| 2009 July
chicago architectural photographer, photography, architecture, photographer, interior design, furniture
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July 2009

Given the choice between cleaning the basement and walking around your neighborhood with a camera, which would you choose?  Mmmhmm, I thought so.  Me too.  It’s been quite a while since I left off with my personal series “Housing Berwyn.”  In fact, I was still shooting film at the time… Efke 25 processed in Pyro.  The fine weather we’re having in the midwest today prompted me to step out the front door with my Phase 1 645, P65+ and 45mm lens.  I think the digital handles b+w pretty nicely.  These are rough edits and could be pushed much further in C1 and P’shop to gain tonality, but they’re already looking good.

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Yesterday was my first outing with the new Arca Swiss M Line Two which arrived from Europe just a couple days ago.  This thing is exquisite.  Perfectly crafted, well thought out and utterly precise.  Arca Swiss has asked me to write a review of their new camera, which I plan to do after a little more extensive use.  First impressions are pretty impressive, however…

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Above a renovation by Paul Harding.

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When Farr Associates contacted me about photographing this residence on the north side of Chicago, I was very intrigued.  Well known for their focus on sustainable design, the firm told me they had just wrapped up our city’s first fully energy self-sufficient residence.  This, I was going to have to see!  I toured the house with Jonathan Boyer and April Hughes of Farr as they explained the intricacies of energy efficiency as well as the challenges of harvesting energy from the natural environment in an urban setting.   We began to strategize crafting the story of the home and laid out our shotlist.  The annual AIA awards deadline was looming before us and some final elements of landscaping were still going in.  Combine that with my hectic summer schedule and I was almost getting a bit nervous… you know, if I was the type to get nervous.  Everything seemed to just come together at the last minute, and the results?  Well see for yourself…

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We just got the opportunity to spend a couple days photographing this school with Pat and Chris from UrbanWorks.  The project is the result of an adaptive re-use of an existing brick structure in the midst of Chicago’s Archer Heights.  The area is filled with manufacturing centers and the blue collar families work and live close enough to the school that many students walk there.  I believe the building will impart a sense of well earned pride to the Latin community it serves and feel that this re-use symbolizes how immigrant families can rebuild upon their own foundations a better life for themselves and their children.

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Photographing an Architect’s office can either be pure hell or a lot of fun.  Recently we spent three days playing in Gensler Chicago’s new office.  I call it playing because I just don’t feel right calling it work.  Thanks to Carlos, Seth and Emily for making it such a joy to shoot.

Gensler moved from one of my favorite Chicago landmarks, the Inland Steel building into the third floor of the former Carson, Pirie & Scott department store.  The historic structure is a Louis Sullivan original and an icon of our fair city.  I know the site must have presented the design team many challenges in creating a fluid, open and inspiring space.

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