Out and About

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          When I am out, and about sometimes, be it with my friends, family. or others I run across events going on. Well last week I wound up coming across the McHenry Cruise Nights, in McHenry, Illinois. It was getting near the end of the night, and the cars were getting ready to leave a few were left over.

      I kept Strolling Tripod in hand so I could get that shot I wanted, and I looked and sitting in the grass area next to the parking lot was what appeared to be an old beat up chevy. I walked up to the car, and started taking photos. The owner was nearby, and he stood and watched me take photos for a few minutes. His daughter was playing in the car, and he told his daughter hey look this guy with the camera is gonna make us famous.

      When I finally got up, I started talking to the owner. He introduced himself and his name was Ryan. So I politely responded ” Well that is close enough my name is Brian”. and we both had a moment of laughter. We got to talking about the car.

      Well while talking I learned that this car was in pretty bad shape at one point. He had told me he had purchased it for $800.00, and it was basically a rolling chassis, and had no motor, the floorboards were rusted, and the top half of the car had a tree fall on it. I was shocked besides the surface rust, and the gritty look it had, which I like by the way the car was in pretty good shape, and now ran.

      Ryan had told me he had banged the roof out himself, put in a 327, new floorboards, and some side panels needed to be replaced in some spots with a little bit of welding, and ingenuity. She even had the up and down AM Radio in her, although it did not work, the radio brought me back to growing up when that is all our Chevy Citation had!!!.

       After talking a bit we finally parted ways, and I looked through my camera and knew this was the money shot the one I liked. The next week I thought about it I decided this shot would look great on a shirt and decided to have it printed, and I ordered It. This is what being out and about gets me. Hopefully you all like the photo, and the blog that I wrote here!!!

ImageThis is the shirt I had made!!!

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shooting photos at night!

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              So recently I have been out at night alot in different towns. Towns like Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, St. Charles, Illinois, and McHenry, Illinois. Most of these towns are near a major water source of some sort, be it a river, or lake. Being near a Major water source, and the vintage feel to these towns, they can produce some visually stunning images, such as the image above taken of the clock tower in St. charles, Illinois, along the Fox River.

       For this photo I had set the iso low I think it was about 200 , and I brought the F stop to about 20 and then set the shutter to bulb, and let the photo exposure for about 50 seconds. only problem I had that night was the fact I was in and out of buildings, and there was some dust in the air due to a nearby storm brewing, So between the Air conditioning in the buildings, the dust in the air, and the mosquitoes gathering in swarms around the river I would get some spots in the photo because my lens would fog from the air conditioning , and then the dust hitting the lens and sticking because of the moisture buildup, and mosquitoes who decided my lens was a good resting spot. When I went home I would notice the spots in the photos and use the patch tool in photoshop to remove them.

      A few photos I still want to get down the road from me there are 2 baseball fields, and the light towers sit above the trees and at night those lights light up the open field next to it. to me this causes me to think Field of Dreams. Another photo I want to get is rides at a carnival with a long exposure, and last but not least as many times as it has been photographed the Chicago Skyline at night!!! or dusk.

       So these are just a few things why I enjoy night time photography!! for the visually stunning photos, and hey when doing this DO NOT forget to bring your tri-pod your hand is not steady for 50 seconds let alone about 5 seconds. So good luck for all those who want to try night time photography.

Time at the Blackhawks rally with my daughter!.

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         In 2005 I attended my first Championship rally for my team the Chicago Whitesox, but then I went with my friend Mike, Tara, and my friend Mike’s Mom. In 2010 I was in Chicago when the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley cup, and I celebrated on Michigan Ave that night. This time I was at home when the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2013. So this time I Wanted to go to the Rally, and see the players who brought it home to us in Chicago.

       A few days before the rally my daughter Amanda asked me if she could come with me, I did not know she was into hockey as much as I was, but she named all the players by memory, and now tells me if their is a trade, or something exciting going on with the Hawks.

       We left at about 6:15 am and we took the Metra down to the City, and we were in Chicago by 7:20 am. From there we walked up to Michigan avenue where we waited for about an hour before they started letting people into Grant Park, in Hutchinson field. We talked to other Hawks fans, and some even said they wished next season started now due to the decline in our baseball teams declines. We sat in the heat sipping on a 7/11 Slurpee, and watched one man even climb to the top of a city light pole, and many people were already trying to lead cheers, and show there hawk pride. Some people complained about the lines saying it was to long. I thought to myself well we just brought the Stanley cup to Chicago, and we are PROUD!!!!.

       About 8:15 am we entered Grant Park officially and made our way down to where we took our positions for the rally. We stood there and drank alot of water, took photos, and watched the celebration everything from beach balls, chants, to chicken fights, and if you do not know what a chicken fight is, it is where one person sits on another persons shoulders, and they try to push the other person off. If the person fell the crowd would catch the person who fell and they would crowd surf.

       We sat long we watched the players make their way to Grant Park on double decker buses on the large video screens placed around the field we sat in, and even saw news crews interview a few people in front of us. the police passed out water because of the heat, but most people wanted to uncap the bottles throw them in the air spraying people with the water instead.

        When the the Blackhawks had finally arrived we cheered loud, and we watched Pat Foley introduce the team, and when Jim Cornelison sang the National Anthem we cheered louder than ever, because we are proud Americans, and Blackhawk Fans!!!. We Watched the speeches Patrick Kanes “WHAT’S UP CHICAGOOO?”, and “THAT’S HOCKEY BABY!” Speech. He then Introduced Corey Crawford, Who gave the Amazing F-Bomb speech. Toews got up, and his voice was nearly gone by now after 4 days of celebration. After all that the confetti blew off, the fireworks hit the air, and our Fight song Chelsea Dagger started playing!. We worked our way closer to the front at that time as we watched all the players hoist the Stanley Cup, and kiss it. We danced, and celebrated even more. It was the end of the rally , and we had an amazing time with a crowd of nearly 100,000 in that park. The Parade and Rally together drew over 2 million people. As I say on my Facebook page before every Hawks game even though i am speaking about another Stanley Cup, and an amazing 2014 season, LETS GET EM BOYS!!!!!!!!