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Chicago Skyline, Magnificent Mile, and Other Spots

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Here are a few spots I found on my last few visits to Chicago. I've including some photo spots out near the Adler Planetarium (a great view of the entire skyline), Navy Pier, along Michigan Avenue, and Daley Plaza.

I'm sure I've barely scratched the surface for great spots around the downtown, so I'll keep adding to this guide as I return!

Map view

12 spots in this guide

  • Chicago Skyline

    Chicago Skyline

    41.8666642884, -87.6082386039

    Details

    Getting the shot

    This shot was taken from near the Adler Planetarium. Make sure you go out onto the little peninsula that the planetarium is on to get a great view of the city. And if you forget your tripod, there are some metal (electrical?) boxes you can set your camera on in a pinch.

    Photo info

    Date / time
    Dec. 24, 2011 at 3:54 p.m.
    Exposure
    13 sec at f/6.3
    ISO
    100
    Focal length
    24 mm
    Camera
    Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XTi
    Lens
    Not available
  • Navy Pier
  • Across from the Water Tower

    Across from the Water Tower

    41.8965999155, -87.6244793795

    Details

    Getting the shot

    I actually am not sure what this building is called, but it's directly across from the historic Water Tower building (which in researching apparently has photography exhibits inside - perhaps something to check out next time).

    The Water Tower is also an interesting photo subject, but I didn't end up with a very good shot of it on this trip.

    Photo info

    Date / time
    Dec. 24, 2011 at 6:56 p.m.
    Exposure
    13/10 sec at f/10
    ISO
    400
    Focal length
    28 mm
    Camera
    Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XTi
    Lens
    Not available
  • Magnificent Mile

    Magnificent Mile

    41.8956236169, -87.6242594383

    Details

    Getting the shot

    At Christmas, this street is lit up quite nicely, and really all year it's a quite happening place to be. I thought it would be fun to try a shot of the traffic flying by, so I just went out into the median (quite spacious) to take a shot.

    Photo info

    Date / time
    Dec. 24, 2011 at 7:12 p.m.
    Exposure
    8/5 sec at f/11
    ISO
    100
    Focal length
    24 mm
    Camera
    Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XTi
    Lens
    Not available
  • Marilyn Monroe Statue

    Marilyn Monroe Statue

    41.890101958, -87.6237632297

    Details

    Getting the shot

    Apparently now there's a 26 foot tall statue of Marylin Monroe in Pioneer Court on Michigan Avenue. Weird. You may or may not want the tourist pose: standing between her legs (and possibly looking up).

    Photo info

    Date / time
    Dec. 24, 2011 at 7:35 p.m.
    Exposure
    1/4 sec at f/5.6
    ISO
    800
    Focal length
    24 mm
    Camera
    Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XTi
    Lens
    Not available
  • Chicago River

    Chicago River

    41.8888944371, -87.6244002543

    Details

    Getting the shot

    This is the view from the Michigan Ave bridge over the Chicago River. You'll want to try to wait for traffic to die down as much as possible if you're doing a long exposure shot, as the bridge bounces and vibrates with each car that goes by.

    Photo info

    Date / time
    Dec. 24, 2011 at 7:37 p.m.
    Exposure
    13/10 sec at f/5
    ISO
    800
    Focal length
    24 mm
    Camera
    Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XTi
    Lens
    Not available
  • Wrigley Building
  • Crown Fountain

    Crown Fountain

    41.8811301165, -87.6235955916

    Details

    Getting the shot

    Weirdness in Millenium Park.

    Photo info

    Date / time
    Dec. 24, 2011 at 8:15 p.m.
    Exposure
    1/2 sec at f/5.6
    ISO
    400
    Focal length
    24 mm
    Camera
    Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XTi
    Lens
    Not available
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