Sometimes, things just work out in the photo world. I was assigned to photograph campers at Northerly Island Saturday evening for Chicago Journal newspaper, but when I arrived I learned the campout had been canceled. That pretty much left me high and dry on a cold and wet day, so I knew I was going to have to find something to photograph. And quickly. The sun was setting as I walked around looking for anyone or anything.
Northerly Island is my favorite place in Chicago. It’s serene. It’s also extremely quiet despite being bumped up against one of the biggest cities in the world. You can hear waves crashing ashore and bugs chirping. It was very windy Saturday so between gusts you could hear the soothing sounds of the native plants whooshing back and forth in an almost synchronized, hypnotic sway. A rabbit made a beeline from one patch of weeds to another right in front of me. I could hear myself breathing, which we should all try to do more often.
As I walked and thought about what the heck I was going to shoot, I noticed several rainbows on the horizon over Lake Michigan. At the very least I thought I could make a pretty landscape shot, but as soon as I started to compose a photo I noticed Steve Twardowski setting up a tripod to do exactly the same thing about 100 yards away. So I hustled over and photographed him photographing the rainbow. Northerly Island used to be an airport, so I’m assuming the chunks of concrete he was standing on were previously runways.
Usually I try to steer clear of this sort of photo cliché, but in this case I thought it was okay. I felt lucky just to have a photo to transmit to the paper. About 10 minutes later, we both were packed up and making our way back to the city as the sun and the rainbow disappeared.