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Around this time last year (in June of 2011), my girlfriend and I took a trip to Chicago. Originally, she had planned to go with her sister, but a last minute cancellation meant I was now her company for the trip. Every now and then, I like to challenge myself photographically. Most of the time, these challenges are based on a limited set of equipment that I allot myself. For this particular trip, I took along my D700 and 35mm F/1.8G lens. This lens limited me in two ways. First, a prime lens forces you to think more about composition and framing. Second, this particular lens is a DX lens on an FX body, so the image circle is smaller than the sensor. At smaller apertures, vignetting becomes very apparent.

Chicago*9050

This was the closest intersection outside of the hotel where we stayed. I believe it was on Michigan Avenue. What first struck me as incredible about Chicago was the Elevated trains. I've seen them on TV and in movies, but it was a delight to see them in person. Definitely a far cry from the streetcars (and their annoying tracks and overhead wires) in my home city of Toronto.

  • July 30th, 2011
  • NIKON D700
  • 35mm / f/8 / 1/500 sec

Chicago*9058

i don't necessarily have any kind of obsession with yellow school busses, but this one intrigued me. Well, it was interesting enough for me to want to snap a photo of it.

  • July 30th, 2011
  • NIKON D700
  • 35mm / f/6.3 / 1/500 sec

Chicago*9059

This is perhaps one of my favourite shots from my trip to Chicago. In one instant, I noticed that there were so many instances of green tones occurring in the same view. I had to get down on one knee, and capture everything from a waist level. The flare from the afternoon sun was the perfect touch.

  • July 30th, 2011
  • NIKON D700
  • 35mm / f/6.3 / 1/500 sec

Chicago*9085

On our way to the Willis Tower (nee Sears Tower), I decided to try my hand at a bit of street photography. While I don't fancy myself an expert by any means, I'm rather fond of this one.

  • July 30th, 2011
  • NIKON D700
  • 35mm / f/4 / 1/1000 sec

Chicago*9086

Of course, the obligatory self portrait in my girlfriend's sunglasses shot.

  • July 30th, 2011
  • NIKON D700
  • 35mm / f/1.8 / 1/250 sec

Chicago*9103

From the top of the Willis Tower, the view was astounding. We really couldn't have asked for a better day to see straight to the horizon. Not only that, but the view allowed me to see the city as a whole. To see the planning and structural layout of its streets and waterways. Truly a city that has it together.

  • July 30th, 2011
  • NIKON D700
  • 35mm / f/3.5 / 1/3200 sec

Chicago*9120

From the other direction, we saw the rest of the downtown core.

  • July 30th, 2011
  • NIKON D700
  • 35mm / f/3.5 / 1/3200 sec

Chicago*9122

In the afternoon sun, and tempted by the warm light filtering in through the observation deck's windows, I captured a quick portrait of my girlfriend.

  • July 30th, 2011
  • NIKON D700
  • 35mm / f/3.5 / 1/3200 sec

Chicago*9127

...and then she got away from me, and headed to one of the exterior viewing platforms. So we captured portraits of each other.

  • July 30th, 2011
  • NIKON D700
  • 35mm / f/3.5 / 1/3200 sec

Chicago*9141

I was so pleased to have been able to visit Chicago. It is a city with character, history, and a fair amount of planning. We went in the middle of summer, during the hottest time of the year. Were I to go again, I'd love to visit in Spring or Autumn. Here's hoping.

  • July 30th, 2011
  • NIKON D700
  • 35mm / f/3.2 / 1/320 sec

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