Tag Archives: Trump

Trump Views

wpid8005-AU0E8638-Edit.jpgI watched the Trump Tower being built a few years ago since it is directly across from where we were living.  Aside from a visit when the spire was being completed, I hadn’t been in again since.  I then was asked to carry out a shoot from the terrace on the 16th floor so ended up checking out the view.  The 16th floor is a long way from the top of the building but its terrace has a great view of the river and surrounding area.

wpid8001-AU0E8186.jpgI was able to get a few local shots while waiting for the shoot to start and then once it was over.  Having seen this terrace out of my window for years, it was nice to finally be there.  I probably should have gone at some point but I finally made it just before leaving the city.  One more thing checked off the list.

Trump Tower Construction Time Lapse

Every once in a while, I think about something that I was working on before I started blogging and wonder whether it would make a good post or not.  Where we live in Chicago, we are very close to the Trump International Hotel and Tower.  When we first moved here, it was the Chicago Sun-Times building.  They demolished that and built the tower on the same site.

During the construction, I took a lot of pictures, first of the demolition and then the new construction.  Building the tower would have made a good blog on its own if I had been blogging then.  However, can’t turn back time!  One thing I tried to do was take pictures from the same position on a regular basis to maybe make a time lapse.  These pictures have languished for a long time.  However, since Photoshop is now a lot more useful for making video, I brought all of the files in as layers to make a video.  Since the position moved each time I took a picture despite my best efforts, Photoshop allowed me to align the layers and get tings (almost) back in register.  Then some transitions and some music and we have a video.  Hope you like it.

Trump Tower

wpid5552-AU0E5496-Edit.jpgWalking back from Navy Pier, I came back along the river towards home. Since it was getting late in the afternoon, I was effectively heading into the sun. Not ideal for taking pictures but the reflective nature of the Trump Tower ahead of me seemed to be picking up light from all sorts of directions. It seemed like a good shot to take. Shooting the Trump is something that requires some thought. It is rather tall and fitting it in the frame without making it distort too much means being quite far away. I also played with a little HDR to see if that helped and it turns out it did!


Up a Big Pole!

Today we have a bit of a flashback.  Regular readers will know that I shoot a lot of helicopter operations.  Midwest Helicopters is the large local operator so they do most of the work in the city.  However, there other operators that undertake similar work and some of them will work in Chicago at times.  This is often a function of the weight of the loads to be lifted.  Construction Helicopters of Howell MI are one such operator and their S-61N aircraft can lift 10,000lbs – a big increase over the 4,500lbs of the S-58T.  If you need even bigger things lifted, Erickson Aircrane are probably your people!

This piece, though, is not about the helicopter so much as the people it was working with.  A few years ago, the Trump International Hotel and Tower was built here in the city – in fact just across the street from us.  We had the best seats to watch the demolition of the old Sun Times building and the growth from a hole in the ground to 92 floors of building.  It was fun to watch, even if it did take a chunk out of our view!  The building was topped off with a spire.  The parts for the spire were lifted to the roof by the construction cranes before they were assembled but it was going to be significantly higher than the rest of the building so those cranes were not suitable for assembling it.  The pieces would be lifted into place by helicopter.








The first attempt at this was unsuccessful as the winds were so strong that keeping each piece in place long enough to secure it proved impossible.  There was a long wait before the second attempt but the job finally went ahead.  The heroes of this story are the guys on the tower.  If you think that the tower itself is over a 1,000′ tall and the spire is a significant (and flexible) structure above that, you can see that this is quite an exposed location to be working.  From talking to the team that assembled it, the most senior guys are the ones at the very top – they want to be there.








Three guys were on the spire at the top.  As each section was brought into place, they grabbed the tag lines and pulled it into position.  When they had located it, they would put in a bolt in each corner.  Then, one would climb up the new piece to release the lifting line.  The other two would follow while a second group came behind them to insert the additional bolts to finally secure the section.  While they were finishing that off, the next piece was coming in.








To add to the fun of this, the spire narrows as it gets higher so the working space gets progressively more limited.  All the time you are dealing with whatever wind conditions there are at this height combined with the not inconsiderable down-wash from the helicopter and trying to make sure you maintain your grip and don’t drop anything on the team below you!

The job ran a little long but they did finish it off and put the final cap in place.  They seemed to do a great job but were so far away from anyone else, I suspect that very few people appreciate exactly what they had done.  It was only recently as I was culling a bunch of old images that I looked again at them as saw exactly what they were doing.  I feel guilty for paying more attention to the helicopter operations when I first shot the job so decided to give them a little publicity now.  Well done everyone.