Out of Chicago 2016 Conference Wrap-Up

Out of Chicago 2016 Conference Wrap-Up

In June, I was invited to present at the Out of Chicago 2016 Conference. It was my second year at this conference and I loved it even more than last year. It’s small-ish conference, where you get to meet so many people, it’s crazy. I was able to talk to a lot of other presenters, which has been great.

This year, I was co-leading a 2-day workshop with Angie McMonigal, a Chicago architecture photographer. We use a lot of the same composition concepts, but she applies them to architecture abstracts while I focus on cityscapes. The workshop brought the two together, as we shot a variety of subjects, at different times of the day.

The first morning started off with our presentation, in which we talked about the way we approach our subjects. after lunch, we headed to Lincoln Park, where we shot the beautiful Pavilion, designed by Studio Gang. I couldn’t resist capturing a more “commercial” shot (see above) but I then focused on abstracts.

Lincoln Park Pavilion - Chicago, IL


Lincoln Park Pavilion - Chicago, IL


The nearby bridge offers a great view of the skyline. The clouds were moving fast, so I opted for a long exposure.

Lincoln Park - Chicago, IL

Erased By Time

We spent the evening along the river, culminating with the blue hour at the Lake Shore Drive bridge. The view over the river is just stunning. One of my favorite points of view in the city.

Chicago River - Chicago, IL

It Doesn’t Look Too Bad From Afar

The next day, we started our morning in the park, at Buckingham Fountain. A long exposure helped smooth the water on this image, and black and white felt more interesting, more dramatic.

Buckingham Fountain - Chicago, IL

The City Of Dreams

We moved on to the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership. Again, my instinct was to shoot wider shots with my tilt-shift lens. I’m quite happy with these shots.

Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership - Chicago, IL

Spertus – Northeast

Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership - Chicago, IL

Spertus – East

After a critique / post-processing session, we headed to the Loop in the afternoon. Our first stop was 235 Van Buren and its distinctive balconies.

235 Van Buren - Chicago, ON

Step Up

235 Van Buren - Chicago, ON

The Sky Is The Limit

I snapped this shot while passing on a bridge over the river, inspired by Angie’s urban quilt series.

Chicago River - Chicago, IL


I loved the contrast between these two buildings, curved vs square, white vs black.

300 South Riverside Plaza Building - Chicago, IL

Metal And Glass Waves

It wasn’t easy getting this shot, even with the 17mm TS. I still had to do some perspective correction in Lightroom, as I was just too close to the building.

300 South Wacker - Chicago, IL

300 South Wacker

We headed to Union Station and its beautiful interiors. Surprisingly, this shot was taken on a tripod and nobody came to talk to me. I merged a few shots to get rid of most people.

Union Station - Chicago, IL

Grit & Class

Our last stop was the Federal Plaza and Calder’s Flamingo. I had been thinking of this shot for a little while, as everyone shoots the sculpture from under it. I wanted to show it in context and make it look very small.

Federal Center - Chicago, IL


Out of Chicago 2016 was another awesome conference! We had a great group and had a fantastic time. We definitely look forward to doing more workshops in the future.

As a matter of fact, we’re doing one in New York City as part of the Out of New York Conference in October. Go here for more information on the workshop. We’ll shoot from sunrise to sunset, exploring gorgeous cityscape views and stunning architecture. I hope to you see there!

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