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:
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.
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.
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!
This month I am showing many pictures that have been taken from the City of Chicago plus a few from elsewhere in the Midwest. Most of these pictures are basically previews that I have yet to finish off before I put them up in the rest of social media. 🙂
This is kind of interesting to look at this month. And I like the idea of doing a monthly recap of what I’ve done . And, I think I can feel the growth here, too. I’ve had my first experiment with textures. I think I’m finally starting to understand how to compose curving features in camera, too. I met a world famous photographer, and I also met a pioneer in pinhole photography from Columbia University. She encouraged me to do something I thought was stupid. Have you ever seen someone holding up their hands in the shape of a window to look through? Well, if you do this to get a similar field of view as your lens of choice, it’s actually a good exercise!
I toured Little Italy in Chicago as part of my quest to photograph every official neighborhood of Chicago. This is a relatively new quest, btw. Little Italy is a nice neighborhood that includes the University of Illinois at Chicago. But there are some sobering sights, which I have included.
This gallery is from the beginning of August when I spent a day in the Loop.
Throughout this month I will rework some of these pictures. So, I will produce separate blog posts for each final rework I do.
Thanks for viewing my photos.
Just keep trying and see you next time!
The first weekend of the month in Chicago’s Loop.
Dearborn Street Bridge and a runner. With a view of the Marina City Towers and the House Of Blues.
Chicago’s Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial along the Chicago River
The red seats at the Pritzker Pavillion
When leaving Millennium Park, I saw these flowers and I just had to take a picture.
This gallery is the Trey Ratcliff Photowalk in Chicago. It was really cool and the weather was perfect.
When Trey Ratcliff comes to your city, rest assured the weather will clear up, the clouds will part, and the sunsets will be gorgeous.
Here’s another practice photo before the photowalk got going in earnest.
Here he is, the zen master himself, Trey Ratcliff. It’s really cool getting a chance to meet him in person. I didn’t talk long with him. Just long enough to say I’m in the Arcanum under Scott Wyden Kivowitz, and to say that Lauri Novak will be there soon.
This picture contains three of my favorite photographers: From left to right: Deirdre Hayes, Trey Ratcliff, Lauri Novak. They are all incredibly different photographers and each of them brilliant!
Here is a picture of the photowalk in earnest moving from the Museum park grounds into Grant Park.
The photowalk stopped at Buckingham Fountain for obvious reasons!
My Non Chicago Pictures for the month!
This was taken at a baptism of my youngest niece. This is her next oldest sister, being held by her mother. The light here was really a wild mix of cool and warm tones and confusing my eye, so I switched to black and white to center on her expression. She’s a lovely little girl.
The Arcade is the first mall ever built in the United States in Cleveland, OH. It’s truly an amazing building with wonderful acrchitectural elements in it and really nice shops.
Relationships on 4th Street
The woman in the red dress. Is she an Agent of the Matrix?
Cleveland is probably the most under rated city in the USA. There’s a lot to offer even though it’s population is around 350,000.
With only 1 male white rhino left in the wild, I thought it was vastly important to take this picture.
A still bee asleep in the cool temperatures of an august morning.
Thick in the weeds at work.
One of my other nieces. She was showing off her skills at being cute that day!
My last weekend in Chicago in August 2015. The first half of these photos are from my photo walk through Little Italy.
Buckingham Fountain last year on Memorial Day. This is truly one of the jewels of the city. It is visually pleasing. The city looks fantastic behind it. On a hot day, the mist is relief. And sunsets look great. On Memorial Day they will play patriotic music and the central fountain of water will shut much higher than is shown here.
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.
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.
What a difference a year makes. A year ago, we were moaning and groaning about the terrible winter we were having. Now, we don’t seem to be living that badly. This picture is from a few weeks ago when we did get snow. It seemed winter could still be WINTER.
But I am going to Starved Rock in Utica, IL this weekend. I’m hoping to get some ice waterfalls. The warm weather makes me doubt…
I plan on traveling there with my mom. We’ll be leaving from her house waaaay before sunrise.
I also hope to record some video, too. We’ll see how that experiment goes.
I’m also rethinking this blog, it’s format, purpose, and reach. I think I’ll be adding a we bit more to it over the next month.
Calder’s Flamingo in Chicago Federal Plaza is a really dynamic piece of art. In Chicago, if it weren’t for pieces like this all the harsh and imposing lines of the city would overwhelm you. But the amazing curves of the “Flamingo” with the shock of red in the midst of these black steel and glass buildings let’s you relax. Even the name of the location, Federal Plaza makes you stiffen up until you see this piece of art!
How did I shoot this photo? It was really formed with 7×2 HDR frames. That’s 14 frames with three photos each! (That’s 42 exposures combined.) I used Microsoft’s Image Composite Editor to stitch the photos together after I did the HDR processing in Photomatix.
How did I get rid of all the people? I waited! I was very patient this evening. Since not every shot took up the whole width of the display, it’s not as if I had to wait for everyone to be gone from the whole plaza all the time, either.
I used Photoshop and Lightroom for standard edits and corrections to paralaxing. (Paralaxing is what happens when you try to do a panorama and one item is split twice in the scene. If you put your finger in front of your face and look at it with one eye closed, and then switch eyes and the finger has a slightly different background.)
This was taken from the near north side / River North neighborhood of Chicago from on top of a parking garage. It’s basically 3 blocks north of the Chicago River and about 2 blocks east of the north branch of the Chicago River.
When I posted this photo, I used the moment to introduce my new photography page on Facebook. Please follow me there, too! I have to say that Facebook is an entirely different social media animal compared to all the others. The connection with Google +, WordPress, Instagram, and Flickr is so far centered on people who just love to look at photos. But even with just a few likes in, on Facebook, I can already sense that there’s just more opportunity to expand your reach to people who aren’t just trying to improve their own photography or people who aren’t that focused on art. And that’s a good thing.
Also, personal facebook pages are much more closed sharing places. But a public photography page allows me to reach more people that aren’t really interested in being my personal facebook friend. Let’s face it, I don’t want everyone’s information on my personal feed, either.
My usual drill when I get to the city is I leave the Ogilvie train station and half the time I wind up walking north of the river past this building. I almost always take a good look at it. Why? I don’t know. Maybe it’s just how the river reflects it?
This time I decided to do a wide panorama of it. I just liked the reflections too much! I actually tried to process this one in black and white. By the time I thought it looked pretty good, something told me to see what it looks like in color… click.. Definitely staying with color! 🙂