Posts tagged ‘architecture’

November 3, 2013

The lights are on

When I was taking this shot a lady walked by with her significant other and asked, “How long you been takin’ photos?” That’s not usually the first question asked. I told her 12 years, which wasn’t right, but it was all I could think to say. “That’s cool,” she said, walking away. I asked her why it’s cool. “Because you doin’ it!”

It’s hard to argue with that. This building always has most of its lights on, no matter the time of day.
The lights are on
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May 31, 2013

Stairway to Wabash

The Chicagoan would look at this and say those buildings are on Wacker, but the stairs just up the way go ahead to Wabash before it crosses the river over the Wacker side. There’s this empty strip along the side of the Trump Tower that isn’t a very good space for taking photos. I’ve checked it out a few times and nothing’s ever materialized, but I do like stopping in my tracks and looking back where I’ve come from. In this case it’s a nice, jumbled view of The Loop area. I’m into strange lines and compositions, as though who visit here frequently have probably found out over time.
Stairway to Wabash
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May 28, 2013

Adams crevice

One of my favorite aspects of a big city are the little views of big things. So often you cannot see the expanse of the city, because you are tucked away up some street. Adams is one of the better streets for this sort of thing. Just duck in on any crossing street a few dozen feet and look up, and you might find one of the world’s tallest buildings looking after you.
Adams crevice
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May 3, 2013

Squeezing in St. Peter’s

When you can’t get back far enough to capture what you want, you end up 10 paces down an alley wishing the buildings on either side would go away. Then, after you frame up the church just so and click the shutter button for three long exposures, you hear voices. They fall down from the open windows above and kind of echo off the walls and make you wish you could have that in the photo, too. So you’re glad the walls are there in the end. And no, I’m not stupid enough to venture down an alley with nobody around. There were tons of people in the street. They just disappear when you make the exposure long enough.
Squeezing in St. Peter's
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April 23, 2013

The crisis clock

I’m normally in a panic when I encounter this clock. Not a personal crisis-type of panic, but a rush to make a train. This is the big clock that hangs over the second floor of the Ogilvie train terminal in the West Loop. It looks kind of small up there, but my guess is that the clock is maybe six feet tall? I’ll have to look at it again tonight to see if that seems right to me. Anyway, I’m in a panic because I’m always arriving just a couple of minutes before my train leaves. I travel at night, and the trains only depart every hour or so, so you don’t want to miss them… and they move their departure location far too often for my liking. You arrive in that walk-run manner, wonder where the heck your train is, locate and RUN! I never miss it. Maybe once.

Because I’m always so hurried I’d never stopped to shoot the clock before. Last night I entered the building with ten minutes to spare. After buying a ticket, I slyly positioned myself centrally in the station to grab this photo. I’m really happy with how it turned out! The security guards even ignored me, so for once I wasn’t hurried nor harried in the making of one of my photos. Perfect.
The crisis clock
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April 22, 2013

Chapel ceiling through the window

This ruined abbey had a chapel tucked back into a section most people were ignoring, but it was very cool to look at. I went around the corner to shoot through this window, and because I didn’t have a tripod to steady my camera I had to balance my little point-and-shoot on the the stone window ledge. That leaves the base of the window in frame, but it also gives you a sense of the scale. If I remember correctly, the window is about four or five feet high, and the ceiling stretches about 20 feet up overhead. I’m probably wrong, but I’m pretty sure I won’t be going back to measure any time soon. I was more interested in the subtle coloring in the stone – the green and the orange – so, I embellished them.
Chapel ceiling through the window
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April 14, 2013

Civic Opera (haunted) House… or the one just like the other one

Chicago’s Civic Opera House is an amazing building. It owns a unique architectural history and stands out among many famous old buildings in the city. At night this columned breezeway is still beautiful, but it almost looks haunted. Catch a dude walking through it with a hood on, and it really gets creepy. Awesome! One of these days I’ll shoot the building properly and make it purdy.

This was an image shot much earlier this year, but when I was processing my photo from LaSalle Street this past week I realized how similar the two photos actually are. They have similar leading lines and structure, though they are entirely different subjects. I included the LaSalle shot for review. Test on Tuesday.
Civic Opera (haunted) House
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20 seconds in the middle of LaSalle

March 27, 2013

Reflective black box

These black box buildings spread throughout Chicago, but they’re especially common in the downtown area. Every few blocks you can spot one up the street. I guess they were controversial when the first few started going in several decades ago, but they’ve kind of proved their worth. When the lighting is right and the nearby skyscrapers reflect in them – that’s when they shine brightest to me.
Reflective black box
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March 26, 2013

Little boy taking my photo at Union Station

I like to be as inconspicuous as possible when photographing anything. There’s this sense of wanting to blend in to the surroundings and let it happen. What it is – that’s hard to explain, but you get this expectation of some kind of event that’s about to happen. Something produces an image for you, and it must be kind of innocent or happenstance and simultaneously atypical or important. It’s the difference between time and place being unnecessary or even unnoticeable and then, for a moment, relevant.

People have a way of doing that. This little boy wasn’t actually photographing me. I think he was fooling around with his parent’s phone attempting to make a panorama of Union Station’s great hall. If you got him just right, however, he draws you into the room. I’m not sure he even noticed me, but the end result is his posture almost welcoming the eye into the frame in a way that it can now bounce around the room and digest all that is going on. Otherwise, it’s all just clutter. Then that group of police officers came rolling in (right corner of the room) and was time to say goodbye. Not that they’d notice me either, but why wait to allow them?
Little boy taking my photo at Union Station
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March 12, 2013

Corn cobs and neighbors

I understand people call the Marina City towers “corn cobs,” but I’ve never heard anyone actually say it. I decided a long time ago that I would like to live here in my young adult life; then I saw a floor plan. They’re actually cut out with pie-shaped rooms, which means angular walls. That doesn’t really appeal to me, nor does sky-rise living. Still, the towers are a cool part of the Chicago River scene. The lighted balconies remain lit pretty much all year long, I think. The IBM building and Trump tower stand to the right in frame. You can see how low the cloud ceiling is on this night with the red light of the Trump Tower antenna getting diffused just overhead.
Corn cobs and neighbors
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