Hanging with the Animals

Lion, Lincoln Park Zoo, ChicagoA few days ago, I had a job where I was asked to photograph students from a college in Iowa, who are all interns in Chicago. I’ve done the shoot for about six or seven years now, and it’s always been a fun job. The students are all over the city, working for Fortune 500 companies to helping to resettle refugees and working with the homeless. One of the interns this time worked in the PR office at the Lincoln Park Zoo.

After I took his picture, I had some time for a lunch break. But, as I turned the corner to walk through the zoo on my way out, I saw a beautiful, serene lion basking in the sun. Not that that’s so surprising in a zoo, but it took me by surprise, being in the middle of downtown Chicago, surrounded by steel and concrete. I ended up missing my lunch (happens all the time), and spent about half an hour photographing the lion and in the primate house.

I don’t often get the time to shoot personal pictures, but this brought back why I love photography. I’m not an animal person, but there was something about these ones that just begged to have their portraits made. I wish I knew someone who worked with the animals at a zoo… I’d love to do a series of animal portraits.

Lion, Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago

Primate House, Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago

Primate House, Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago

Primate House, Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago

Primate House, Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago

Primate House, Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago

Primate House, Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago

Primate House, Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago

Primate House, Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago

Primate House, Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago

Primate House, Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago

Primate House, Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago

 

 

The Adventures of Mike’s Camera is the blog of freelance photographer, Mike Hudson. He is available for commercial photography assignments– marketing, corporate, editorial, annual reports, lifestyle, web page photography, and events. His clients have included many regional and national magazines and newspapers, several healthcare providers, colleges, hotels, architectural firms, small businesses and more. Visit MichaelHudsonPhotography.com to check out his portfolio or contact him via email.

 

Photo Quotes II

“The whole point of taking pictures is so that you don’t have to explain things with words.” 

Elliott Erwitt

 

 

 

 

The Adventures of Mike’s Camera is the blog of freelance photographer, Mike Hudson. He is available for commercial photography assignments– marketing, corporate, editorial, annual reports, lifestyle, web page photography, and events. His clients have included many regional and national magazines and newspapers, several healthcare providers, colleges, hotels, architectural firms, small businesses and more. Visit MichaelHudsonPhotography.com to check out his portfolio or contact him via email.

Marching with the Taoiseach

The great thing about being a photographer is you can do some things that no one else can… like walking at the front of one of the largest St Patrick’s Day parades in the world, while a million people watch you pass by.

Irish Taoiseach (prime minister) Enda Kenny, along with Mayor Rahm Emanuel at the 2012 Chicago St Patrick's Day Parade

Irish Taoiseach (prime minister) Enda Kenny (center, dark suit), along with Mayor Rahm Emanuel (center, white shirt) at the 2012 Chicago St Patrick’s Day Parade

Irish Taoiseach (prime minister) Enda Kenny, along with Mayor Rahm Emanuel at the 2012 Chicago St Patrick's Day Parade

Two years ago today, I was walking backwards for a mile down Columbus Drive in Chicago, at the head of the annual St Patrick’s Day parade. Heading up the parade was Rahm Emanuel, mayor of Chicago, and Enda Kenny, the Taoiseach, or prime minister, of Ireland.

I was hired by the Irish government to shoot pictures that would go in all the Irish Sunday papers. After getting secret service clearance, I was able to walk along the mile-long route shooting pics of the line of dignitaries. I was one of three photographers who were allowed to walk in front of the parade to get my pictures.

After it was over, I had to push through the crowds and scramble to a restaurant where I could get wifi, upload the pics to my laptop, then send them to Dublin to be distributed to the papers. Then I had to get out of the restaurant quickly before the Taoiseach’s group came in for lunch. In the end, I was paid for an hours’ work, but was gone all together for eight hours. Such is the life of a freelancer… fun job though.

The Irish Times ran one of my pictures on the front page the next day. I think a few others did too, but I never found out!

Irish Taoiseach (prime minister) Enda Kenny, along with Mayor Rahm Emanuel at the 2012 Chicago St Patrick's Day Parade

Me, the honorary parade Marshall!

Irish Taoiseach (prime minister) Enda Kenny, along with Mayor Rahm Emanuel at the 2012 Chicago St Patrick's Day Parade Irish Taoiseach (prime minister) Enda Kenny, along with Mayor Rahm Emanuel at the 2012 Chicago St Patrick's Day Parade Irish Taoiseach (prime minister) Enda Kenny, along with Mayor Rahm Emanuel at the 2012 Chicago St Patrick's Day Parade Irish Taoiseach (prime minister) Enda Kenny, along with Mayor Rahm Emanuel at the 2012 Chicago St Patrick's Day Parade Irish Taoiseach (prime minister) Enda Kenny, along with Mayor Rahm Emanuel at the 2012 Chicago St Patrick's Day Parade Irish Taoiseach (prime minister) Enda Kenny, along with Mayor Rahm Emanuel at the 2012 Chicago St Patrick's Day Parade Irish Taoiseach (prime minister) Enda Kenny, along with Mayor Rahm Emanuel at the 2012 Chicago St Patrick's Day ParadeIrish Taoiseach (prime minister) Enda Kenny, along with Mayor Rahm Emanuel at the 2012 Chicago St Patrick's Day Parade Irish Taoiseach (prime minister) Enda Kenny, along with Mayor Rahm Emanuel at the 2012 Chicago St Patrick's Day Parade Irish Taoiseach (prime minister) Enda Kenny, along with Mayor Rahm Emanuel at the 2012 Chicago St Patrick's Day Parade Irish Taoiseach (prime minister) Enda Kenny, along with Mayor Rahm Emanuel at the 2012 Chicago St Patrick's Day Parade Irish Taoiseach (prime minister) Enda Kenny, along with Mayor Rahm Emanuel at the 2012 Chicago St Patrick's Day Parade Irish Taoiseach (prime minister) Enda Kenny, along with Mayor Rahm Emanuel at the 2012 Chicago St Patrick's Day Parade Irish Taoiseach (prime minister) Enda Kenny, along with Mayor Rahm Emanuel at the 2012 Chicago St Patrick's Day Parade Irish Taoiseach (prime minister) Enda Kenny, along with Mayor Rahm Emanuel at the 2012 Chicago St Patrick's Day Parade

  

The Adventures of Mike’s Camera is the blog of freelance photographer, Mike Hudson. He is available for commercial photography assignments– marketing, corporate, editorial, annual reports, lifestyle, web page photography, and events. His clients have included many regional and national magazines and newspapers, several healthcare providers, colleges, hotels, architectural firms, small businesses and more. Visit MichaelHudsonPhotography.com to check out his portfolio or contact him via email.

 

Photo Wisdom I

Downtown Chicago- Mirror Bean, Millennium Park

[Photography is all about images, not words. But photographers themselves have never been short on things to say about their craft. This is a new section I’m adding to the blog where famous and not-so-famous photographers, along with a few people who aren’t even known for their photo skills, wax eloquent about photography. Since this is the first posting from this new category, I’ll give you three to start off with.]

 

“It’s one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it’s another thing to make a portrait of who they are.”

― Paul Caponigro

 

“No matter how much crap you gotta plow through to stay alive as a photographer, no matter how many bad assignments, bad days, bad clients, snotty subjects, obnoxious handlers, wigged-out art directors, technical disasters, failures of the mind, body, and will, all the shouldas, couldas, and wouldas that befuddle our brains and creep into our dreams, always remember to make room to shoot what you love. It’s the only way to keep your heart beating as a photographer.”

― Joe McNally, The Moment It Clicks: Photography Secrets from One of the World’s Top Shooters

 

“There are no bad pictures; that’s just how your face looks sometimes.”

― Abraham Lincoln

 

 

The Adventures of Mike’s Camera is the blog of freelance photographer, Mike Hudson. He is available for commercial photography assignments– marketing, corporate, editorial, annual reports, lifestyle, web page photography, and events. His clients have included many regional and national magazines and newspapers, several healthcare providers, colleges, hotels, architectural firms, small businesses and more. Visit MichaelHudsonPhotography.com to check out his portfolio or contact him via email.

 

Adrenaline Rush

The Assignment:

One of my top hospital clients was looking for an image to go on a billboard. They were promoting their Emergency Department and wanted a good shot of an ambulance speeding down the road.

the finished picture

the finished picture

How I Made it Work:

Right away, we had this image of an ambulance driving right towards the camera, lights flashing, cars pulled over to the side of the road. To accomplish this, I would need to be in a lead car, shooting back at the ambulance. My client brought along her car, which had a sun roof that opened all the way. We chose a fairly busy street to drive down, and met up with the ambulance drivers in a parking lot off the main road to go over the details.

After briefing the drivers and making sure we were all on the same page, I got in the client’s car, stood on her front passenger seat and poked my head and arms out of the open sun roof. I turned around and leaned on the back of her roof, facing toward the back of the car. I admit to feeling a bit nervous as we pulled into the road, with me poking out of the car… and an ambulance driving a few yards behind us. Since we would need all the lights flashing and cars to pull over, they had the sirens on full blast too. It was surreal being in front of an ambulance, which was chasing me down the road. It felt wrong not to pull over.

We did several runs back and forth down the street, as well as shooting the ambulance from the side of the road, passing by the camera. In the end, the picture they ran on the billboard was one of the side views. But I really liked the head-on view, so I re-worked the picture to give it more action and drama.

Initially, I had in my mind a picture of a sharp ambulance, with the road blurring past, like you see above. But because I was shooting from a moving vehicle, I couldn’t slow my shutter speed down enough to get the blur I wanted (see the original unedited picture below). Instead, I shot with a fast shutter speed to freeze the action, and added the motion blur later in post production.

Uncropped, unedited version of the same image

Uncropped, unedited version of the same image

There aren’t many people who can say they’ve been ‘chased’ by an ambulance, but it was a real rush, and one of my more memorable shoots from the last few years.

 

The Adventures of Mike’s Camera is the blog of freelance photographer, Mike Hudson. He is available for commercial photography assignments– marketing, corporate, editorial, annual reports, lifestyle, web page photography, and events. His clients have included many regional and national magazines and newspapers, several healthcare providers, colleges, hotels, architectural firms, small businesses and more. Visit MichaelHudsonPhotography.com to check out his portfolio or contact him via email.