Hitting the Streets

This weekend I ventured over for the Illinois College Press Association awards and the Shoot Chicago contest.

It was my first time doing Shoot Chicago, which was a little challenging at first.

The theme of “Invisible Chicago” was the biggest hurdle. As with the judges I had a feeling a lot of the 21 photographers were going to do homeless people so I wanted to find something different. I walked around Chicago for two hours before I realized I was a good distance away from Ohio Street and deadline was in an hour.

Finding a lucky, “invisible” moment didn’t happen, so I settled on doing a homeless/street performer photo.

Once I settled on that I decided to focus more on the technical end of things. I knew I wanted something on Michigan Avenue, something wide angle and something with slow shutter speed. What I needed was a subject and a crowd of people to pull this off and give a visual representation of “invisible” to the subject.

While I wasn’t thrilled with what I came away with, judges Chuck Berman (Chicago Tribune) and Steve Kagan (freelancer) had very positive things to say about composition, the technical end and everything else. So that was awesome.

Of course the winners mostly found “lucky” situations, but as Kagan said during my critique (and I’ll paraphrase): There’s two different ways to hunt for squirrels. One is stay in one spot and wait for one to come along, and the other is you go out in the woods and find one. Sometimes you get nothing.

I got something, just not a squirrel.

Also, as was asked during the critique, my knee was my tripod and I shot at ISO 400, f/22 and 1/6.

© 2012 Jerry Burnes


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