During the mid-to-late summer I usually slow down with editing, accumulating a hefty backlog so that I have something to do when it eventually gets stupid-cold after Christmas. This morning I finally dumped the last set from 2014 to Flickr, so here’s a recap of the year’s shoots. I’ve included links to the respective sets, if you want to see more. Enjoy!
“GREAT AMERICA” sign
For a very-brief period a vintage logo was uncovered at Six Flags Great America, at the Washington Street entrance: a logo originally-used by Marriott when the park opened in 1976. “Marriott’s” was obviously replaced by “Six Flags” when the park was sold in 1984; it was later-covered by the then-corporate Six Flags logo in 1992. Unfortunately, within a couple of weeks it was covered again by a new signboard.
A rare Amoco gas station sign, which somehow survived the decade-old BP rebrand until this point, stood near the intersection of 12 and 176 in Wauconda. It was mostly-hidden by tree overgrowth but was cleared in the spring. I artificially “re-lit” using a long exposure and a small flashlight in the second picture. A new BP sign was finally installed a few weeks later; erasing yet-another trace of a bygone roadside icon…
If Everyone Was Listening
I took this in early-2013 using a Polaroid 250 and FP-100C, but count it as 2014 due to the fact that it this particular scan was taken from the negative, which I did not bleach until a year later; ultimately to print it for ArtWauk. It was one of the first bleached FP-100C negatives I attempted and it turned out so much better than the original print. The day it was uploaded it blew-up on Flickr thanks to Explore.
A pair of historic buildings in my hometown of Grayslake, which were last-used by the popular Last Chance Saloon, were demolished in the spring. There wasn’t really much to see by the time I got to it, beyond century-old lumber and a tattered flag…
A shot from 2012 I dug out of the reject folder and wound-up printing a couple of times. The historic Carnegie Library stands on Washington and Sheridan in Waukegan, and has been vacant for decades but lately there is reborn interest in preserving it.
I did more traveling in 2014 than ever; starting with a flight to Arizona to see family and some of the natural sights, before heading to SoCal for Disneyland, the Santa Monica Pier, and Six Flags Magic Mountain credits…
Met a friend on UER who happened to live a couple of towns over, and with my brother we all hit a couple of new and familiar spots. The primary target was a school on the west side, but photography and eventually the explore itself had to be aborted after hearing sketchy people in parts of the building. We later hit the doomed Ambassador Apartments before heading over to Miller to pick through an abandoned thrift store, eventually wrapping it at the Post Office.
Waukegan finally revived the event historically-known as “Scoop the Loop” as an official city function in 2014; extending it into a two-day event featuring an open cruise on Friday night, and a closed car show and cruise on Saturday. Constant threats of rain did little to deter crowds, which topped around 750 cars Friday and another 275 Saturday.
I hate shooting people, but try to do it at least once a year. This wound-up being that weird set: an arts and music festival on the Waukegan lakefront that featured a car show and insect-themed body painting, which were eventually combined for the shoot.
This was also taken at Mosquitoefest; on the following day Governor Quinn held a press conference at the very same park to announce that the water in the Waukegan Harbor, which had long been contaminated with PCB’s dumped by the OMC plant decades ago, was finally clean, and the Harbor is ready for new development.
I had planned to do this coaster trip solo in the Fiero, but that wound-up backfiring. My friend landed a new job, however, and was planning to go there anyway, so we took my other car and went together. We buzzed Gary and Detroit before crossing in Windsor, landing in Vaughan in the early morning and spending two days at Canada’s Wonderland. On the return leg we buzzed the plant where my Charger was built, hit Marineland, Waldameer, and finally the maligned Conneaut Lake Park before making the return haul that same night. I only really shot Canada’s Wonderland, though…
Go-figure… plan a trip to Gary, and on the day prior a serial killer confesses to dumping 6 bodies in abandoned homes throughout the city. This was an interesting day, spent dodging cops and news reporters; I hit about six different buildings downtown – some new, some familiar – but only shot a handful of them. This was more of a looting mission than anything, I was waiting for demo crews to leave the Walgreens so I could raid the second floor of blueprints and stuff one last time…
The final days and demolition of the historic F. Sauter building in downtown Waukegan, famously-home to Stern’s Store for Men. You can read the full-article, here…
The Frankenstein Place
Crown Graphic tests
Long-wanting a manual camera for shooting instant film, I finally picked up a Graflex Crown Graphic and Polaroid 405 back in the fall, and have been playing with it off and on ever since; using it to burn up my FP-3000B hoard…
The closing shoot of the year brought me back to Gary to finally shoot the abandoned high school which I aborted several months prior. I met up with my trucker friend who happened to be stopped in town for the day, and hit this place, exclusively. It was also the first shoot for my 8mm fisheye, the first new piece of glass for my D3100 in four years.