I first noticed Aaron Bradley Engler's photography about a year ago when I was looking through some pictures that the Family Groove Company had posted on Facebook. There were a couple that caught my eye, that seemed to "stick out" more than the others. I emailed the band's bassist, Janis Wallin, and asked if she knew who had taken the photos. I was writing a preview for a Family Groove Show show that was coming up in Des Moines, and I really wanted to use these particular photos for the article. So it was Janis who turned me to Aaron, although it was his pictures that initially grabbed my attention.
|Aaron Bradley Engler: Self Portrait|
|The Redline Chicago stop in downtown Chicago|
(Click this, and all photos to enlarge)
This photo is one of my HDR shots. High Dynamic Range imaging is when 3 or more shots, each taken at different exposures, are then layered on top of each other to make one solid image. This technique creates a much stronger, detailed image. This photo is three images compiled into one. I took this sometime in 2009 when I got into urban exploration. I was driving around Gary, Indiana, searching for cool abandoned buildings and I came across this deteriorated factory. I parked my car and wandered inside. I saw this half-knocked down wall and the jagged edge where it broke apart from the rest of the wall. I set up my tripod and pressed the remote trigger. What I got didn’t look like this at first. I had to compile the three shots when I got home on a special program and when the process was done, this is what I got!
This photo was taken on NYE 2011 at the Kinetic Playground. As you can see, it was used for Future Rock’s podcast from that show. I’m really proud of this one and super stoked they used it! It was always difficult to photograph a show at this location because of how dimly lit this location is. That venue was always a dark dungeon and on this night Future Rock was playing to a sold out crowd and I could barely move around. For this image, I simply raised my camera above my head and snapped the shot and hoped I got something worthwhile!
I took this shot while I was installing an air conditioner on a roof of a building along 90 and the Ohio Street exit. I normally don’t carry my camera with me when I work, but I knew I was going to be at that specific building...I made sure to bring my camera, knowing the view would make a great picture.
This is a promo shot of local Chicago jam/electronica band, The Coop. They had contacted me asking if I do promo work and I really hadn’t before but I figured how hard could it be? I asked them if they had an idea of a location where we could do the shoot. They left it up to me. I took them to an abandoned candy factory that I had been to many times doing my urban exploring adventures. I always thought that the candy factory would make a great location for a promo shoot for a band. The guys LOVED the idea, so it was a go! With this shot I used my external Canon Speedlite 430x attached to an extension cable. I had the band’s manager hold the flash for me about six feet to my right to give the shot more dynamic lighting instead of directly in front. That would be too boring. So I made due with what I had and this is one of the many shots that came from the shoot at the abandoned Brach’s candy factory!
This photograph is one of my favorite DJ shots. This is DJ Solo performing at Wolf Pack’s pre-party for North Coast Music Festival. This shot was taken at Smartbar Chicago at the end of summer 2012. He took his hands off the decks for two seconds and looked up at my camera and CLICK! The dopest shot I’ve got of a DJ.
I had to include this photo of Bassnectar’s set at Summer Camp 2011. I love this image because I think I did a good job of capturing the madness that takes place at a Bassnectar show! I just love the energy this photo portrays.
This last photo is of the Jackson Redline/Blueline transfer tunnel, underground downtown Chicago at 6:30 am. It was taken and edited solely on my iPhone 4S. I’m especially proud of this shot because I’ve tried so many times to get a shot of this tunnel with nobody in it but there aren’t many chances when it’s completely empty, unless it’s in the middle of the night. And in the morning, I’m definitely not going to sit and wait for it to clear out. I don’t think my boss would like the reason for being late to work being because I needed to wait for the Jackson tunnel to clear so I could get a cool photo!
So these are just a few examples of my work. I hope you enjoyed this article. Peace!
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