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Chicago Food and Travel Photographer

2012 Chicago Air and Water Show

On Saturday August 18th I had the opportunity to experience the Chicago Air and Water Show from the deck of the High Life with Captain Justin and the Just Sailing crew.  The Chicago Air and Water Show is a spectacle from any angle but being on the water might get you the best view of the city and the show.  We got to North Avenue Beach around 11:30 and got a great spot just a little ways away from the restricted area.  We were on an 8 person sailboat so we were able to get nice and close and drop anchor in a great spot.

The Chicago Air and Water show features all sorts of planes and arial acrobatics.  The planes range from small trick planes and bi-wings up to the Navy's Blue Angels and cargo planes.  All the performers are great but seeing the raw power and agility of the Blue Angels is truly amazing.  We were located in a spot where the planes would come directly over us as they made their loops.  This gave us an amazing up close view of the planes.

As you can see by the pictures, the weather was crystal clear which made for an excellent show.  Last year I watched the show from the John Hancock Observatory which was a totally different experience but an awesome one.  Both locations are very different but both are equally amazing.  If you are looking for an amazing location for next year's Air and Water show I suggest you give Captain Justin a call at Just Sailing and reserve him and his boat.

Chicago Fireworks from the Adler Planetarium

About 3 years ago I headed over to Navy Pier to shoot the Saturday night fireworks.  The shots came out good, but since that night I've been thinking of other interesting locations where I can shoot the weekly fireworks show.  One of the places that came to mind was shooting from the Adler Planetarium.  If you are not familiar with this location it provides one of the best views of the Chicago skyline and it's right on the lake.  From this vantage point I was able to capture the skyline and the fireworks from Navy Pier using my Tokina 11-16 lens.

We drove over to the Adler Planetarium about 9:00 PM in anticipation for the 9:30 start and apparently I wasn't the only photographer that wanted to get this shot.  There were a handful of people already set up there with their tripods and everything from point and shoots to DSLRs.  It took me a few minutes to find the spot I wanted to shoot from but I finally stopped pretty far east near the side of the Planetarium.  From this angle I was able to keep the Willis Tower in the left hand side of the frame and still get the fireworks.

Overall I'm happy with the shots that I got.  The weather was beautiful and the fireworks show as always was amazing.  I have a few more locations that I'm looking into that also provide unique perspectives of the fireworks and the city.  I'm trying to find access to some balconies or roof tops on high floors so that I can look down or be at the same level of the fireworks.  More to come soon.