07 Mar 2013

City at Random II

I heard an interview with a young conductor whose first albums where of some of Beethoven’s symphonies. He was asked why he would put his first efforts into recording some of the most played and listened to compositions, implying that a fresh voice in classical music might be better served tackling contemporary, less played out music. His reply, essentially, was: it’s Beethoven. It might be overplayed, but it’s still some of the best music ever written. If you don’t have the will and gumption to tackle it just because you’re not the first, then you might as well go home. And so it is with downtown Chicago; it has been the subject of so much photography that it would seem there is no fresh angle on it to be had. But in the end, it doesn’t matter. It’s awesome and imposing, you simply have to shoot it. I may not have broken any new ground with these shots, but I enjoyed taking them because it’s, well, Beethoven.

A grainy shot mostly notable because of the Trump Tower mid-construction looming in the background.


Carbon & Carbide building as seen from a nearby rooftop


Sunset looking west over Chicago River




  • Celia
    May 19, 2013 Reply

    I like your justification, but really the pictures don’t need it. Should we stop photographing a beauty because it’s been done before?

    • tabularasa88
      May 20, 2013 Reply

      You’re right. So much of mine and the Idiot Photographer’s work consists of finding less visited sites off the beaten path that I feel I have to justify shooting such “easy” material. But I’m glad you like them.

      • Celia
        May 21, 2013 Reply

        Not being a skilled photographer, I guess what challenges me is the integrative task that photography creates. What do we do with all these images that pour in on us, of Chicago and its vicinity, that we are all compulsively creating?
        I admire your pictures from Gary, which penetrate the mysteries of what is for me a drive-by landscape–an important one that I know I shall never explore personally. You are a brave pair.
        Safe travels,

  • tabularasa88
    May 21, 2013 Reply

    Thank you, and stop being so modest. 🙂

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