Watching the Sun Set Behind Chicago

The Sun Sets Behind the John Hancock Building

Last night I was at Porter Beach in northern Indiana to watch the sun set behind the city of Chicago. In 2014 I was in Chicago when I saw a post on Google+ showing the sun setting behind the city. I made a stop on the way home to photograph the show. I only had my 70-200mm and my 1.4x converter that day. Thanks to my friend Trevor Mahlmann I knew that the sun was going to set behind the city again this week and some of next week. We had a meet up of some online friends to try and capture this moment. The fun was had before the sun even set. It was nice getting to meet some people in person that I had only talked to online before. When the sun started dipping though it was all business. Above is one of my shots of the sun setting behind the Hancock building. If you want to see what it looks like through a 500mm lens stacked with two 2x teleconverters head over to Instagram and take a look at the photo that Tom Jones made. Another great shot from the night was made by Ryan Bale. He captured the sun behind the Hancock Building, but with a plane bursting out of the sun. We are going back out again tonight if the weather is right to have some fun again. If you want to join us all of the info that you need is here.

Making Photos While I Wait

When something like this is happening I usually feel like I have to make photos before the event. A little nervous energy can be let out that way. Here I waited for what seemed like forever for this trio of swimmers to move over into the light. I have photos of them not in the spotlight, but the photo was always going to be this one of them in the spotlight of the sun. A little patience and a little luck, and everything lined up.

After The Sun Is Gone

Once the sun is gone you could pack up and go home. If you wait about an hour after the sun goes down though the lights of Chicago really start to show up. This was fun to watch how everyone tackled this amazing shot. People were focusing on many different things which was pretty cool. I loved how the water looked during a long exposure. The photo above was made during an eight second exposure. That allowed the water to really smooth out and make something amazing. At this point the light from the city provided a nice orange glow to the sky which contrasted nicely with the blue water. This might be my favorite shot from the night.

Breaking Out The 11-24

Of course I had to break out the 11-24 during the night. At one moment when the sun went behind a cloud it seemed like the perfect time to run down to Lake Michigan to get a close up shot. The night was all about using the big glass, but with the new toy I just had to find a reason to try it out.


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