Tag Archive: Illinois


Corporate Park – Itasca, IL

Fountains at Corporate Park

Panasonic Lumix G-1

HDR Processed – 5 image +/- 1

Tulips at Corporate Park

Panasonic Lumix G-1

HDR Processed – 5 image +/- 1

The following are some of my favorite images from 2009.  I started this digital-journey in April of this year with the purchase of my first digital camera – a Panasonic Lumix FZ28.  I had no idea what I was doing, I just knew I loved photography and really wanted to venture back to a hobby I began back in high school.

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Empty Store Front – During a photo adventure with friend Jonathan, we visited a local shopping center recently constructed in Conyers, GA.  While this shopping center was well build, it was completely vacant.  It was a bit strange to walk along empty storefronts with large signs reading, “Available” in every window.  A true sign of the economy.

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I stumbled on this flower in Charlestown, Massachusetts during a vacation with the family.  It was planted in a very small patch of earth in front of a classic brownstone just down from Bunker Hill.

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This year I have the opportunity to travel some in Latin America.  During a trip to Sao Paulo, Brazil I captured this image from the fitness center atop the Hotel Emperador.  The unfortunate part of my trip to Sao Paulo was the limited access we had to the city.  It felt like we were held captive in a hotel for five days, being told repeatedly not to venture out into the city on our own.  This image is also the first HDR (High Dynamic Range) image I was really proud of.

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Mexico City from Chapultepec.  I caught this image during my second visit to Mexico City.  It was taken from on of the many balconies at the Castillo de Chapultepec – a castle overlooking the surrounding city.  The image was processed HDR and the element that hit me were the clouds; barely visible with the naked eye, the clouds became remarkably pronounced in HDR.

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Goose at Monastery.  Heather and I ventured out one hot Sunday afternoon to the Monastery of the Holy Spirit here in Conyers, Georgia.  We walked down a short path towards the pond and found a gaggle of geese resting on the shore in rather strange poses.  This character watched me take multiple photos, but never moved.

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The flash of red caught my eye with this photo.  This shopping center is the same as the first image of this post.  This photo was taken in late August, but very early for fall colors in Georgia.

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Snoozing in the Park.  Heather and I took a day trip to Atlanta and captured this image at Centennial Olympic Park.  These gentlemen were just resting in front of the reflecting pool on a warm summer afternoon.  This was also my first attempt at HDR with human subjects.  The greatest challenge was getting a natural skin tone for each of the men.

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Bloom on Arabia.  With friends Jonathan and Rebecca, we visited Arabia Mountain in Lithonia, Georgia to do a photo shoot of Abby.  While Rebecca was doing a shoot of my daughter Abby, I wandered about and found these flowers in bloom all over the granite outcrop.  The light was very low so I took this with a very slow shudder speed and low f-stop.  I processed the image in HDR to get more of the detail in the image.

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A business trip brought me to North Carolina where I stumbled upon this abandoned farm.  The sun was setting rapidly and it was proving difficult to capture any detail in the foreground.  I chose to use a low flash to light the area, but also took three separate images with the autobracket set at +/-1.  I processed five of the images as HDR and got this result.  At the same time my tripod broke causing great difficulty to get three identical images.  While detail was greatly compromised, I wasn’t concern because I felt the abstract image had greater value than just a simple view.  Sometimes failing equipment helps create a unique image.

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A little further down the road in Burlington, NC I stumbled upon this old house across the field.  By then the light was truly almost gone, so I employed the same tactics as the previous image to capture this image.

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While attending a trade show in Chicago, I noticed a gathering of fire, police and emergency vehicles at an adjacent theater.  It turned out to be a bomb scare at the theater hosting “Jersey Boys”.  Without a tripod, and with limited lighting, I took this photo while resting on a Chicago fire engine using a low depth of field and slow shutter speed.

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Taking photos of people is more difficult than photos of ‘stuff’.  That’s why I was so pleased with this photo of my wife Heather during a recent trip to Chicago.  Heather and I visited Millennium Park on a very cool and cloudy day.  I was fairly discouraged about the quality of images from that day, but this one really caught my attention.  Not only is the model a beautiful woman, but the scenery added a colorful contrast to her blue eyes.

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Water Taxi on Chicago River.  Light was an issue that day with Heather in Chicago.  I decided to rest my camera on a railing of a bridge crossing the Chicago river and caught this water taxi making a three point turn.  This was fortunate because the constant motion of the taxi would have prevented any possibility of a clear image.  In this case, I caught the taxi during a moment of brief respite and was able to generate this HDR image.

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One more from Chicago.  This photo was taken at the Observatory atop Hancock Place.  While most of the windows were dirty and difficult to photograph through, this view allowed a highly detailed image of the surrounding city.  I love the detail in this image, made possible from HDR processing.

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This was an early favorite.  During a clean-up of Chestnut Lake, I came upon a small retention pond fully in bloom with these pink water lilies.  I pretty much had to drop everything and photograph the scene an one of my favorites was this one.

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Ditch Lilies.  Growing up in New England means the common site of Ditch Lilies.  During vacation in July my daughter Abby and I stopped to snap a few shots of these lilies.  While their numbers make them common, their color and texture make them unique.

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Mexico City.  My first trip to Mexico City in April was full of adventure – and not just the tourist type!  Just before the Swine Flu outbreak in Mexico City, I was able to visit the city center and caught this couple in a colorful parade celebrating their ancestry.  I need not comment more.

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Following a visit to the pyramids north of Mexico City, our group stopped for lunch at a local cantina where we were graced with a true mariachi band.

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Buenos Aires has to be the most European city in South America.  This shot was actually taken from the men’s room on the top floor of our hotel.  This was in fact, the view from the urinal.  Not bad!  That street seems to travel on forever.  I only wish I had learned HDR this early on because the potential could have been great, regardless – it remains one of my favorites.

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Our hosts in Buenos Aires, Marcello and Nuni, were taking us through parks only locals know about – far from the tourist traps of the area.  I captured this image just as Nuni turned to see if we were keeping pace.  The frame and innocence of the image is what appeals most to me.

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Buenos Aires at night.  In the background the port is very industrial, but adjacent to our hotel was a small train museum.  I took this image with extended exposure and those yellow lines at the very bottom right of the image are headlights from passing cars.  The amber glow of the street lights is sharply contrasted by the fluorescent illumination of the industrial buildings in the background.

There are many more images I’d like to load here, but these are a handful of some of my favorites from 2009.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.  Remember, my goal is never to be the greatest photographer, but only to prove that one does not need to spend a fortune to create great images.  All told I’ve invested less than $600 on equipment to create these images.

Don’t be a photo snob…

Chicago from Hancock - HDR

Chicago from Hancock - HDR

This weekend Heather and I went on a day trip to Chicago.  We visited Hancock center, the Miracle Mile (Michigan Avenue) and Millennium Park.

Click any image to see larger format.

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Hancock Center - HDR

Lakeshore drive from Hancock

Lakeshore drive from Hancock

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Chicago through Dirty Window - HDR

Chicago through Dirty Window - HDR

Rooftops from Hancock

Rooftops from Hancock

Millennium Park

Millennium Park

Heather at Millennium Park

Heather at Millennium Park

Reflections at Millennium Park b&w

Reflections at Millennium Park b&w

Goofy Reflections at Millenium Park

Goofy Reflections at Millenium Park

Presbyterian Church on Michigan Avenue

Presbyterian Church on Michigan Avenue - HDR

Chicago River - HDR

Chicago River - HDR

River at Night

River at Night

Saxophone at Union Station

Saxophone at Union Station

Union Station

Union Station

Palmer Hotel Hilton Chicago Illinois…

Palmer Hotel Lobby-HDR

Palmer Hotel Lobby-HDR

Palmer Hotel Lobby-HDR

Palmer Hotel Lobby-HDR

Palmer Hotel Lobby-HDR

Palmer Hotel Lobby-HDR

Palmer Hotel Lobby-HDR

Palmer Hotel Lobby-HDR

Chicago Sales Meeting…

The annual sales meeting got underway in the Windy City this week.  The picture below is in the lobby of the Westin Hotel in Itasca, IL.   Taken with autobracket +/- 1 and HDR processed on Photomatix.

Early morning coffee…

Early Morning Coffee

Wednesday night we were treated to some fun at Top Golf – where a driving range meets a giant dart board.  While I started sloppy, I eventually settle down with a 7 iron to get in a few good shots.  Below are a couple photos of co-workers John and Dennis.

Driver

Dennis