Half the Early Birds – September 10, 2017

Only half of the Early Birds group came to the sunrise walk last Sunday. But that was ok. I was really on it for the exercise. According to my iPhone, I did over 5,000 steps that morning – basically walking around Burnham Harbor then to Millennium Park.

And one photo:

Yoga in the Morning

made it to explore on Flickr.

Throwback – A short walk in Millennium Park 12 Years Ago Today

All photos taken with a fish-eye lens and then defished at processing :-). And there aren’t any Bean pictures. As you can see above, the Bean was under a canopy since January of that year. The seams of the stainless steel panels that compose the outer shell of the Bean were being polished and they had to do it away from public view .. or something.

Here’s a photo of the Bean with the seams showing taken two months after it was unveiled.

Some say that they like the Bean better with the seams.

Walk, Interrupted

A week ago, on July 12, I signed up for the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s Chicago Masterworks, Connecting Old and New walking tour. It was just something to do. At this time last year, I was in New York City for my vacation, but this year, I don’t think I will be able to go to New York again, so I am staying put, being a tourist in my own city, for the nth time. Since I am a member of the Chicago Architecture Foundation, I might as well enjoy some of the benefits – and including the free admission to some of the walking tours.

But it was not to be. After a few minutes into the tour, it rained and … poured and I didn’t have my umbrella with me. At first, I didn’t mind it, but the rain became relentless. It was just unpleasant going around wet. I ducked into a nearby Walgreen’s to buy an umbrella or a poncho, whatever is the cheapest or available, but there was a long line! Everyone was trying to do the same thing. By the time I got out of there with a poncho covering me and my camera, the tour group was nowhere to be seen.

So I went to Millennium Park instead and took pictures. Then went home. I will try again tomorrow (July 19).

Real Fake Walk, July 7, 2017

This walk was conducted late afternoon on July 7. I called this the Real Fake Walk because it started at the Real Fake sculpture that was just recently installed near the Wabash Ave. Bridge on E. Wacker. I walked with frequent walker buddy, Scott McMorrow of Scott McMorrow Events and Portraits. From there, we headed downstairs and walked along the River Walk through to the new extension of the walk to the west. We stopped for a little while photographing another public art installation, called The Deer, that just cropped up along the southwest bank of the river almost at the end of the walk.

We then went back upstairs to Wacker Drive, crossed the Randolph St. Bridge to hangout at the River Point Plaza to observe river traffic from this vantage point – the point where the Chicago River forks into its north and south branches. The River Point Plaza, fronting the sparkling new high rise called River Point, has just been opened to the public. (In fact when we were there, the river front level was still closed.) This spot gives a great and fresh view of the Chicago River facing east.

We then went back to the Riverwalk, heading east and ending the walk at the N. Michigan Ave. Bridge. By that time, it was already about 9 o’clock in the evening.

Short and Sweet Walk with an Up-and-coming Photographer

Last week, I had a chance to shadow one of the up-and-coming Chicago-based photographers whose work I really admire – Nenad Spasojevic who is on Instagram as well as 500px. Have a look at both sites. His work is so thoughtful and well-crafted and his posts also include his thoughts about his process.

We planned for a sunrise shoot at Monroe Harbor on July 5 and just did that. It turned out to be a short walk – from 5:30 AM at Monroe Harbor to just about fifteen minutes later when the sun was way above the horizon and the colors of the sky turned to lighter shades from the intense reds and oranges at the beginning.

I didn’t get to observe Nenad that much as I came later than I expected and he was situated more south than where I wanted to be. But here is a screen grab of his post on Instagram from that photoshoot last week, and you will get an idea where he is coming from:

As you can see, his eye is totally different from mine even though we were looking at the same view.

I wholeheartedly agree with his philosophy though. In addition, photography-wise, you will have missed really good early morning light you can’t get any other time of the day :-).

BTW, shortly after the walk, I passed by Millennium Park and bumped into two more up-and-coming photographers whose works are also awesome, Vinod K. (blinkofalens on Instagram) of Chicago and Beau R. (beaurogersphoto on Instagram) of Reno. But that is another story.

West Side Story

About a week ago, with the Drink and Click group, I had a chance to photograph the Chicago skyline from a rooftop of a building in Greek Town. We were excited and hoped to have a cloudy day so we could shoot the fast moving clouds on time lapse. But it wasn’t the case that day. There were no clouds to the east of the skyline. Fortunately, the sunset that evening was absolutely dramatically gorgeous. While we shot the skyline at the beginning, when we saw the sun setting down, we all headed to the west side of the rooftop and shot away.

Here are some fruits of my labor that evening, in random order.

Drummers at the Jam

The Full Moon Jam is a monthly gathering of fire, music, and community at Chicago’s lakefront (just south of Foster Ave. Beach). The fire dancing is usually spectacular with poi, hoops, fans and various other devices but the unsung heroes are the drummers.

What’s a jam without the relentless rhythm provided by the drummers?

Chicago Full Moon Jam, June 6, 2017

Throw Back: The Bean on Its First Day, July 16, 2004

It didn’t have a name then, but clearly, because of its shape, it was called right away as The Bean. July 16 will mark the thirteenth year that The Bean would have been shown to the public. As you can see in the photos, the seams of the steel panels that make up the surface of the structure have not been polished yet. Several months after its first unveiling, The Bean was put under a canopy, with its North face shown to the public, to complete the polishing. The Bean was formally dedicated as Cloud Gate on May 15, 2006. It is designed by Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor.

Back to Birding

This posed for me!

I used to be an avid birder back in the mid 2000’s but somehow … I stopped. During the spring migration this year, I tried to go back to birding, but I just don’t have the glass for it. The lens that I used to use for taking photos of birds, my Nikon 80-400mm is no longer taking sharp photos. Oh well.

Here are some of my latest bird pictures though, taken at various days from late May to late June in three places: North Pond and Nature Boardwalk in Lincoln Park and Montrose Point in Uptown.

Chicago Zombie March 2017

There were just a few zombies this year, probably less than 50, and most of them are the same people from the past two years. Not very diverse. The zombies are dying!!!