Tag: Illinois

Lake & Wells – Chicago, Illinois

Posted under Chicago

One of the distinctive features of Chicago, Illinois is the elevated portion of its ‘L’ transportation system which includes a section of elevated tracks which encircle the area known as ‘The Loop’. This particular shot shows the junction at Lake and Wells streets. The photograph was taken from the rooftop deck of the Randolph Tower City Apartments. The building was open to the public during Open House Chicago 2013.

If you’ve been following my blog for the past week or so you’ve seen me post some close-up shots of Aqua Tower in Chicago, Illinois. Today’s post was taken a few weeks earlier when I took a day trip to Chicago just to do some city photography. Compared with the other images, this one shows more of the building but still highlights its unique texture. To my eye, the combination of the black and white processing with the way the light hits the building, makes this look more like a plastic model than an actual building.

Continuing my exploration of Aqua Tower in Chicago, Illinois, I present this image taken almost directly below the building and shooting up towards a top corner. Once again my focus was on the interesting shape created by the varying floor designs, as well as the varying highlights and shadows created by the surface of the building. Like the previous images in this series, conversion to black and white was accomplished in Adobe Lightroom 5. I added a bit of contrast as well as darkening the blue sky to accentuate the lines of the building.

This is the second in a series of shots of Aqua Tower that I took on a recent trip to Chicago, Illinois. The most distinctive feature of this building is the undulating surface created by the irregular shaped floors. The building was designed by Studio Gang Architects, and on their website they have a video which illustrates the concept behind the design. The building is located in an area which contains several other tall buildings around it. However, there are still angles from the building which provide views to some interesting areas of Chicago. The various bulges in the building provide views from balconies that would not be possible without the extra ‘bump’. Of course, the bulges also create a unique piece of architecture as well

Aqua Tower in Chicago, Illinois is a unique structure in many ways. It is the tallest building in the world (as of this writing) which had a woman as the lead architect (Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects). It also has one of the more unique shapes you will find in a building. The outdoor terraces differ in shape from floor to floor, creating an undulating look to the building’s exterior. The undulations create ‘pools’ of glass, which look like water when reflecting the blue sky. The different shapes were chosen based on such criteria as views, solar shading and size of the dwelling. The building currently houses a hotel, the Radisson Blu, on the first 18 floors, then several floors of rental appartments and finally more floors dedicated to condominiums. The building is located in the Lakeshore East area of Chicago, which is a quiet area with it’s own park, but a short walking distance from either the river, Lake Michigan or Millenium Park.

Woman’s Board Grand Staircase

Posted under Architecture

The Art Institute of Chicago is a great place to visit, not only for the exhibits themselves, but for the architecture of the building itself. This is the “Woman’s Board Grand Staircase” and is located just off the main entrance to the museum. My main goal in processing was to bring out as much detail as I could in the stairs and the stone work.


Posted under Architecture

This shot of the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago, Illinois was taken on a late sunny winter’s day. The sky was still a deep blue which created a nice background for the building. I took several shots, most in a ‘normal’ orientation, but then I decided to capture just a section of the building on an angle. I debated about whether to just work with the color version of the image, but after I experimented with black and white I decided that was the direction to go. Processing was mostly accomplished in Photoshop via Silver Efex Pro 2. The first thing I did was darken the sky by reducing the blue sensitivity. The building had a lot of blue in it as well, so I added several control points to bring back some exposure to some of the darker areas. The only thing I’m a little unhappy with is the loss of the distinctive ‘bands’ of windows that you can clearly see in the color version. I think the only way I could highlight the bands in a black and white version would be to make the building much brighter overall and keep the bands dark. I might experiment with that, but I also like the dark look of the building so I might just sacrifice the bands.

This image shows the Jay Pritzker Pavilion located in Chicago’s Millenium Park. The structure was designed by noted architect Frank Gehry. One interesting fact about this ‘building’ is that due to various building code regulations in the city of Chicago, this structure cannot be called a ‘building’, but must be referred to as a ‘work of art’. I find this structure fascinating. It is ever changing based on the lighting it is receiving. I also enjoy looking for various abstract patterns that I can photograph.