Chicago 11.26.2017

On Sunday Mike and I traveled downtown for the day to explore the city. One of the best things about living in Chicagoland is you’re not far from Metra stations, we are very close to a commuter train station and then have another station in the neighboring town plus more! And what makes it even better is you can purchase a weekend pass and ride the Metra as many times as you like Saturday and Sunday.

I took my camera with me to continue my practice and used the aperture setting. The day was beautiful for taking photos outdoors- sunny, blue skies, and we even saw a bride and groom outside the planetarium. I wanted to see the Christmas tree so we went to Millennium Park where the outdoor skating rink (one of my bucket list items) and the bean are located.

After lunch at the Italian Village- great restaurant- and one of few open on Sunday, we walked to Adler Planetarium. I took photos indoors too because while I love outdoor photos I know I need to practice indoor too. The Adler Planetarium has Gemini space capsule from NASA which was super cool to see and I love stars and the solar system. We only paid for general admission which doesn’t give you access to the movies and that was fine with us.

Before heading back to Union Station I took some pictures outside of the planetarium adjusting the white balance. I’ve seen what a difference custom white balance makes using the Light Room software but for the pictures I took of the skyline I simply switched between, daylight, shade, and auto white balance and there was certainly a change between each one!

Here are some of my favorite photos and maybe some not so favorites so I can continue to learn and improve with my photography.

I love this picture of the bean but with some editing we would be able to see the blue sky that is visible in my other photos. That is where a custom white balance would be beneficial.
The back of Gemini space capsule at the Planetarium- the heat shield.
This photo turned out wonderful with the vibrant colors, I was impressed after taking it.

Below is a slideshow of the photos I mentioned where I adjusted the white balance. It was about 3 pm in the afternoon and the sun was to my left shining on the buildings – you can tell in photo #2.

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Weekend Fun

Happy New Year! [2015]

Hi there! Happy Friday and Happy New Year!

How did you celebrate? Mike and I decided to jump in Lake Michigan! Are we crazy? Yes!

Every year Milwaukee has the Polar Bear Plunge at noon on New Year’s Day and you go for a dip in the icy cold water of Lake Michigan. The water temperature was 36 degrees and the actual temperature was 22 at the time of the plunge with a wind chill of 8 degrees! But it could have been worse. We had temps in the teen’s this week and last year the lake was full of ice. We waited in the car until it was about 11:30 am and then headed to the beach.

It was fun to see how everyone prepared for the plunge, fires on the beach, blankets, tents and some tents with heaters- we wish we had a tent with a heater. At noon they sound the horn and everyone runs to the lake! I went first in my group because I just wanted to get it over with! I had a date with jambalaya and brownies after. :) I only went in up to my knees and that was fine with me, my toes were frozen once I walked out. The rest of our group went in to their belly button, shoulders, or completely under water!
Plunge 3

I have no pictures of the action because it took all of 30 minutes or less to go jump in the lake and then put dry clothes on again!

I saw on Instagram some other plunges taking place on the East Coast and they temperatures of 40 or 50 degrees and their water temp was a little warmer than ours, I don’t think it’s really a ‘polar’ plunge at that point! In Pittsburgh you jump in the river since there isn’t a lake and it was in the 50’s at Christmas, that would have been nice!

Anyways, I can officially cross this off my bucket list (it wasn’t on there to begin with) and here’s to a great 2015! It’s our wedding year!