Full series of photos from today can be found in the “St Patrick’s Day 2012 – Chicago” Gallery.

Oh Chicago, you are equally a wonderful dream and a bipolar bitch. St Patrick’s Day only tends to prove this each and every year. ūüôā

Most of the time the city lights and sounds are artistic, beautiful and musical. But on one of the many holidays in which Americans’ celebrate with endless fountains of “spirit” and “ber,” [see also Cinco de Mayo and Marti Gras] it becomes increasingly¬†irritating when the sirens never end, the random screams send the dog into fits and the gameless cat-calls from the pop collar brahs’ of Wrigleyville ring through the air. This is the bi-polar side and while it can be irritating, its more often entertaining. Now on my photographic side, this holiday will always give forth photographic Gold. People are unaware, more by chemical force than by desire. They’re more friendly (early on and most of them) and no one has any expectation of privacy. Think about it like those¬†embarrassing¬†party pics from the college days. So for a street photographer, this formula adds up to be the holy grail of opportunities.

But one must always schedule these approaches carefully. Make sure there is sufficient build up for the masses to get a good start on that tasty sauce. Which on St. Patty’s Day, can be guaranteed to be very early on. Today we headed in about 2 or so hours before sunset, which was perfect and allowed plenty of images before we saw the first fights begin to break out around us. These however, became a good red flag, as to when to depart.

What was amazing, is there were so many people out this evening that I was doing every damn thing I could just to keep up with my own eyes. Chicago actually blocked off Clark Street from Addison down to Newport, keeping the boundaries of drunken madness to a manageable zone. I must say, the number of people matched with the small area, likely lead to be more problematic as the evening progressed.

There were so many awesome characters strutting their personalities for the world to see. Some folks showing more than they had anticipated only a few hours earlier, but non-the-less it became such great entertainment for the rest of us.

My vote for Best Glasses
Second Runner-Up for Best Glasses

This is Dinosaur Face… A colorful cat we met on the way to the living mass of green in Wrigleyville. As I took a couple shots of this interesting character, he started yelling out¬†“This is my dinosaur face!!! RARRR!” and gave me a great shot. Thank you Dinosaur-Face, thank you.

Theses two play-fighting in the street, had us cracking up. Personally I think she would have knocked him out. ūüėČ She seemed quicker.

… Now we get to the point when our warning bells began to ring.

While snagging a shot of some cats leaning against the wall, I see this guy coming my way while his friend tried to calm him down. Definitely looked like it was going to get dicey from afar, and it certainly put me at the ready. But, I ended up with one of the best photo moments of the evening.

He comes running up and starts slapping me on the shoulder, yelling about my camera. Not necessarily in anger of any pictures I took, but instead he swelled up his chest and yelled “Dude, you got a fuckin camera, I just got knocked the fuck out. Take a picture, I don’t fuckin care!.”

He was very¬†adamant¬†on me documenting what was apparently a “proud” moment for him. Eitherway, this poor chap got exactly what he described, “knocked the fuck out” and rather impressively. Something tells me, more than a fist was involved in this thrashing, because there was some definite concrete gashes on that cheek. Phew, I hope the guys alright. Anyway… This certainly felt like it was going to go down much differently… but, I give you the cherry on the evening pie. – The man who got knocked the fuck out, and wanted me to record it for others to see.

While, I would have loved to continue documenting more mayhem, I was aiming for a more passive/laughing approach to the evening.¬†… so this, followed by my good buddy Nate getting shoved from a random cat with a weak tolerance, let us know it was time to wrap it up and go back to enjoy our own more docile St Patty’s indulgence.

Lastly, I’d like to add… tonight’s lil walk pointed out one glaring elephant in the room and that is, “I WANT MY OM-D SO BLOODY MUCH!” Oh, what I would have gave to have that articulated touchscreen, 5-axis stabilization and insanely quick auto-focus system for today’s fun. Don’t get me wrong, I love my 550D/50mm f1.8 setup very much. Crisp, sharp, clean… but sssooo ssssslow and chunky. It was certainly not a knife in the coffin for my considerations to sell, but its making it that much easier to transition my system over to micro4/3.

It’ll definitely help with getting more images like this VERY¬†inebriated¬†fellow that I ended up following as he stumbled dangerously through the crowd. I finally flanked around on him to get the image I wanted. Frankly I thought I was going to have to pay for it, by catching him as he near fell over. Thankfully he found his balance and moved on toward some other poor fellow to catch him. haha

Anyway, it was one hell of a blast and my ratio tonight was far and away better than my usual results. My on the spot talents are getting better. ūüėČ

Full series of photos from today can be found in the “St Patrick’s Day 2012 – Chicago” Gallery.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day everyone. Hope it was a good one and didn’t cost to much in property damage and Bail money.