Working on a series is something I’ve wanted to do for years and for years I could never seem to come up with a series I wanted to work on. But one afternoon last fall, after making the decision to spend less time on portrait work and more time on finding my niche in the fine art world (which feels like it will always be a work in progress, but I’m getting there), I was riding the brown line downtown and FINALLY something seemed to click with me.
It was one lucky Saturday, with a much needed break from the kids, that I found myself intrigued by the el once again. After having been away from Chicago for a few years and not taking the train everyday, which can understandably make you loathe it, especially if you always ride it during rush hour, I seemed to be fascinated by it once again, much like I had when I first moved here in 2000.
Prior to working on this series I had really only rode the brown, red and blue lines with any regularity and only very small portions of those lines. I always thought it would be interesting to see the city from the various directions and neighborhoods the train travels. So over the last few months I committed to riding every mile of the Chicago ‘L’.
I think there are some very interesting things you can learn by actually observing the environment you travel through on a daily basis. Some bad, the graffiti and litter that seems to blanket some neighborhoods. Some good, the beautiful view of the city while crossing over the river, panorama’s of the city you never knew existed and the stunning light that filters through the canyon’s of Chicago’s Loop. And then there’s the peculiar…you could do a sociological study on some of the stuff people keep in their backyards!
Here’s a roundup of my favorites from each line. I’d love to see your favorite images from the el!
The Brown Line (to view all the images click here)
The Green Line (to view all images click here and here)
The Orange Line (to view all images click here)
The Blue Line (to view all images click here)
The Red Line (to view all images click here)
The Yellow Line (to view all images click here)
The Purple Line (to view all images click here)
The Pink Line (to view all images click here)
If you’d like to see every image that was edited from the whole series, there’s a full set on Flickr, just click here.
Great series, you've definitely got some great images in this collection.
Cool shots. Congrats on finishing the series. I love to think about the secret stories that are hidden right under our noses.
Thanks Christie! I know, me too! Always fascinating to consider all the individual stories out there.