Category Archives: Chicago Architecture Photography

Photo of the Day: GAR Rotunda

The Chicago Cultural Center (previously the main branch of the Chicago Public Library) houses two eye-popping domes.  This one is the GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) Rotunda, and the other was designed by Louis Tiffany.  This room is a memorial to the Union soldiers who gave their lives in the Civil War; it’s one of the most beautiful and peaceful rooms in Chicago.

Cultural Center GAR Rotunda

 

Photo of the Day: Hyde Park

The Midway Plaisance is a mile-long green belt bisecting the University of Chicago campus. This area was adjacent to the World’s Colombian Exposition of 1893–if you read “Devil in the White City” you know all about this area. The original Ferris Wheel might have been located exactly where this photo was taken.  Today, this is the world’s best place for people watching of Nobel Prize winners. Hyde Park is the part of Chicago where I live as well as my friend Barack Obama.

Midway Plaisance at the University of Chicago

Photo of the Day: Special Effects

This is a test photo for a client, they needed something different and creative. The end product would be a print in a hotel.  So many possibilities with Photoshop–maybe I got a little carried away, but it was fun.

Chicago Skyline and River

Photo of the Day: Painting a Mural

When does graffiti become a mural or a work of art? I came upon this artist one morning in Rogers Park, on the far north side. I’m really not sure if his work was sanctioned or condoned by the local authorities, or perhaps they just didn’t see him because of the camouflage jacket he was wearing.  And I guess I will never know.

Photo of the Day: Wicker Park

Wicker Park on the northwest side is one Chicago’s most colorful neighborhoods.  Teeming with artists, students, hipsters, hippies, and members of the 47% that Romney says are sponging off the government, the area surrounding Six Corners (Damen/Milwaukee/North) has more tattoos per capita than anyplace in the known world.  Funky shops, funky restaurants, funky bars, and funky bookstores–this area can only be described as funky.

Wicker Park on a summer evening

Photo of the Day: North Avenue Bridge

My so-called “photo of the day” has proven to be inaccurate: it didn’t even take one week and already I forgot to post a photo to my blog.  I will rectify that oversight by posting two photos today.  This is a night view of the North Avenue Bridge over Lake Shore Drive.  It was taken a month ago on a very warm summer night; we won’t be having too many of those again for a long long time.

Bridge over Lake Shore Drive at North Avenue

 

Photo of the Day: Winnetka cafe

I was recently hired by a local bank to capture some artistic photos of the sedate leafy suburb of Winnetka. There were lots of photos of quaint shops, half-timber ersatz English facades, and assorted architectural details, but this photo of a cafe window was my favorite.  I like the colors, the many depths of activity, and the cacophony of shapes.

Cafe window in Winnetka

Photo of the Day: The Rookery Staircase

Today is the first day of what I hope will become a regular daily feature.  I want to post a photo on my blog every day; I realize this is a big step, a big responsibility, a venture into the unknown.  But as the Zen Master says, “a journey of a 1000 miles begins with one step”…I think he really meant one photo.  So here goes….

This is the staircase at the Rookery Building, designed by Burnham and Root. This is one of my favorite buildings in Chicago, unfortunately access is restricted, so I haven’t been able to shoot there in decades.  Luckily I had an assignment in the building last week and updated my collection of Rookery photos.

Rookery_Staircase022aWM.jpg

Chicago Presidential Suites

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Last week when the NATO summit was in town, our city played host to thousands of international visitors, and a couple dozen world leaders.  Where do these presidents, prime ministers and brutal dictators stay when they are here in Chicago? Surely not at the Days Inn or the Holiday Inn Express.  More than likely, they occupied the many uber-elegant Presidential Suites that are downtown.  I had the wonderful privilege to photograph several of them for Elite Traveler magazine. After shooting this assignment, I know that I will never be satisfied with any hotel room again…but then I rarely pay $4000 to 5000 per night for a room.  No, that isn’t a misprint.  Politicians, rock stars, Wall Street bankers, and world leaders are about the only people who can afford this luxury.  Here is a glimpse into that rarefied world that most of us will never be privy to.

CHICAGO AFTER DARK

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When the sun goes down, the colors come alive. Anyone who has done nighttime photography will attest to the amazing colors and wowie zowie effects that can mysteriously appear; invariably, the colors are better and more intense than what you see with the naked eye. Of course a tripod is essential unless you are going for some wacky motion effects or doing flash photography. Here is an assortment of photos I took in Chicago at night–if I wasn’t such a “morning person” I would be doing this more often.