Out of Chicago Photography Conference 2015 Recap

What a spectacular conference Out of Chicago Photography held again this year. I’m quite honored to have been invited back to not only teach two one hour sessions and lead a photowalk, where I shared tips on fine art architectural photography, but I had so much fun teaching an all-day workshop covering the same topic.
I so love these smaller, more intimate workshops. Everyone is so much more willing to ask questions throughout the day, get to know each other and it’s so fun to see how the participants incorporate the tips I share into their own unique way of seeing. I have to say I was blown away by the creative images everyone came up with.
When I’m teaching workshops I don’t shoot as much as I would if I were out shooting alone, my main goal is to be there for everyone else and answer questions as they come up, but I did squeeze in a few shots from our Friday photowalk.
We didn’t have such great weather on Friday, lots of gloomy gray skies and it was raining off and on so we made a few stops indoors. This actually turned out quite well. We got to see some public spaces that I don’t often visit and everyone seemed to enjoy the variety of architecture we explored throughout the day.
First up, the Spertus Institute which is located at 610 S Michigan, a close stop to the conference. The exterior has a faceted glass facade with so much potential given the great geometric shapes. But when you have overcast skies there aren’t a lot of opportunities for great takes on this. Luckily the manager of the building was nice enough to let us all photograph the equally geometric sculptural wall in the lobby.
Angie McMonigal Photography-3290-Edit Angie McMonigal Photography-3291-Edit
Having a little fun with my timid version of street photography.
spertus institute of jewish studiesTo see past images of the Spertus click here and here.
After we grabbed a quick lunch the rain started to make an appearance so we hustled to the nearby Cultural Center. Home to the nation’s first free municipal cultural center and two large stained glass domes. The one on the south-side of the building is the largest Tiffany dome in the world, the other is equally as beautiful. If you haven’t been in here, not only are the domes breathtaking but the staircases and the many exhibitions within the building make it a worthwhile stop.
This first image is the Tiffany dome, I prefer the b&w version but figured color gives a better representation. Feel free to see more images of this here.
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The next two images are from the dome on the north-side designed by Healy and Millet.
Angie McMonigal Photography-3307-Edit Angie McMonigal Photography-3309-Edit
Our last stop of the day was the James R. Thompson Center designed by Helmut Jahn. Honestly the most chaotic, disturbing building I have ever photographed. From the exterior (to me at least) it looks like a UFO has landed in the middle of the loop and once inside I have no idea where to look first with so many lines and curves running all over the place. Some love it, some hate it, rarely do you find indifference. This first shot is looking up.
james r. thompson center
The next image is of my wonderful photowalk assistant, Anne Belmont, who also happens to be a truly magnificent macro photographer. You might know her work from the Chicago Botanic Gardens, if not, look her up here. She’s in the center of the floor in the basement food court creating images looking up at this madness. I think I might prefer the tile-work over everything else in there. And isn’t it fitting that it kind-of looks like a flower with Anne right there in the center of it!
james r. thompson center
One last, more abstract take on that floor.
james r. thompson center
To see more images of the Thompson Center, click here and here.
I just want to thank everyone who was in my Friday workshop, you were all so absolutely fantastic to spend the day with! Please, share a link to your images from the day in the comment section of this post, I would so love to see the edited versions of your favorite shots from the day.
I also want to thank everyone else who attended my sessions and/or photowalk on Sunday. I had such a great time with you all! If you were part of the Sunday photowalk I’d also love to see your images, please share a link in the comments as well!
Of course I need to thank Chris Smith and the unbelievably awesome staff, many I’m lucky enough to call friends, for putting together such an incredible weekend. If you’ve never attended this conference mark your calendars for next year, June 23-26, 2016. Better yet, check out the Out of Chicago site to get a super, super earlybird price right now! The photographers, the staff, this city…can’t be beat!



0 Responses

    1. Definitely the most appealing part of that building! It was such an amazing weekend, you all were so fantastic and worked so hard to make the event amazing. Couldn't agree more about the OOC community being one of a kind.

  1. You are the best, Angie! Thanks for the shout-out and I adore the reference to the flower in the floor! It was my absolute pleasure to help you. You always inspire me to step away from flowers and stretch my wings creatively. As I said to you that day, shooting architecture abstractly, looking for patterns and light, isn't all that different than the macro I do.

    1. The least I could do, Anne! You know I love your work, absolutely beautiful. It's always fun to try new types of photography and like you mentioned, you can shoot other subjects very similarly to work you usually do.

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