Illinois

All photos available for print and licensing >

This image was taken at the same time as this one. It’s just a little more in focus. LOL.

So Andrew and I actually spent quite a bit of time looking for this spot. I knew there was a train station that had a pretty cool view of the Trump International Hotel and Tower but for some reason we couldn’t figure where. We walked up and down the street and thought the trains only ran parallel to it instead of appearing like it went straight for it.

So we kinda just gave up.

We spent the rest of the day taking other pictures, eating lots of food and eventually wanted to spend some time at Millennium Park. While walking over, we finally figured out the L train station and I was so excited. Since I had no plans of actually going anywhere, we figured we would just wait a little bit closer to sunset for the better light and went back to our plan of going to Millennium Park.

The park was great and all but it was sooo packed. It was difficult to comprehend what was actually going on just because there was so many people. Not my scene at all. I’m glad I got to scope it out but decided to just go back to the train station when it was around 5p when sunset was closer to 8p. I slapped on a neutral density filter to help with the long exposure and create the blur with the trains.

I think it worked out well. I captured these two trains separately and then just photoshopped them together to look like they were passing. I think it just made the one image a little more interesting.

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 0.5 sec and ISO 3200 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

All photos available for print and licensing >

This image was taken right before I captured this one. I was standing at same exact spot when I captured both images. So the image from last week was taken if you’re looking towards the right and this image was taken if you’re looking to the left.

At first it was all the light posts that caught my attention. I love how they were all lined up in a row and I was trying my hardest to try to capture them in the reflection of the building but it wasn’t until a crosswalk sign turned green where I was able to capture this. I love how everything just lines up in a row. I also love how everyone is wearing mostly black. It seemed to work perfectly for this image. Even that little bit of car you see driving across the street is black. Kinda like a “Walking Dead” type scene but not really.

Anyways, my weekend trip to Richmond was so fun. I went with my friend, Albert and it was great because we wanted to do all the same things. Basically just walk around and explore with our cameras. I’ll be sharing more about that trip soon but for now I feel like I’m still going through all these Chicago images. I have so much more that I still want to look through.

My camera settings for this image is F8 at 1/800th sec and ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

All photos available for print and licensing >

Just another image from walking around downtown Chicago. For some reason, I ended up next to this parking garage several times. It wasn’t intentional but I thought it was such a cool wall. So the first day we were walking around, kinda close to sunset time and I noticed this row of trees. I loved the way the light was hitting it so I asked Andrew if we could stop to wait for someone to walk past. I don’t think he knew what I was talking about because he was looking around to see what I was seeing but we stopped immediately.

It wasn’t long before this lady with a red jacket walked by. It was perfect. I love that color pop and how it adds so much scale to the trees and wall. It really is scenes like this that makes me excited about street photography. It may seem so simple, but the timing seemed perfect.

As soon as I captured this, we started walking again to our final destination that night, Lou Malnati’s pizzeria. OMG so good!

On another note, I’ll be in Richmond, Virginia this weekend and I’m really looking forward to it. If you didn’t know, I graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a BFA a longggggg time ago and I haven’t been back to the capital city since. I know it’s changed a lot and am really looking forward to seeing all the changes. I definietly want to go check out the campus and all the apartments I used to live in just to see if any of those have changed. It’s going to be crazy and a trip down memory lane FOR SURE!

My camera settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/200th sec and ISO 1000 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

All photos available for print and licensing >

One of my favorite parts about Chicago were all the elevated points of views around the city. For example, I mentioned before this image was taken from an L train station which was about two stories above the ground. Besides the L train, there were many views from rooftops and parking garages that made it such an easy city to photograph with so many viewpoints.

This image was taken at a parking garage. My friend, Andy wrote a city guide (which I plan on doing as soon as I go through all my images) and mentioned this one in particular. I loved the reflective surface of the building and decided this had to be one of the spots I visited. It was so great that I actually ended up visiting this spot twice in one weekend. Luckily, it was close to our hotel so it was super easy to stop by. But the funny part is that there were other photographers there both times I went.

Andrew’s not really one to be in my photos so I’m glad I was able to capture this photographer in her element. She had quickly just popped her head out, I think to check her settings and then popped right back into the garage but I am glad I was quick enough to actually capture this moment.

It was around 9a in the morning and pretty bright outside but one of my favorite parts about this image is the railing closest to my camera. I just love how it’s glittering in the light. Probably a detail only I would notice, but it just captures my eye.

Since I visited this spot on two different occasions, be prepared to see more from here.

My camera settings for this image is F8 at 1/320th sec and ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm wide angle lens.

All photos available for print and licensing >

Chicago is such a photogenic city. I felt like everywhere I turned there was a new image to capture and I probably took way more pictures than I had expected to prior to leaving for the trip. Which is 100% why I am so excited for the photo workshop in July. The whole time I was walking around the city, I just envisioned walking around with some of you and having so much fun with our cameras. I was so inspired by Chicago and the vibe that I think I found some great photo spots to help you create some stunning images. So if you’re interested in learning more about spending a week with me in Chicago, click here. Feel free to send me or Focus on the Story any questions you may have.

This image was captured a little bit after sunrise. To be honest, I was surprised by how many people were out there so early in the morning. A little surprised, but not really because I did notice a lot of people walking around with cameras. Even in the non-touristy spots, there were photographers everywhere. But I’m glad I was there in the early morning because this spot can get real packed, real quick. Also that amazing glow that was going on underneath the bean was stunning! As soon as I saw it, I just kept on hoping and waiting for someone to walk right underneath. This lady was under the bean all by herself taking pictures and I love how her outfit just matched that early morning light.

PS Can you spot me in the image? Andrew is standing just a few steps behind me. I love how reflective that surface is.

My camera setting for this image is F4 at 1/1600th sec and ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

All photos available for print and licensing >

Home from Chicago and it was a fantastic trip. At one point on Saturday night while we were walking back to our hotel for the night, Andrew turned to me and said “How come all of your vacations involve a lot of walking?” LOL I’m pretty sure he was joking but not really. Because it’s true. I think when you walk around a city, you just get to know it better and there’s so much more you get to see when you’re going a little bit slower. I like it better than just driving everywhere or taking public transportation.

But my legs, feet and back are definietly feeling it right now.

This image was taken from a L train station. The light blue building in the center is the Trump International Hotel and Tower and found this to be a cool point of view with buildings framing it. Below me were some train tracks that I was taking pictures of but in between trains coming and going, I was messing around with long exposure on the buildings. I love the way it turned out and I think this is a very accurate depiction of what it feels like after exploring the city for 48 hours. I didn’t think much of it while I was taking the picture but thought it turned out really cool in the end.

Overall, I had a great weekend. I loved walking up and down the riverwalk and finding different angles to photograph the high rise buildings. I also really enjoyed eating deep dish pizza and Italian beef sandwiches. So you can say I’m a big fan of Chicago’s scenery and food 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at .4 seconds and ISO 3200 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens and my 10 stop neutral density filter.