Photography

Like a pineapple from the sky

Over the years as my wife and I have made our occasional trips to Chicago, I’ve used Google Maps to try to find good rates on hotels in the Loop. In Millennium Park, something large on the ground always reminds me of a pineapple.

Imagery ©2021 CNES/Airbus, Maxar Technologies, Sanborn, US Geological Survey, USDA Farm Agency. Map data ©2021 Google.

It’s the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, a bandshell. On the first night of this trip, we saw the Grant Park Orchestra play three popular selections here. The concert was free if you wanted to sit on the lawn — and I didn’t, because at my age sitting on the ground for more than about five minutes sends me right to the chiropractor the next day. So we paid $25 each for seats.

A side note: I love going to the symphony. I have since college, when I was once invited to see the Terre Haute Symphony play. I’m no connoisseur of fine music, but I thought they did a smashing job.

I’ll never forget the conductor’s unusual name: Orcenith Smith. When you have a last name as common as Smith, only a first name as out-there as Orcenith will compensate. Orcenith is still with us; he is a Professor of Music at DePauw.

Anyway, as much as I enjoy live orchestral music, I manage almost never to go. I guess I just like staying home.

But we were unfettered and at large in Chicago. This opportunity presented itself, and we went. As my phone led us to the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, I didn’t remember that it was the giant sky pineapple. But when we arrived, it was clear that it had to be.

We went back the next day for some photographs. As with all of the photos from this Chicago trip, I used my Nikon Df and the cheap 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6G AF Nikkor lens that came with the Nikon N65 film SLR I used to own. That cheap lens ain’t bad.

Jay Pritzker Pavilion
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
Jay Pritzker Pavilion

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Ohio Street Beach

single frame: Lake Shore Drive
Nikon Df, 28-80mm f/3.3-5.6G AF Nikkor
2021

Lake Shore Drive is a busy Chicago artery that, as its name suggests, follows the shore of Lake Michigan. It’s also US 41 along the majority of its length, as this sign reminds.

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Photography

single frame: Lake Shore Drive

A look at Lake Shore Drive in Chicago.

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Photography

Music high in the air

Sundays on State

On our recent Chicago trip, on Sunday morning we found a few blocks of State Street closed for a street party. There were games, and public art, and food, and some pop-up shops with various wares. We didn’t stay too long but we did walk through a few times to make some photos.

Sundays on State

This guitarist was way up in the air in an enormous dress, right in front of the iconic Chicago Theater. Another young woman was busy drawing some sort of mural on the skirt.

Sundays on State

When I walked around behind her, it was apparent how all of this works. The guitarist climbed a stepladder up into her perch, and poked her head out the top! Somebody surely had to hand her guitar up to her.

Nikon Df, 28-80mm f/3.3-5.6G AF Nikkor

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Photography

People using the Chicago Lakefront Trail

It’s the laziest kind of street photography: sit in a spot with your camera aimed in a direction, and press the shutter when something interesting enters the frame.

We were in Chicago, sitting next to the Chicago Lakefront Trail where it passes by the Ohio Street Beach, which is adjacent to Navy Pier.

I set my Nikon Df to Live View so I could compose using the screen, and held the camera at belly level. My 28-80mm f/3.3-5.6G AF Nikkor lens was attached, allowing me to zoom in and out as I pleased.

Ohio Street Beach
Ohio Street Beach
Ohio Street Beach
Ohio Street Beach
Ohio Street Beach
Ohio Street Beach

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At the Chicago lakeshore

Ice cream on the lakeshore
Nikon Df, 28-80mm f/3.3-5.6G AF Nikkor
2021

Margaret and I spent a long weekend in Chicago not long ago. It was our first stay in a hotel since the pandemic began. But we hardly spent time in the hotel; we walked all over the Loop and up to Navy Pier, and out to Lake Michigan. We spent a lot of time at the lake on this trip.

I brought my Nikon Df along. I’m still getting to know this camera. It’s funny, I can pick up pretty much any old film SLR and make good images with it on the first try. But I have had to spend time learning the nuances of every DSLR I’ve used. The Df seems to bias toward shallow depth of field, which I frequently don’t want. There must be some menu setting someplace to adjust that. Meanwhile, I’ve tended to shoot in aperture-priority mode rather than program mode to control DOF.

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Photography

single frame: Ice cream on the lakeshore

An ice cream shop on Lake Michigan in Chicago.

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Balcony at the Palmer House

Balcony at the Palmer House
Apple iPhone 6s
2020

I’m sad that Margaret and I won’t be able to make our annual wintertime trip to Chicago this year. It had become a tradition of our marriage. But Chicago requires travelers from Indiana to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, making the trip impractical. Even if we did go, our unwillingness to eat inside a restaurant would make avoiding hunger challenging.

We used to go every December to enjoy Christkindlmarkt, take in a show, and finish our Christmas shopping. Then Margaret took a job where December is the busy season, and we started going in January as a way of relaxing after the holidays.

Chicago is not a popular destination in the cold and snowy months, which is why we go then. We get such great deals on hotel rooms! Last year we stayed in the gorgeous Palmer House for what it would normally cost at a suburban box hotel.

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COVID-19, Photography, Travel

single frame: Balcony at the Palmer House

A view of the gorgeous Palmer House Hotel lobby in Chicago.

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