R.I.P. Lonnie Brooks

Lonnie Brooks (born Lee Baker Jr., December 18, 1933 – April 1, 2017) was an American blues singer and guitarist.

The musicologist Robert Palmer, writing in Rolling Stone, stated, “His music is witty, soulful and ferociously energetic, brimming with novel harmonic turnarounds, committed vocals and simply astonishing guitar work.”

I had the pleasure of seeing Lonnie Brooks play live several times.  He always put on a great show.  Here’s one of my photos from a 90’s show at Grant Park.

Chicago Polar Plunge 2017

The ANNUAL POLAR PLUNGE is a unique event which benefits Special Olympics Chicago and the programs it delivers to 6,800 athletes throughout the year! On March 5th more then 5,000 people jumped in Lake Michigan.  Dax Shepard was one of the first to dive in wearing his police uniform from his upcoming movie “Chips”.  That was followed up by the crew from the t.v. show “Chicago Fire”.  Maybe next year I’ll join in……maybe.

photo by dave suarez © 2017 photo by dave suarez © 2017 photo by dave suarez © 2017 photo by dave suarez © 2017 photo by dave suarez © 2017 photo by dave suarez © 2017 photo by dave suarez © 2017 photo by dave suarez © 2017 photo by dave suarez © 2017 photo by dave suarez © 2017 photo by dave suarez © 2017 photo by dave suarez © 2017 photo by dave suarez © 2017 photo by dave suarez © 2017 photo by dave suarez © 2017 photo by dave suarez © 2017photo by dave suarez © 2017

Al Jarreau

So sorry to hear that Al Jarreau passed away today.

The first time I saw him was when he opened for Grover Washington Jr. at The Bottom Line, N.Y.C., September 1975. I’d never heard of him before and walked out of the show thinking it was the greatest vocal performance I’d ever heard. Still think so today.
Sharing 3 photos I took in 1989 at Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

R.I.P. Al Jarreau.

Explorers of Light at Imaging USA 2017

Each year Imaging USA brings around 10,000 amazing professional photographers who descend on a city for networking, friend-making and bonding.  This year the event took place in San Antonio, Texas.  The energy from the thousands of attendees, great speakers and the incredible gear from the Expo vendors makes for a truly spectacular conference.

As with most years, Canon threw a fantastic welcoming party on Sunday night in the Grand Ballroom at The Marriott Rivercenter Hotel.  The party was open to anyone with an Imaging USA badge.

During the party I was able to get several Canon Explorers of Light to agree to pose for me for a few group shots.  Images were shot with a Canon 5D Mark IV and the new Canon 24-105mm IS f4 lens.

The Explorers of Light concept came out of Canon USA in the mid 1990s as a broad-ranging initiative for photographic education and inspiration. Today, the group is comprised of dozens of the most influential photographers and cinematographers in the world, each a master of their creative specialty.

Millennium Park Music Video

I recently received a call from a Brazilian songwriter about a new song he just wrote.  It seems he was inspired by his visit to Chicago last year.  He hired me to shoot some shots of Cloud Gate, commonly known as “The Bean” for a music video he’s working on. He also needed some shots of the totem pole in front of the Field Museum.
Can’t wait to see the video.  It’s titled “Cloud Gate Dream”.  Meanwhile, here are some of the photos I sent him.

Cloud Gate, Millenium Park, Chicago

Women’s March on Chicago

Tens of thousands of people gathered in Grant Park Saturday for the Women’s March on Chicago,.  Attendance for the Chicago event more than tripled initial expectations, organizers said, to the point where city streets were so flooded, the march itself was canceled.

Event organizers estimated that 250,000 attended the rally, but city officials did not immediately release a crowd estimate. Attendance was three times what was expected and was among the largest outside the marquee Women’s March on Washington event.

A march to Federal Plaza in the Loop was canceled as the streets were filled with people. Despite the cancellation of the official march, many made their way to Federal Plaza anyway while the rally was going on.

Women's March on Chicago Photos January 21, 2017

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Fun with Green Screen Photos

From October 16th to October 20th, I photographed hundreds of people in front of a green screen at the Swan Resort, Disney Property, Orlando, Florida.  The booth was sponsored by Canon USA.  We gave people an opportunity to have some fun in the middle of long meetings and workshops.  After having their photos taken, attendees were able to pick out one of several backgrounds to be dropped in.  Canon then sent each person a digital as well as a hard copy of the image.

The event was Gartner Symposium ITexpo 2016.  It’s the world’s most important gathering of CIOs and senior IT executives.  It’s there that they share strategic views on the trends that shape IT and business.1_blog7k1c0068-copy 2_comp1 3_7k1c0151-copy 4_comp3 5_7k1c9927-copy 6_comp4

2016 Photographic Society of America’s International Conference

I just returned from the Photographic Society of Americas International Conference in San Antonio, Texas. Each year its members gather to take advantage of the opportunities provided that week to further their education and shooting skills.

This week I had the opportunity to try out the brand new 5D Mark IV. Its built around a new 30.4MP CMOS sensor and uses the Digic 6+ processor. The AF system is from the flagship 1D X Mark II. It also has 4K video, a touchscreen, improved weather-sealing, built-in Wi-Fi/NFC, an interval timer and GPS.

I managed to get away from the Canon booth for a few minutes and drop in on one of the photo bays that was nearby to test the 5D out. It’s always impossible to tell how good a camera’s images are by looking at low res images posted on the internet.  So I’d like to add that the full size images are gorgeous.  Looks like Im going to be ordering one soon.

Heres 3 photos taken with the 5D Mark IV and the Canon 70-200 f2.8 IS version II lens.

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Alyssa Allgood Jazz Quintet at Essanay Studios

This past Saturday, I photographed The Alyssa Allgood Jazz Quintet performance at the historic Charlie Chaplin Theater in Essanay Studios here in Chicago.  The performance was part of the series in partnership with Uptown United and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.

Alyssa’s debut EP Lady Bird was named a Best Release of 2015 on All About Jazz and it was hailed as “the most refined offering in the genre yet.” The Chicago Jazz Magazine highly recommends this debut recording and described it as “a wonderful exploration of the lost art of bebop vocalese.”

The Essanay Film Manufacturing Company was an American motion picture studio. It is best known today for its series of Charlie Chaplin comedies of 1915.

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Uptown Dance in the Park 7.9.2016

Uptown Dance in the Park 7.9.2016

Uptown Dance in the Park 7.9.2016

Uptown Dance in the Park 7.9.2016