Thursday, May 10, 2018

Shooting Chicago with the Leica D-Lux (Typ 109)

Mural of Vivian Maier located at 1651 W. North Ave Chicago, Illinois

It's symbolic that the first picture I captured on my recent trip to Chicago was a photo of a beautifully crafted, colorful, larger than life mural of Vivian Maier. I came across this mural completely by accident. Although several articles have been published about it, I never even knew it existed until I drove past it in my rental car while on my way to check out Tamarkin Camera.

My trip to Chicago was sort of unplanned. A quick search for flights returned a bargain fair on the low-rated Frontier Airlines, one-way for only $38! Furthermore, I found a bargain return flight on United for only $50. These "basic economy" fares include only one small personal item such as a purse or small bag. A carry on or checked bag costs extra. I had a few leave days I could take from work so I booked the flights and off I went to spend the weekend in Chicago.

The idea was to hit a few of the usual tourist spots and enjoy a relaxing weekend of food, drink and sightseeing. I assumed that I'd have an opportunity to get some decent photos even though this wasn't specifically a photography trip. With the baggage restriction, I was not able to bring a camera "kit" as my camera bag was doubling as my only allowed personal item. That left me to choose one of my point and shoot cameras for the trip because the rest of the space in my camera bag would be packed with socks, underwear, tooth brush and other essentials. Somehow I managed to fit a pair of shorts, an extra t-shirt and dress shirt as well.

The Leica D-Lux Typ 109 performed fabulously. It proved to be the perfect choice for a trip like this. It's small, light-weight, compact, yet features a fast, f/1.7 Vario-Summilux lens. I brought along a couple extra batteries, camera strap and lens cloth and that's all I needed for a fun weekend of shooting touristy type images.

Enjoy the photo gallery of Chicago!

View looking out onto Lake Michigan from the waterfront
near the Chicago Yacht Club

Leica D-Lux Typ 109

The Leica D-Lux, as all Leica's seem to, renders beautiful black and white 
images with nice contrast.

This dog park doesn't look like much, but it was the only one in this particular neighborhood.

Patiently waiting for master.

I love the architecture!

The gratuitous and stereotypical Chicago skyline picture.

Wabash Ave AKA "The Loop" area.

The famous Central Camera on Wabash. SINCE 1899! I hope they stay in business for another 100 years. They have an amazing selection of film / vintage cameras and lenses as well as digital. I bought a few rolls of Portra 800 while I was there. This place is just so cool.

The following images were all taken around the Lake Shore Drive / Millenium Park area...

"The Bean" at Millenium Park

After hanging around Millenium Park for a while, we started making our way towards Navy Pier...

We took a water taxi from Navy Pier to the Willis Tower. The 10 minute water taxi ride offered great views and photographic opportunities!

The next morning we set out for the Garfield Park Conservatory. This is an absolute must-see if you ever visit Chicago. In fact, we found out about it through a tourism book called "101 Places in Chicago That You Must Not Miss"

This conservatory is the most impressive I've ever experienced. Not that I have seen that many, but still, it was a wonderful and awe-inspiring place.

The fern room.

Jens Jenson, the primary landscape architect and founder of the Garfield Park Conservatory in 1905

View looking North from the concourse at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Home of the Chicago White Sox.

Guaranteed Rate Field