I have just recently chosen to pursue photography (2012). Since a child, about age 10, I have had a camera in my hand. I had never thought of it as a passion, let alone a career. It was just something to do for fun. So, over the years I have worked in manufacturing as an engineer, earning my paycheck, wondering "is there not something else for me?"
Over the past years, as I took more photographs at our local Doctor Who convention (for personal use), I was having fun with it and found people there really enjoyed my photography. Especially the returning actors to the convention, who would autograph the photo taken the year before. After the 2011 convention the passion for photography began to burn, and all I wanted at that time was to take and give free photographs for everyone to enjoy.
Towards the end of 2011 my son and I kept talking about all that there is to see in NW Indiana, and how it would be cool to combine my photography with a blog that would show people things they never new were here. My first thought was to catalog bicycle trails, hiking trails, and things like that. Things that we enjoyed, however rarely saw anyone else out there doing the same. Hence the blog title, "My NW Indiana and More". The "More" being our other passion for Doctor Who and Big Finish. The "More" has now expanded to anything I can photograph.
December of 2011, Christmas day specifically, I made the decision to pursue photography. To deep dive into it because I enjoy it. My fear at the time . . . photographing people. It is one thing to be a fly on the wall, taking photos. It is another to be involved, to feel the vibe, to photograph the energy, to create. My first photo op was at Paul Henry's Art Gallery in Hammond, IN. (Refer to the blog thumbnails cataloged for Paul Henry's in StreetPhoto.ME, near the bottom of the list.) Here the gallery hosts an acoustical open mic night every Thursday. I attended my first event December 30, 2011, took my first real "people" photos, and have been going strong ever since.
As I went to Paul Henry's, I kept looking at the Towle Theater next door. For the prior three or so years I had been driving on Hohman to and from work, passing the Towle Theater along the way. I always wondered what the Towle Theater was. I found out when David Mueller, owner of Paul Henry's, introduced some actors who had come to the gallery to play and sing for us. I then thought, I need to contact the Towle Theater to find out if I could photograph a play. (Extending myself to do photography I have never done before.) The now obvious answer was "no, not during a performance." However, director Jeff Casey gave me an option, which opened more opportunities to photograph. Jeff allowed me to photograph the rehearsal of the musical "Ordinary Days"! You can catch some of my photography of that, and other productions, by here. This musical has impacted me so much, that I have gone on the journey to photograph more musicals, plays, and most recently Who Prov at The Second City, and Musical Improv Night (M.I.N.T.) at Studio BE. (Now called Music Comedy Live Chicago [MCL].) Oh, I cannot forget to mention photographing the first showing of "Next Stop: A New Chicago Musical". That was a mind blowing experience as well, and another superb musical!
The above photo is from my first musical "Ordinary Days". It was the third photo I took that night, and the most important one to me out of any photo I have taken. I do not need a big picture to see what is in front of me. I do not need to stress out planning a busy life to be happy. I can just give photographs. Thank you Jeff, for I will be forever grateful.
Another huge leap for me was attending a Canon Live Learning session on photography lighting, March 31st and April 1st 2012 in Atlanta studying under Perish Kohanim. This was the most excellent change in my life. I finally learned what I did not know about photography, so I could continue to improve, challenge myself, and create. I was able to confront more of my fear, approaching a model of all things, to practice my photographic lighting. Lighting being what photography is all about. This next photo was the very first photo I took at Parish's studio, using two slave flashes (like any flash you would buy for your camera) and bouncing the light off a wall. It was that simple, yet the outcome is anything but simple . . . it is fantastic! (I went back the end of April 2013 for another session. You can check it out by clicking here.)
I do want to thank my friend Renee. I met her a few years ago at work, and found out she is a photographer too. Her photography is beautiful, and her zest for her perfection enticed me to compete with her, even though I cannot. She has a skill of her own. I am finding mine. It is because of her I chose to pick up a camera again, to regain the fun that was somewhat taken away.
The photos just keep on coming. There are so many opportunities around Chicago and NW Indiana. To take this one step further as Parish taught me, it is just a matter of walking out your door and finding that most unlikely place. So, look for me to expand, practicing what I learned I did not know. Learning more about what I do not know, and never accepting boundaries. For not knowing those boundaries is what will define me.
As you go through this blog you will notice some early entry dates. The dates were set to match the timeline of the event, which I had not posted until 2012. Also, I needed to put them in some type of order to help keep things straight. This blog was originated June of 2011. Hence this blog also starts my writing career. Well, I just remembered. I also had a manufacturing blog I was writing the year before. That was pretty cool too.
My fun in this is developing my skills that will put a smile on your face . . . a memory you can feed off to energize your day. A photographic story if you will, of the events I go to. Either way you want to look at it, I hope you see what I see.
White Ripple Gallery & Co. - 2nd Annual Small Works Exhibit, December 12th 2015 thru February 13th 2016 (3-photographs)
The Sip - Drift, February 28th thru March 28th, 2014 (3-photographs)
Hobart Art League - 8th Annual Juried Art Compeition, October 5th thru November 1st, 2013 (3-photographs, Raggedy Ann, Twenty Something [won honorable mention], Intrigue)
The Sip - Hot, August 9th thru October 25th, 2013 (1-photograph, Hot Afternoon)
Indiana Welcome Center - Reflections, August 15th thru September 30th, 2013 (1-photograph, My Life)
Beatniks On Conkey, Hammond IN - Ongoing Exhibit of Work
The Sip - General Submission, May 31st thru July 18th, 2013 (1-photograph, The Jazz)
Towle Theater - Looking Back Exhibition, April / May 2013 (1-photograph, Big Picture)
Hammond Public Library, Hammond IN - Solo Exhibition, January 5, 2013 thru February 28th, 2013 (17-photographs)
CornerStone Art Gallery - Oliver Brown XVIII Exhibit, November 19, 2012 thru January 4th, 2013 (3-photographs)
Studio 659 - Artistic License, November 2 thru November 31st, 2012 (1-photograph)
Hobart Art League - 7th Annual Juried Art competition, October 1st thru October 31st, 2012 (3-photographs, Simple Light, Clown, Enlightenment)
Towle Theater - Theme photographs for the play "Leaving Iowa", September 7th thru September 23rd, 2012 (11-photographs)
Studio 659 - Road Trip, September 7th thru September 29th, 2012 (4-photographs)
Indiana Welcome Center - Horizons, August 2nd thru September 30th, 2012 (1-photograph, Road Less Traveled)
CornerStone Art Gallery - Photo Arts III, juried photography show, June 4th thru August 3rd, 2012 (5-photographs - received honorable mention for Million Mile Man, first ever sold photograph)
2010 National Geographic Photography Contest (I was one of many) (Link no longer available.)
The Times nwi.com for Nomad Planets Debut
Anarchy: An Improvised Rock Opera, Chicago, IL
The Sketch Review for Snooty Pageant at the Public House Theater
Chicago Comedy Tonight for the M.I.N.T. Christmas Carol, Chicago, IL
Beatlesfest for 2012, in 2013 Advertisement Beatlesfest2013, Hammond, IN
Chicago Theater Beat, Chicago BroadwayWorld and Chicago Pride for Next Stop: a new Chicago Musical
Northwest Indiana Times (NWI Times) for Fabulous 50's & Swank 60's Christmas and Brooklyn The Musical
Towle Theater for 2012 Season Ordinary Days, The 39 Steps, Next To Normal, Leaving Iowa, A Fabulous 50's & Swank 60's Christmas; 2013 Season Tomorrow Morning, Jewtopia, Brooklyn The Musical, Pursued by Happiness, Clue The Musical, A Fabulous 50's Christmas; 2014 Season Adrift in Macao, Romeo & Juliet, The Nightmare Room, From Up Here, Play Dates, Do Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?, A Fabulous 50's Christmas, All American Sweethearts: A Salute to The Andrews Sisters; 2015 Season Shirley Valentine, Next Thing You Know, The Burnt Part Boys, Perfect Wedding, Tapped, A Fabulous 50's Christmas; 2016 Season Crashing with Flamingos, Mental, First date
Purdue University Calumet 2015 Dog Sees God
Model Kimberly Askew for Canon Live Learning session April 1, 2012
For a thumbnail presentation of my blog posts, please to to StreetPhoto.me.
Griffith Indiana, (NW Indiana 13 miles from Chicago city limit as the car drives . . . not as the crow flies).