Join Justin Reznick for an in-depth discussion in this video Scouting locations to photograph in Chicago, part of Architectural Photography: A Fine Art Approach.
- Now before coming to Chicago, you know, I've been here a couple times, and I've done a lot of research online, I really thought about what is it I want to shoot? What are my goals? And upon first arriving, it wasn't about let's get the camera and get that shot right away. It was more about just taking everything in, scouting locations and seeing what things looked like at different times of day. And it's really great to just kind of get an overview and not put a lot of pressure on myself right from the get-go. So, you know, I started walking around.
I headed for the Flamingo statue, which because you're in these dense cities with skyscrapers all around, the light can change so much. So my goal was to visit it at different times of day to see when it would be getting the best light. So that was a great opportunity to see that a couple times before I actually shot it. Then, going to Millennium Park. I'd been there before and remembered how crowded it was, and heading back there, oh boy, it was crowded. There's people everywhere. You know, Cloud Gate is such an iconic sculpture, and I really wanted to get a good shot of it.
So it was great to kind of confirm yes, this is crazy busy. Let's come back in the morning. Let's shoot sunrise. And seeing Frank Gehry's work, the Jay Pritzker Pavilion and the BP Bridge, just fantastic but very complex. So for me, multiple visits were really important, just having a walk-through, trying a few things, just handheld, just kind of having a play, seeing what might work, seeing where am I gonna go the following days in terms of how I want to shoot these subjects.
Moving on to Aqua Tower, the Aqua Tower is just such a unique building, but it's very complex again. When you have these pieces of modern art in the form of 80-plus floor skyscrapers, how do you tell the story? Such a challenge, you know? What lenses do you use? Do you isolate specific parts? Do you do wide angle with streaking clouds? It's so much to experiment with. So I really encourage you when you're exploring a city that you're going to photograph, try and give yourself some time to just walk through and see things and confirm ideas you may have had, and find new ideas that you didn't know until you really came to the location and saw it in person.
So, yeah, my walk through Chicago was fantastic, and that's a habit I like to do every time I'm in a new city is have a good walk through. Now that I've done that, I think it's time to really get down to business and get some fine art images.