Chicago Food and Travel Photographer

Graceland Cemetery - Chicago

You don't think of cemeteries as beautiful places but in the heart of Chicago lies some of the most prime real estate and home to many of the most influential people of Chicago's past. This amazing and peaceful place is Graceland Cemetery located on Chicago's near north side. 2 weeks ago I headed over there to walk the grounds and to snap a few photos if the many mousoleumims and the rolling grounds. The plus side about the fall is that the leaves look are amazing colors and the sun rises later so you don't have to wake up at 5 am to catch dawn. Graceland Cemetery opens early but not too early so this is a great time of year to go. We got there as the sun was coming up so the light was perfect for this crisp fall day.

We were greeted by the security guard who informed us that tripods are strictly prohibited. Oh well, not a great start but a great day to be out none the less.

We headed right are the first fork in the road along the south end of the property. Not more than 5 minutes in to our walk we ran into this bright orange tree that must have been 100 years old. It was huge and still had almost all of its leaves. The leaves were burnt orange and the sun was shinning perfectly through the tree. We stopped for a few minutes almost in amazement alone.

Graceland Cemetery Chicago Not far from the first tree was a small hill with another large tombstone. Another tree had deposited its red leaves all over the hill next to the tombstone. I couldn't resist shooting the grave from below looking up at it. This gave the tombstone a grandness to it. The picture probably won't make the cut for anyone buying Chicago condo art but the colors and the scene make a great Halloween photo.

Graceland Cemetery Chicago

We kept walking around the south portion of the property and passed the tombs of Carter Harrison (ex mayor of Chicago) and Daniel Burnham (formed the Chicago plan and famous architect). We stumbled upon a lake near the end of the property. Between the calmness of the lake and the color of the trees it was a sight to be seen.

Graceland Cemetery Chicago

After we left the lake we circled back through the other half of the property on our way back to our car. Like I said before you probably won't get any condo art out of a place like Graceland Cemetery but the scenery and peacefulness are amazing.

Graceland Cemetery Chicago

Happy Birthday America!

Ahh the Fourth of July is upon us again.  Time to fire up that grill, throw on some hot dogs and crack open a beer.  What a great time of year with hot weather, sun, and people laying by the pool.  It's also our favorite Lady Liberty's birthday today which is why it's such a great holiday to celebrate.  I took the picture below on the 4th of July last year so I thought it fitting to share it today.  The picture was taken with a 45mm Nikon tilt shift lens.  This was my first time shooting with a tilt shift lens and I managed to get the shot below for my portfolio.  Usually tilt shift lenses are used to shoot architecture so that you can keep all the lines from converging, but they also have the ability to make objects look miniature.  For more details see this link.


If you have the luxury of being on a boat today I'm jealous.  It's hot here in Chicago and the weather looks like it is going to be amazing.  Unfortunately, I won't be on a boat today but I will be at some point this weekend. The shot below was taken at dawn while the sun was rising and an early bird boater was out on the water.  It's one of those "classic summer" shots that makes you think of all the things that you do on the 4th of July.




It's not the 4th of July without Fireworks.  Below is a shot I took from the Adler Planetarium of the Chicago fireworks.  The weekly shows are great but something tells me that tonight's show will be even better.  I'm looking forward to seeing the show tonight.  I'm sure Navy Pier will be packed and there will be plenty of boats out in Lake Michigan.