Tag Archives: Chicago Skyline

December Photos

As December got to a start, I felt like I had to go out and shoot. I hadn’t seen the sunrise in a while. Winter performs a wonderful miracle in letting the sun come up late.

Morning in Chicago

I hadn’t done that much shooting with a tripod on my new camera so I went to one of the areas of the city made for tripod photography, the Adler Planetarium. I took a few pictures of the Chicago Skyline. I wasn’t able to stay long, so I wasn’t able to do a true bracketed shot. But this is good enough. 🙂

The skyline, contrasty and black and white:

black and white skyline
The Chicago Skyline done in a contrasty black and white fashion from the Adler Planetarium.

I highly recommend finding a group of people that meet up every month to do a local photowalk. Drink and Click is just one such group. They have a monthly theme and sponsors for prizes for the best photos of the month. This group is worldwide with chapters in every continent and many major cities. Look them up! I gave you the link.

From a “Drink and Click” outing in Chicago. December’s theme was “selfie” but… not all my pics were selfies.


After the Drink and Click event and another photowalk with Out of Chicago.com I hung around the Cloud Gate for a few images. It was a wet night in Millennium Park.

wet cloudgate at night

This next image was from the same night. I took a few shots from the lake side of the Pritzker Pavilion. I have to give props to my friend, John O’Neill who lent me his tripod bracket between shots. He’s a really smart photographer, btw. He takes his time, looks for the lines, and really makes an image.

Pritzker Night

And finally, there was Christmas. So I have a few pictures from my maternal grandmother’s tree.

OK, so that was December! I hope you enjoyed. We’ll see how 2016 turns out. I’ve got some ideas. When I really feel strong about a resolution, I don’t really talk about it. And I feel it this year. All I can say is that I’m going to work real hard on my photography!

Take Care and Have Fun this year,

Adam Dooley

Skyline over Iceline – Chicago

The skyline of the Chicago Loop is often photographed from this point, the Adler Planetarium. On this late January morning, however, I was looking for something different. All of this ice had recently built itself up on the cement wall separating the museum campus from Lake Michigan. The soft predawn sunlight was only beginning to brighten up the city. The smooth curves of the ice also was interesting. I found that if I lay down on the ice, I could place it under Lake Shore Drive with the skyline coming up and out of the ice. The street lights also added a little interesting bokeh, too. The only hard contrasting line in the image is the line separating the city from the ice.

The Chicago Skyline placed above the a small icewall closed to the Planetarium.
The Chicago Skyline placed above the a small icewall close to the Planetarium.

Chicago Skyline on Valentines Day

This is a post I originally meant to publish back in February. But somehow it fell through the cracks. Here you go!

Chicago Lights up February 14. I shot this from the outer wall of the Shedd Aquarium. I tried shooting a little closer to the Planetarium, but I got sprayed with water that instantly froze on contact on my camera. The camera was not damaged, however. After drying off a bit and warming up, I tried again and got this shot. Note, the wind was whipping around 30 mph and it was roughly 8 degrees outside.

Chicago Lights up Feb 14

I’ll say this again, please do not mess around with ice and water. This is potentially a deadly combination! Respect the conditions. Missing “the shot” is better than losing your life. When I got closer to the water, I didn’t get so close that I could slide into the lake. I stayed on the land side of the ice slope that was on the concrete. Another foot closer to the lake, however, and I would have been asking for a LOT more trouble up to and including losing my life. Be careful and mindful of your surroundings. As soon as I could hear the water rushing my way, I got out of the way. I still got spray, but I was safe.

The result? I didn’t get as much ice in the above photo as I was hoping to. But I still like the view.

New Years 2015 – Skyline Photography

I don’t usually like to get thick into the weeds when it comes to creating a photo. I do get technical, but I’m fully aware lots of people don’t like reading all that stuff.

I’m preparing to do a skyline panorama of Chicago. This morning I went to the Adler Planetarium to take these photos. It was 6 AM when I got out of the car. It was FREEEZING out, btw!

Here’s the photo:

Chicago Skyline from Adler Planetarium. New Years morning, 2015.
Chicago Skyline from Adler Planetarium. New Years morning, 2015.

I took about 5 images going from left to right. This one is roughly the center image. Whenever I do a panorama, I almost always at MOST move the camera’s field of view only about 1/3 of the frame.  Then I take another photo.

When I’m stitching a panorama, I’ll try it one of two different ways. First, I’ll try it in Photoshop. This is usually easy but also takes a long time for the computer to do.

The second method I use is a free program from Microsoft called Microsoft Composite Editor. This program is actually pretty quick. The knock I have against it is that it requires me to create 16-bit tiff files to my hard drive.

But the problem that I have with creating panoramas happens regardless of which program I use. A panorama program will stretch the image if you tell it to stitch to maintain PERSPECTIVE. The tends to stretch the lines so that they are all straight. Straight lines matter with architecture. But, it stretches out the sky, too. What is the problem with that? What used to be clean and clear sky is now showing pixels that I couldn’t previously see.

There are several things I can do to minimize that, but it takes a bit more work. It would be lovely if there was a tool that minimized this problem all in one step, though.

So, that’s my riff on panorama stitching. If you found it interesting, let me know.

The L Runs Through It

The L runs beneath the Chicago Skyline

I shot this from the top floor of a parking garage. It’s actually a single frame of a much larger panorama I’m still working on. I was really hoping I’d get an L train here. This is an hdr processed photo and of the three photos I took to process this photo, the L train arrived in time for the final shot, a long exposure.

The L beneath the Chicago Skyline at night.

The L beneath the Chicago Skyline at night.

Prints can be purchased at my Smugmug page by clicking on the photo. You can also view a full res version by going to my Google Plus page.

Chicago Comes out for Memorial Day Weekend

I just love how this city comes out for the unofficial start to summer!

Yesterday, I came down to the city on the Metra and walked from the train station to the Oak Street Beach, down to the Buckingham Fountain, and back to the train station.  Just a few miles. 🙂

Here was the view of the city from Oak street Beach:

Chicago Does Memorial Day


This is typical of Chicago when the summer comes around. So many people find a way to get out and enjoy it.  A few reasons why I like this photo: Aside from the iconic skyline view, you have a lot of people jogging and walking on the bike path / pedway.  But you also have a very pretty girl walking with some of her male friends. And in the background, you can see a guy with his head turned around way to much to get a glimpse of her!

Ok, a few other notes about the day. I had an old laptop bag that was too small for my previous laptop but not for my current laptop. I found that it also holds my sort of small camera bag perfectly! I don’t think I’ll need another bag for Yellowstone! (yay!)

Other photographic notes: I used my 20mm prime lens and this was a vertorama of three images. Processing was done in Photoshop and lightroom. I did adjust for perspective lines using Camera Raw.


Chicago’s Skyline in oils

Today I wanted to do an altered repost of a recent photo I did of the Chicago Skyline. The wavy effects of the reflection on water was so strong that I just had to attempt something that would soften the normally hard lines of Chicago’s skyline. Thankfully Photoshop has an oils filter that allows me to give an effect like it’s been painted with a brush! I think this looks pretty good, but you tell me!

You might need to click on the photo and view the version I have on http://fullperspectivephotos.smugmug.com to get a truely good feel for the effect!

Yes, this one has a Photoshop filter on top that gives an oil painting effect on the light. This was inspired by the water's own patterns!
Yes, this one has a Photoshop filter on top that gives an oil painting effect on the light. This was inspired by the water’s own patterns!

Liquid Light and Night

The Chicago Skyline is always such a joy to see especially from Solidarity Drive close to the Shed Aquarium and the Planetarium. It is even better at night! Lake Michigan, now that it isn’t frozen, has such a nice calming sound of waves. The boats have almost all gone back to their harbors. There are a few remaining people milling about, taking pictures of their own and soaking it in. The skyline is just as much about Lake Michigan as it is about the skyscrapers.

For this photo, I was prepared to do this as an HDR photo, but instead I opted for the over exposed image. There’s something awesome about the lights shining off of Lake Michigan. I was inspired so much by it that I’ll have a follow up image a little next week that one will be much more impressionistic.

A long Exposure of Chicago's skyline off of Lake Michigan at night.
A long Exposure of Chicago’s skyline off of Lake Michigan at night.