Cloud Gate

Cloud Gate

This highly polished stainless steel sculpture is the centrepiece in Millennium Park in the centre of Chicago. Nicknamed “The Bean” it has become a tourist attraction in its own right since it opened in 2006. Any time I visited during the day or evening it was swarming with people. I took the above photograph at 6am just before sunset. There was one other photographer (if you look very closely you might be able to make out the reflection of his camera bag). I had the camera on a tripod and using a ten second long exposure I walked up and down to remove myself from the reflection. This is my favourite photograph that I took on my month long trip around the USA. I didn’t include any people in this image to give you a sense of scale but you can easily walk under the middle part of the sculpture. It weighs 110 tonnes, is 20 metres long and about 13 metres high!

Lan Su Chinese Garden

Lan Su Chinese Garden

Walking around downtown Portland, exploring the banks and bridges of the Williamette River, I wasn’t expecting to come across a walled Chinese Garden. Enclosing a full city block in the Chinatown area the garden is influenced by many of the famous classical gardens in Suzhou. As you can see from this photograph, the dominant feature of the garden is the artificial Lake Zither in the centre. Only having one full day to explore Portland I didn’t spend very long in the gardens but with the reflection on the lake this turned out to be one of my favourite photographs of the day.

Palace of Fine Arts

Palace of Fine Arts

Originally built for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition, this is one of the more unusual art galleries in America. I had planned to spend more time going inside the building but in the end only stopped for a quick photograph of the outside of the building. If you look really closely at the photograph you just make out a few tourists in front of the main rotunda which gives you a good idea of the huge size of the building.

Santa Monica Pier at night

Santa Monica Pier

Los Angeles is a huge city and putting my shoot list in order put Santa Monica Pier at dusk at the very top of my list. The ferries wheel and roll coaster are famous icons of the city. On my first night I didn’t scout out the location in the day and ended up with a really bad night shot taken from a distance on the boardwalk. This had lots of people and bins and a wire from a telegraph pole in the foreground. So the next night I went back without my shoes. Taking the tripod onto sand is something I try to avoid at all costs. Here the water was coming in around the tripod legs but this was the price to pay in order to capture the reflections on the water. Turned out to be well worth it in the end.