Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Focus On: Kinzie Street Industrial Corridor I

Chicago is dying. Not the city itself (well, not yet at least) but the spirit of Chicago, its history, its sense of itself has changed significantly in 30 years in ways which I don't think are salubrious.

Most notable in its absence is industry.

Kinzie Industrial Corridor II

The steel mills are long gone as are - for the most part - the grand foundries and factories and other great cathedrals to industry that built the City of the Big Shoulders. Lesser temples still survive however and - having spent a lifetime glimpsing some of them from the passing window of an el or Metra (or even CNW) commuter train; upon seriously investing in photography, I set out to document what I could.

Kinzie Industrial Corridor III

My main focus when starting out was the Kinzie Industrial Corridor - an area of the city I had been through an uncountable number of times but which I had never really been in. Between the Late St. el, the Metra West Line, and college warehouse parties, I had passed through this area regularly for twenty years without recording a single image of the place.


One blustery day, a few summers ago however, I found myself with challenging lighting conditions and cameras in hand.

Kinzie Industrial Corridor V

This area rapidly became one of my favorite places to shoot. On the weekend, you'd be lucky to see a single person. You could walk around for hours and feel like you owned the city.

Kinzie Industrial Corridor VIII

At the time, I was still in a "all HDR all the time" mindset, although the lighting conditions that day really were challenging with intermittent rain and constantly changing light. Looking back, I'm not sure that these needed to be HDR, but I think that they've held up relatively well.

Kinzie Industrial Corridor VI

More to come.

1 comment:

  1. Cool photos. Love this area of Chicago. Hidden gem. I've been in a few warehouses in the area.