Guest Photographer: Eric Dirksen by Adrian Galli

 Photographer Eric Dirksen

Photographer Eric Dirksen

It has been quite an enlightening month of photography. With January almost a wrap, my mind works endlessly to fathom what the next eleven months bring. Creativity is somewhat maddening at times but also immensely gratifying. 

Eric Dirksen, a friend and long time colleague, joins me in A Year in Photographs as my first Guest Photographer. An exciting part of this creative journey is seeing where it will take me. And while I have known and respected Eric's photography, we have never gone out shooting.

 On the Edge...

On the Edge...

Grabbing our Nikons, we climbed to a rarely seen view in Chicago; probably one of the best views of the bridges of the Chicago River. The sun setting, the warm (but still cold) day for January numbing our ears and hands, we captured some beautiful shots.

January's theme: Black and White; and today we join forces. Chicago is a marvel of cityscapes and architecture —  city feels like it was designed for photographers. Searching for January 26th's photo, Eric met the challenge with his skills in photography and first guest photo of the year.

Eric Dirksen's Photo of the Day

 ©2017 Eric Dirksen

©2017 Eric Dirksen

From one iconic building an iconic view of the Chicago's famous river and bridges.

For me photography is such an incredible outlet - to be able to capture a nano second in time and have it convey a message or a story is not only inspiring but very powerful to me. The challenge to be able to portray so much with a still frame in time is an almost therapeutic process because it allows for me to get out of my normal head space and away from the things at hand in life or going on around me in the world. It is from there that I’m allowed to focus on the beauty that lies before me.
— Eric Dirksen

I think Eric's incite into his love for photography is something many of us can relate. I've often said spending time photographing is a zen, meditative experience. I don't look at the time, I often pay little attention to meal times, and feel a deep sense of calm. Even when shooting in a noisy location, there is a certain silence. 

My favorite subjects always tend to be of the scape variety - whether it be cityscapes or landscapes. It’s hard not to love a cityscape growing up around, and now having been living in, the third largest city in the States. There’s something about the collection of architecture stacked up against one another that just truly makes me appreciate the individual design and mapping that goes into the planning of a city as well as the individual high-rises themselves. Similar take on landscapes - theres just more of a challenge to emulate through a 2D image the incredible nature that is formed in various parts of our globe, but that challenge is not only what makes the moment more enjoyable, but the story you’ll be unfolding with that one snippet of time that’s been captured as well, which is my end goal for my photographs.
— Eric Dirksen

Our excursion at a dusky sort of time gave great drama to the city. Chicago has been unusually gloomy these past few weeks; thirties and forties are nice and warm(ish) for this time of year but we are use to much more sun. It was dark but added a certain cinematic mood.

Light is everything. Light is everything good, yet it is also everything bad. Too little or too much, and the scene just isn’t as great or good at all. Light is also something of creativity, and we see it all the time through long exposures. So, I would encourage to play around with light and find what balances you can create to take an image from good to great.
— Eric Dirksen

My journey is just beginning and thank you, Eric, for sharing this great location for a magnificent view and adventure in Chicago adding your touch to A Year in Photographs.

Come out and join me, join us, on this photographic adventure! Please contact me and let's capture some amazing shots.

I'd love for you to follow and check out more of Eric's incredible work. You can find him on Instagram and Check him out!

Interview with Dr. Stan McCracken by Adrian Galli

 Dr. Stan McCracken

Dr. Stan McCracken

Documentary-style filming and photography are always a joy to shoot. I would be an explorer should my creative genes not gotten the better of me. But my explorer genes could not help but be expressed. Cinema and photography are two mediums which one can easily explore any topic. If an adventure to Patagonia is one's desire, make a film about it and go. If one's dream is to explore the beauty of culinary arts, a photographic documentary is a perfect channel. 

Friend and colleague, Hart Ginsburg, whom I have been working with on several short films, invited me to photograph notable psychologist, Dr. Stan McCracken. Besides having a super-awesome name, his "blue collar" (as he calls it) style of psychiatry is deceptively titled.

Originally intending to be a biological oceanographer, his life took him in a different direction receiving a bachelors degree in English and Asian Studies. The Vietnam War and the draft brought him to enlist in the armed security agency and was assigned a to not his interests in Japanese but Vietnamese. 

This excursion into a world both unknown, and perhaps at the time unwelcome, lead him to knowing the work of Carl Jung and his introduction to psychology and social services.

 Lapsang souchung

Lapsang souchung

Listening to his methodology, he simple and practical process make psychology less cerebral and more common. A quote from a mentor of his, "If a woman is out in the cold with no coat, don't ask her how she feels about being cold. Get her a coat," gives a glimpse to his insight into the human psyche.

Sipping on lapsang souchung tea with hints of lavender, he told stories of his beginnings as a PhD, success, defeat, and the psychological and social impact this election has caused. A cozy and warm office decorated with artifacts from both East and West, his charm was only matched by his incredible knowledge he shared. 

Always honored to meet influential people, I'm excited to share from our engaging interview and more to come when the article is published. In the mean time, enjoy a few images from our shoot. 

Resist by Adrian Galli

 Chicago, Inauguration Day 2017

Chicago, Inauguration Day 2017

Inauguration Day, 2017, people all around the world take to the streets to protest what many have called a lunatic who was voted into the Office of the President in the United States of America. While he lost the popular vote by nearly 3,000,000 votes to Hillary Clinton, he took the Oath of the Office of the President today.

Love and Mercy – Gazelle Twins

Chicago's response to the new president taking power; take to the streets in the greatest Chicago tradition.

Chicago Inauguration Day Protests – 2017

Yesterday, I honored my American heritage and my President. Today, I fear a dark cloud looms over my country. So much progress has been made over the past eight years with former President Barack Obama.

For those who know me, I am not one to idolize. I never gush over a celebrity, politician, or other famous person. Nor will I start a life of idolism now, however, over the past decade, Barack Obama has greatly earned my respect and I honor his valor, decorum, decency, leadership, and integrity.

Years ago, I heard a speech during the election season; the Senate race for Illinois. A young Obama spoke with such grace that, within minutes, I had decided he would get my vote. My friends and colleagues will tell you my instant intuition and judgement of others is granite; solid and true.

When Obama announced his running for the Office of the President, their was no question I would vote for him. While I know many of my readers may disagree with me, I do not make these assertions with my mind or heart. It is a visceral decision like a thousand generations of my ancestors speaking to me.

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.
— Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Former President Barack Obama, you will be missed and should you find yourself reading this, I thank you, personally, for leading this country with honor and distinction.

Dedicated to former President Barack Hussein Obama.

Day by Day – A Year in Photographs by Adrian Galli

It is only Day 3 of A Year in Photographs. Exciting is the journey of a project of this nature. One sets out on a mission to shoot a single photo but ends up shooting far more. It become a challenge not only to keep every day fresh but also to choose which photograph is the best to share.

A journalistic approach may be valuable when capturing so many photographs. While I've decided to photography each month with a particular theme, I'm quickly finding in each day, a "mini-theme" develops. Architecture, people, abstract, and more, in the coming year, each day seemingly is going to be a story.

I'm going to need a lot more storage....

A Year in Photographs – Day 1 by Adrian Galli

 Stars, Chicago, 1/1/2017

Stars, Chicago, 1/1/2017

A new year comes a new endeavor. Some will have a New Years resolution to lose weight, spend more time with family, get a new job, or get out of debt. Mine, a creative expedition of photography.

For the next 365 days, I will take a photo every day — each month, a theme, and posting the entire year to a special gallery.

Please join my adventure and come out with with me and your camera. An entire year's story told through photographs... 

Here's to Day 1 – Happy New Year and the best to you and the world in 2017!

First up: January in Black and White