Chicago

I committed a lot of sins in Chicago. And by sins, I mean I broke a lot of my own stupid photography rules. Cardinal sin: I left all of my camera gear at home. I had a smaller bag packed with my Nikon D750 body and two lenses, but at the last minute decided I didn't want to lug them there and back. (The purpose of the trip was consultation, not tourism, but that's a whole 'nother story.)

My second crime was documenting the trip with my iPhone, knowing full well I was going to put mobile photos on my blog. [Gasp!] I guess when you've spent more than a decade in the photography profession, you feel like you should at least have enough dedication to actually carry your real camera to cool places like Chicago. Leaving it at home means you're a slacker and a poser. These are the stories I tell myself. 

When we did an architecture tour on Chicago's First Lady, I decided to let myself be a true tourist for once, which means I didn't stress about getting the right angles or perfect light. I just snapped the images as we rode down the river on a big honking boat. The skyline is so stunning. I visited Chicago in the late nineties to interview the creators of Veggie Tales for a magazine article, but I came and went on the same day so I didn't get to linger. I was pretty wowed by the architecture.

I actually did pay attention to the tour guide's description of the buildings, but I didn't write anything down so I have no idea how to identify most of these. They're tall. They're pretty. They're funky and inventive and fancy. (P. S. Is it just me, or do the cars parked in this building look like they could all just topple over the edge with a little too much gas?)

After the architecture tour we took a random walk down the Magnificent Mile and ended up wandering into the Chicago Cultural Center. In addition to the cool exhibits and the Tiffany Dome, I was delighted to find Chicago's permanent StoryCorps studio. That encounter warrants its own blog post, but suffice it to say that our experience there was nothing short of amazing. I'll say more about that later.

We didn't have much time to spend at the Art Institute and it felt really wrong to just breeze by Renoir and Degas. Which brings me to my final transgression: I took pictures of some of my favorite well known paintings. With my iPhone. With no regard for angle or composition (see: time constraint.) And I'm putting them on my blog, even though if you (or I) really wanted to see them we could google them, or order a print. Like the world needs one more iPhone shot of American Gothic. 

As we headed back to the car, I snapped these photos of Crown Fountain in Millennium Park. The giant people on the sides actually open their mouths and "spit" water, but I missed my photo op and I was too tired to wait around for them to do it again. 

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