Photography at Navy Pier

Windy schooner off Navy Pier
Windy schooner off Navy Pier

I took a photo excursion to Chicago's Navy Pier last Thursday. It was a beautiful day for it and there were surprisingly few people there. I had brought along several model release forms just in case I happened upon a person that I wanted to photograph. However, no such opportunity presented itself.

One of my first stops was to take a ride on the ferris wheel. It cost $6.00 for the ride. The slow movement of the ferris wheel and partially open sides made possible some decent photos of the Chicago skyline. Unfortunately the backs and much of the sides were enclosed in plexiglass making photos at most angles impossible.

A while later the Windy, a 150 foot 4 masted schooner, came into dock which presented a nice photo op. I stopped by their ticket booth to get details. A one hour cruise was departing at 5:00pm which fit my schedule nicely. I came close to buying a ticket but one look to the east convinced me otherwise. It was a clear day and the Sun was about 35 degrees up in the sky. My principal purpose for taking the cruise was to get photos of the Chicago skyline from a different vantage point. However, given the clear sky and position of the Sun the pictures would not have turned out very good so I took a pass.

I continued to meander about taking photos, including a couple of the Chicago Harbor Lighthouse. By the time I started heading back in from the end of the pier, the Windy was starting her next cruise. It didn't take long before she had her sails up. Fortunately I had brought along my telephoto lens so even though she was some distance away when she raised her sails, I was still able to get some decent shots. I used one of those shots to illustrate this post.

I also headed up to Olive Park to get some photographs of the John Hancock Building and points north. The sun position was pretty bad by then being low in the sky but still clearing all but the tallest buildings. However from where I was, the Sun lined up nicely with Huron Street and created a nice reflection in that sliver of Lake Michigan that lies between Olive Park and Lake Shore Drive.

Afterwards, I went to Charlie's Ale House for dinner but got tired of waiting for someone to show up and seat me. A couple waitresses at the end of the bar looked up a few times before returning to chatting. Given how empty the place was they certainly couldn't attribute their lack of service to being too busy. Obviously they rake in enough cash to not be concerned about the loss of a customer. I headed over to Carnelli's Deli and grabbed a sandwich and drink instead. They took my order and made my sandwich in far less time than I had spent waiting at Charlie's. Plus they were a good deal cheaper.

After eating I wondered around the Crystal Gardens. I took a few photographs of plants and the few flowers there. It was then time to head over to the IMAX theater to meet my friends and take in the Hubble 3D movie. For more about that part of my excursion, read Hubble 3D IMAX Movie.

By the time we got out of the restaurant, Navy Pier had been closed for over 90 minutes. I only got to take a few pictures before being directed by security to leave. In total I took over 150 photographs. In the days of film, I would have been far more judicious in the number of photographs I took. But this is the age of digital photography so I shoot away.

For me, the hardest part of photography these days is not taking the photograph. Rather, it is going through all the photographs afterwards: deciding which to delete and what to do with those I keep.

| Return to the Blog Index | This entry was posted on Monday, April 19th, 2010 at 11:04 am and is filed under Digital Photography.