Oriana Koren is a documentary-minded photographer based in Chicago, IL. She documents people, food, spaces and places throughout the United States. Last week, as the Polar Vortex was heading to Chicago, she braved the subzero temperatures to capture the frozen wasteland as Chicago transformed to "Chiberia."

Having been cooped up at home for a couple of days, I was feeling a bit stir crazy, and thought I would take a walk over to lake and try and channel Henri Cartier-Bresson and Henry Callahan to make some stark black and white winter landscape. Even though I live a short block away from the lake front, it was the hardest walk I’ve taken: the wind was whipping cold snow in my face, I had to trudge through snow up to my knees, and it was already so cold, breathing hurt. Once I made it over to the sand, I was in awe of the expanse of snow and ice the lake had transformed into. Almost two hundred or so feet in, the lake was frozen solid. The quiet was beautiful and as I watched the snow drift across the sand and lake, it felt as though I had been transported to Siberia. It’s an experience I’ll never forget!

All images edited with Replichrome I: Icon’s Kodak 400CN preset and sharpened with Sharp Cheddar from the Original Lightroom Presets.


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Cory Ann Ellis