Local Exploring
Fun With a Camera

local exploring

Wilmette Harbor..starting my local exploring

Nice Day–time for a little local exploring.  All photos taken with one camera and one fixed 35mm lens.
There’s always something fun to do or explore with photography.  I can spend hours walking around anywhere with a camera, taking photos.  And most of those photos won’t even be seen by anyone except me!  It’s the act of taking pictures that is a major part of the process.  It’s also fun to sort and edit the images.  I like to look around and notice things and try to imagine what kind of photo I can make.
Yesterday (Sunday), I went to the Bahá’í House of Worship to take some photos, but then I drifted across the street to the Wilmette Harbor, Gillson Park (along Lake Michigan), and a short drive to Rogers Beach Park.   I actually finished my day with a drive along Devon, but didn’t take any photos there–that’s for another day.
Saw the above boat shimmering in the water.  In fact, it’s full of water which added to the shiny appearance.  I processed it as black and white and then added a star burst along the side of the boat for dramatic effect.  Shhhh…don’t tell anyone!

local exploring

Sun, Cell Phone, and Cigarette

I absolutely enjoy getting people into my photos.  So, while I was walking along the beach on the hot, sunny day, I came across this woman in a funky hat which caught my attention.  Then I noticed the ubiquitous cell phone (they’re everywhere, they’re everywhere!) and the less common cigarette.  The Lake Michigan background was automatically gorgeous, so I just included the bush on the side of the frame to give perspective.

local exploring

Little Dog and Girl

Also at Gillson Park and the Wilmette Beach, I came across this little dog playing with its family in the water.  They were actually “walking the dog” on a flotation device in the lake, leash and all.  Kinda far away from me, so those photos didn’t come out.  But, as they got closer, the dog jumped off and into the water and their daughter jumped behind the dog.  Normally, parents are kinda cautious about “strange” photographers taking pictures of their children.  But, I heard the Mom and Dad laughing and encouraging me to take the photos.  DARN…I should’ve given them a card with my address so they could get the photo.

local exploring

Lazin’ On a Sunny Afternoon

local exploring

Lazin’ On a Sunny Afternoon with a Dog

The next two images (above) were taken at what I call the Vivian Maier Park as I continued my local exploring.  But, it’s actually called Rogers Beach Park (smallest park in Chicago!) and it’s located along the border of Evanston and Chicago, just off of Sheridan Road.  It’s the area where famous photographer, Vivian Maier, lived just prior to her death and she supposedly used to sit along the benches there.  Anyways, I had an image in my mind with people, a tree, and the lake in the background.  The images are similar and reflect my attempt to create what I felt.  I did add a little texture atmosphere to the top one, and a little softening to the bottom one.  Hey–it’s a fun part of the process and it’s allowed as long as you’re not making a documentary or news image.

local exploring

In a Rowboat

The beach at Rogers Beach Park is tiny.  That doesn’t mean there’s not a lifeguard on duty!  I liked the varying textures of the scene and then decided to add a little sauce to the image to make the lifeguard stand out in contrast to the textures…literally, to add some life to the scene.  haha
Devon Avenue will have to wait.  I’ve never seen it so crowded!  It’s populated with diverse and eclectic people and cultures.  Vibrant and full of activity.  Truly a unique neighborhood.  I think it could be another fun place for local exploring!  Wanna join me?


Thanks for stopping by!
Stephen M. Levin

Facebook – @stephenmlevinphotography

Twitter – @stephen_levin
Instagram – sml_photo 



SML Photography