It’s that time of year again…where everyone sets out to reflect on the past year and look ahead to the new year. As this is a photography blog, I thought I’d reflect on the images I’ve made throughout this year and, just for fun, share my favorites!
After reviewing my 2013 images I was a little surprised. Throughout the year I felt like what I was most passionate about and was working on most often were my architectural abstracts or “archistracts”. And while I absolutely love this type of photography it seems the majority of my favorite images were of the urban landscape. It’s clear black and white is my preferred aesthetic, as only 3 of the 15 favorites are in color.
Here they are (shown in the order they were shot)..they my not have garnered the most ‘likes’ or awards but they are what kept me excited about photography throughout the year.

Chicago Board of Trade - La Salle Street - Angie McMonigal Photography-3198
Urban Canyon
Chicago’s Board of Trade at the south end of the LaSalle Street canyon during the morning rush hour.

Chicago Skyline - Lincoln Park - Angie McMonigal Photography-3827
Winters Hold
I love the mood of this image and it was an unexpected shot. I was meeting another photographer friend at the Lincoln Park Conservatory and saw this view just before walking inside. There’s a feeling of solitude and maybe loneliness that we can all, at least sometimes, relate to.

Chicago - Yellow Line - L - el - cta - train - Angie McMonigal Photography-4248-Edit-Edit
Yellow Line 4248
This image was made for my From the ‘L’ series. I had never been on the Yellow Line, which is a short line that travels from the north edge of Chiago to Skokie, so I didn’t really know what to expect. As you can see, much of the line travels through industrial areas. There’s a feeling of coldness, loneliness—of being on the outskirts.

Lines in Four Directions- Angie McMonigal Photography-4509
From my Nature & Man Series
Definitely a favorite from the series, I love the symmetry and lines and what feels like a peaceful, agreeable coexistence between nature and man-made structures.

Chicago Transit Authority - Angie McMonigal Photography-4890-Edit
Pink Line 4890
Again, for my From the ‘L’ series. Another line I’ve never taken, well, I used to ride a portion of this when it was part of the blue line and I worked at UIC Medical Center. But that was a very small portion. I was impressed by the city views from this line.

1Chicago Art Institute - Angie McMonigal Photography-5150
If I had to choose just one image as a favorite from the year, this would be it. Not only has this image gained some recognition, it incorporates just about everything I love about architectural photography—simplicity, clean lines, order, scale, a way to see something as simple as a staircase in a new way, a relatability through a human presence…the only thing missing is some moodiness

Angie McMonigal Photography-5983-Edit
From my Streetlamp Series
Again, clean lines, simplicity

Harold Washington Library - Chicago -6626-Edit
This is the ceiling detail in the Harold Washington Library. Once again the symmetry, order, clean lines and simplicity appeal to me.

Chicago L - Angie McMonigal Photography-6777
While there are numerous images I shot of the trains passing this particular intersection, one of which was a National Geographic Photo of the Day, this one was my favorite. For many of the same reasons most structural and architectural images appeal to me—seeming order in a chaotic area.

Jay Pritzker Pavilion - Chicago - Angie McMonigal Photography-7294-Edit
Finally an image of the Pritzker Pavilion that I was actually happy with! I’ve shot this structure so many times only to come up empty handed and loathing everything I created. But the clouds and the lines and the resulting atmosphere finally made for a keeper!

Chicago Fog - John Hancock Observatory - Angie McMonigal Photography-7574
Oh, how I love fog! And low lying fog like this and a chance to get somewhere to photograph this rarely coincide. Lucky day!

Southport People Spot - Chicago - Angie McMonigal Photography-7673-Edit
Absolutely my favorite abstract (“archistract”) image from the year. One of the reasons I love this kind of photography so much is the ability to show someone something in an entirely new way, to take something as simple as a bench (albeit a marvelously designed bench) and turn it into something else entirely.

2013-10-09 10.59.59-2
An iPhone pic…iPhone photography is not something I really do artistically. Generally it’s to capture those moments of my kids when I’m too lazy to carry around my “big” camera. But on the rare occasion a moment like this presents itself I do try to turn it into something more artistic. This comes across as a street photograph, which I by no means do often or well and given that the little boy in the image is my son it’s technically not street. But that fact makes this image all that much more special to me.

Angie McMonigal Photography-8404-Edit
Windy City Love
One of those unexpected moments…I was doing a portrait session with my nephew and my daughter tagged along. Given that she loves being in front of the camera, I was trying to get her to show my nephew where I wanted him to stand and I happened to grab this sweet little moment of my girl.

Angie McMonigal Photography-8965-Edit
Another one of those moody images of Chicago. There’s a feeling of solitude within all of its hustle.
Oh, how I love this city…

Thank you so much for your support throughout the year! It’s been an exciting one…from exhibiting in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City to smaller cities in Illinois; receiving 2 honorable mentions in the International Photography Awards and 2nd place for an image from my Hometown Series with the New York Center for Photographic Art to a few other awards; being interviewed by three different publications (Rfoto Folio, EWW & Interesting Photographers) and having my work published in a number of publications—some online (National Geographic’s Photo of the Day on August 2, F-Stop Magazines B&W Issue and others) and some in print (Stark Magazine, Capture My Chicagoo III book and a couple exhibition catalogs) and an exciting end to my From the ‘L’ series, which is now a book. If you haven’t had a chance to check out the book yet and would like to, click here to preview and order 🙂
And if you’d like to see a set of images of my all time favorites, click here.
Thanks again! I hope you had an exceptional 2013 and I wish you a spectacular 2014!



0 Responses

  1. So glad I saw all of these! Amazing! You are really so talented! I am so impressed, Angie. They are all fabulous, and my favorite is Yellow Line 4248. Thanks for sharing the link!

    1. Jen! I can't believe I'm only seeing this now, nearly a year late!!! Thank you so much for always being so supportive, I appreciate it so much!

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