Monday, August 17, 2015

Delighting in the Unexpected Things

I am leading a photography group on Flickr. Together a small group of us are working through David duChemin's book The Visual Toolbox, lesson by lesson. I say "leading" in a loose sense, I am there to post the lesson each week, give encouragement and delight in what each member posts in the group. It is up to each member of the group to decide how much they want to participate, some are just observing, some have jumped in with both feet, and some play it week by week.

This week's lesson is Lesson 1 - Consider Your Vision (this isn't week one of the group, I just tend to randomly jump around). I have been pondering my vision since I read this book a month ago. I looked back through my Lightroom Library which goes back to 2012, my vision is still similar in the things that I like to photograph, but my point of view of them has changed somewhat over the past three years.

This past week I was in Chicago, actually a suburb of Chicago, staying with a dear friend. Another of our photography friends also came to stay, so three photo buddies set out one day to go downtown and photograph the city. I love downtown Chicago, at least for a day or two. I couldn't live there, too many people, too much noise, but for a day it is a delight to see things that don't exist in my normal day to day life.

We took the train into the city from the suburbs. I have to say this was my favorite part of the whole day. I love riding the train, and this definitely does not exist in my day to day life. Trains are the ultimate form of adventure transportation.

I was with two gals that love to photograph people and love street photography. This is not my vision or my strength.

Now give me an old building and happiness abounds.

This is The Rookery, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, Daniel Burnham and John Root, built in 1886.  The top floors held the architectural firm of Burnham and Root, who were the architects for the 1893 Chicago's World Fair. I toured the inside of this building once on a walking tour of Daniel Burnham designed buildings, oh the glorious details.

Across the street, I noticed something that I hadn't seen when I was focused on photographing the outside of The Rookery...these vintage blue food trucks. 

My heart did a little flutter and I knew that this was one of the things that I consider to be part of my vision, finding the unexpected things, the old, vintage things. 

My version of street photograph, definitely subtle. I love the look on the Donut vendor's face.

I love structures of any sort; buildings, food trucks, trains. If people happen to be in them it is just a nice bonus for me.

Well this first post on my trip to Chicago got us to the corner of Adams Street and Michigan Avenue. I will be back soon with the second part of our day in the city.


  1. I love this post. That food truck was a wonderful find. Great architecture makes my heart pitter patter too.

  2. Loved this post . . .
    Love Chicago . . . downtown . . . visiting only!
    Food Trucks . . . really liked this part of your post. Aren't they fun, . . . Loved the Loop Juice and the photos you captured!
    And YES on the facials . . .
    I'm looking forward to more . . .

  3. Okay - I giggled to myself when I saw your shot of the Rookery from straight up. When going through my shots, I had this same shot & instantly bypassed it as it didn't intrigue me at all. Just another building to me.
    This just proves how different our visions are, but what we can learn from each other as we walk through this photography journey sometimes side by side!

  4. Fantastic post! I feel very similarly of city life, not for me to live there, but such an adventure to visit for a day or so and take in all the unique details that are so different from my own daily life. I find there is so much to photograph when visiting a new place, and I find my groove when there is hustle and bustle about and I can blend in.
    I love that little doughnut van!! Great shot of the couple standing outside it, it makes me wonder about them, where they are from, and their experience visiting the city. :)

  5. Hey - you did good with the street photography. And I love that doughnut truck with its gorgeous blue and green paint. Looking forward to the next installment!

  6. Love your shots Sarah! Chicago is my hometown and a place I love to visit with my camera

  7. Thanks for sharing your photos and words, I always enjoy hearing and seeing your adventures. I love your street photography, I think it would take some practice getting comfortable with having unknown people in my photos.

  8. I am so glad you got to go out and meet some friends. What a great adventure. Was it a long ride on the train?

  9. ummmm, you totally know how to do street photography….just saying :) and now i want a donut!!!

  10. I so badly want to up my game in street photography -I'm just going to have to do it without family around because it makes them feel uncomfortable (and it's not like I'm getting into people's face). Love the train shot and those vintage food trucks.

  11. Sarah, It gives me so much joy to watch your photography evolve and in many ways we are on this journey together. I can see the change in your work and your vision becomes more refined and revealing with every post. I am so excited to learn of the Visual Toolbox book (Beverly got me hooked on the book, too). I've read the first few chapters and hope to share a post on my vision soon. But in the meantime, I LOVE these pictures. Your pictures are rich and detailed, and the wider view is perfect for this story. Have fun, my dear friend!

  12. The unexpected. That's the thing that makes my heart beat faster. When i turn a corner or turn around and there's the coolest thing! Love the food trucks. I'm so glad you invited us all to share your journey through "The Visual Toolbox."

  13. Wow such a contrast for you, the big city rather than your subtle lakeside images. Those vans look like a photographers dream lots of colour and vibrancy...

  14. Wonderful photographs, Sarah!

    I used to post some of my photographs on flickr as well, but honestly speaking the last flickr upload is long(er) time ago.


    Regards from Germany, Uwe.

  15. Rather you are in the countryside or the city, you find amazing things to photograph....and all the better with like minded friends. I love your adventurous nature with street photography; I need to work on that issue.....


Thank you so much for visiting today and taking the time to read my thoughts on life. :)