Sunday photoblogging: Under the L

by Chris Bertram on November 2, 2014



Val 11.02.14 at 10:51 am

That’s an amazing effect – a photo that looks like photo-realism. How did you achieve it?


Main Street Muse 11.02.14 at 2:50 pm

Thanks for this. Feeling homesick for my kind of town today. Any other shots of Chicago?


Scott P. 11.02.14 at 4:00 pm

Watch out for fixers.


Chris Bertram 11.02.14 at 4:30 pm

MSM: lots and lots.

Val: nothing too special. I shoot RAW, and you can recover a lot of detail in Lightroom by boosting the shadows, plus I applied a couple of graduated filters top and bottom to assist with that top and bottom, otherwise the underside of the tracks would be completely black. I seem to have boosted the luminance of reds and oranges somewhat too.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© 11.02.14 at 5:00 pm

Reminds me of being in the Bronx, too.


John Quiggin 11.02.14 at 6:51 pm

Like Val, I was very impressed by the photorealistic effect


Main Street Muse 11.03.14 at 3:04 am

Chris – Here’s one of my favorite videos of Chicago (it’s a Budweiser ad done by a London ad agency for an Irish audience – how’s that for random marketing?! Not a great ad for Bud, but some great images of my favorite city.)

Do you go to Chicago a lot? I grew up in the area and lived in the city for many years. I love the titans of commerce heads arranged outside of the Merchandise Mart. But I have to say I’m a much bigger fan of the neighborhoods, though I do enjoy the Loop. Watching the sunrise over the lake is awesome!


Meredith 11.03.14 at 6:19 am

@5, well, NOT the Bronx. (Or the right places in Brooklyn or Manhattan). All the grit is gone. I feel like am in gameworld here (and confess, I want more grit, less game). Is it possible to take Edward Hopper too far? Or is the sense of “too far” my problem? I’ll think on it.


mud man 11.03.14 at 3:37 pm

Nice! Makes Chicago look all warm and clean and everything. I’m a sucker for genre painting.


Meredith 11.06.14 at 6:14 am

It’s late, and the midterm elections have been depressing. So I’d like to recall a Chicago experience or two. (It is a truly beautiful city — gorgeous, you might rightly say. And great food. A great city, period — this from a New Yorker at heart.) I was there in the late 1990’s (not for the first time) at a conference and had my wallet stollen in a Hilton elevator (in retrospect, I was able to reconstruct what had happened — a colorful story in itself, which turned into a nightmare of identity theft, before that term had been invented, but that’s another story.) Back in my room, I realized quickly I had no wallet, called the desk, and was invited to a room behind the front desk, a tiny one, where a man helped me through every step (call the police, here’s the phone, then do this, then do that, and here are your options for flying home tomorrow — even pre-9/11, you needed identification to board a plane). What was so memorable: the man was some working class guy, maybe 35 or 40, and utterly competent at leading me through the steps and reassuring me. What besides his clear and calm presence and his knowledgeable instructions were so reassuring? He was very large, with incredibly broad shoulders.

Only a few years later, I was visiting my son while he was living in Chicago. It happened to be Easter weekend, and perhaps only to indulge his mother, my son suggested we attend an Easter service on Sunday morning. So, there we were at a Lutheran church (I am not Lutheran, nor was my son raised one, but a Lutheran friend of his was with us, so maybe something was up there), and I was reminded of why I feel at home in the upper midwest. At nearly 5′ 9″ I am hardly a short woman (though I should say “was,” because I have been shrinking), but in that Lutheran Easter morning, I was, well, just average! Who are all these large people?

If Chicago were just about broad shoulders and big people, then so what, it would be just an accident of immigration patterns. But it’s about broad shoulders of support for one another and big hearts.

Which is why I want to see the grit.

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