Monday, September 9, 2013


Last weekend we went to Chicago with friends to see the musical, Book of Mormon.  I viewed that as an opportunity to do a little photography, including taking in a bit of Chicago's world-class architecture.

Saturday morning, on the advice of our friends, we walked over to the Rookery building, one of the city's historic office buildings.  Unfortunately, when we got there we discovered the street blocked off in front of the building.  It seems they were shooting a scene for an upcoming Transformer movie, and we were told that the building would be closed for the entire day.  Too bad, as I had checked out photos of the building's interior and was really looking forward to getting a few shots.  Next time, I guess.  The main entrance to the building is on the west side, which was blocked off, but at least I was able to get a few shots of the north side.

This detail on the northeast corner of the building reflects the quality of craftsmanship that went into the building.  My only qualm with the shot is that part of the Rookery Ct. side was in the shade.  I did my best to minimize the shadow, but it probably would have been better on a cloudy day.  The following photos also give some inkling of the artistry that went into this building.

Of these latter two shots, I thought the detail on the first was a bit better, but the second includes twin American flags that made for a more interesting composition.

Here is another detail shot, this time of a new public library building.  

I thought the detail was impressive for modern construction.  I took this shot of an east-facing facade late morning of our first day there and the sunlight created  a very nice contrast that served nicely to emphasize the detail scrollwork.  I tried a similar shot the next morning when there was no direct sun, and the shot came across very flat.  I tossed it.

The following two shots I took to illustrate contrasting architectural styles, also illustrate the importance of light. 

The sunlight was helping once again in the following shot, this time by backlighting steam rising from the subject building.

It was a bit difficult to understand what was going on here.  This building may have been a parking ramp, as there seems to be a dearth of office-type windows.  I took the shot from the southwest corner of the building and the sun was coming primarily from the east and south, illuminating the building's south face.  The "gridwork" in the lower left of the shot on the building's west face are actually shadows being cast by a structure to the west.  So my best guess is that there was another glass-faced building even further to the west that was reflecting the sunlight through whatever structure was casting the shadows onto the parking ramp.  The steam and the shadows combine to give the shot an emotional element, I think.

Finally, on our way to the Rookery building we passed under an "El" station.  The patterns created by the stairway from street level up to the station against a brightly lit background were interesting and this shot wound up being one of my favorites.

This was one of those shots where you had to "see" the shot, so I felt pretty good about it, all in all.


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