For the Love of Chicago and Photography

Can’t beat the view

Just a quick update with a shot I took last Thursday from one of my favorite spots in the city:

Navy Pier Skyline

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Walk around the River….

The other day I took a walk around the fork in the Chicago River. There are so many good spots to grab shots around this area. There is two shots I wanted to look at today, the first a beautiful view of Chicago’s Loop skyline:

Kinzie Railroad View

The second is a dead straight shot looking at the Kinzie railroad Bridge and the Sun-Times Building:

Stop!

It is nice to come away from a good amount of images from such a short walk. I have several others that I have not even processed yet. Always get out and walk around and explore your area, I know I am lucky living in the city, but really anywhere you can find stuff to shoot and just enjoy a day.

HDR’n it Up

I know I have posted a lot on this topic before, but I have grown to really like HDR. Everyone has a different style and there are people who just do amazing work with it.

Kinzie Railroad Bridge

It is a process that takes practice and knowing the right subjects to use it on. It is also about getting the right light to provide the drama for a good shot.

Pritzker Pavilion

It has taken me a long time to really figure out how to process these into a photograph that I feel proud of. Lots of trial and error.

Hope everyone has a good weekend!

Sunset Panorama

Have been busy and haven’t had time to post much. Just a quick post with a sunset image from the other day. This is 4 images stitched together, each a 3 exposure HDR shot, view of the Chicago’s Iconic Skyline taken at sunset. The sun had not yet fallen behind the buildings but the cloud coverage was going to keep me from getting the original sun flare I was going for, ah well, still a nice image was to be caught.

Skyline Sunset Pano

Such a beautiful evening it was. Enjoy, hopefully some better more in depth posts coming soon.

Spring Flowers

Most of the time I am posting shots of the city and a lot of blue hour either morning or night but I do like many other types photography. As spring finally came (well and left again right now) the flowers finally came into bloom around Chicago. One of the great things about the city is the amount of tulips planted around downtown, Grant Park, and particularly Michigan Ave:

Michigan Ave Tulips

Living in the Lincoln Park neighborhood makes it easy to get to the actual park and walk around. The other day when I went for a quick stroll I came across a couple purple and pink flowered trees which of course I had to shoot (I think they are redbud trees, not sure though):

Spring Color

Sometimes it is nice to break out of your usual subjects and style and expand your portfolio. Enjoy the week!

Sunrises and Sunsets in Chicago

Not being on a coast like a lot of others, sunrises and sunsets can be difficult. The nice part is Chicago does have some great sunrises over Lake Michigan. I went out Mother’s Day morning to try and capture one, this is what came of it:

Good Morning Chicago

The board was just stuck there, though I did straighten it and made it more stable, otherwise the waves would have washed it down.

Now sunsets in Chicago become very difficult. There are not too many places to really catch it from, you either need to get up high, or get out on one of the few spots that lets you view the city from the east. One of my favorite spots is Olive Park which I have mentioned before, I take a lot of shots here. This past Tuesday, and interesting one happened when I decided to do a HDR panorama of the sunset. It came out with the city looking like Fire and Ice:

Fire and Ice

I hope everyone has a good weekend!!

Spring Rainstorms

Anyone else tired of the rain? When will it just warm up and stay? The only thing good is the storms provide great drama for photographers. You just have to be prepared for it: Umbrella, waterproof camera bag, camera covers, rain jacket, waterproof boots, and an escape plan!

Ah the escape plan, this past Thursday as I was staying at my soon to be in-laws condo dog sitting, I felt this was a good opportunity to go outside and get some blue hour shots of downtown, since they live right there. So I headed up by Oak Street Beach, and the clouds were very interesting and dramatic. Perfect for a cityscape taken from the beach, remember to get low. Well as I was finishing up, I felt it sprinkle, now I knew it was suppose to rain and had checked the radar and all. Well the sprinkle only lasted for a few moments, then stopped. Then the downpour started. Of Course, now my bag is waterproof so the camera went in right away and is fine, phewwww, but myself, the only thing I had on was the boots, my coat and jeans were not so water proof and by time I get under the pedestrian path under Lakeshore Drive, I was soaked. But I think this shot was well worth it:

Waiting for the Rain

My advice for shooting in and around rainstorms, be prepared. It is some of the best times to shoot the sky due to the clouds that storms bring, but just be ready. Don’t forget to check out my site if you are interested in prints or licensing: Christopher|F Photography!!!

A Rose with No Name

This past week, I decided to head down again by the lakeshore path. I started walking south from Fullerton towards North Ave, and saw another photographer setting up for a blue hour skyline shot from one of the break walls along the beach. So I continued down the path for a minute figuring out what I wanted, if anything, to shoot. Then I just decided to walk down by the water. It was very windy and the waves were crashing decently hard into the beach. You could see where the city is working on getting the beaches ready for the summer season. As I strolled up I saw a large log sitting washed up on the sand and was thinking this could make a beautiful photograph. That is when I looked to my left and something caught my eye. A beautiful, still in pretty good shape, wet pink rose, sitting in the sand.

Washed Away

This was exactly how it was laying, around with all the scattered rocks that the wake had stirred up. This is the point where I wished a had a stronger nd filter to get the water smoother since it was still a good 40 minutes till blue hour, but I wanted the sky how it was, so I used what I had, and came up with this shot.

The question is now, what is this from? Some lost love that fell apart, or just some flower that lost is way from the bouquet it was once apart of? A mystery to those who view it, but that night it was meant to be captured.

A Night at the Beach

Just a quick post, a shot from the other day at North Avenue beach. It was very cloudy and had a slight chance of rain so I been wanting to try a shot like this for a while and this was the perfect cloud cover for it. I wish I had a better nd filter than the 2 stop one, but this still came out very nicely.

Before the CLouds

New Nifty Fifty

So Nikon finally announced last night its new Nifty Fifty, replacing the old but popular 50mm f1.8D with the AF-S 50mm f1.8G, so it will now auto-focus with the lower Nikon DSLRs. I would be interested if I did not already have the older 50mm and the 35mm f1.8 that focus’s with my D3000. Still waiting for the new reboots of the D700 and D300s. Come on Nikon, get with it!!

In my news, my site has been getting some good hits, so thank you to those who have checked it out, please while you are there sign the guestbook, makes me feel the love: Christopher|F Photography. Should be getting a custom URL in the next week or so, hopefully.

As for new shots, been the worst weather possible lately in Chicago and the Midwest, but last Saturday was beautiful and my fiance and I took our Peekapoo out to her favorite park to run around and socialize with some other dogs. It was so nice, perfect weather. So I snapped a few shots from there:

Keep Off Rocks

And a handheld pano consisting of five shots:

Skyline

And the final image, the wonderful Jersey, my fiance and I’s hilariously adorable dog:

Have a good week everyone!