Category Archives: Chicago photography

Chicago Presidential Suites

Hilton & Towers Presidential Suite -- Chicago architecture photographerHilton & Towers Presidential Suite -- Chicago hotel photographerHilton & Towers Presidential Suite -- Chicago architecture photographerHotel Inter-Continental Presidential Suite -- Chicago hotel photographerHotel Inter-Continental Presidential Suite -- Chicago hotel photographerHyatt Regency Presidential Suite -- Chicago architecture photographerHyatt Regency Presidential Suite -- Chicago architecture photographerPark Hyatt Presidential Suite -- Chicago architecture photographyPark Hyatt Presidential Suite -- Chicago architecture photographyPark Hyatt Presidential Suite -- Chicago architecture photographyPeninsula Hotel Presidential Suite -- Chicago architecture photographerPeninsula Hotel Presidential Suite -- Chicago architecture photographerRitz Carlton Hotel Presidential Suite -- Chicago architecture photographerRitz Carlton Hotel Presidential Suite -- Chicago architecture photographer

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

Pritzker Pavilion - Chicago night photographyChicago night photographyChicago night photographyMichigan Avenue and Water Tower - Chicago night photographySix corners in Wicker Park - Chicago night photographyChicago night photographyChicago night photographyChinatown - Chicago night photographyCloud Gate - Chicago night photographyChicago night photographyWacker Drive in rain - Chicago night photographyChicago night photographyChicago night photographyChicago night photographyChicago night photographyWrigley Building and Wacker Drive - Chicago night photography
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.

Dominick’s Next Chef

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Dominick’s parent company Safeway was on the hunt for a new corporate chef.  Rather than going through normal channels, they held a Facebook-based search which culminated in chef competitions in Seattle, San Francisco and Chicago.  I photographed the Chicago cook-off at Le Cordon Bleu cooking school; the competition was fierce, the aromas were enticing, and the final creations were delicious.  The winning chef is headed for SF to compete against the other two finalists, and the top chef will be awarded with a job at Safeway’s corporate kitchens.

 

TUPPERWARE ANNUAL REPORT 2002

Tupperware annual report- CoverTupperware annual report: Indiana and NYCTupperware annual report: Chicago and OhioTupperware annual report: Mexico City and FrankfurtTupperware annual report: Versailles, FranceTupperware annual report: Tokyo and Mexico CityTupperware annual report: Delhi, IndiaTupperware annual report: Indiana and Shenzhen, ChinaTupperware annual report: ShenzhenTupperware annual report: Manila, Philippines
Exactly ten years ago I had the privilege of being hired to photograph the Tupperware Annual Report; this assignment took me around the world, visiting nine countries in 19 days.  Yeah, that sounds ridiculously hectic now, but at the time, it really didn’t seem that bad–it was almost like time slowed down as I tried to absorb the incredible mix of cultures.  The Dundee-based design firm SamataMason (now Smbolic) sent me to Mexico City, NYC, Paris, Frankfurt, Delhi, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Manila, and Tokyo to gather images illustrating the marketing efforts of Tupperware.  Traveling in those months immediately after 9/11 was a little tense, but everything went without a hitch. The only regrets: I wish the trip lasted longer, and I wish I had been shooting digital back then.

 

DRIBBLE, JUMP, SHOOT

And here are the numbers: three days, nine games, one winner, 1200 photos. Boy is my finger sore, I think I need to ice it now that the games are over. Last weekend I covered the Great West Basketball Tournament and I watched more b-ball than I’ve seen in a several years. I’m proud to say I saw a lot of good “D”, some awesome pick and rolls, some impossible three pointers, and some dunks you don’t even see at the county fair. But being “up close and personal” is a whole new experience, and I gave it a 110% effort. I was hoping to get some good photos, but as they say, it ain’t over till it’s over, and the fat lady just sang, so here are some of my favorite shots. I told my boss that I came to play, I put my game face on, and gave it my all.  At this point, all I can say is, “wait till next year.” If there are any sports clichés I’ve missed, chalk it up to experience, and I’ll be back.

Pushing is allowed only on 'bad hair days' What's with the basketball, I thought this was yoga class?Why don't they put a handle on these balls?       OMG, are cheerleaders allowed to do THAT??Uh oh, should have used my GPS....going the wrong way  Blocking the dribblers leg with your groin is very effective defense What's the call, ref, jump ball? Mama said there'd be days like this New hybrid sport: Full Contact WrestleBall  It's my ball and you can't play CAT FIGHT !!!!Sorry, but I get emotional at basketball games

College Track & Field Meet

High jumpHigh jumpLong Jump Long Jump Long Jump Long Jump Pole Vault Pole Vault Pole Vault Womens hurdlesWomens 400 metersMens sprint Women's mileMens hurdlesWomens relayWomen's Shot PutWomen's Shot Put
At the end of February I shot a two-day track & field meet in Sterling IL for the Great West Conference.  That is a bit of a misnomer, as there are teams in this conference from Washington State, Utah, Texas, Chicago, and New Jersey.  I have shot professional and college sports on occasion–it is certainly not a specialty–but there is nothing better than learning on the job.  The low level of the indoor lighting presented a considerable challenge and I envied those sports photographers who have the luxury of shooting outdoors.  In spite of this challenge, I was able to capture numerous images that illustrated “the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.”  Later this month I progress to a basketball championship at Chicago State University, and, with luck, the next stop will be London and the Olympics.

 

Chicago’s Union Station

Great Hall in Chicago's Union StationGreat Hall in Chicago's Union StationGreat Hall in Chicago's Union StationGreat Hall in Chicago's Union StationGreat Hall in Chicago's Union StationGreat Hall in Chicago's Union StationGreat Hall in Chicago's Union StationColumns outside Chicago's Union StationUnion Station in ChicagoUnion Station and Willis Tower

One of the most incredible interior spaces in Chicago is rarely seen, unless you are a commuter or Amtrak loyalist.  And even then, most people rushing to or from their train have little time to stop and admire the breathtaking architecture surrounding them.  Union Station was completed in 1925 by the architectural firm of  Graham, Anderson and Probst, though Daniel Burnham drew up the original plans; he died before his plan could be realized.  The 110’ high, block-long Great Hall is a vast space defined by it’s barrel-vaulted ceiling and rows of Corinthian columns (not related to the Corinthian leather in your dad’s Chrysler).  As many as 100,000 passed through Union Station back in its heydey in the 1940s, though today it’s a small fraction of that number.  Next time you are in the west Loop, grab a sandwich and have lunch sitting on the benches in the Great Hall and just admire how grand architecture can inspire the soul–or at least make for an enjoyable lunch.

Charlie Trotter, in rememberence

The following post was was from 2012 when Charlie Trotter closed his world famous and legendary restaurant on Armitage, and chose to move on to greener and more fulfilling pastures.  Earlier this week, we received the shocking news of his untimely passing.  During his career, Charlie reinvented what it means to create cutting edge meals, and his food ideas have become standard fare for chefs around the world.  Sure he ruffled some feathers along the way, and was known for his abrasive leadership style, but most of all, Charlie will be remembered for the amazing food he prepared, the chefs he trained, and the pleasure he shared with thousands of diners throughout the years.  We will miss you Chef.

 

It’s been a beautiful run, but after 25 years, Charlie Trotter is calling it quits. Just like that leftover lasagna–even if it’s still good for a late-night snack–at some point you just have to say goodbye.  Trotter is leaving when he’s at the top of his game.  Since 1987, his Lincoln Park restaurant has been a Mecca to foodies and culinary aficionados from around the world.  Not only did he introduce a new philosophy to gourmet cooking, he trained hundreds of fine chefs who have gone on to great acclaim (Grant Achatz for one).   A PBS TV star and author of 14 cookbooks, Trotter was a virtual food empire, and has received a pantry full of awards and accolades.  When Chicago magazine name him the “second-meanest person” in the city, he was upset because he never likes to be Number Two.  I had the privilege of photographing him several times in the past 20 years, and he has always been a gentleman, generous with his time, and respectful of my craft.  Here are some photos from my visits to Charlie Trotter’s restaurant.

World famous chef Charlie Trotter in 1998 for Wine Spectator20 years ago, Charlie Trotter in 1992 for Town & Country magazineThe famous table in the kitchen at Charlie TrottersThe staff at Charlie Trotters in 1998--any famous chefs in this photo?The dining room in 1992The dining room in 1992 at Charlie Trotters restaurant in Lincoln  ParkArtistic food creations at Charlie Trotters in 1992A fruit soup at Charlie Trotters in 1992 for Town & Country magazineThe famous table in the kitchen at Charlie Trotters 1992Artistic food creation at Charlie Trotters in 1992Artistic food creation at Charlie Trotters in 1992Young chef Charlie Trotter in 1992Charlie Trotter in the kitchen in 1995World famous Charlie Trotters restaurant on Armitage in Lincoln Park in 2010

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winter?

Wabash Avenue and Trump HotelShopper on Wabash AvenueDriehaus MuseumApple Store on Michigan AvenueMichigan Avenue and Water TowerMichigan Avenue and Water TowerMichigan Avenue at nightSuperior Street at nightChicago Avenue in the rainApple Store and blue umbrella
There’s a rumor that we are in the middle of a brutal Chicago winter.  I don’t know, I just don’t see it.  Heck, we had a thunderstorm last week.  Yesterday I was out in a shirtsleeves. Are we in a parallel universe?  I’m not complaining, I’m just sayin….  I went downtown recently to get shots of Michigan Avenue with holiday lights and snow, but it was raining. Here are some photos, you tell me if this is Chicago in January.

 

Paulson speaks, students listen

Professor Randall Kroszner and PaulsonTreasury Secretary Hank PaulsonTreasury Secretary Hank Paulson speaks to business studentsHank Paulson and Chicago Booth studentsTreasury Secretary Hank PaulsonTreasury Secretary Hank Paulson
Henry Paulson was chosen by George Bush to be US Secretary of the Treasury in 2006 and he played a large, and controversial role in the government’s attempt to prevent a total economic collapse.  Our economy is still ticking, so he wasn’t a total failure, but Monday-morning quarterbacks continue to snipe about his actions.  All this aside, I had the opportunity to photograph him at Chicago Booth (University of Chicago Graduate Business School) when he spoke to a large class of students in mid-January.  Paulson was humble and accepted some blame for faulty decisions that were made, and he welcomed sharp questions from the audience.  As a token of his goodwill and sincere feelings of remorse, Paulson handed out $100,000 gift cards to all the students in the room.  To insure my journalistic integrity, I declined the obvious attempt to sway my opinion.