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100 Chicagoans' Lives Exposed In Photo Exhibit

CHICAGO (CBS) - The lives of 100 people in Chicago have been captured for the world to see, thanks to a project involving disposable cameras left for the first takers around Wicker Park.

The "takemewithyou" project was launched over the summer by social media expert and former Tribune RedEye Web editor Steph Yiu, and Web designer Jared Novack. Over the summer, Yiu and Novack left 100 disposable cameras around the Wicker Park and Bucktown neighborhoods, each marked with the message, "takemewithyou. Tell me a story, and mail me back."

They shared clues about the locations of the cameras through Twitter and the microblogging site Tumblr. Soon enough, prospective shutterbugs had picked up all of the cameras, and now, Yiu and Novack have almost 700 photos.

The photos went on display on the Web site for the project, and are also hanging in print form in a previously empty storefront at 1251 N. Milwaukee Ave.

The people who picked up the disposable cameras captured every imaginable facet of life in Chicago. Some snapped shots of their friends or pets, while others stuck to still-life scenes or pictures of city locations. Several photographers used the occasion to capture shots of concerts or parties, while others featured abstract and artistic scenes.

Among the highlights were the ouptut of a photographer who took a walk around the city and captured every neighborhood – including a stop for lunch – and another who went on a hike, concealing her identity except for one shot in the side mirror of a bicycle.

And in all 100 rolls of film, it appeared there was only one that would be characterized as "NSFW."

While most of the photographers stuck to Wicker Park or other Chicago neighborhoods, one camera made it all the way to Denver, and another migrated from a pool in Chicago to a seaside town on the East Coast.

The takemewithyou project is one of 10 finalists in the Make Believe Project. All the artists in the project have reactivated vacant storefronts in Wicker Park, most of them along Milwaukee Avenue near Ashland Avenue and Division Street.

Viewers of the art exhibitions in the Make Believe Project are voting for their favorite installations, and the winner will receive a $5,500 prize.

Takemewithyou and the other exhibitions will be up through Oct. 29.

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