Last week I drove into Indiana to visit a couple of old friends from my days at the IIT Research Institute. I decided it would make a suitable topic for this week’s photoblogging.
The trip started—as all trips beginning in Chicago must—with mind-numbing traffic. I had to drive from my house on the northwest side of Chicago straight through the city to the Illinois-Indiana border. This leg of the trip is only about 25 miles, but it took almost two hours, and looked like this the whole way:
|Mind-Numbing Chicago Traffic|
By the time I got out of the Chicago traffic mess, I needed to stop for gas. I always get a kick out of the name of this place:
The rest of the trip went much faster, even though it was a greater distance. In no time at all, I had reached George’s house in Beverly Shores, Indiana. The South Shore rail line passes through town, so I know right where I am:
George doesn’t photograph very well. He’s a warm, friendly, and energetic guy, but that that doesn’t show up in my pictures at all. This picture isn’t too bad:
Rich was already there. Rich doesn’t photograph very well either. (Notice how I make my lack of photographic skills seem like it’s their fault.) I was experimenting with the black-and-white mode of the camera, and I got the only good picture of Rich all evening:
We ate dinner at a place called
Redamak’s. It’s a local pub/burger joint/family restaurant. (For all I know, Redamak’s is 250-location chain and this is just the only one I’ve seen.) The slogan on their sign is “Legendary Food—Good Times—Come Get Some.” They are distinguished by their fast food service. And by their use of what I’m pretty sure is Cheez Whiz on their cheeseburgers.
That picture of Rich is probably also the best picture of Redamak’s I have. All the rest are blurry or underexposed. Redamek’s is normally a roudy place, but it was so quiet that evening that I was uncomfortable using the big flash on my camera.
Actually, I did get another good picture at Redamak’s:
After dinner, we drove down the road to an ice cream stand called Oink’s. I didn’t manage to get any pictures of Oink’s worth posting, but I got a nice long exposure of the mean streets of New Buffalo:
|Mean Streets of New Buffalo|
My wife didn’t come with me, so we decided to do what any three guys out on the town would do. We tried out the time exposure feature of my camera.
Here’s a photo taken in the middle of the night on the southern shore of Lake Michigan, looking west:
|Southern Shore of Lake Michigan|
The distant lights are probably the harbor facilities of Gary, Indiana. The tall buildings in downtown Chicago are sometimes visible from here, but there was too much fog on the lake this evening.
We also took a group portrait. The flash fired to illuminate the three of us standing there, then the shutter stayed open to expose the background. It’s a neat trick.
|Technogeek Night Portrait|
The final night picture is of a small lagoon near George’s house. I think the structure in the middle of it is a monument to the attempt by Steponas Darius and Stasys Girenas to beat Lindberg’s non-stop distance record, which ended when their plane, the Lituanica, crashed at Soldin, Germany in 1933.
Nearly all the light for these scenes comes from distant incandescent sources, either directly or scattered off the trees, water, and fog. In this photo, I remembered to set the white balance for the low color temperature. Too bad I didn’t think of that for the others, huh?
Anyway, after all this I started the 65-mile ride back home. Well, not quite. I had lost the diffuser for my flash unit, and I was pretty sure it happened in the outdoor patio at Oink’s. I drove back to Oink’s—15 miles in the wrong direction—and sure enough, there it was. The place had closed right as we were leaving, so nobody had stepped on it or anything.
Now I started the drive home. It was 80 miles of fast, relaxing driving. Except, well, if there’s congestion, you must be in Chicago:
Other than that, it was a peaceful trip back.