Tag Archives: Frank Lloyd Write

Face the Atrium by Frank Lloyd Wright

The Atrium of the Rookery Building is one of the better known architectural delights of the Chicago Area. During Open House Chicago, this place was packed on the one and only day they were open for visitors. If you ever come to Chicago and stay during the week, I highly recommend making time for this place.

The face of the atrium in the Rookery atrium in Chicago.
The face of the atrium in the Rookery atrium in Chicago.

Web sites:

October 2015 – NEW STUFF!

Something awesome happened for me this month. I got a new full frame camera! This was actually quite unexpected but, I plan to make full use of this unexpected boost to my photography.

Since, I already have the Sony NEX-7 and I have been a fan of mirrorless technology. Also, since I have never shot with a DSLR, I am staying mirrorless. The NEX-7 is an APSC sensor camera, which means it uses smaller lenses but also collects less light. Since I really wanted a full frame camera there was only one game in town to shoot mirrorless and to go full frame. That was the Sony A7 series of cameras.

I purchased the Sony A7II from Sony’s refurbish store, Secondipity. Let me tell you, this camera so far feels 100% NEW. I have no problems with it at all. It was a 25% savings over new retail.

This camera has in body stabilization that is making steady shots at longer shutter speeds possible. My ability to shoot at night, hand held has gone up by about 4 – 6 stops of light when you combine the larger sensor with the steadiness of the camera. What does this mean? 4 stops means a shot that would ordinarily take 1/400th of a second, I can use a cleaner ISO and shoot as slow as 1/25th of a second.

I also purchased my first super wide lens! I was aching for a super wide lens ever since I rented a wide angle lens for a national park vacation in 2014.

I hope you like this month’s selections. I know that last month I had a large amount of pictures. This month I’m keeping it down to 12 images. I hope to keep a similar limit from here on out.

The beginning of October saw the Scott Kelby World Wide Photowalk led by Teresa Peek and then the next weekend was the Open House Chicago 2015 extravaganza.

I have to get around to writing some posts about the people I’ve met over the last few months. It’s been very gratifying to meet so many skilled photographers and wonderful people.


Rockefeller Chapel and Frank Lloyd Write

Last Saturday, I decided I wanted to get some experience at regular residential interior photography. When you live in Chicago, where else do you go but the legendary, Frank Lloyd Write? Well, I can’t show you those pictures of the inside because the foundation for Frank Lloyd Write basically locks you down from distributing them online or anywhere in any public forum except in your own home and in closed social networks. BUT, they can’t keep you from taking photos of the exterior! So I’ve included one of his home and studio in this post.


I also visited the Robbie house in the Woodlawn area of Chicago. Personally, I like his home and studio better because it actually felt more like a home. The Robbie house has some very interesting features to it, but photographically, it feels more like a commercial building to me than a home. He didn’t believe in having lots of ornate furnishings and knick knacks. I can say that I did enjoy his habit of making common areas like hallways ‘compressive’ and the rooms the release.  I also enjoyed his habit of slowly bringing you from the outside with transition zones for both the patios and decks. You can only wonder what he would have done with today’s engineering capabilities.

But, when I went to see the Robbie house, I parked next to the Rockefeller Chapel at the University of Chicago. So I might be a sucker for the vast spaces of these churches. I also find them photographically challenging. Stained glass can be very difficult to contain it’s essence. The scope of the display is so hard to translate into a single exposure. So I keep trying. I hope you get to feel a little bit of what I felt from this place.

The Rockefeller Chapel at the University of Chicago, IL. On this day they were gettign prepared for a wedding which was a few hours away from this photo.
The Rockefeller Chapel at the University of Chicago, IL. On this day they were gettign prepared for a wedding which was a few hours away from this photo.

Technical stuff: When I took this photo, I did a five exposure brackets that were three frames wide, and five frames tall. However, the top frame was almost completely cropped away. It’s hard to get everything to line up right. I did the HDR processing first and I was careful to make sure all the settings were universal throughout the HDR processing. Once that was done, I stitched everything together and did my final adjustments. Do the math, 5 exposures per bracket x 5 high x 3 wide = 75 exposures! I had to reduce the resolution just a little so my computer could handle the data. (Time for an upgrade?)