Photo Daily: Union Station Clock

Union Station Elgin Central Time Clock, Chicago ©2013

Union Station Elgin Central Time Clock, Chicago ©2013

I’m getting better at remembering to photograph my own city. It took me a many years to get into the habit. For a long time, when I was at home in Chicago, I really only photographed in my studio. Outdoor shooting was limited to my travels, where everything I saw was new. I had to teach myself to look at Chicago like I was seeing it for the first time, even though I’ve been walking these same streets my whole life.

I began by giving myself little assignments when I was out walking. One city block. Discover the details. Change my mindset from simply getting to where I was going, to really observing where I was in that moment.

It’s easy to take architectural wonders for granted when you walk past them every day. But I find when I turn off my just-get-there state of mind, I regain the peace and wonder in my head. The peace that only comes in the focus of being curious. Looking. Breathing.

This photo of  the Union Station clock on one of the exterior corners of the building was one I made after a very long day. I was with my wonderful colorist collaborator and friend, Kelly Armstrong, dropping her off at Union Station. I could have immediately headed home, but instead I decided to stand there for a while and discover something.

Union Station is a beautiful work of art. It’s easy to not notice that when you’re simply trying to catch a train. Unless you, just for a minute, forget where you’re going and see where you are.

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