Monday, January 31, 2011

Becoming a Better Photographer

Yesterday the Chicago Tribune photographers hosted an event titled "TribU: Becoming a Better Photographer."  The topics included sports and street photography, videography, and using social networking to increase your viewer base (i.e. Your Daily Dose of Chicago :)  The presentations were led by the very best in photojournalism, Chris Walker, Scott Strazzante, Alex Garcia, and William DeShazer.  Chris Walker also provided yours truly with a portfolio review which turned out well enough to write home about!  Since my current 9 to 5 does not encompass photography, it's always great meeting the elite professionals working in the field in the best city in the world.  A special thanks to everyone involved who put the event together, it was worth every penny!  Now I just need to turn all of that great advice into exceptional photography.

After receiving some new found inspiration, I decided to walk home instead of redlinin' or cabbin' it.  I wasn't completely satisfied with what I came up with yesterday, but there were a few that were post worthy. 

As I was leaving I took a peak out of the window and noticed my dentist's office across the street.  I'd like to give a shout out to Dr. Hayley Shealy and the staff at the Magnificent Smile (yes, on the Magnificent Mile).  Ironically, I have an appointment this week.

I realized that the intersection of Grand and State has been under construction for at least 3 years now...

but after peering through the green mesh gate it became obvious that the construction woes are probably due to the complications of life underground.  I'm now wondering if the Rock Bottom Brewery rooftop has scenic views to the city's core.

Restaurant Bar, River North
Weber Grill Chef, River North
J's Dawg, Gold Coast

Vets, Gold Coast

I took a short-cut through Washington Square Park and by that time the wind had picked up and the temperature seemed by dropping by the minute.  The lack of park goers and dog walkers drew my attention to the clever sign above.  Was the white-tape artist a drunk college student or simply a lover of pigeons?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Hubbard Street Murals

Pictured are 2 murals located on the concrete train embankment of the Union Pacific Line on West Hubbard Street.  The Hubbard Street Mural Project appears to be a highly successful endeavor.  It has added some color to an otherwise drab area of River West while showcasing the work of local artists.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

God Bless America

While the 'God Bless America' statue is long gone from this Michigan Avenue site, I thought we could use a reminder of what use to be.  These images were taken in February of last year about a week before it was removed and shipped for display in Mesa, Arizona.  I had read that this sculpture rendition of the infamous American Gothic painting had been met with much criticism.  I, for one, enjoy giant, larger than life public artwork displays. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Cabrini-Green - 364 and 365 W Oak Street

With all of the attention on the last remaining high-rise at 1230 N Burling, many wouldn't even realize there are actually 3 Cabrini-Green housing units set for demolition this year.  Pictured above are the lingering Cabrini-Green Extension buildings known simply as "the reds."  With the exception of passing traffic, this area between Chicago Avenue and Division Street just west of Orleans is fairly quiet now.  For updates on the transformation of Cabrini-Green please check out The Cabrini-Green Projects by photographer Ryan Flynn.  You will even find images of the demolition by yours truly. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Under Bean

As a photographer, photographing Cloud Gate, aka "The Bean" can pose a challenge.  It is such a highly photographed structure that it can be difficult to create pictures that set yours apart from the rest.  Photographing people visiting the bean can help create some unique shots.  I think it's also important to plan a visit at strategic times of day which can make a huge difference in the quality of shot (i.e. dawn or dusk).  For future posts I will do my best to create 'bean' images that steer
away from the Chicago cliche.  

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Night Lights

A band of orange and blue lights surround the 100th floor of the John Hancock Center celebrating the Bears making it into the playoffs.  Below is the Palmolive Building and its Lindbergh Beacon. 

Friday, January 14, 2011

NU vs. IU

I rarely have the opportunity to play around with sports photography so last Sunday I decided to bring along the 55-200mm lens to the Northwestern-Indiana game in Evanston.  These were my 5 favorite shots from the bunch.  To avoid upsetting my friends of the IU alumni I won't reveal the score here - you can google it.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


This was my first attempt at a moon shot while I was shooting the skyline last fall.  Taken from the North Avenue Peninsula at Lake Michigan, I’m about as far east as I can get within walking distance from my apartment.  When the beaches are closed for the season it is very serene out here at night.  You would never know that there are nearly 10 million people just to the north, south, and west of where I was standing.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Monday, January 10, 2011

Urban View 4 of 6: Looking Up

One has adapted to city life when they stop looking up at all the pretty skyscrapers while walking around downtown.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Urban View 3 of 6: Skyline

I know I'm a bit biased, but even after being exposed to these buildings everyday I still believe Chicago has the best skyline in the world.  Period.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Urban View 2 of 6: Elevated Train

Any CTA commuter is familiar with this view, staring down the tracks waiting for the train to come through.  We rarely are able to appreciate our urban views on a daily basis being as fabricated as we are within downtown the area.