There are a handful of Chicago buildings I’ve been meaning to shoot for quite a long time and keep procrastinating on it because I truly hate using a tripod. Particularly, for abstracts.

I feel like I lose all creative freedom because instead of seeing the compositions I’m so focused on the damn tripod. I’m sure it’s just because I’m not used to using it for this type of shooting but it slows me down and takes me out of that “seeing” mode to focus on technical stuff. Which, I generally find mind-numbingly boring.

However, it’s entirely necessary to get anything sharp and not super noisy at night. So, I finally pushed through and managed a few shots. Some better than others, and I feel like I definitely need a revisit.

These first two are probably my favorites of the night.

Followed by this one. The lights are still on the trees on Michigan Ave and I liked their reflections in the facade of the building. Plus, that warm/cool contrast is always appealing.

This is an unusual crop for me but I wanted symmetry on the corner of the building and enough of those diamond/triangle shapes, which isn’t possible because the pattern doesn’t continue on the north-facing side.

Then, I thought I’d recreate a daytime shot I have of the south facade to see how it looks at night. Not entirely sure where all the color casts are coming from but it kinda makes for a fun, colorful gradient, which I’ve intentionally avoided color-correcting for this very reason.

The last shot is of the southwest corner of the building, but rotated 180 degrees. Just felt better this way.

In case you’re interested in a couple of day-to-night comparisons of similar compositions…

The compositions aren’t exactly the same for either of these pairs because the street lights cast such an awful orange and reflect so strongly, it’s next to impossible to shoot lower in the building as I have with the daytime shots. But, close enough, and, perhaps, I recreate the same version during the day since there’s more flexibility.



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