During my teenage years, I was introduced to an artist who I had not heard of before. Chaka Khan brought something I had never heard before. I can credit a friend of the family for first playing me some of her music. Along with many others, I became a fan. Not a devoted fan but someone who really enjoyed her music. However, I never saw her perform. That changed this week.
Forty years in show business were celebrated for Chaka this year and, as a Chicago native, the city had a free concert for her in Millennium Park at the Pritzker Pavilion. We headed along and we weren’t alone. A very diverse group of people came to see the free concert. It was a great evening out. Things took a long time to actually start but when they did, she certainly still had it. An outdoor location is a great place to sit and listen to someone belting out the hits. The years have not diminished her vocal power. Great stuff.
It has been a while since I last went out and did some night photography around Chicago. I had been meaning for a while to go and photograph the Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park at night when they have the light and music show. This was supposed to be a relatively quick trip out but ended up being a rather longer expedition.
Chicago at night is a great place to photograph. It is fine to walk around at night and there are usually a bunch of people out and about. However, do you do get a feeling that the city is yours and that you aren’t sharing it with the tourist masses. The night lighting is also a lot more generous to sights that look less impressive during the day. The dark hides a lot of the blemishes!
The show at the fountain takes place every hour on the hour. I got down at 8pm which was just after sundown. This wasn’t such a good plan as, even at the end of the 20 minute display, it really wasn’t dark enough to get the benefit of the lights. I figured I would try again another time but ended up taking enough shots of details around the fountain that soon it was sufficiently close to the hour again that there was no point in leaving. The 9pm show was certainly more photogenic – even if I had to take a few angles that concealed some of the construction sites on the skyline.
With some shots in the bag, I headed back in the direction of home. however, along the way were plenty of things to shoot as well. The Art Institute, the Pritzker Pavilion and the bean were all there along with the goings on of Millennium Park. It ended up being pretty late by the time I finally headed home. I have now whetted my appetite for some more night shooting so hopefully it won’t be too long before I am back out.