Category Archives: Uncategorized

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

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.

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.

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.


 


					

Traditional Flavors of Amish Country

Fresh-baked pies, Country Lane Bakery in MiddleburyHomemade Amish apple butter Fresh-baked pie and bread, Country Lane Bakery in MiddleburyTraditional Amish horse and buggyWashing clothes the old-fashioned wayPaying for food on the honor systemSucculent ripe tomatoes at the Dutch Country MarketBees making Amish honeyShopping for peaches at Shipshewana Farmers Market
Just two hours–and 200 years–from Chicago in NE Indiana is Amish Country. Anchored by the towns of Shipshewana, Goshen and Nappanee, this area is home to a religious sect that disavows modern conveniences and other trappings of life in the 21st century.  Lines of buggies dot the country roads, women in long dresses and colorful bonnets shop at local markets, and men sporting beards and black coats are commonplace.  Last month I was sent to this region to document some of the culinary traditions of the Amish for ADA Times, the publication of the American Dietetic Association.  Traveling to farmers markets, retail stores, farm stands, and small farms down isolated back roads, I discovered a vast assortment of tasty baked goods, succulent fruits and vegetables, cheese factories, and jars of homemade pickles, apple butter and cherry salsa.  The Amish may not have their MTV, but they are prepared when the munchies come-a-calling.

 

Portraits of Creativity

 

Lido Lippi art restorer - Chicago portraitsAdam Siegel painter and fine artist - Chicago portraitsTerry Callier jazz musician - Chicago portraitsDavid Kings duck decoy carver - Chicago portraitsHook-Peterson Pottery - Chicago portrait photographerBenny Golson jazz saxophone - Chicago portrait photographerBryan Kerrigan ceramic artist - Chicago portrait photographerKristen Amato jewelry designer - Chicago portrait photographerNeil Kienitz painter - Chicago portrait photographerOrlando Espinoza fashion designer - Chicago portrait photographyIrma Svanadze Classical pianist - Chicago portrait photographyLarry Zgoda stained glass artist  - Chicago portrait photography