The Honeycomb is a relatively unknown Chicago landmark located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, which is about a mile north of downtown. The sculpture is located in the Lincoln Park Zoo’s Nature Boardwalk and is just east of the free outdoor zoo. The name of the structure is the “People’s Gas Education Pavilion”. The structure faces south directly towards downtown and provides a nice view of the John Hancock building through its arch.
How to get the Shot
This photo was taken at 27mm. This is considered a wide angle lens which exaggerates the length of objects and causes an illusion of exaggerated distance between images close to the lens and further away in the frame. You can see this in the image above because the front sections of the Honeycomb are much larger than the back of the Honeycomb even though the structure is only approximately 30 feet long. This image was created using my high dynamic range workflow with Photomatix Pro. I used 3 exposures to capture this image (-2, 0, +2). I took the image about 2 feet off the ground using a tripod. It was around 7 am on a fall morning. The sky was quite overcast, but it worked well for this shot. The structure is lit up with warm lights still on from the night before.
Editing the Shot
This shot was edited using Photomatix Pro. The 3 images were imported into Aperture first and then out to Photomatix. I usually edit or blend one of my exposures back into the HDR image to tone down the Photomatix HDR effect, but in this case I loved the image that I got from Photomatix so I didn’t do any editing afterwards. To the right you will see the settings I used to process this image.
This area is becoming more popular each season, so I suggest getting to the park early. I don’t believe there are hours of operation for this park, so the earlier the better. If you get to the park early you could get a nice sunrise in the shot as well as the city.
I would also suggest using a wider angle lens. I’ve seen other shots at this location with a longer lens and they don’t pop quite as much. Shoot low and wide and you should get an interesting shot.
How to Get There
This area is not that easy to get to if you don’t have access to a car. The closest El stop is Fullerton Avenue, a 30 minute walk. You could take the El to Fullerton and take a taxi or bus East on Fullerton, but if you have access to a car you should use it. There is street parking and a few reasonable lots across the street from the zoo. Try to avoid the Lincoln Park Zoo’s parking, as it’s very expensive. Try to park in the pay lot just on the north side of Fullerton across the street from the zoo’s parking lot.
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