Posts tagged ‘chicago’

March 6, 2016

Live Everyday

Everyone eventually dies,
But only a few make sure they lived.

Canon 7D : Tamron 10-270 mm : ISO 100 : 169 mm : f5.6 : 1/10 sec

  Chicago Botanic Garden
Glencoe, Illinois, USA
Advertisements
February 21, 2016

Adios Chicago

Moving from salting side walks to salting Margaritas, hopefully ;-)
Read somewhere that not everything can be bought, but looks like even Sunshine can be :)
Looking forward to what Life & Sunshine State has in store …
Adios Chicago !!!

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 13 mm : f8 : 30.0 sec

   Buckingham Fountain
Chicago, Illinois, USA
January 24, 2016

Sunset by The Garden of Three Islands

Japanese Garden also called as The Garden of Three Islands is one of the many gardens within the Chicago Botanical Gardens. Here it is indeed easy to overlook how the Japanese respect for nature and age are revealed. If you look closely, though, the effect is evocative, as seamless as a traditional haiku. The larger rocks are partially buried, as if they have been in place forever. Flowering plants have a short bloom time, reflecting the yin-yang balance between the ephemeral existence of human life and the timelessness of nature. Many of the trees are pruned and trained to give the illusion of age.

This 17-acre lakeside garden includes three islands. Only two (Island of Clear, Pure Breezes & Island of the Auspicious Cloud) are open to the public. Across the lake, the inaccessible island (Island of Everlasting Happiness) is symbolic of paradise—in sight yet elusive.

Sunset is particularly an awesome time to take a walk by the lake around these islands :)

Deep within each one of us lies a garden – Julie Moir Messervy

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f22 : 8.0 sec

Buy Print    Chicago Botanical Gardens
Glencoe, Illinois, USA
September 14, 2015

Red Cross over Blue Cross

This is one of my favorite views of the lovely Chicago Skyline. I am not a big fan of all the city lights, but watching the same over the icy reflections makes it quiet soothing. Additionally, the building that you see with the Red Cross sign, is where I get to work. That is the Blue Cross Blue Shield Tower with the Red Cross sign :)

Since 1999, the south-facing windows of the Blue Cross-Blue Shield Tower have been used to celebrate various key events. Not many realize the amount of manual work involved though. Working out of this building and seeing how it is done, makes me really appreciate all that happen behind the scenes. It starts with an idea for a punchy phrase, slogan or design that can be clearly communicated in lights. It is then sketched as an image and how it should look from exterior. Based on this, each of the 50 south-facing window blinds are opened or closed. In a 57-story structure, its quiet a task. The building staff can override the lights so they shine through the night, but there’s no mechanized system to raise or lower the shades, making it all manual work.

This shot is from one such night (March 7,2015) that showcased the tribute to 100 years of great work done by Red Cross at Chicago.

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 100 : 16 mm : f8.0 : 30.0 sec

Buy Print    Chicago Skyline
Chicago, Illinois, USA
July 10, 2015

Premier Amphitheater of Chicago

Millennium Park might be known for the classic Bean or the Crown Fountain, but come summer – the Jay Pritzker Pavilion comes to life with a slew of events.  This is one of the premier outdoor Amphitheaters in Chicago. The Pavilion itself offers an incredibly unique design, capable of accommodating close to 11,000 people. It provides a great atmosphere to enjoy live shows. If the Jay Pritzker Pavilion is full, don’t worry , just walk up the new BP Pedestrian Bridge, to get your own personal spot to enjoy the music :)

This is definitely not my kind of photography, But when I got a glimpse of the orchestra beautifully framed by the trees, it just begged for it to be captured !

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 800 : 270 mm : f5.6 : 1/30 sec

  Jay Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park
Chicago, Illinois, USA
October 29, 2014

Fireworks at Buckingham Fountain

Screenshot_2014-10-29-20-56-52Buckingham fountain, in the middle of Chicago downtown, had become a favorite spot for me when it operated during summer. It was amazing watching the water and light show. Lining up the fireworks was an added bonus.

In Chicago – Navy Pier the fireworks go off pretty much twice a week (Wednesdays / Saturdays) in summers and for additional preplanned events. I am always on the lookout of interesting foreground for fireworks like this at Seattle or this one from St. Louis (my favorite).

TPE helped with the initial planning. But with just a tentative navy pier area for fireworks, it was a hit or miss. To add to it, that was one of the last weekend of regular firework show for this season (the next one for the year being on Halloween). After quiet a bit of planning and lot of uncertainty, decided to try out the shot I had in mind. The distance between the foreground and the actual firework show was not advantageous, but the grand bursts from the finale just made up for it !

At the end, it all came together. I love it, when a plan comes together – or may be I was just lucky ;-)

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 20 mm : f11.0 : 15 sec 

Buy Print Fireworks @ Buckingham Fountain
Chicago, Illinois, USA
September 17, 2014

Good Evening from the Bean

Cloud gate, also affectionately called by the locals as bean is a lovely spot amidst downtown Chicago to spend an evening. As if the bean by itself is not interesting enough, there are numerous areas of interest near by, all walk able. Be it the amazing architecture or the beautiful fountains or interesting shows at Jay Pritzker Pavilion (mostly free) or the lovely lake – this spot has got it all !!!

Canon 7D : Canon 10-24 mm : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f8.0 : 30 sec 

  Cloud Gate
Chicago, Illinois, USA
August 17, 2014

Sea horse, Skyline and some stars …

Buckingham Fountain at Chicago, is seriously beautiful.  A favorite spot in the city, one can literally spend hours hours watching the fountain.  The backdrop of Chicago or the lake, behind the fountain make it even more gorgeous.

With 134 jets and a fountain water capacity of 1.5 million gallons, it roughly pumps 14,100 gallons of water per minute. Water is re-circulated from the base pool after the basins are filled and not drawn from the outside except to replace losses from wind and evaporation. Some amazing engineering – be it the stupendous architecture or the the lighting at the dusk or the synchronous music that goes along with the lighting. The fountain located in the shores of Lake Michigan also symbolizes the lake itself, with four pairs of sea horses representing the four states that border its shoreline.

It was really lovely to see the Cassiopeia (Constellation) shining atop, even amidst all that man made city light. By the by, that lovely blue building, that u see there – that is where I work out of, lucky me … or not  ;-)

I present to you Sea horse, Skyline and some stars at Buckingham Fountain, Chicago. Definitely well worth checking out in large. How do u like it ?

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 13 mm : f8.0 : 10 sec 

Buy Print   Buckingham Fountain 
Grant Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA
June 5, 2014

Come let us light up Chicago !!!

Learnt about a new plan that Mayor @Rahm Emanuel had put forward to make the city of Chicago as "The North American City of Lights".  I love night sky, I love watching the stars & milky way. But I would also say I love lights and city skylines. It was a great experience shooting man made skylines like this @ Seattle.

I love lights. Without them, the shadows would not be so beautiful. So I say come let us light up Chicago ! Lighting is not just about adding jarring halogens and LEDs to buildings. It also can be learning and designing a lighting systems at a really grand scale that is functional and beautiful, while keeping the light pollution low. Am sure we do have technology in place to achieve this. So if you are one of them who can make it happen – – do participate in this world wide competition and submit a proposal to light up Chicago – in a way we can all enjoy the milky way that is always there !!!

 

Come let us light up Chicago – in a way to reduce light pollution & bring out the milky way that had always been there !!!

This shot is a composite of the Chicago skyline from the Alder Planetarium. The milky ways is from Green River Wildlife area – a couple of hours away from Chicago. Hopefully we would be able to enjoy views like this without camera gimmicky or total blackouts.

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f4.5 / 6 sec : f3.5 / 30 sec 

  Milky Way Chicago Skyline
Chicago, Illinois, USA
June 1, 2014

Sunset – by the Tulips

Nothing beats a beautiful spring day like a trip to the Chicago Botanic Gardens. Just 30 mins away from downtown – nestled in Mary McDonalds woods – this well kept & curated garden, provides a deserved break to the Urban feel of Chicago. Are u tired of the concrete jungles, wanna breathe some fresh air – not tainted by pollution – just head down to Chicago Botanic Garden. It definitely is a worthwhile place to get ur Zen back :)

And did I say this is a lovely place to enjoy a sunset too …

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f22 : 6 sec 

Buy Print   Chicago Botanic Garden
Glencoe, Illinois, USA
May 18, 2014

Rockefeller Chapel @ UOC

The Rockefeller Chapel was designed and erected to be the center and dominant feature of the University of Chicago. Located in the University of Chicago, this beautiful building has become an integral part of the campus.

Rockefeller Chapel is an incredible place and don’t let the term "chapel" fool you.  It’s huge and simply magnificent, with one of the largest if not the largest pipe organs in the state of IL. During sunset the light shines through the stain glass and lit up the interior. As the sun goes down the exterior too, is equivalently beautiful. It is definitely worth checking out in full screen.

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30 sec 

Buy Print   Rockefeller Chapel
Chicago, Illinois, USA
March 26, 2014

2014 Holi – Festival of Colors – A Photo Essay

Holi2014Holi is probably one the most enchanting of the festivals originating from India. It is celebrated at the end of the winter season on the last full moon day of the lunar month. It has pretty much moved all around the world, across cultures and was celebrated last weekend. Participants traditionally throw bright, vibrant powders at friends and strangers alike, marking the beginning of spring and the triumph of good over evil. Holi is the time to unwind, de-stress and bond with sweets, Thandai and colors. The celebrations at the Greater Hindu temple of Chicago was equally exuberant, very much like last year (you could also read more about the festival here). Below is the Photo Essay of the event from this year ! Happy Holi !!!

Lot of folks were so open to being photographed and even asked where they can get the shots. If you were one of them feel free to get yours here.

Click here for the full gallery

 

 

The Crowd !!!

 

Colored powder and smiles adorning the festivities

 

Dancing the way around

 

Fellow photographer amidst the crowd , just not sure how the nikon fared ;-)

 

An little girl, face smeared with colored powder, sits on the shoulders of her father getting an apt Vantage point

 

The locals too equally enjoy the celebration

 

Everyone including this kid had lotz of fun

 

After all its all about the colors right !

 

Getting nice shots often depends on the Vantage point you are at, this guy probably got the best one for the day

 

As the sun set, the Holi fire also was lit in front of the temple to start the final prayers

June 27, 2013

Super Moon Lighthouse

Super moon, Blue moon, Pink moon, Harvest moon – are all nothing but whimsy media terms. Believe me, there is nothing super about the super moon.

I am definitely not an expert at shooting the moon. I have captured the moon in the past, but am still learning. One thing that helps in getting a captivating shot is to capture the moon when it is low – real low – on the horizon.  The other is to include a foreground subject to get a scale of reference. Just make sure you far away from the foreground subject and shoot with a really really long long lens [ beg borrow or steal, just get the longest lens you can :) ]. Shooting with the long lens helps actuate the size of the farther object (in this case the moon) by playing with your mind. As with the below shot or this example of the sunset. It becomes much more obvious in this shot by Photographer Alessandro Della Bella.

This evening the weather was playing hide and seek. It was supposed to be clear. Then it was all overcast. After lot of deliberation, decided to drive out to the planned spot. It was still an hour or so more for the moon to come up. It was still drizzling. Decided it would be a nice evening walk, if not anything else. Just around the time of the moon rise, the clouds had cleared a bit, but the the horizon was still overcast and hazy. What is the fun if everything goes as planning right :) After suspenseful wait the moon decided to show up – just at the right spot. At the end it was all worth it. Yes – there is nothing super about the super moon. Actually – every full moon is indeed super. What do you say ?!!!


Buy Print   Super Moon on 6.23.2013 @ Chicago Lighthouse
Chicago, Illinois, USA
May 29, 2013

Stop Running, Start Seeing …

The moment you stop running , you start seeing …

A drizzling afternoon is definitely a best time to shoot flowers. The overcast weather diffuses the light, but there is still enough light to shoot @ f5.6. The rain saturates and pops out the color. Below shot from The Chicago Botanical Garden is from one such afternoon. This is right out of the camera except for the copping. The background was from the distant cherry blossoms :)

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 320 : 155 mm : f5.6 : 1/250 sec


Buy Print   Chicago Botanic Garden
Glencoe, Illinois, USA
March 31, 2013

2013 Holi @ Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago

Click for the GalleryIt was lot of fun at the Holi Celebrations. I did not expect such a crowd, it took more than an hour just to get the parking and get to the premises.

Apart from the music, dance, Holika Dahan (burning of Holika), food & fun – the colors and the celebration definitely make this a photographer heaven. This was one of my first try, shooting an event. The experience was very different from shooting landscapes. Interacting with people, getting to know about them was not as intimidating as I had thought :)

Lot of folks were so open to being photographed and even asked where they can get the shots. If you were one of them feel free to get yours here.

 

These shots are from 2013 Holi Celebrations at Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago. These were taken at a public gathering with a good will and understanding. All Photos are copyrighted. NOT FOR COMMERCIAL USE. Drop me an email if you would like the original shots for personal use.

Significance of the Celebrations

There are lot of different reasons behind this festival of colors. Though this started off in India, am seeing this cultural celebrations catching up in the major western cities too.

Foremost is the legend of Prahlad and Hiranyakshyap. The legend says there once lived a devil and powerful king, Hiranyakshyap who considered himself a god and wanted everybody to worship him. To his great ire, his son, Prahlad began to worship, Lord Vishnu. To get rid of his son, Hiranyakshyap asked his sister, Holika to enter a blazing fire with Prahlad in her lap, as she had a boon to enter fire unscathed. Legend has it that Prahlad was saved for his extreme devotion for the lord while Holika paid a price for her sinister desire. The tradition of burning Holika or the ‘Holika dahan’ comes mainly from this legend.

Holi also celebrates the legend of Radha and Krishna which describes the extreme delight, Krishna took in applying color on Radha and other gopis. This prank of Krishna later, became a trend and a part of the Holi festivities.

As with any of the religious traditions, there is always a deep meaning behind these. Holi comes when the season moves from cold (winter) to warm (Spring) . The entire event involves movements that are brisk and music as loud. All of this helps to rejuvenate the human body and makes the transition smooth. People also clean-up their houses on Holi, burning up the old, which helps in clearing up the dust and mess in the house. This is kind of equivalent to the spring cleaning that is prevalent in western culture. A cleaner environment generate more positive energy.

Few Moments from the Celebration

Below are some of my favorite shots from the event. For more check out the gallery.







Link to the complete Gallery

%d bloggers like this: