Zombie March 2013

I never thought I would want to follow a bunch of zombies around. I get the impression they’ll just turn around and actually eat me at some point. Or puncture my soul with some dagger.

But when the opportunity arose to see them up close and in the flesh (so to speak), I jumped on it and headed to the holy refuge of Mr and Mrs Tourist: Millennium Park of all places for the 2013 Chicago Zombie March.

This is an involved process. The march technically started at 3p, but already at 1p people were gathered at the Great Lawn for makeup, which I learned isn’t limited to the face region.

Putting on the final touches

Then you move on to working your way through different themes:


The curly haired zombie Hockey masked

Blood thirstyGigglersChewed up bowler

Gas masked zombieShirtless

And don’t forget to get the kiddies involved. They might want to vamp, too!

Little girl zombieLittle girl zombie chasing

Then you’re ready to march!


Marching forward


And, if you have time, you terrorize the locals. How would they cope with the invasion?

Another quince attack

Attacking the quince princess


And that gets us through to the actual march. I didn’t stay for that bit, instead moving away to look at more precious things I understood:

Fascinating bubble

UPDATE: Some of these photos made it to the Chicagoist website. Very cool!

Chicago Loop Bridges 2013 photowalk

If you have a boat in the city of Chicago, there’s two months of the year you’re very interested in: the month where they go out to the Lake, and the month when they come back from the lake.

This year I decided to check out the second weekend of boat launch, thanks to an event coordinated on the Chicago Area Photowalk Group on Facebook. The same couple who “sponsored” the walk also run the website Chicago Loop Bridges. We met at Jackson and Wacher on a rainy Saturday morning in June to see what the fuss is all about.

Bridges up  for the five

There were only five boats heading out of the marinas, but they were very excited all the same to travel with their boats to the open water.

Lake Street Bridge up

The Lake Street bridge, one of the trickier ones, was at full tilt. It’s tricky because, unlike the other bridges, this one runs the CTA Green and Pink lines over top. So they have to shut off the third rail first.

Staging between bridges

Patience is very important. Four of the five were almost in perfect formation waiting for the Washington Street bridge (at South Wacker) to go up, but there were some difficulties getting it to open.

Clark & LaSalle Bridges up

A beautiful ballet of bridges. Here we’re looking at the Clark Street (closest) and LaSalle Street bridges.


An impressive structure in its own right, the extreme angle of the drawbridges blends in nicely with the other tall structures off the river.

Michigan Ave bridge up

The Michigan Avenue Bridge, also known as the DuSable Bridge, was only half up. This bridge is a double-decker to car traffic. Going under is an excellent way to get from the Mile to Michigan and Wacker without getting wet. 😉

That’s the last bridge because I called it quits and headed home. I did have a great time chasing after the boats as they sped from bridge to bridge. Maybe next year I’ll get it earlier in the season and see a bunch more boats. Until then, there are some other photos that were taken that didn’t make the cut. Enjoy!

Galewood Camera Club Photowalk

I have been trying to find reasons to shoot this year, and I find that shooting with others inspires me. Frankly, it helps me muster the courage since there are so many of us wandering around a particular area.

But I do have a goal for this shoot: I am trying to better prepare myself for the average photowalk by using a couple settings at the ready. My shutter priority is set to 1/320 or higher and my aperture priority to f/8. And because I promised to slow myself own, I am going to be spending some time in Manual today. So, truly, I will be prepared for for anything. It really worked today!

It took me a 40-minute bus ride west to an area of the city I don’t really know and one that isn’t crammed full of people. I thought to myself that it would be an excellent opportunity for me to explore and push myself to find interesting things.

Our host shared with us wonderful, hidden gems on the west side of the city. And for that I am most grateful. And it also gave me a chance to geek out with some photographers.

Eating the bark

I got there a bit early and explored the park on my own, locating this beautiful and sad pattern, likely made by a band of angry termites.

Patient father

A father and daughter enjoying the park before it got crowded.

Tire swing found

A little boy discovers a tire swing in someone’s front yard. For this one I snapped two: one at f/8 and this one at f/5.6. Combined with a little crop magic, this one turned out the better of the two.

Waiting for traffic

A man enjoying an afternoon of semi-nice weather. On a bike I imagine it was perfect. For this one I snapped it at a high speed (1/1000s).

Locked school

And a political statement. This one reminded me of what’s going on in the city with all the schools being shut down. I practiced taking my time and playing with depth of field to give the lock more prominence.

These were just my favorites, but there are many more on the Flickr set.