If you’re not wearing green right this second, I’m virtually pinching you right now. It’s St. Patrick’s Day today, or the Feast of St Patrick, celebrating the remembrance of the patron saint of Ireland and the heritage of the Irish. For some, St. Patrick’s Day is a religious holiday and for others, a cultural celebration full of green, Guinness and corned beef and cabbage. It is not an official, legal holiday here in the U.S., but plenty of people will be celebrating nonetheless.
One tradition of this day comes in the form of dyeing an entire river green. More than 50 years ago, plumbers used fluorescein dye to find the sources of illegal pollution into the river and it turned the Chicago River green. Since then, the river is dyed each year using vegetable dye, which is safe for the environment, the Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day. Phlearn‘s David Crewe, a San Diego transplant who moved to Chicago a few months ago, caught this tradition in the timelapse you’ll see below.
David got access to shoot on the restaurant patio of the Chicago Trump Tower with fellow photographer, Peter Tsai. Being that high up amidst the Chicago skyline was very windy as you can imagine and also fairly new to timelapse photography, it took a while to figure out how to use the stabilizer later in post, according to David. Using a Nikon D800 with a 17-35mm f2.8 lens at 17mm, David shot 1076 frames at 1/80 sec f/11 ISO100 for the 35 sec video. He was only allowed to bring one camera and a small kit, otherwise he would’ve shot longer and slower frames to smooth out the motion a bit.
Watch St. Patrick’s Day 2015 Chicago River Greening Timelapse
Now that you’re in the St. Paddy’s Day mood, go pinch someone and have some green beer!