Reminiscing from a season that came and went.
360 Chicago Sunrise
I was recently invited by a fellow photographer, Kavita (go check her out) to a sunrise meet, hosted by 360 Chicago and did not quite know what to expect. Firstly it was my first photography event I went to and secondly I have never been to 360 Chicago before. Needless to say, I was pretty excited. Sunrises usually means waking up early, and early in the city is a little different than the hustle and bustle of the day. Walking through Chicago at 5 am had an eerie but serene feeling to it. No one was on the street but the world felt so alive. Kind of like the calm before the storm and before I knew it I was on an elevator, 94 floors up to the eye of the storm.
What’s better than a sunrise in Chicago? A 360 panorama of that sunrise 1000 feet in the air. All I can say is wow, I felt like a kid in a candy shop with these views. Watching the sunlight slowing awaking the city from the shadows is a moment I will never forget.
Some Food for Thought
Sometimes I forget how lucky I am to have this city in my backyard. We tend to only look out the window when it’s scenic, and often forget those everyday moments that make up our lives.
Today I turn 30 and this whole idea of appreciation of where you are and who you have become is more relevant than ever for me. We’re living in this sort of ‘new’ digital era, in which you have information at your fingertips 24/7. Advertisements, engagements, politics, new born babies, credit card breaches, duck faces etc. bombard you 24/7. It is the new normalcy and has become ingrained in most, if not everyone’s life in some aspect. It’s this sort of white noise that has made it hard to think, react and just plain sterile to what’s around me.
I remember how simple and real things used to be. Genuine conversations, face to face arguments and the sound of real laughter. Now, conversations are through text, arguments are through online shaming, laughter is reduced to a simple ‘lol’. I’m not going to lie technology plays a big part in my life. It has opened up the door to possibilities I have only dreamt up. I can’t escape it nor am I demeaning it (its the very reason I get to write this blog). I think I’m just a little bitter that I wanted to grow up so fast when I was younger that I didn’t fully appreciate those simpler days. But it’s not too late. I’m watching less t-v, turning off my phone a few nights, enjoying conversations with people but most importantly, I’m looking around more. It’s pretty amazing what there is to see.
If you like this, you might like Sunrise at the Lakefront
Chicago Lakefront | Sunrise
Photography has led me down on an array of unpredictable paths thus far. It has sent my curiosity on adventures across the world, has kept my mind awake as I drove through the night across the country and has me constantly exploring every aspect of Chicago. This seed of curiosity has always existed, but photography has this uncanny ability to push and drive a person. In this case, the person is me.
My First Time…
The first time I have ever felt this push was on an early Sunday morning. It felt like yesterday (This is definitely the first sign of me sounding old right? Next I’ll be saying “Back in my day we had to listen to music on compact discs…) that I woke up to my 5 am alarm. A difficult feat for a person that usually falls asleep at 2 am, but nonetheless I was determined to see my first ever Chicago sunrise. Still in a daze, I grabbed my camera, tripod and made my way to Dunkin Donuts because well yeah. Once I was able to think again, I made my way to Chicago.
Being my first sunrise, I did not have a clue on where I should go nor did I think of simply googling “where to see the sunrise”. As I was brainstorming possible locations, I found myself on autopilot to a little stretch of the lake shore in Lincoln Park. The Fullerton Beach has always a favorite spot of mine during the day. It had it all; a skyline view, a beach, an endless view of Lake Michigan and my personal favorite, a rocky coast. At around 6:30 am, a warm glow began to spill over the horizon. I was completely alone on this little oasis outside of the city and had a front row seat to the greatest show on earth. It was surreal. Ever since that day, photography pushes me to not only wake up, but to continually chase, see and soak in more of these beautiful displays. Although, these pictures are not from this story, I come back to this spot often and think about this day every time I watch a sunrise here. (they updated this location from when I first came here but you can still see the remnants of the rocky coast that I so much enjoyed)
A sunrise is the most honest moment I have ever seen.
I think we all have that place where you can sit without any of the worry and noise of your life, and just… be. This little strip of the lakefront is mine.
Want to see a photo from this story? See my first Chicago Sunrise Here >
If you like this, you might like Natural Moments in Chicago >
The Cincinnati skyline is not the first image that comes to mind when thinking about America’s most iconic cities but it is honestly quite beautiful. I first stepped foot in this city as a by product on one of my numerous trips to Wolf Creek Habitat. The interesting fact about this area of the country is that one can travel within 3 different states, Indiana, Kentucky & Ohio, in a short amount of time. Well I think that is pretty cool maybe just because you can drive 8 hours in Illinois and still be in Illinois. But I digress. Where was I? Oh yes the Cincinnati skyline! I along with a few of my adventurous friends, made the journey to play with wolves and what better way to cap off the day than to sit along the Ohio River and watch the sunset.
And that’s just what we did, but it was more than that.
These were the nights where your worries momentarily dissolved. These were the nights were laughter and jokes passed through the air and smiles lived on faces. The city was our backdrop and we marched to it’s beat. In the distance I can see people living out the rest of their day and I could not help but wonder if somewhere across the river there is someone looking back and seeing us living out ours. I can google Cincinnati, and spew out information about it’s architecture fun facts about the city or tell you about fun breweries or restaurants to try, but that wasn’t what tonight was about. It was about friendships. It was about creating memories. It was about one great story in this large book that we call life.