Monday, June 23, 2008

Des Plaines River

The Scenic beauty of Des Plaines River Rd is unpredictable... it changes with the season and rainstorm weather making it dramatically different from one state to another… we just need to let our imagination flow and tools that'll make it closer to visualize it....

migh not have done the job upto its optimum here.. but try to experience with the Color Efex Pr 3.0 software


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sorry for the lapse in posting...

I could come up with some excuse like..."the weather was horrible" or "my dog ate my camera," but in all actuality I just didn't feel like picking up a camera... I work at a camera shop so when I come home the last thing I wanna do is shoot... It's sad really. It makes me think of my friend who loved fish tanks... He had all kinds of fish, both fresh & salt water. He loved it so much, he started his own business taking care of other peoples fish tanks. He no longer owns a tank of his own.

On to the photo... This is Papa Nicholas' Cafe on Milwaukee Ave , just past Montrose Ave. Monika & I pulled up to grab a nice iced coffee on this very humid day and I just loved the lines of the building against the chairs & railing.

Friday, June 6, 2008


Another experience from our visit to Brookfield Zoo. Orangutans are one of the most endangered species in the world with a wild population of less than 7,000. Their native home is Sumatra - Indonesia (the sixth largest island in the world).

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

My favorite Meercat

IMG_6449, originally uploaded by focusedlight77.

I love these little guys. I just started watching Meercat Manor on TV & I can't get enough of 'em! If you haven't seen the show you HAVE to check it out...It's on Animal Planet.

Monday, June 2, 2008

I wish I would of shot this with a Macro Monday!

IMG_6179, originally uploaded by focusedlight77.

Monika & I took a trip to Brookfield Zoo on Sunday. Thier butterfly exhibit had nothing on the Butterflies @ the Peggy Norderbart, but was still cool to get in some shots. Times like these are really when you need a good AF Macro, becasue MF will just not cut it (Don't worry babe...I'm not buying another lens.)

Saturday, May 31, 2008

On a way to O'Hare International Airport

Walking through the neighborhood of Jefferson Park enjoying the flowers of backyards and the nature of local parks, my intent for silence will need to be accustomed to the loud birds that fly across form different angles within a minute of a distance.

”In 2005, the O'Hare International Airport had 972,246 aircraft operations, an average of 2,663 per day (64% scheduled commercial, 33% air taxi, 3% general aviation and <1% military).”Today, I felt like experience each one of them….


Friday, May 30, 2008

Water Tower Nights

View of Water Tower from John Handcock Building.
Toyo 4x5 View Camera
150mm f6.7 Caltar
Exposure Unknown

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Yet another wedding photo....

Sorry, I wanted to post from work today as I will be pretty busy tonite...So, last wedding photo...I promise.
Canon 40D
70-200 f2.8
f2.8 1/40 Sec @ ISO 800

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Convallaria - Lily of the Valley

Blooming flowers are the major indicators of the warm spring/summer weather that we long for during the winter times …

Convallaria majalis, commonly known as the Lily of the Valley, is the only species in the genus Convallaria in the flowering plant family Ruscaceae, formerly placed in the lily family Liliaceae or in its own family called Convallariaceae. This woodland plant is native throughout the cool temperate Northern Hemisphere in Asia and Europe and a limited native population in Eastern USA .


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Macro Monday - Life inside a Kaleidoscope!

Updates 5/27/08 @ 1:45 pm:
Sorry for the quick post this morning. This is actually the inside of one of my many kaleidoscopes. I've shot several of them, and my shorter ones (shorter then 7") seem to work better as the focus point is closer (& thus more macro!).
Canon 20D
Canon 50mm Macro with extention tube
f22 2 Sec @ ISO 400

Monday, May 26, 2008

Chicago Memorial Day

ChicagoMemorialDay, originally uploaded by focusedlight77.

Happy Memorial Day! I grabbed this one on Saturday downtown. I thought the parade was on Sunday or Monday, but they had it on Saturday...Who has a Memorial Day Parade TWO DAYS before Memorial Day??? Chicago, that's who.... doing there own thing since 1837.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Washington & Garland

Washington&Garland, originally uploaded by focusedlight77.

Sorry for the repost....Blogger image upload KILLS COLORS DEAD. I brought this image from flickr (notice the difference?) A little better...but not much. I wonder why my colors change so much from what I see in photoshop to after I upoad an image?

Washington & Garland

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Let it burn

Every once in a while I get in a restoration at work of something really amazing. This photo was brought to me by the Park Ridge Fire Department and was taken by Fire Prevention Officer Lieutenant Donald Pfister (I think). It might be hard to see in the small version, but the fire crew is enjoying a smoke & a quick bite to eat before getting to work on the house....A drill ofcourse!

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Vendor

If you have been to my website this one might look familiar. I took it last father's day when me & my sister took my Dad to the cubs game. It was a wonderful day & hopefully we can get some tickets to do the same thing again this year! Go Cubs!

Canon 20D
Canon 70-300 f4.5-5.6 IS
f5.6 1/60 Sec @ ISO 400

New Image tomorrow

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Canon 20D
Canon 70-200 f2.8IS
f2.8 1/30 Sec @ ISo 800

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

LSD Viaduct

Lake Shore Drive Viaduct @ Loyola University
Toyo 4x5 View Camera
Illford 100 Delta
f32 @ 2 Sec

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Crystal & Groomsmen

Sorry short on time this morning, another one from the wedding.... Thanks again Crystal & Joe!

Canon 40D
17-55 f2.8 IS
f8 1/200 Sec @ ISO 100

Monday, May 19, 2008

Macro Monday ~ Well Close-Up Monday Anyways!

I shot my first wedding on Friday. It went rather well, although it was MUCH harder then I anticipated. Now I see why the wedding photographers make the big bucks.
Thank you Crystal & Joe for allowing me to be apart of your very special day. And thanks Tim for allowing me to piggy back on your shoot, I had loads of fun and learned quite a bit!

Canon 40D
Canon FD 50mm f1.2 w/ EOS adapter
f1.2 1/125 Sec @ ISO 100

Friday, May 16, 2008

John Hancock

Michael has a way of taking pictures from a different angle, allowing us to look at things from a different perspective.

Monika on behalf of Michael.. while he's out doing his first wedding photography

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Chicago Avenue At Your Service

Just west of Michigan Avenue on Chicago Avenue, there is an interesting display of services for you to choose from once you exuasted your walk on Magnificent Mile. Take a break at the Beck's Book Store and head out for refreshments at Jimmy John's... Afterwards, if you're feeling "out of focus" stop by Starbucks for another round to help you get to your next destintion.

Commented by Monika on Michael's behalf (great shot babe)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Little Amsterdam

After two years, my neighbor & good friend Anna is closing her doors at Little Amsterdam Restaurant. They will be greatly missed... This just shows me once again that you need to SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESS!!! Boycott WALMAT!!!!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Y-Me 2008 Mother's Day Breast Cancer Run

Happy Mother's Day to my Mom & all mom's everywhere! After I had a great lunch with my Mother & G-Ma at their house I took a ride down to the Adler Planetarium to get this skyline pano.
This is a condensed version of a much larger actually almost twice as long.
Canon 40D
Canon 70-200 f2.8L IS
(x24) 2.5Sec Exposures @ f8
Visit Y-Me here.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Ok, you know I must be totally in grossed in GTA4 when I post one of Monika's COBOL photos...but still a great shot of one of my two favorite cats!

Friday, May 9, 2008

The Windy City

Sorry I haven't kept up with posting this week... Unfortunately GTA 4 came out this week & has eaten up ALL of my free time.

I took this one a couple weeks ago when Monika & I went down to Michigan Ave. They have a bunch of sculptures that all focus on the "wind" theme...I guess because we are the "windy" city... Does anyone know why they call Chicago the Windy City?

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

41 Tables

Chris's Billiards at 4637 N Milwaukee Ave is one of the locations where the Color of Money (with Tom Cruise & Paul Newman) was shot. This pool hall has been there for ever. I started going there with my Dad when I was a kid in the 80's when Chris's only had 18 tables. Chris's is one of my favorite "old" Chicago hangouts, and I'm looking forward to shooting there some more.

Canon 40D
11-18 Tamron f4-5.6
f8 Multiple Exposure HDR @ ISO 400

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

End of the line

Cement Factory on the North Branch of the Chicago River.

Canon 20D
Canon 17-55 2.8 IS
f22 ~ Multiple Exposures to HDR

Saturday, May 3, 2008

To All Trains

Sorry I haven't posted anything new in the last couple days...I haven't been feeling to well. But between sleeping & getting lost in GTA IV, I've managed to go though some of my old large format negs. I shot this one at Chicago's Union Station in 2004. I absolutely love the lines & the tonal range in this shot.... I hope you enjoy it too. New photos to follow tomorrow...I promise :-)
Toyo 4x5 View Camera
Ilford Delta 100
f32 @ 2 Sec

Friday, May 2, 2008


Ok, every Chicago photographer gets to have their ONE photo of the bean
(aka Cloudgate). This one's mine. This photo was taken the week Cloudgate was unvieled in July 2004 before the seems where buffed out.
Toyo 4x5 View Camera
Kodak TMax 100
f45 @ 2 minutes

Thursday, May 1, 2008


A merchant's booth outside Wrigley Field.
Canon 40D
Canon 17-55 f2.8 IS
f2.8 1/50 Sec @ ISO 800

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Best's Kosher

Monika Soltysik Copywrite © 2008

Monika & I went with my Mom, sister, Uncle John & Carmen to the Cubs game last night (Thanks for the great tickets Mom!). Even though the Cubs lost to the Brewers (...and we froze) we had a great time. I didn't really get any great shots last nite, but Monika got this one of the one vendors that I loved...Great use of DOF babe!

Canon 40D
Canon 70-200 2.8L IS
f2.8 1/125 Sec @ ISO 800

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman ~ Wright Collage Civil War Reenactment

Canon 20D
Canon 70-200 2.8L IS @ 200mm
f2.8 1/60 Sec @ ISO 100

Monday, April 28, 2008

Macro Monday

Ok, when I started this blog I promised myself NO CAT PHOTOS. So less then two weeks after I start posting, what do I post? A cat photo. A cool one...but still a CAT PHOTO! I shot this one over the winter of COBOL, one of my two cats... The other is named Java. If you don't get the relationship between the names, be thankful. You are not as much of a computer nerd as me.
Canon 20D
Canon FD 50mm Macro with EF Adapter & life size converter
f5.6 1/60 Sec @ ISO 800

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Ready...Aim... Fire!

I got this one at the Wright College Civil War reenactment. Monika & I took a ride over there on Sunday morning. It was a lot smaller then I expected, but fun all the same. I'll probally will post a few more photos from the event later on in the week.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Jefferson Park CTA Tunnel
Canon 40D
Tamron 11-18mm f4.5-5.6
f22 1.3 Sec @ ISO 400

Friday, April 25, 2008

Water Tower Place

This photo is of the lobby of Water Tower Place on Michigan Ave. I hadn't been there for a few years & it seems to be making a bit of a come back. Last time I was there it seemed like they were at less the 50% occupancy... In fact I know the owner of the Bang & Olufsen store that used to be located there. His rent for 1200 sq. ft. of space was $42,000 a month... That is over a half a million dollars a year. ON RENT!
Canon 20D
11-18 Tamron f4.5-5.6
f5 1/30 Sec @ ISO 400

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Any guesses?

I work at an old school camera shop right outside of Chicago. Usually I sit right in the front window of the store (on display but not for sale). Last fall a kindergarten teacher was walking her kids around the neighborhood looking at all of the store fronts & having her children guess what kind of store it was... Can you guess what kind of store this is?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Black & Wednesday

Police / City Worker Parking Garage ~ Milwakee & Central

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Komodo Dragon: Shedd Aquarium exhibit extended

The Shedd Aquarium has extended the Komodo Dragon exibit until the end of summer. Good news for Chicagoians as this is not an exibit you wanna miss!

Canon 20D
17-55 f2.8 IS
f5.6 1/25 Sec @ ISO 400

Monday, April 21, 2008

Macro Monday!

I just had to join Brookville Daily Photo & do a Macro Monday of my own. I took this one out in the alley on Saturday. I don't have a clue on what type of plant this is, so if you do please let me know. It's just starting to flower, so maybe I'll get a better idea in a couple weeks.

Canon 40DCanon
FD 50mm Macro with EOS Adapter & 2x ext. tube
f22 1/100 Sec @ ISO 800

Sunday, April 20, 2008

410 N. Michigan Avenue

Monika & I took a trip down to Michiagn Ave to take a stand against our local terrorists today. I REALLY felt like a tourist, but it was a lot of fun anyway...& I didn't get shot at once!

About the Photo:
"The Wrigley Building a located directly across Michigan Avenue from the Tribune Tower on Michigan Ave. It was built to house the corporate headquarters of the Wrigley Chewing Gum Company

When ground was broken for the Wrigley Building in 1920, there were no major office buildings north of the Chicago River and the Michigan Avenue Bridge, which spans the river just south of the building was still under construction. The land was selected by chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr. to headquarter his gum company. The building was designed by the architectural firm of Graham, Anderson, Probst & White using the shape of the Giralda tower of Seville's Cathedral combined with French Renaissance details. The 425 foot south tower was completed in April 1921 and the north tower in May 1924. Walkways between the towers were added at the ground level and the third floor. In 1931, another walkway was added at the fourteenth floor to connect to offices of a bank in accordance with a Chicago statute concerning bank branch offices. The two towers, not including the levels below Michigan Avenue, have a combined area of 453,433 square feet.

The two towers are of differing heights, with the south tower rising to 30 stories and the north tower to 21 stories. On the south tower is a clock with faces pointing in all directions. Each face is 19 feet 7 inches in diameter. The building is clad in glazed terra-cotta, which provides its gleaming white façade. On occasion, the entire building is hand washed to preserve the terra cotta. At night, the building is brightly lit with floodlights." ~ Taken From Wikipedia

Canon 20D
Canon 70-200 f2.8L IS
f22 1/60 Sec @ ISO 400

Friday, April 18, 2008

Blue Bagged it! ~ New image tomorrow

Kennedy Expressway ~ Jackson exit.
Recycled from 2/07 ~ New images to follow tomorrow.

Canon 20D
Canon17-55 f2.8IS
f11 10Sec @ ISO 100

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Mauyak, Miki, & Monika

Miki, a Beluga Whale, was born to Mauyak at the Shedd Aquarium last August. Miki means "little" in the Inuit language, but I doubt this baby will be little for long. When Miki is fully grown he could easily grow to over 13 feet and weigh more then 1,800 pounds. Currently Miki is estimated to be 6 feet long & weigh more then 250 pounds.Monika & I originally went to the Shedd in February see the Komodo Dragon, but Miki made a much better subject.

Canon 20D
17-55mm f2.8IS
f3.5 1/50 Sec @ ISO 1600

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Postman

4350 N Cicero Ave ~ Raffe's Record Riot
"The name is no misnomer. This shop offers real records (as in vinyl) with a riotous array of variety. Every make, moniker and condition is available here. Those of us who have updated our audio equipment with the times need not fret. It also offers several new and used titles on cassette and compact disc. Finally, make sure to check out the poster selection, which offers pictures of bands of local interest as well as the more standard issues that are requisite for any college hipster's dorm room." ~ Metromix

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Milwaukee Ave Overpass

Kennedy Expressway & Milwaukee Ave Overpass

Canon 40D
Tamron 11-18 @ 11mm
f22 15 Sec @ ISO 400

Monday, April 14, 2008

JPSP (Jefferson Park Self Portrait)

I don't get in the mood to do self portraits very often but when I saw this scene I couldn't resist... but don't get used to it.
Canon 40D
Tamron 11-18 @ 18mm
f5.6 1/2 Sec @ ISO 400

...that bike.

Yes that is a cymbal attached to his bike...

Canon 20D
Tamron 11-18 f4.5-5.6 @ 11mm
f4.5 1/1600 sec @ ISO 800

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The carrot & the stick

Finally! They may still all be packed, but I've unloaded the final box! Sorry for the delay in posting. I wish I could blame it on my internet setup, but we had it the day we moved in...I was just REALLY tired... So I've made a deal with myself. I promised myself if I didn't miss a day of posting for the next 3 months I would buy myself a Canon G9. It's really small & lite but still has most of the power of an SLR...A little pricey but a very Cool Camera to take with you when you don't feel like carrying the weight of an SLR.

Today we took a drive up Milwaukee Ave to the bend in the river, or where the North branch & the South branch of the Chicago River join up & flow to Lake Michigan. This photo is looking East to 333 W Wacker Dr.
"Developed in 1983 by Urban Investment and Development Co., 333 West Wacker was designed by Kohn Pederson Fox Associates and has received the National American Institute for Architects' National Best Design Award. The Class-A office tower, with its green curved glass design, overlooks the bend in the Chicago River where the river divides Wacker Drive into its north and west branches and also offers unmatched, unobstructed views of the Chicago skyline."

Canon 20D
Tamron 11-18 f4.5-5.6
f16 1/125 Sec @ ISO 100

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Still Moving....

Still packing up everything in Des Plaines...