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We have a winner! (of the Chicago Night Photo Contest)

At long last, I am pleased to announce the winner of my Chicago Night Photo Contest, identifying locations for me to shoot in and around Chicago! The winner is Dan Rosen, who suggested shooting under an L station. Dan will receive a 10″ x 15″ archival print of this image. And in honor of my first contest, I will offer prints of this image at a ‘celebratory’ price (see below).

Winner of the Chicago Night Photo Contest - Self Portrait with L

This image, Self Portrait with L (Chicago) was taken under the Irving Park station on the Brown Line. Click on the image for a larger view. I had been at a party on the roof of the old Bell & Howell factory (now converted to loft apartments) with my friend and Czarina at The Catalyst Ranch, Eva, and was walking a different way back to the station when this scene presented itself. This is an HDR (High Dynamic Range) image, which means that I took several exposures, each optimized to properly expose a different part of the image. The images were then pulled together in Photoshop, leaving the best of each exposure – a more dynamic tonal range. This was particularly important for this image, as the shadows were deep and the lights of the station quite bright. Exposures ranged from 5-22 seconds at f22. During the exposures, trains were passing above and in some case, cars were whizzing by.

One of the reasons I do night photography is that there are almost always unexpected elements. What surprised me with this one is that tucked into the image somewhere is a bit of a self-portrait (hence the title).

There were a number of great suggestions for locations to shoot, but it turned out that there was much less non-working time out there than I had thought, so to others who submitted, the next time I’m back in Chicago, if I shoot where you suggested, I’ll send you a print (the Chicago Night Photo Contest continues!)

For the next month, I will be offering this image at a special price:

  • $125 for 10″ x 15″ unframed (usually $175)
  • $75 for  8″ x 12″ (usually $100)
  • $40 for 5″ x 8″ (usually $60)

When purchasing this image, indicate the title “Self Portrait with L” and I will reflect the reduced price in the invoice.

I will be posting some more images from the trip in a Chicago gallery, to be added soon.

Posted by David Culton on August 27, 2012

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