A good street photography exercise for me is to find, frame and shoot quickly as I explore the city. Here is an image found while the bus I was riding on stopped to pick up passengers.
As I waited in an old Chicago neighborhood on a warm sunny day for my client to arrive the buildings and doorways came alive with their stories of lives over the years. Here is a section of the kind of fire escape that once was seen everywhere. Now they are rare. I wondered if it has ever been used.
“Muddy, Horns & The Clock” From my town to yours…I am using the public mural designed by Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra, the holiday horns hanging over State Street from Macy’s, and the original Marshall Field & Co. clock to send out my Happy New Year wishes to all.
The exhibit includes 6 Harvey Tillis photographs on display and for sale as large archival pigment prints of street photography in Chicago. They are “Broadway Detour”, “Family Outing”, “Blue Line Bus Stop”, “Sons Salute Dad at Blues Fest”, “Serenading Sam’s Wife” and “Superpawn Chicago”.
Lines and shadows flashed at me as I crossed this alley. I walked past, then walked back. Shame on me for not stopping instantly, not making time to look, enjoy, and delight in this scene. Back at my computer I discovered an unexpected detail. A man sitting quietly in the shade on this brutally hot afternoon, on a break from work, eating lunch.
3:30 AM. The city is finally quiet. No traffic on the street, no planes or trains passing by. Just street lights and reflections to guide my sight as I look around. But someone is still there, working late at the factory next door. Probably not senior management.
A pawn shop on Fullerton Avenue in Chicago at the end of the day. Shops like this are scattered throughout the city and cater to a wide variety of cultures, ethnic groups, social and income classes. They may often be open until midnight six nights each week plus at least 5 hours on Sunday.
It was a humid, hot evening as we enjoyed another couple while eating on the patio at one of the best, funkiest Cuban restaurant’s I’ve ever been to, 90 Miles From Cuba, on Armitage. Loud music, noisy people, delicious empanadas, ceviche and a bottle of red. Dusk turned to night. People, cars and kids floated by. So memorable. A special time.
“Night Music” Eric Schneider and Matt Ferguson at Andy’s Jazz Club for the 9th Annual Chi-Town Jazz Festival Supporting Hunger Relief. I have applied my changing vision and skills to documenting this fundraising event all nine years. 14 different bands donated their talents and 5 different venues donated their rooms all around Chicago. Great music for a worthy cause.
Clark And Oak is the location of this building in Chicago. I have passed the intersection hundreds of times and may have noticed parts of it unconsciously. On this day, in this light, at this distance I suddenly became aware of the entire structure. What a beauty! With help from a few software apps I was able to correct the perspective and fine tune areas to present a finished image of my impression of how it looks.
“Chance Of Snow” A winter scene in Chicago. Sometimes it takes a while to tease out the look and feel of an image. Musicians might experience this when they see sheet music they want to play, but haven’t worked through it enough to make it sound the way they feel it should sound. Same is true with photos I create.
Paris 1890’s Jazz Club Musicians by Harvey Tillis. Some say this is a long lost sketch found in the stacks of a Paris library by a little known artist of the day, Marvin Lowtreck, while he was living in poverty in Paris in the late 1800s… And, the story goes, some other guy copied his style and name and became better known. Well maybe.