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.
This photo was taken in early spring. Sometimes, in Chicago, this is the only kind of flower you get in March.
This is one of those photos that I couldn’t let go of. I hemmed and hawed… I just wasn’t sure. I think part of it is that I’m growing more comfortable in the idea of letting go of rigid crop ratios. If it doesn’t fit the image, change it!
Don’t get me wrong… some day, I’ll crop a lot less. Who knows, that some day might be soon. Until then, I’ll give you what I can with what I got. 🙂
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.
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:
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.
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.
Aqua Silhouette, Chicago
This was also shot during the . So many love this building. There are so many contours and interesting surfaces. This was a hand held shot with my 50mm lens.
The side of the building that faces Millennium Park, while better lit by the sun, it forces a longer view of all it’s curves, downplaying it’s sex appeal. But on the north side of the building, you get a closer and more intimate view. And on this corner, the late afternoon sun gave additional contrast and notice to these same curves.
These high-rise homes really are striking. They create great book ends to the skyline. But when you walk over the bridge from the museum campus past the Metra Electric Line, into the south Loop, you see these high rises to your left (south). They get great light and the buildings are lit up dramatically. The glass and structure is curved at times too.
The Metra Electric line runs in front of the building (down the left side of the frame, here).
Blue hour does a great job in the city of Chicago. It’s a great contrast with the yellow lighting of the street.
I hope you enjoy!
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.
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!
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.