There are two fantastic view points at the top of skyscrapers that are open to the public. The highest one (Skydeck Chicago) is from the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower (formerly called the Sears Towers). After doing a bit of research on the subject and asking around friends pointed out that a better photograph might be taken from the Observatory at the John Handcock Center. On the left side of the frame, though it looks like the sea, this is the massive Lake Michigan. The tallest building on the right of the picture is the Willis Tower, the tallest building in the USA. This is a five second long exposure, using a table to support the camera. Sadly, even with a polarising filter there is still a problem with reflections on the glass window I was shooting through. These reflections on the glass are from the lights inside the room I was in.
Michigan Avenue Bridge and Chicago River
The bridge on the right is Michigan Avenue Bridge. By using a wide angle 10mm lens I have been able to include part of the Chicago River at the bottom of the photograph. Whilst there isn’t a “real” reflection in the water the lights from the buildings do make for a unique pattern on the water. I had to wait about half an hour for the various passing boats and water taxis to not be moving along the water so that I could capture this image. Whilst architectural details of buildings are often better photographed in the day. I personally find wider angle view points that show whole buildings, people and traffic are better captured at twilight. Whilst in this case it meant an early start that morning and having the camera on a tripod. The result of the long exposure means that traffic and people aren’t as visible as they would be in the daylight.
Wrigley Building and Tribune Tower
On the left is the Wrigley Building with the clock on the main tower and on the right with the American Flag is the Tribune Tower. This is just the top halves of the buildings but I wanted to focus on these two as they are clearly much older than the surrounding skyscrapers. Walking along Wacker Drive on the south bank of the Chicago River I was able to compose this photograph was a slight gap between the buildings. Just a few metres to the right and the gap wouldn’t be there and the buildings would look like one as they are a similar age and colour. Although the perspective is odd from this angle there is in fact North Michigan Avenue between the two buildings, which is a major road in Chicago.
The Watch Sculpture in Pioneer Court
Wondering around the centre of Chicago you come across many interesting sculptures and public works of art. Walking over the Michigan Avenue Bridge across the Chicago River I came across The Watch in Pioneer Court. These 16 brightly coloured Superheros are by Hebru Brantley, the 2013 Artist in Residence for Chicago Ideas Week. All around this area are very tall and iconic skyscrapers including the 35 floor Equitable Building which is in the background of this photograph. According to the artist these sculptures represent the troubles and triumphs that local students face in the Chicago neighbourhoods.