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!
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.
September was a relatively full month for me. I have been out and about quite a bit! As a result, I have a number of photos to share in this post. Why was I late to getting this up? Well, to be honest I’ve been not feeling well and I’ve had some other issues I had to deal with my home. And with the last weekend of the month I shot over 2000 images. You’ll see why towards the end of the page! 🙂
Here are my photos from the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, IL.
The monarch butterflies were out and about at the Botanic Garden
A rainbow of colors come from these interesting flowers. I felt like I needed some skittles after that.
Some lavender colored flowers.
Another butterfly in the garden. This was shot in their butterfly enclosure. They have many kinds of butterflies in there. This is one of the few that sat still long enough for a shot.
This was shot in their sub-tropical greenhouse.
This photo was an experiment in post processing.
Dahlias always attract the light in interesting ways!
A bright water lilly
I just love blue water lilies because they contrast with their yellow insides so well!
This gallery is part of my Chicago77 project. This is from the Avondale neighborhood. To me, the neighborhood is a pretty tough neighborhood. That isn’t to say that it’s a bad neighborhood, but that it’s character was tough. It does have one gleaming bright spot, the St. Hyacinth Basilica. I would encourage everyone to go and see it.
September 19, I went to see the bridges come up to allow the sail boats off the lake. Chicago has more bascule type bridges than anywhere in the world. The new river-walk gives new perspectives on this event, too.
On September 20th, it was the last weekend day before the Equinox. I knew I had to take a chance at getting what I could out of Chicagohenge where the sun sets on the east-west streets. Since it was a few days early, I knew the sun would cross the street a few degrees in the air before actually setting. This made for a great chance to get closer to the elevated line than I did last year.
Washington St in Chicago during sunset while the train crossed the sun.
Chicagohenge happens every equinox in Chicago because all our east west streets are perfectly east/west. On the equinox, the sun sets on the street.
September 26 was the 500PX world wide global photowalk. On this day I took the train into the city, walked to Millennium Park, Navy Pier, to a hotel close to the Palmer House and back to Navy Pier and then to the train station. For the first weekend of fall, it was a great day to get out and shoot and meet some fantastic photographers!
Before the 500PX World Wide Photowalk a photographer examines the scene in Chicago
Following the flag from the 500PX WWPW in Chicago on Michigan Avenue
Gina Costa taking a shot over the Chicago River during the 500PX WWPW.
A couple on Michigan Avenue in Chicago
At Navy Pier in Chicago the 500PX WWPW takes a break
A ride at Chicago’s Navy Pier Mall on a mostly clear day.
The Ferris Wheel is about to be taken down in Chicago’s Navy Pier in favor of a much larger one for 2016.
John Hancock Center and smaller buildings in Chicago’s near north side.
The bike path along Lake Shore Drive in Chicago invites many to enjoy it.
A spontanious celebration on the near north side in Chicago.
Chicago’s near north side as seen from Olive Park as the sun was setting.
Sunset from Chicago’s Ferris Wheel from the last weekend in opperation. Soon to be torn down and rebuilt into a much larger ride at Navy Pier.
As the light fades the lights come on the rides at Navy Pier in Chicago
On September 27, 2015 there was this event called the Full Moon Fire Jam and it took place during a supermoon that was going through a lunar eclipse. I took many many images during this event!
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.