/19 – The Patricia Barber Trio performed at Chicago’s Green Mill during their regular Monday night residency. Songs from her highly praised latest album, “Higher”, were featured. Barber on piano, Larry Kohut on bass, and Jon Deitemyer on drums.

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Kelly Sill At The Green Mill

To quote National Jazz Critic Neil Tesser, Sill’s “… oceanic tone carries on a Chicago  bass tradition that starts with Milt Hinton and runs  through such artists as Wilbur Ware and Rufus  Reid”… Here he accompanied Mike Jones on piano and Eric Montzka on drums at a recent Green Mill gig.

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The Masters

Kirk Brown on piano and Yosef Ben Israel quietly, brilliantly solo during a set with the Ari Brown Quintet at The Promontory in Chicago.

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