Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Michigan Avenue

Michigan Avenue is a street with a magic all its own, and standing in the median with a tripod-mounted camera provides a unique perspective. One thing I have never been able to understand, though, is the curious onlooker asking me if I am taking pictures.

Do they honestly doubt that a woman with a tripod, camera and a cable release in hand is doing something other than taking a picture when standing in the median for 10 minutes? Though sorely tempted at times to respond with a sarcastic and witty reply, I keep the tongue sheathed.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy talking with bystanders interested in photography. All I ask is for a better opening question.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wedding in Millennium Park

Millennium Park has become a favorite location for wedding party group photographs, particularly in the AT&T Plaza with the Bean sculpture as a backdrop.

From large, formal wedding parties such as this one with the camera and video crew along to smaller gatherings, the highly reflective surface of the Cloud Gate sculpture makes for dramatic photos that can only be had in Chicago.

Photographers planning to do wedding or other photography in Millennium Park should check the rules and permit requirements here.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Cool Elevators

In 1976, a new vertical retail mall, Water Tower Place, opened on North Michigan Avenue which coincided with my freshman year at a suburban college in the Chicago area. Growing up in Springfield, Illinois, I was very familiar with horizontal malls, but with not with vertical ones. And certainly not with a vertical mall that had glass elevators in the middle of the building.

People stood in lines and waited for the opportunity to see the eight floors of shops from the inside of the elevator. Sounds sort of silly today, but the bank of elevators shown here was a tourist attraction when the mall first opened. And I confess to being one of those who waited and waited.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Bridge over Troubled Water

While the politicians and elected (did we really?) representatives of Illinois are making national headlines and getting air time in Leno's and Letterman's monologues, life goes on in the Land of Lincoln. (Is Abe rolling over?)

The Chicago River bisects the downtown area of the city in an unusual way, as the river runs east/west from Lake Michigan to Wolf Point where the three river branches converge. Then the river turns south and flows into the Illinois and Michigan Canal and Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. From there the water flows into the Des Plaines River and eventually reaches the Gulf of Mexico via the Mississippi River.

Legend has it that the name of the first American settlement site arose because that is where a wolf was last sighted in Chicago. Fact or fiction? Originally the river emptied into Lake Michigan, and it is fact that the flow was reversed in an engineering feat that rivaled the building of the Panama Canal.

Many movable bridges crisscross the river including the one pictured here.