street photography

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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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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.

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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.

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Taken at the same time as this image, I was really excited how this one turned out. It’s just the opposite side of the wall of the previous image with the sort of the same idea of a vanishing point. I love how everything lined up with this image. Even this guy’s outfit fits the scene so well with the little details of color in his backpack. I love how it’s all in the same color family with the street signs.

I think with these two images, I just got lucky with people who were passing by at the right time that just happen to match the scene. At times I have waited 5 to 10 minutes with the composition already in my mind for people to walk by who I thought would work for the image. If someone doesn’t come by in that time frame, I usually get impatient and walk away. So going to a place with a lot of people walking around is key but also having patience is a huge factor in taking these street images. This one happened instantly. There wasn’t much waiting at all for either image and I was so happy with the way they turned out.

I captured this image around the holidays and I was telling my friend, Birch that this image would have been perfect if a Santa was ringing his bell as he was walking down this sidewalk. One day we should make that happen. LOL. Anyone have a Santa Claus outfit? If so, we really need to get together soon.

Side note: I heard a really nice Santa costume is $5,000! That’s nuts! I can’t even imagine the dry cleaning cost after the season is over.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/320th of a second at ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm ultra zoom.

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A little while ago I met up with my friend, Birch to check out the christmas wreaths at Union Station for sunrise. Although this isn’t the best sunrise spot, I thought it would be interesting to see all the holiday decorations and I love just visiting Union Station. Maybe because it’s so transit, the same reasons why I love airports so much. There’s just so much hustle and bustle going on that there’s never really a dull moment. Plus I love the Christmas wreaths they hang outside the station. With so much going on, people everywhere, cars honking horns,  the wreaths and their lights always bring a smile to my face.

So after walking around the inside and outside of the station, Birch and I decided to walk along side of the building to see if we could find anything interesting going on. I’ve always loved how all the red taxis line up on the side of the train station just waiting for passengers. I knew there had to be something interesting here, I just had to wait for it. Then this lady walked passed with her red hat. It was perfect. It even goes with the H&M sign on the side of the building. I figured this in itself was festive with the lights and red colors.

But of course, no visit is complete to Union Station now that Magnolia Bakery is open. I had to stop by and get some banana pudding before we left. If you haven’t already, you gotta try it. Andrew and I used to go all the time when we’re in New York, but now that it’s in Washington, we can enjoy it whenever 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/125th sec and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

 

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Home from a quick trip to New York and I feel like it was just the thing I needed to get in to the holiday spirit.

Andrew and I tend to go to always go to New York around this time of year. The first reason being his birthday and he can choose anything in the whole city he wants to eat but the second is that it’s just a fun place to be in the month of December. I love seeing all the holiday decoration and there is just something about being in the Big Apple that makes me so happy. I was trying to describe it to my friend the other day when she told me she doesn’t like going to New York. I think the fact that there’s always something to do or something to see there, but there’s also so many people walking around the city that you’re just so anonymous and no one really cares. I also love how you can walk through a door and have an impression of let’s say a restaurant, but it’s totally different once you’re inside. Like it could look like this run down, little hole in the wall from the outside but inside the vibe can be completely fun and entertaining with the best food you’ve ever eaten in your entire life. You just never really know what you’re going to get when you’re in the city and I love that. It’s so different every time we go.

This image was taken while we were sitting on the subway waiting for it to depart from the stop. I just happened to have my camera on my lap when I noticed that girl perfectly in frame with the window. I loved how candid it was but I think my favorite part of the image is the actual reflection from the bars on the inside. I just think those extra lines really bring your attention to the girl and makes you wonder what she’s looking at on her phone.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/50th sec at ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom.