Downtown Chicago Photography

Updated: Mar 30

This winter I made it back to Chicago for the first time in over a decade.


Chicago was once a regular stop--visiting family, bachelor parties, touring with my former band The Big Creak-- I found myself there at least once a year.


However, once I moved to Los Angeles I never made it back to Chicago. Anyone who's lived in L.A. will likely agree: it's easy to get trapped in that concrete jungle without a clear-cut reason to leave. When I did get out, I wanted to explore the Wild West. And let's face it: flights over three hours are rarely an impulse buy.


Now located in Cleveland, I'm once again within range of Chicago. I had a friend heading there in January to catch a hockey game and see the city, so I joined him. With a camera or two of course.


Temperatures were frigid.

Canon EOS R, 35mm f/2 IS
Canon EOS R, 35mm f/2 IS

It was 11 am, Monday after New Year's Day, and many downtown were at work. Sunny as it was, the streets had a ghost-town feeling.

Canon EOS R, 35mm f/2 IS

The Chicago River Photo Print

Crossing the river on the bridge above, I found this shot, which would end up as a print...



The Riverwalk was a great area to take wide-angle shots.

Downtown Chicago
Fujifilm X-T20, Samyang 12mm f/2

I eventually made it over to Millennium Park, where protesters were picketing about masks or vaccines or something.


Here's my favorite photo of "The Bean" from the day...

The Bean Chicago
Canon EOS R, 35mm f/2 IS

Chicago Skydeck & Street Photography

The next day was cloudy and just as cold. I had a morning reservation for the Skydeck.

Downtown Chicago from Skydeck
Fujifilm X-T20, 18-55mm

After an interesting walk through a tunnel displaying historical facts about Chicago architecture, you're taken up an elevator for a killer view of downtown.


The photo to the left was taken through glass, of course.


Below is my buddy Todd, looking out on the city in the exact spot Ferris and friends did in the 1986 classic Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

Fujifilm X-T20, 56mm f/1.2

The Ledge Chicago
iPhone 8 Plus (Lr Moblie)

To the left is an iPhone shot from the Instagram-able glass floor known as The Ledge. You've got exactly one minute to make something happen before being shooed away for the next person in line.


Naturally, after taking the elevator down you'll exit through the gift shop.

Chicago Skydeck Gift Shop
Fujifilm X-T20, 27mm f/2.8

Back out on the streets, I pulled out the camera for some photography. While I was grateful it wasn't raining or snowing, the temperature was a mere 12 degrees. I worked quickly in gloves and winter gear.

Downtown Chicago
Fujifilm X-T20, 27mm f/2.8


Downtown Chicago
Fujifilm X-T20, 27mm f/2.8

Cleveland Artist Chicago
Fujifilm X-T20, 27mm f/2.8

Cleveland Photographer Chicago
Fujifilm X-T20, 27mm f/2.8

Cleveland Photographer Chicago
Fujifilm X-T20, 27mm f/2.8

I see lots of photos online of the Chicago Theater sign so I hovered in this area and tried to do something different.


Cleveland Photographer Chicago
Fujifilm X-T20, 27mm f/2.8




All in all a great few days back in Chicago. I may return in a warmer part of 2022.

Chicago print available here!


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