Geometry at the Museum of Contemporary Photography by Adrian Galli

Wave, Chicago 2015

Wave, Chicago 2015

I’m excited to announce that some of my photography will be on loan to the Museum of Contemporary Photography for the next three years.  

My ongoing Geometry series exemplifies the unique nature of light and shadow and its interaction with characteristics of architecture shown in extremely high contrast black and white. Fifteen of my personal picks will be shared at various times with the public—specifically Chicago-centric architecture 

See Geometry here or coming soon to the Museum of Contemporary Photography.

Waves, Chicago, 2018 by Adrian Galli

While I just posted about my continuation of Geometry and how I was concerned I would run short on structures in Chicago, no sooner did inspiration hit and I took my Nikon D500 + Nikkor 70-200mm ƒ2.8G out to photography a building I’m intimately familiar with. 

A photographer colleague of mine said, “You’re doing some really impressive work. This Geometry series is like you’re taking photos and making them into graphic design.” For the record, and I always stress this because people question it always, there is no Photoshop, Illustrator, vector graphics, etc. Geometry series is minimally processed in Photos on a Mac—it’s all exposure and timing.

Photography is seeing common things differently and capturing one’s vision like no one else can.

Waves, shot on Nikon D500.

Waves, Chicago, 2018

Waves, Chicago, 2018

Dedicated to Michael.

Geometry — September 2018 by Adrian Galli

Blocks, Chicago 2018

Blocks, Chicago 2018

Since 2015, I’ve been working on a photography project around architecture—black and white, high contrast, geometric photography, or as some said, making photographs look almost like vector graphics. Those who follow this project know it is a bit challenging because, one, the buildings must be a a certain albedo. Two, they must also have certain design characteristics. And, three, the weather must be just right.

The past month i’ve had some time to work on the further here in Chicago. I’m pleased to share these images with you.

As this series goes, it is almost entirely from buildings here in Chicago. While there are plenty of structures here and Chicago is one of the architectural capitals of the world, I’ll eventually run short on buildings that fit this project.

It is time for me to branch out into other locations. Where should I go next?

View more of Geometry Series

A Year in Photographs by Adrian Galli

Sunset @ 25,000ft – Day 361

Sunset @ 25,000ft – Day 361

One year ago, I set out on a person mission, my New Year resolution and creative endeavor to take a photo every day for 365 days with each month a theme. 2018 is here and 2017 has come to its completion and thus A Year in Photographs concludes.

It is somewhat bittersweet to end this project. For an entire year my mind has been at work photographing everything around me. It is also a relief. There were days and weeks where it was very hard to get out and photograph; or at least follow my theme. Some months were very busy with work and other events. But all good things must come to an end.

I learned a lot about myself and photography. I pushed myself and took many along this journey but I think I will keep this simple.

When I set out on this journey in January of 2017, I was very excited. I felt somewhat in a rut professionally and A Year in Photographs gave me some purpose creatively. I also recall a post not too many days into this project concerned I wouldn't have enough storage for all the photos I was taking. And had I continued that path, I would have thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of photographs.

I would head out every day with my camera and take photo after photo after photo and end up with a hundred by the end of that day. Two things were an issue: I didn't want to store all this and, two, frankly, I soon found I didn't have time to photograph as much as I thought I needed to.

This need wasn't about actually needing the quantity, it was about lack of focus. While I enjoy running around, wandering, with my camera and taking photographs, it simply wasn't practical to do when sometime in the future I would find myself working sixteen hour days. Instead, I soon found that I needed to adapt and become even more creative. 

Chicago River – Day 26

Chicago River – Day 26

My daily mission wasn't to shoot a bunch of photographs and pick my favorite one to post for the day. My mission became that of having a precise creative vision. In other words, whatever my theme was for the month, I pushed myself to envision what I wanted to capture that day and go out and find it. Rather than wandering, although I still did that when I had a chance to, I would set out to find the image specifically; knowing where I could/would find it and make it happen.

As it turned out, rather than taking dozens of photos, I would take just a few and find what I wanted. When time was short and other circumstances would keep me from taking all the time in the world to photograph, this learn was huge.

Some months I had the chance to also work with some colleagues and friends. Erik Dirksen and Juan Galindo were two who I set out on a day of photography. I also enjoyed some time with old friends—Rory Coyne, a friends and artist, allowed me to photograph him as he worked. I hope to do more small projects like this in the future as time allows.

Further, Mazi and Chrissy, two good friends, requested me to photography their wedding. While it was not a normal skill of mine, it was a great opportunity and fun to get out of my usual creative space. One of my favorite photographs from the entire year came from this shoot.

Mazi and Chrissy – Day 245

Mazi and Chrissy – Day 245

My one opportunity with this project was to take it even further. Of course, hindsight is 20/20. But let this not sound like a defeat or complaint. It is merely another learn from this that there is so much more to photograph, so many more endeavors left that one could not achieve them in a single year.

Looking back over the year, I noticed that things began to work together. Things I worked on or learned earlier in the year, for example Color or Shapes and Patterns, became important influences in Perspective and Details. People played an important part in Cinematic while Minimalism and Black and White influenced Night

While this project has come to an end, I enjoy looking back over the 365 photographs I've taken. It was tough, sometimes even foreboding when I could not imagine having time to do it, but it was an incredible experience. I recommend to anyone who enjoys photography to engage in such an adventure.

January – Black and White
February – Shapes and Patterns
March – People
April – Minimalism
May – Color
June – Architecture
July – Signs and Symbols
August – Night
September – Cinematic
October – Perspective
November – Motion
December – Details

A Year in Photography: 365 days, 12 themes, each day a challenge. Here are some of my favorites from 2017.

June — A Year in Photographs by Adrian Galli

Light, shadow, lines, structure.

Arch, Chicago, 6/11/2017

Arch, Chicago, 6/11/2017

Chicago is one of the architectural capitols of the world. With not only a long history but also famous architects like Frank Lloyd Wright, Chicago has a rich landscape of buildings both old and new. 

Architecture is by far one of my favorite subjects to photograph. I love symmetry, geometry, patterns, and the interplay between different materials. There is no shortage of buildings in Chicago.

While May was a challenging month from the standpoint of executing on a daily basis, I chose this month to focus on a strength.

Commonly, architecture photography is about an interior or entire exterior of a building. While I certainly have many photographs of entire buildings, I am very drawn to the details of the building. So much so that sometimes one may never know what building I photographed even if famous. 

Arch, for example, is a building that people come from miles around to visit. It is a famous building as part of the worldwide brand. Using my technique for photographing Geometry Series, Arch is much more minimal but one favorite from this month. 

Uptown, Chicago, 6/30/2017

Uptown, Chicago, 6/30/2017

Much Architecture was captured using my Olympus E-M5 with a 45mm (90mm on 35) lens allowing for me to focus on the details of buildings. The Olympus 45mm f1.8 is a favorite lens of mine. While some use wide angle or perspective control lenses for architectural photography, I lean toward longer focal lengths. Wide angle lenses are a favorite of mine but in Chicago, wide angle lenses rarely only give a field of view for one building. Chances are two or three will show up in the image. But, as with all tools, using it the right way, one will achieve the desired results.

The month itself wasn't a challenge as many in the past but I enjoyed it immensely. A Year in Photographs launched as an endeavor into uncharted photographic territory but entering into the half-way mark, I wanted to included one of my favorite subjects. 

July is upon us and with that I starts a new subject. As focusing on building details, I will be focusing on urban and cultural details. Some things are so common and seen so frequently, they are effectively rendered invisible.

I once argued that photographers are those who define objects that otherwise would not exist because language or commonality ignores said objects. These things are that which are completely obvious but ironically are not seen. The Blue of the Universe shares my theory of how one can define the ordinary making it extraordinary. July surely will be an exercise in photography's supernatural abilities. 

Up next: JulySigns and Symbols

Architecture in June