Chicago In Black And White: Wrigley Building And Trump Tower

Here is the second image in my series of Chicago In Black And White, which highlights images captured exclusively on B&W film. Chicago is a big city with many interesting buildings and people and I think it makes a great environment for film photography.

Old And New On The River

Chicago is a city of skyscrapers. There are a lot of tall buildings in Chicago and it seems as if they are always building more. It's hard to make a photo of the heart of the city without having an iconic building in the frame. Two of the more notable skyscrapers, representing old and new, are the Wrigley Building, built in the 1920's and the Trump Tower, which was completed in 2009. I made this image of the two buildings while walking across the Columbus Drive bridge. The view is looking West from the bridge.

The Wrigley Building and Trump Tower viewed from the Columbus Street bridge.

Motivation And Information

Everywhere you go in Chicago, there are tall buildings. The trick is to find a view that you like. I wanted to capture these two buildings together and in order to do that with my fixed lens film cameras I had to find something that worked given the constraints. The Columbus Drive bridge seemed like a good option as it is a little ways from the buildings and would allow me to get the Chicago River in the frame. As we walked across the bridge I began framing potential shots through both the Rolleicord and the Nikkormat. Since the Trump Tower is so massive I wanted to get as much of it as possible in the frame, while still getting the river. That meant that the Rolleicord's square format and 35mm equivalent focal length of 49mm was the better match as compared to the Nikkormat's 50mm rectangular format. I put the Nikkormat in the bag and began walking up and down the bridge while looking through the Rolleicord's viewfinder. I finally settled on a spot close to the South side of the bridge, where I spent a minute or so making sure I got what I wanted in the frame. As far as development and post-processing goes it's the same as the first post in this series, Kodak HC-110 developer for 5.25 minutes at a temperature of 72 degrees. I scanned the negatives, imported the RAW file into Lightroom and then ran them through a negative to positive conversion plugin, ColorPerfect, in my newly downloaded PhotoShop CC 2014 (which I'm trying out to see if it is worth using) to get a workable positive image. I cropped a little, decreased the highlights and shadows a bit, as well as cleaned up the "dust bunnies" that always manage to attach themselves to the negatives.

Stay Tuned For More

I'm still working through a couple rolls of film from our Chicago trip and I think I have a fair number of "keepers". That's exactly what I hoped for so I think there will be a number of additional posts in this series. I'm excited to see what other images I have and I plan on posting them on a regular schedule until I get through them. I have set up a gallery on my portfolio site as well as on my Flickr account so you can go there to check out the images if you want. Cheers!                               The image