Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A New Photographic Talent... A Guest Post

Lately I have been introduced to a number of new talents in the local arts scene.  I posted last Friday about a gallery show in the city by an arist whose work I loved.  A few weeks ago, I attended a new friend's performance in his classic rock and roll band, The Wild Ones (a review is coming soon).  Many writers of the on-line journals I follow...and those who have commented here....display breathtaking facility with words.

But sometimes real talent exists right under your own roof.  So it is that I have discovered, and I am happy to introduce, my partner Mark Johnson and his photographic art.  Of course I knew that he had a good eye and talent for framing a shot.  Recently, though, he came back with a few pictures he took while walking to his office in Chicago, and I felt they, and he, deserved exposure. 

Mark selected this photograph of the Willis Tower (formerly The Sears Tower), next to his office (also pictured) as his "debut". Willis Tower is on the left. Mark provides commentary about the inspiration for this shot and what it represents in his life:

"For 4 years in the early 80s, I worked on the 33rd floor of Sears Tower. I wrote retail ad copy for Sears. You know, three or four dinky lines of content about high-capacity microwave ovens, plush toys, sporting goods, power tools. It wasn't all that stimulating (what a surprise), but it was my first professional communication job and I made some great friends there. More than 25 years have passed. During that time, I've raised two sons to adulthood, built a good career, and navigated my way through countless peaks and valleys.

Today, I pass the newly christened Willis Tower (it will always be ST to me) on my way to my current job right next door. When I took this photo, I imagined the millions of visitors who crane their necks to photograph this site each year. What a challenge -- getting it all in the frame! So why not through a barren tree across the street on a bright November morning. The bottom line? There's some comfort seeing the Tower each day -- knowing that through all of my life's reinventions there is some constancy. And, it's still a long way up!"
~Mark Johnson


  1. I can remember being one of those tourists craning their necks in my visits to Chicago! Such an impressive structure and so iconic for your town! The photo is really great (there's just something about the branches seemingly reaching for the top that is hope-inspiring) and the commentary well done also. Thanks Tom for sharing a true talent indeed with the rest of us. Way to go, Mark!

  2. Thanks to both Toms!! When I'm photographing in the city, I really like to bring nature into the equation -- because it does exist there (even among the steel and concrete). I really appreciate your thoughts and comments.

  3. Tom Goette:
    (one of us will have to change his name...call me Ingmar!)
    So glad you noticed this post and enjoyed Mark's photo and supporting essay.I hope you can make a visit to Chicago in the near future...we would be glad to take care of you and your family!