Last week I had the pleasure of speaking at the Out of Chicago Conference in… you guessed it… Chicago, IL. I’ve always loved Chicago. I’ve never had the chance to spend a lot of time there. But every time I go, I absolutely love that city!

Out of Chicago 2016

Anyway, this last week was the Out Of Chicago Conference and I had the chance to teach a few classes there. First off, before I get to the photos, I have to say thanks to everyone who came out last week. It was an amazing group of people. Chris Smith (and his team) did a great job of putting on a conference that had over 400 people at it, but still felt like a small intimate workshop. I had the chance to really connect with people and actually see that what we were talking about was helping them. As an educator, that’s the best feeling. They have an Out of New York Conference coming up in October and if you can make it, I’d definitely recommend it.

The Photos

Okay, on to the photos. I figured I’d share a few photos that I took out of my hotel room. My wife Diana came with me on the trip and we stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel. It had a cool vibe to it and it was in a great part of the city. As fate would have it, when we checked in, they gave us a really nice upgrade to a corner suite on one of the top floors.

I didn’t think much of it, but as soon as we walked in and saw the windows (on both sides of the room) we both just said “Wow!”. I’ve seen a lot of city skylines before, but Chicago is different. There’s a lot of care taken to the architecture of the city – more so than a lot of other cities. So when you get this high up, it’s an amazing view.

So, I did what any photographer traveling with his wife would do. I said “Honey, don’t you think you’d love a spa treatment of some sort?… It’s on me!” 🙂

She knew what I was up to though, and gracefully stood by while I got my camera/tripod out, and started to frantically take photos while there was still some color left in the sky at twilight (which is actually the best time to capture city photos).

This first photo was out of the right side of the room. I liked it horizontal, but there was a large building on the left side that was tough to get in. Even though it’s not fully in view, I still like this one a lot.


(Camera Settings: f/11, ISO 50, 30 sec. / Sony A7R II, 16-35mm lens)

[image src=”https://mattk.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/DSC6848.jpg” link=”true”]

I purposely set the ISO to 50 instead of 100, because I wanted to extend the shutter speed to make the head lights from the cars down below more streaky.

The next one is the vertical version of the one above. It was tough to get it all in and I had to cut some areas out, but I think it’ll look good printed large.

(Camera Settings: f/11, ISO 100, 30 sec. / Sony A7R II, 16-35mm lens)

[image src=”https://mattk.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/DSC6883.jpg” link=”true”]

The photo below was taken out of the right side of the room. The view is actually wider and you’re missing a decent amount on the left and right sides, but I like the cropped version better. I think it makes the river down below more pronounced.

(Camera Settings: f/11, ISO 100, 22 sec. / Sony A7R II, 16-35mm lens)

[image src=”https://mattk.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/DSC6862-Edit.jpg” link=”true”]

And finally, this last photo was taken on the North Lake Shore Dr. Bridge, right near Navy Pier. It’s a popular spot for photographers and I saw a bunch of people from the conference there. It was actually tough to get a sharp photo, since the cars going over the bridge made the bridge (and the tripod) move quite a bit. But I just timed it for when there was a break in the traffic and was able to get a sharp photo.

Note: Any political comments and references to the name on the building in the middle will be deleted 😉

(Camera Settings: f/8, ISO 100, 6 sec. / Sony A7R II, 24-70mm lens)

[image src=”https://mattk.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/DSC6976.jpg” link=”true”]

Well, there you have it. I have some more photos from other days and I’ll share those in another post. In the meantime, if you’re in the Chicago area, check out the Out of Chicago website. It’s got a ton of great info on it for photographers. Thanks and have a good one!


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