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Anyone know of any defunct prison / county jails or other unique shooting locations which can be accessed by a LF photog?
You could try setting your LF camera up on a tripod on the sidewalk outside of the Federal courthouse in Chicago, and begin making photographs. I'll bet that in a short time you will find yourself inside of the Cook County jail, looking out through barred windows. That would, indeed, be a unique shooting location (insert smiley face here).
As I walk from the train to downtown, there are all kinds cementbarriers newly installed. It is disgusting. Everyone with a camera is a terrorist suspect.
I like the museum campus, Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium, and the Field Museum. From the Shedd, you get nice morning light to the Skyscraper Skyline and the sun sets behind the tall building for a good sun set shot if you are lucky.
The new stainless steel bean is interesting in Grant Park.
Wabash Ave has the elevated train line. Its a block west of Michigan Ave.
University of Ill. Circle Campus is 1.5 west of the lake and just south of Eisenhower Expy. Tons of modern cement buildings. West of Circle is a hugh old church with giant spires. It is on the first main street south of circle campus and faces south.
The University of chicago is at 57th st and south Lake Shore Drive. This was the very classy Hyde Park neighborhood about 1900-1920. Don`t wander too far from campus.
We have no old jails not in use. We fill `em up as fast as they are built.
Dinner is getting cold. I get back later.
I've been toying with the idea of photographing the tenements they are demolishing on west lake street (a few blocks west of Ashland). Also - that whole Lake street corridor, under the elevated line (stretching out to the horizon) is darkly breathtaking.
Bah`i Temple in Wilmette should be seen. It is a classic round building with a dome on top and walkways leading up to it. I have not made it myself, but have seen lots of really good photos.
I`m guessing morning light is best.
Oak Park has Frank Loyde Wright home. First burb west of Chicago. Riverside has lots more.
South Michigan ave about, 800 So., directly west of McCormack Place on the lake is the old automobile row. All the major dealers in the 1920`s built dealerships there as Michigan Ave was the smoothest paved street in Chicage. The new facades have been removed from the building revealing the original structures. These were the classyest buildings in Chicago in the era. You can see names like Marmon bricked into the front of the structure with the bright glazed brick. I saw this on public television a few weeks ago and it is my to do list.
Michigan is a North-South street so half is good in the morning and half in the afternoon.
There is an old industrial area north of the loop. Calumet Photo is located there on a large island in the middle of the Chicago River called Goose Island. There are all kinds of old industrial buildings in the area. Calumet is 1111 Cherry Street. Best access is from North ave, 1200 North, just east of the Chicago River. Cherry st is brick with railroad track down the center and they are still in use servicing a lumber yard.
This ought to keep you going a few years. Enjoy your trip.
link to an aerial view of Bahai Temple,
Do youself a favor and leave that dark hole called Chicago.
sx-70 manipulation I made of the outside of the Bahai temple - they don't really like interior shots, as I discovered.
s92232803.onlinehome.us/content/library/photo/fine art/bahai.jpg (http://s92232803.onlinehome.us/content/library/photo/fine art/bahai.jpg)
Thanks for the heads up. I think the elevated train line would provide some interesting shapes
I never got a picture of the first recommendation with a larger camera there, so YMMV, but...
Howard Street stop on the L. Take the Red Line from downtown to Howard (purple line). On the east side of the tracks you'll find yourself eyelevel with some art-deco era carving on a building just across the train tracks. There are more buildings close enough that a 300mm on a 4x5 would give you a good closeup, or a 210-135 would allow you to get some street as well. I seem to remember the light gave the best relief in the morning.
Note, while probably just fine, this is a neighborhood that people warn you to be careful in, so if you leave the platform to go wandering, take a friend to watch your surrounding while you're under the darkcloth.
Alternatives would include Hyde Park and the U. of C. The back side of the Museum of Science and Industry has a nice mixture of architecture and ponds, and the lakefront around the Point (55th st), if the Army Corp of Engineers hasn't finished destroying it in order to save it, is also appealing. You can get a good view of the downtown lit up from there as well. At 55th St/The Point, if you return across LSD, you'll face an apartment complex of three buildings: The Flamingo (or Flaming O, as a British acquaintance once called it) which is from around 1928, an old age home, and in the center, a Meis VandeRohe building. If you head West down 56th street, the Presbyterian Seminary has a Chrome Goat gleaming in the sun. I never got a good picture of it, but I have a few decent snapshots, so I think it's possible.
If you're truly feeling adventuresome, then head south on Stony Island Blvd, and somewhere before the turn onto the Skyway, you'll see a variety of old buildings, businesses such as the "Moo and Oink", and Lou Farrakhan's mosque. If you're in a less-urban mood, then head west on I-55 to Argonne, or I-88 to Batavia. Fermilab, with its buffalo, prarie, and infrastructure to support the accelerators, offers some classic large-format material.
Personally, I found Chicago more of a 35mm/MF format kind of city, partly from not feeling comfortable hidden under a darkcloth in Hyde Park, or with my tripod out in traffic's way, but I certainly saw enough LF photographers over the years. It does tend to bustle, so being able to respond quickly helps. FWIW, it looks good in tri-x with a touch of grain.
FWIW - I've never felt uncomfortable working LF in Hyde Park alone... some of the surrounding neighborhoods get trickier, but overall - pretty hospitable place.
There is also, in Jackson Park (surrounding the Museum of Science and Industry) the Osaka Japanese garden - a Zen style garden with a small waterfall and tea house. Quite nice, and rather under utilized.
I don't know of any prison locations, but I've got some varied city shots (including Baha'i Temple and Frank Lloyd Wright) at www.tedfullerton.com (http://www.tedfullerton.com). Check under the "Urban Landscape" and "Architecture" sections. I'd be happy to share locations if I don't have them marked on the photos.
Hope that helps.
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