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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.

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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:

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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.

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It looked like nothing even happened the day after it snowed last week. It was like back to fall all over again, which I don’t mind in the least. I went out to photograph the sunrise because I thought with the weird weather it would bring something dramatic, it didn’t, but it was the fall leaves that caught my attention. They were particularly colorful by the Korean War memorial so I decided I would spend some time photographing a memorial I don’t usually photograph.

It’s funny because I always had this idea in my head about the Korean War Memorial. I thought it was a difficult memorial to photograph because where it is on the National Mall (it’s not in a very well lit corner) or how the figures are placed. I don’t know, I never really got a composition I was really happy with… until this time.

Maybe it was the colorful leaves behind the figures or I was feeling particularly inspired, but I had a really good time photographing the memorial. To be honest, I still think that photographing this is the best during snow or fog. It just reduces things everything down. It even makes the shrubs in between the soldiers a little less visible which I think makes it a little better in a photograph. Oh well, since it’s going to be a particularly snowy this winter, I guess I’ll have more time to put this into practice.

That orange glow though! My camera settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/50th sec and ISO 500.

Also, let me know if you like these multiple image posts 🙂 It takes me a little bit longer but I feel like it tells more of a story of what it was like being at the location.

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Here’s something interesting. The other day I was having trouble sleeping so I started surfing the internet. One thing lead to another and I ran across this article from the Google blog. I’m a month late, but I thought this was interesting enough to share. Turns out google now can credit the creator of images in google image searches! This is such amazing news. I personally know that a lot of my images have been shared without proper credit on social media so I can only imagine where they have ended up.

Click here to read the google article.

Like, yes I did take that image of the Tidal Basin at sunrise. Thank you google for the image credit! LOL. This image was taken on the same day as this image and this image. Isn’t it amazing how much the sky can change in about 30 minutes? The image previously blogged were when I first arrived at the Tidal Basin however this one was taken when I was about to leave. The water level was still really high but the it was the cloud formations that really caught my eye at that time. By the time the sun came out, it turned all the clouds orange. An explosion of color like no other!

My camera settings for this image is F16 at 1/125th sec and ISO 1000 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.