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Chicago Night Photos
#3014132 10/29/19 05:12 PM
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Sometimes, just to stay in practice, I drive into Chicago and prowl around desolate streets and empty industrial areas looking for things to shoot. No light painting here; the exposures are pretty short (comparatively speaking) and depend almost wholly on how much ambient streetlighting there is. But its fun and keeps the creative processes working...



Creepy old viaducts are always fun. Here is some of that mixed lighting Lance Keimig is always on the lookout for. I used to hate sodium vapor lighting (the orange light here) but considering how quickly it is disappearing, maybe I should give it more appreciation. Not visible here is the non-stop traffic zooming by off to the right.

[Linked Image from ]



On the other hand, this quiet viaduct leads only to a dead-end, at a business that was closed for the night.

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Underneath the "L". I shot this with my Rolleiflex.

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I can't resist an old neon sign.

[Linked Image from imagizer.imageshack.com]




Re: Chicago Night Photos
Lou Gehrig #3014137 10/29/19 05:20 PM
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I'm sure I can find more to post!

Re: Chicago Night Photos
Lou Gehrig #3014189 10/30/19 12:14 AM
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Nice. And yes, please post more. Lance does like his mixed light photos. He also loves layers and depth, which you've got going as well.

Re: Chicago Night Photos
Lou Gehrig #3014328 10/31/19 01:56 AM
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A few weeks ago, I stopped by St. Boniface church; abandoned in 1990 and threatened with demolition off and on ever since. It is "supposedly" on the verge of a restoration but it keeps getting more and more derelict. The city has threatened its owners with immediate demolition due to brickwork crumbling and falling onto the sidewalks!

[Linked Image from imagizer.imageshack.com]




Nine years ago, I found an unlocked door and I went in for some photos. It was sweltering hot and the whole place stunk of pigeon poop.

[Linked Image from imagizer.imageshack.com]

[Linked Image from imagizer.imageshack.com]

[Linked Image from imagizer.imageshack.com]

Last edited by Lou Gehrig; 10/31/19 02:03 AM.
Re: Chicago Night Photos
Lou Gehrig #3014498 11/01/19 12:07 AM
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Wowwwww....fantastic!!

Re: Chicago Night Photos
Lou Gehrig #3014861 11/04/19 01:04 PM
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Thank you Ken!!

Re: Chicago Night Photos
Lou Gehrig #3014928 11/04/19 08:47 PM
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Did you play the organ in there?


It's not a clone, it's a Suzuki.
Re: Chicago Night Photos
Lou Gehrig #3015003 11/05/19 12:28 PM
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Fascinating photos. smile


When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
Re: Chicago Night Photos
Lou Gehrig #3015039 11/05/19 05:45 PM
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Thanks! Oh, no organ here, at least not any more.

One piano I did try to play though was this one, in a different abandoned church, this one in Gary Indiana. This church had been abandoned since about 1975 and has become increasingly derelict particularly in the last few years (this photo was in 2009). The whole roof here has fallen in recently! Anyway, the piano appeared at some point for the filming of a music video here by gospel artist Dwayne Coleman, and was left behind afterward. It might have been a junker.... I tried to play it and most of the keys were stuck/broken, etc. It remained there for another year or so until it eventually got smashed into kindling. Crazy how the high angle here makes it look like a toy! But its a real, full-size upright piano.

[Linked Image from imagizer.imageshack.com]

Last edited by Lou Gehrig; 11/05/19 05:47 PM.
Re: Chicago Night Photos
Lou Gehrig #3015096 11/06/19 02:06 AM
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Nice stuff Lou! I like these old, grungy and decrepit places.

Re: Chicago Night Photos
Lou Gehrig #3015274 11/08/19 02:33 AM
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They are so much fun to explore. And that wonderful patina makes for great images.

Re: Chicago Night Photos
Lou Gehrig #3018049 12/01/19 04:59 PM
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A quickie from Friday night. Tons of ambient streetlighting but I used my flashlight briefly on that overhead bridge so it wouldn't totally disappear in shadow.

[Linked Image from imagizer.imageshack.com]

Re: Chicago Night Photos
Lou Gehrig #3019371 12/13/19 12:44 PM
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A couple quick ones from this week's full moon; its a cemetery just five minutes from home.

[Linked Image from imageshack.com]

[Linked Image from imageshack.com]

Last edited by Lou Gehrig; 12/13/19 12:45 PM.
Re: Chicago Night Photos
Lou Gehrig #3019466 12/14/19 01:57 AM
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Nice mood. And you're getting good texture on the headstones too.

Re: Chicago Night Photos
Lou Gehrig #3024801 01/21/20 01:54 AM
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Not really "nighttime", but in the pre-dawn glow on a cloudy day:

This old gas station-turned-auto repair shop has closed up recently, and like what typically happens around here, will probably get torn down so they can build a new Walgreen's or a strip mall here. But until then, at least they left the lights on inside so it looks like there's some life left in it, at least in pictures. My favorite detail in the interior is the sink! This is about a mile from work; I stopped by here this morning for a quick snap and just about froze my fingers to my tripod!

[Linked Image from imagizer.imageshack.com]

Re: Chicago Night Photos
Lou Gehrig #3025716 01/25/20 04:57 PM
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So glad they also left the garbage can or whatever that is perfectly centered for you to photograph. grin

That is a lot of great interior detail.

Re: Chicago Night Photos
Lou Gehrig #3025726 01/25/20 05:43 PM
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It kind of reminds me of when I was into model railroading as a kid and we built all sorts of buildings and places, usually everything but the people. Fond memories I had not thought about in a while. Thanks!


The great thing about music is that there's always something to learn. The frustrating thing about music is that there's always something to learn!
Re: Chicago Night Photos
KenElevenShadows #3025829 01/26/20 04:47 AM
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Originally Posted by KenElevenShadows
So glad they also left the garbage can or whatever that is perfectly centered for you to photograph. grin



LOL I think I'm about four inches too far to the right!

Originally Posted by Joe Muscara
It kind of reminds me of when I was into model railroading as a kid and we built all sorts of buildings and places, usually everything but the people.


I'll be the first to admit.... I'm not a people shooter. Weddings, portraits... Not for me. I don't even do selfies!

Re: Chicago Night Photos
Lou Gehrig #3026222 01/28/20 12:23 AM
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I actually enjoyed photographing people (well, still do) while traveling, but once I discovered night photography....well, I've done mostly that ever since.

Re: Chicago Night Photos
Lou Gehrig #3027951 02/07/20 01:04 PM
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Ran across this one on the 'ol computer just now.... Its from a few years ago. I might try to revisit this location but most likely the tagging has proliferated tenfold since then.

[Linked Image from imagizer.imageshack.com]

Re: Chicago Night Photos
Lou Gehrig #3027958 02/07/20 02:00 PM
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Way out in the cornfields an hour or so west of me... This used to be a well-known photo spot here because there was an old (1952?) car parked out in front of the barn. People would come from all over to shoot it in new and interesting ways. Unfortunately the car is gone now, but the barn is still pretty cool. This is all moonlight plus a little flashlight on the water pump.

[Linked Image from imagizer.imageshack.com]

Re: Chicago Night Photos
Lou Gehrig #3028091 02/08/20 05:16 PM
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That is definitely still a cool barn.

Re: Chicago Night Photos
Lou Gehrig #3030359 02/24/20 07:50 PM
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At an abandoned gas station last summer. I keep tweaking the post-processing on this one; the Protomachine flashlight was just a drop in the bucket compared to that LED streetlight out front!

[Linked Image from imagizer.imageshack.com]


Re: Chicago Night Photos
Lou Gehrig #3030407 02/25/20 04:58 AM
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Cool!

It's very difficult to counteract streetlights that are close. I sometimes try to "underexpose" the photo and blast the foreground with really strong light to minimize the effect of the streetlights, especially ugly lights like sodium vapor lights. Sometimes I try to color correct after that if the highlights are not blown out. And sometimes, I attempt to do a blend of two photos in a variety of ways, whether it's the same photos processed with different white balances or two photos that are exposed differently or whatever. Most of the time, I try to do the first one as much as possible, then color correct, such as the two examples below.

Here's some examples:
[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]

[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]
This second one had really strong sodium vapor light everywhere, so this had a lot of color correcting. I tried to get some texture on the adobe walls with a strong light, however.

With both of these, I did a combination of blasting the foreground with a strong light and color correction. Neither one was very ideal, but I tried my best.

Re: Chicago Night Photos
Lou Gehrig #3030933 02/28/20 09:56 PM
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That's a coaling tower for steam locomotives! Crazy to have some of those still standing some 60+ years after most steam engines were retired.

Re: Chicago Night Photos
Lou Gehrig #3030965 02/29/20 01:44 AM
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That's exactly what that is. That's in Thurmond, WV, and it's picturesque. It's around this amazing bend in the river, and the town is cool looking as well. Numerous movies and music videos have been shot there. That to me was the most interesting feature there, largely because I never see one. Especially since I live in California. grin

Re: Chicago Night Photos
Lou Gehrig #3041914 05/04/20 01:50 AM
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Sometimes when we like to shoot old junky buildings and stuff, its a race against time to keep ahead of the wrecking ball. What I say all the time is: "I'd better shoot it now otherwise I'll come back in six months and find they tore it down and put up a new Walgreens".

I'd been meaning to shoot the Skylark Motel for a long time. Its a dilapidated 1950s-era motel a couple blocks from Midway Airport. I drive by every time I fly, ever since I started parking in the new facility right next door to the motel. But as for the hotel itself.... Its probably safe because the new Walgreens is across the street! By the way, the online reviews for this place are awful.

Streetlights here were sodium vapor. I corrected them in camera (plus some tweaking in post), but of course that made the sky an intense blue.

[Linked Image from imagizer.imageshack.com]

Re: Chicago Night Photos
Lou Gehrig #3043057 05/10/20 10:16 PM
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I shot this with my Nikon F3 and Fuji Acros 100 film. Acros is well-loved by night photographers thanks to its relatively small degree of reciprocity failure. Makes it easy to shoot back-to-back with the DSLR and the film camera and use the same exposure for both!

[Linked Image from imagizer.imageshack.com]

Last edited by Lou Gehrig; 05/10/20 10:16 PM.
Re: Chicago Night Photos
Lou Gehrig #3043066 05/10/20 11:16 PM
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One of Lance's friends, Suzanne, came out here a while ago, and we photographed some of the neon signs around the Burbank, CA area, which was a lot of fun. And yeah, you never know how long those are going to last. You drive past them again the next week, and poof, all gone.

Re: Chicago Night Photos
KenElevenShadows #3043180 05/11/20 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by KenElevenShadows
That's exactly what that is. That's in Thurmond, WV, and it's picturesque. It's around this amazing bend in the river, and the town is cool looking as well. Numerous movies and music videos have been shot there. That to me was the most interesting feature there, largely because I never see one. Especially since I live in California. grin


This post and the one above it set me off on a search. I failed to find what I was looking for but I didn't go very deep.

On the west side of the San Joaquin Valley in California - west of Fresno (my hometown), there is a small town named Coalinga.
With so many Central Valley towns having Spanish names it seems to fit right in.

But... it is a bastardized abbreviation for "Coaling Station A" and that is exactly what it was originally, a place to re-coal steam locomotives.
It is an agriculture town now, irrigation changed it.

I didn't find Ken a coal tower but that doesn't mean there isn't one out there. It might take a bit more research. Cheers, Kuru

Edited to add. At the least, north a bit is Dos Palos and driving along 152 (Blood Alley), one will see signs for the Red Top Fish Museum (at least it used to be there).
The Red Top Market was a local grocery store and the owner loved to go deep sea fishing. He put his trophies in the front windows and throughout the store.

The time I finally dropped by out of curiosity there was a 935 pound blue marlin, a huge hammerhead shark and many other trophy fish in the windows. Completely surreal, only a true weirdo would create such an incongruous place out in the middle of nowhere. A worthy trip even if Coalina doesn't pan out.

Last edited by KuruPrionz; 05/11/20 04:50 PM. Reason: Add red top market

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