Cityscape Photography in Chicago

It's been nearly twenty years since my first trip to the USA. Back then I visited Chicago for a few days, long before I started with photography. That's kind of a shame, because Chicago is such a photogenic place.

So, as work required me to travel to Detroit for 10 days last month, I instantly booked my Amtrak tickets for a short weekend trip to Chicago. I had 24 hours there, much too short to photograph all the beautiful views and buildings throughout the city.

So I planned one view for sunset, one view for blue hour and one view for sunrise the next morning. Getting three photos in 24 hours doesn't sound much, but for me this is actually a very good rate - quality over quantity!

Storm rolling in over Chicago

In the end, I had to change my plans a bit. My visit to Chicago coincided with the hottest day of the year, which was accompanied by plenty of rain and thunderstorms. Those storms provided some dramatic skies in the afternoon, which I used to capture the skyline from Milton Lee Olive Park.

After the first storm had passed not one cloud was left in the sky. My sunset location didn't work at all in these conditions. Instead of sticking around at North Avenue beach I went back into the city earlier than planned. This was a good decision, because it gave me much more time to capture my bucket list shot.

As I came across the view you see in the photo below during my research, I instantly knew that, given the right conditions, it had all the ingredients for a great photo. The deep blue sky of blue hour combined with the warm lights of the city, then some trains captured with a long time exposure: all worked out perfectly.

The view from Adams Wabash towards the Trump Tower

There was also a lot of luck involved. The photo spot is within one of the metro stations and there are cameras everywhere. I was sure that as soon as I would setup my tripod a security officer would come over and remind me that this was not allowed.

My prediction was correct, but it took nearly half an hour until this happened. Long enough for me to capture all the pieces I needed for the final photo.

Skyline of Chicago as seen from BP Pedestrian Bridge

The next morning I got up two hours before sunrise and began to walk to the Adler Planetarium. From there I would have had the perfect view of the skyline. If only there hadn't been another storm rolling through. The clouds were too low to see much of the skyline and I didn't fancy getting drenched again.

So I went back to my hostel to catch a few more hours of sleep before I went exploring once more. Without a concrete plan on what to photograph I somehow ended up on the BP Pedestrian Bridge. Although it was the middle of the day the soft light combined with the deep clouds was perfect to capture my third and final photo of the trip.

Same as during my first visit, I left Chicago once more with fond memories - and this time also with some photos. What I love about Chicago, aside from the deep dish pizza, is its proximity to Lake Michigan and the fact that you can walk nearly everywhere. I, for example, walked more than 25km in the 24 hours I had in the city. This was much welcome after my first week in Detroit.

Michael Breitung Photography

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Your photos are stunning as always. I like your video too and I also like that you show the raw shots as well.

My favorite photo would be the one from the bridge as I like the long exposure photos and this one is very good. You're lucky that it took so long for the offices to come and send you away :)

It looks like you had a nice trip in the US and it's nice that you found some time to do private stuff too. When I was traveling from work I never had this opportunity. It was always full days in meetings and weekends with colleagues..

Thank you for sharing and have a good day!

Thanks for your comment. Yea, I was glad to get in some photography with this business trip. Was a very good change ;-)

Great pictures of Chicago. So glad you got that train ticket and the time exposure shot! The first one is so cool and moody.

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You captured the mood of Chicago beautifully. I used to live just outside the city and really enjoyed my trips into downtown! Fantastic job on the light trails [email protected]

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I admire a lot that they can dedicate themselves to their profession and put effort into it that will come out perfect, that there will be no bad details and can always be improved :)x

Hello @mibreit-photo, thank you for sharing this creative work! We just stopped by to say that you've been upvoted by the @creativecrypto magazine. The Creative Crypto is all about art on the blockchain and learning from creatives like you. Looking forward to crossing paths again soon. Steem on!