chicago

All photos available for print and licensing >

Before leaving to Chicago, I had no idea there were so many alleyways in the city. Now that I think about it, it makes sense though. Just never really thought about alleys. So this one time when Andrew and I were on our way to a photo location (I don’t remember exactly which one but it’s safe to say it was a parking garage), google maps actually lead us through this one as the fastest way to get to our final destination. It seemed a little sketch with the smell of super greasy food, what it looked like people taking a cigarette break in the alley, and just an overall darkness hanging above us but other than all that I saw no reason not to walk through. LOL.

So we did.

Then I saw this puddle and probably spent a good 5 minutes just standing in front of it. I was trying to find a good reflection and then patiently waited for someone to walk past. I think the smell was starting to get to me and I was tempted to just ask Andrew to walk past a few times but then at the moment I was about to give up, two people actually walked past. You can see the second person a little bit closer to the wall on the right hand side.

Because I didn’t want that second person to be so visible and I thought this image would lend itself so well to it, I decided to convert it to black and white. In the end, it was just more interesting to just reduce it down to its lines and shapes and really bringing the attention to the person in the middle and the reflection. I love the way that it turned out. It actually kinda makes me want to go back to some older images and looking at them in black and white. It’s seriously a whole totally different point of view.

My camera settings for this image is F4.5 at 1/125th sec and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

All photos available for print and licensing >

I just got back from my second trip to Chicago but my first real time visiting with a camera in my hand. I booked this trip with the intention to scout out photo locations for our upcoming photo workshop in Chicago. I wanted to get a feel for the city and the logicistics of getting around. So if you’re interested in joining me for a week in Chicago, click here.

In general, I loved visiting the city. Compared to New York City or even Washington DC, it’s a lot quieter as far as car noises and even people walking around. It’s so photogenic, meaning everywhere you turned could be a great new image. With the so many different elevated views, it was difficult to take a bad picture. I especially liked being among the skyscrapers. Even during the middle of the day, you can find some very interesting shadow play. Overall you can’t go wrong with a photo adventure in Chicago – even if it’s just for a few days.

Side note, they don’t call it the “windy city’ for nothing. Even on a nice, sunshining day, it can get really cold with the wind. I highly suggest packing at least gloves and a hat in your camera bag for those just in case moments. You don’t want to let being too cold be the reason why you don’t capture your shot. I was there at the very end of March and I wore my gloves everyday.

So we had a good 72 hours in Chicago packed full of photography. Here’s what we did:

Click here to read more

All photos available for print and licensing >

If you haven’t noticed yet, the key to capturing Chicago images is definietly self parking garages. LOL. There’s just so many around and if you just poke your head out a little bit, there are some really interesting compositions you can get. This one was taken from a parking garage off of Kinzie St.

So I went to this parking garage to capture some images of the L train from above (how many times have we heard this story?) and in between time I ended up throwing on my zoom lens onto the camera to try to find interesting compositions. In this particular scene, I really liked how the L train was curving so I waited for someone to walk underneath it. It didn’t take long for these two girls to enter the scene. I particularly like the one wearing the pink coat. I think it stands out so nicely in the urban setting.

In other news, I’m leading another photowalk! If you’re in the DC area on June 1st, I’d love for you to join me at the Tidal Basin for a sunrise photowalk. I’ll be there with the Focus on the Story photo festival as we enjoy a (hopefully) beautiful Saturday morning together. It’s free to join, just click here to register. Meet at the Martin Luther King Jr memorial 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F4.5 at 1/640th sec and ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

 

All photos available for print and licensing >

When I was looking up different places to take pictures of Chicago at night, the Chicago Theatre came up in so many of my search results. I think if you’re visiting Chicago it’s a must see. But most of the other images I have seen were of cars driving past and getting the light trails from that. I wanted to try something a little different. I saw some other images where you could get an elevated view point, so I thought I would combine the two and hope for something cool.

This was taken after dinner and dessert. We walked over to the sign and I noticed how many people were walking by taking selfies so I thought it would be interesting to try to get a long exposure of that. It also helped that the Chick-fil-a was right there so I was even able to capture people walking out of the fast food restaurant. I think it turned out a little creepy but an interesting take on the landmark.

So if you’re interested in joining me in Chicago in July, we’re actually running a sale on the workshop. Click here for the details and looking forward to seeing you there 🙂 I heard it can get real hot in the summertime which I can’t even imagine at all. It just snowed there again over the weekend!

PS Can I be honest. One of the highlights of my day is when I look at my blog and see people have ‘hearted’ a blog post even if I haven’t shared it on social media. It honestly makes me smile knowing that you just come to my blog just to see it. I can’t tell who does it but I really, really appreciate it! Thank you!

My camera settings for this image is F20 at 1.6 sec and ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

All photos available for print and licensing >

Hump Dayyyyy

I feel like I’ve been traveling a lot in 2019 so far. And if there’s anything that I’ve learned in these recent travels, it is never put your camera away. I try my best to always keep my camera in hand for those ‘just in case’ moments. I’ve also found that sometimes if my camera is already in my backpack, I may feel a little lazy to take it out to try to capture a moment and end up regretting it. So as a rule, I try to always have my camera ready and available.

Another consequence of always having your camera available is that you start taking random selfies like this. LOL. or even this one…

I’m not always on the lookout for puddes but if I see one, I do like to see if there’s anything interesting in the reflection. This one was taken just around the corner of our hotel. It’s actually the very last image that I captured on the trip and thought it was cool to see the edges of the tall buildings around me. To add a little foreground interest, I included my shoes in the images and at the very last moment threw up a peace sign. Just something fun but ended up giggling when I saw it as I was looking through my images once I arrived home.

But trust me. This is definietly not the last image I have from Chicago. I have so many more that I’m excited to share. PS I’m starting to work on a Chicago photo guide so if you have any questions about anything, feel free to ask. I’ll try my best to answer them in the guide.

Also excited for more travels in the next few months 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/100th sec and ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

 

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.