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Archive 2013 · Chicago advice
  
 
khurram1
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p.1 #1 · Chicago advice


I've got to attend two conferences in Chicago over the next two months. One will be a very short 2 1/2 day trip next week and the second one will be a 4 1/2 day trip during the third week of March.

I've never been to Chicago before, so I wanted to get some advice on what to shoot, keeping in mind I'm not going to have a whole lot of time there.

I'm probably going to be limited to shooting in the evening, early morning and one afternoon on the second trip and probably just the evening and part of a morning on the first tip.



Feb 12, 2013 at 04:34 AM
mbpics
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p.1 #2 · Chicago advice


I grew up in Chicago and lived there until about 6 years ago, when I moved out to California for college.

For my money, the best view of the skyline is from right near the Adler Planetarium. They have cheap-ish parking meters and you can see this view: http://500px.com/photo/22313383
I was having fun with a rented 14-24 so the framing, etc isn't ideal, but you get the idea You can also take a water taxi from here to Navy Pier, going right past a great chunk of skyline and putting you within easy walking distance of the magnificent mile!

Wikipedia has this stitched pano from the same spot

Other than that, grab pizza at Lou Malnati's, have a drink at the Signature Room at the top of the John Hancock center, and check out the great views over the river downtown! A quick google of "chicago river" should give you some ideas.

There's so much to see and do; you'd be hard-pressed to not leave with a card full of great shots after two visits to my favorite city

Edit: Your trip in March will likely be much more hospitable for shooting; it's COLD there right now. I would use this first shorter trip as more of a location scouting trip than trying to work to get good shots in a short time in a very cold new city. Although if that's your idea of a good time, then you'll probably be able to get some great shots of the city on cold clear days!



Feb 12, 2013 at 05:56 AM
eyeu
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p.1 #3 · Chicago advice


Agree with the planetarium view, but do not forget the Bean at Millennium Park...and depending where you are staying..views of the world class architecture. Find out which area you are staying...could be more specific...
enjoy Chicago!!!



Feb 12, 2013 at 10:14 PM
mbpics
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p.1 #4 · Chicago advice


There are so so so many amazingly scenic views in Chicago; the Planetarium, the Bean, the Art Institute, Millenium Park, The Mag Mile, River North, the Sears Tower, North Ave. Beach, etc. etc.

A wildcard is the University of Chicago - tons of wonderful old architecture there! Definitely a bit out of the way, and the safe bets are everything I listed above; just go downtown and enjoy the view!



Feb 15, 2013 at 07:50 AM
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p.1 #5 · Chicago advice


If you do get to the University of Chicago campus on the Midway...there is a famous Henry Moore sculpture where nuclear fission was first accomplished as part of the super secret Manhattan project Located under the long gone bleachers of Stagg Field. Historic but a bit of a ride...


Feb 16, 2013 at 12:58 AM
khurram1
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p.1 #6 · Chicago advice


I appreciate all the suggestions!

I'm going to be staying at the Conrad at north rush street for both trips. During the first trip, I've got to attend meetings at the university of Chicago for 8am-5pm. So it would probably dark when I can shoot.

Are the other locations close by? Would it be better to rent a car, or is there a lot to shoot around the Conrad?

For the second trip, I have the option of staying at the millennium knickerbocker hotel, is that a better option?



Feb 16, 2013 at 05:37 PM
mbpics
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p.1 #7 · Chicago advice


oh wow - the Conrad hotel is in an amazing location! Rush & Michigan is pretty much the nexus of the city. I would recommend walking out to Michigan Ave, then south to Millenium Park. You'll see amazing views over the river and there are lots of opportunities for street and architecture photography.

From there I'd make sure to go down to the museum campus, as that view is really not something you can miss. A water taxi from Navy Pier would be the most scenic/best way to get there IMO.

You definitely will NOT need to rent a car - you'll have the heart of the city right outside your hotel.

Edit: The Millenium Knickerbocker is a bit further North. It's still a great area, but a little further away from all of the places listed above. I would definitely stick with the Conrad for shorter trips, as you'll be right in the middle of everything.

Edit 2: I highly recommend using Google Maps Street View to plan out a walk and "see the sights" before you actually get there. Aside from photography, you'll be very close to a lot of amazing restaurants and bars - Gibson's Steak, Lou Malnati's, Merlo on Maple, and many many others. Enjoy your trips!



Feb 23, 2013 at 04:12 AM
khurram1
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p.1 #8 · Chicago advice


Thanks for the advice!!

I just got back from my first trip - only had one night to shoot - it was bitterly cold and i didn't have gloves, but still had a blast. I didn't realize how cool the architecture in Chicago was. I'm really looking forward to my next trip, when i should have more time to shoot and with the time change, the days will be be a bit longer as well.

One question i did have is regarding Buckingham Fountain. After shooting the bean, i headed down to the fountain, but it wasn't on at the time. I probably should have figured, this, since it is still winter. Do you know if the fountain will be operating mid-March

mbpics wrote:
oh wow - the Conrad hotel is in an amazing location! Rush & Michigan is pretty much the nexus of the city. I would recommend walking out to Michigan Ave, then south to Millenium Park. You'll see amazing views over the river and there are lots of opportunities for street and architecture photography.

From there I'd make sure to go down to the museum campus, as that view is really not something you can miss. A water taxi from Navy Pier would be the most scenic/best way to get there IMO.

You definitely will NOT need to rent a car - you'll
...Show more



Feb 24, 2013 at 01:10 AM
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p.1 #9 · Chicago advice


It should be on by then! As I remember, it's usually at a moderate level and shoots up very high once in a while - maybe on the hour? Also if you'll be there on St. Patty's day (17th) then you'll get to see the river dyed bright green

Glad you enjoyed the city! It's a truly remarkable place and will always be home, no matter how long it's been since I've actually lived there!

About the architecture - Chicago is unique in that it was the first city to have skyscrapers and thus has had the longest amount of time to build a vertical legacy that lasts to this day, spanning many design trends over the past 130 years. The Fire cleared out much of the old city and it was built anew in a tall, dense, and varied fashion.

Next time I highly recommend taking a riverboat architecture tour - they launch near the Sears Tower and go out to Navy Pier I believe. You'll get a nice, leisurely ride down the river and get a chance to see many of the great buildings from a very unique vantage point.

Glad I could help! If you couldn't tell, I really love my city!



Feb 24, 2013 at 08:04 AM
khurram1
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p.1 #10 · Chicago advice


Thanks for the suggestions again!!! I'll be there on the 17th, but don't arrive until 6PM, which means, i probably won't get to the hotel until around 7:30PM, So, I'm not sure if i'll be able to see the "green" river then.

I really liked my location this time, but will probably have to stay close to the Water Tower area, since that is where my conference is. I enjoyed my stay at the Conrod, but its booked solid during my second trip.

mbpics wrote:
It should be on by then! As I remember, it's usually at a moderate level and shoots up very high once in a while - maybe on the hour? Also if you'll be there on St. Patty's day (17th) then you'll get to see the river dyed bright green

Glad you enjoyed the city! It's a truly remarkable place and will always be home, no matter how long it's been since I've actually lived there!

About the architecture - Chicago is unique in that it was the first city to have skyscrapers and thus has had the longest amount of time
...Show more



Feb 24, 2013 at 09:19 PM
 

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PatrickE
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p.1 #11 · Chicago advice


khurram1 wrote:
Thanks for the advice!!

One question i did have is regarding Buckingham Fountain. After shooting the bean, i headed down to the fountain, but it wasn't on at the time. I probably should have figured, this, since it is still winter. Do you know if the fountain will be operating mid-March


I looked up Buckingham Fountain on the Chicago Park Districts web site. This will give an idea as to when the fountain will be operational.

http://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/parks/clarence-f-buckingham-memorial-fountain/



Feb 24, 2013 at 10:59 PM
khurram1
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p.1 #12 · Chicago advice


Thanks for the link! Looks like the fountain won't be operating until April.

PatrickE wrote:



Feb 27, 2013 at 06:19 AM
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p.1 #13 · Chicago advice


I agree with the University of Chicago, visit the Rockefeller Cathedral on campus. If you don't mind about a twenty minute ride north, look up the Bahai Temple as well.


Mar 01, 2013 at 06:39 AM
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p.1 #14 · Chicago advice


Oooo, yes, the Rockefeller Chapel is quite the breathtaking sight! My older brother graduated there and I remember being much more interested in the building than in the ceremony

It might be worth it to spend a few hours getting to and then walking around the UChicago campus, but I would make sure I have my fill of keepers from downtown first. I'm not knocking UChicago at all, as it's one of the prettiest places I've ever had the pleasure to wander through, but in such a limited time frame it's probably better to stick with the river and lakeside views.

If you do make your way down to Hyde Park, I would highly recommend the Museum of Science and Industry - they have lots and lots of amazing exhibits, including the only U-Boat in the US!



Mar 10, 2013 at 07:44 AM
FarmerJohn
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p.1 #15 · Chicago advice


I lived in Chicago for 4 years and just moved. Let me add to the recommendations for the river/lake architecture tours. Some tours go only along the river, and some go out through the locks into lake michigan. Do them when it is close to sunset or go at night. You'll get awesome views of the city from the lake.

Like the other people said, the views from anywhere along the river out to Navy Pier or walking from Navy Pier down to Adler Planetarium are good. From the Planetarium looking back on the city is outstanding.



Mar 17, 2013 at 02:25 PM
FarmerJohn
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p.1 #16 · Chicago advice


Not sure how much time you have, but if you like a more industrial feel, once you've gone to the planetarium, you can walk straight west along Roosevelt Road, there are lots of train tracks and abandoned old iron structures. If you walk almost to the 90/94 highway, you can stop at Manny's deli for a monstrous corned beef sandwich.

A few of my own favorites
here

or this



Mar 17, 2013 at 02:34 PM
khurram1
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p.1 #17 · Chicago advice


mbpics wrote:
Oooo, yes, the Rockefeller Chapel is quite the breathtaking sight! My older brother graduated there and I remember being much more interested in the building than in the ceremony

It might be worth it to spend a few hours getting to and then walking around the UChicago campus, but I would make sure I have my fill of keepers from downtown first. I'm not knocking UChicago at all, as it's one of the prettiest places I've ever had the pleasure to wander through, but in such a limited time frame it's probably better to stick with the river and lakeside
...Show more
THanks for all the great advice. I doubt if I'll make it out of downtown - I got in late this afternoon and spent 3-4 hours just around the river. I should have stayed there, but wanted to go to the bean around sunset - which was a big mistake - can't believe how many people were there. During my first trip, i managed to get some shots without people, but it was impossible tonight.

I think I'm just going to go out around downtown after spending the days at the conference, but will have thursday afternoon and evening where I'll have more time to explore. hopefully, the I'll get some clouds.



Mar 18, 2013 at 02:34 AM
khurram1
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p.1 #18 · Chicago advice


FarmerJohn wrote:
I lived in Chicago for 4 years and just moved. Let me add to the recommendations for the river/lake architecture tours. Some tours go only along the river, and some go out through the locks into lake michigan. Do them when it is close to sunset or go at night. You'll get awesome views of the city from the lake.

Like the other people said, the views from anywhere along the river out to Navy Pier or walking from Navy Pier down to Adler Planetarium are good. From the Planetarium looking back on the city is outstanding.


thanks for the advice. I'll try the Navy Pier walk this week. I did want to try some dusk by the river, where the clock tower/tribune building is. I wish I stuck around there tonight instead of going to the bean. They had a couple of buildings lit up in green, but unfortunately, i got back late and lost the "blue light" at dusk.



Mar 18, 2013 at 02:39 AM
khurram1
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p.1 #19 · Chicago advice


FarmerJohn wrote:
Not sure how much time you have, but if you like a more industrial feel, once you've gone to the planetarium, you can walk straight west along Roosevelt Road, there are lots of train tracks and abandoned old iron structures. If you walk almost to the 90/94 highway, you can stop at Manny's deli for a monstrous corned beef sandwich.

A few of my own favorites
here

or this

thanks for the advice and sharing the link. I'll see how i'm doing for time.



Mar 18, 2013 at 02:39 AM





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