HIDDEN CONFESSIONS, CHICAGO: Chicago is one of my favourite cities. I love to wander around and mostly shoot the beautiful architecture. People watching is also fun and I grabbed this shot on my way back from Marina City, just up river from the plaza where the photo was taken. Shot handheld with a Nikon D3100 with a Nikkor 18-200mm lens at 120mm, f14, 1/60 sec., ISO 800. Photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography
MARINA TOWERS AND HOUSE OF BLUES, CHICAGO: I love walking around Chicago with my camera. Beautiful and iconic architecture abounds. One of… or should I say two of… my favourite buildings are the Marina Towers at Marina City. They are affectionately known as the “corncobs”. The buildings sit on a platform that also holds a concert hall… Chicago’s famous House of Blues. Beneath the assembly of buildings is a pleasure craft marina, right on the river. The $36M buildings were opened in 1964. In addition to the residential towers and music hall, when opened, the site included shopping, a theatre, bowling, gym, ice rink and other amenities. The first 19 floors of each tower is for parking for almost 900 cars. The 20th floor houses the laundry facilities. Floors 21 to 60 house 450 apartment units, converted to condominiums in 1977. Real estate listings in January 2013 included 2 bedroom units for $465,000 and larger one bedroom units for $300,000.
Shot handheld with a Nikon D3100 with a Nikkor 18-200mm lens at 125mm, f5, 1/125 sec., ISO 400. Photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography
ON THE HIGHWAY TO ALASKA FROM THE YUKON: It is a beautiful drive from Carcross, Yukon to Skagway, Alaska. Originally, the route was called the Carcross Road and then became part of the Alaska Highway during the Second World War. That highway was developed at a frantic pace in wartime. It has also served the mining industry well, but today is largely used for tourist traffic during the busy summer months. Stop anywhere along the road and you are sure to take in a breathtaking vista.
Shot handheld with a Nikon D300 with a Nikkor 10-24mm lens at 12mm, f11 1/500 sec., ISO 500. Photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography
OLD AND NEW TALL BUILDINGS, CHICAGO: Chicago is one of my favourite American cities. I particularly like the careful mix of old and newer architecture and the pride Chicagoans have in their built heritage. There is lots of information on-line that is worth checking out to learn more about the architectural beauty of America’s “Second City.” Chicago Architecture Foundation is a great site and has excellent information about architectural tours. Chicago Architecture Info is another great source of information about Chicago buildings. A View on Cities is a website that features very good basic information about architecture in the great cities of the world. The site contains lots of information about Chicago’s buildings, including photos, year of construction, height, etc. Good for identifying buildings.
Shot handheld with a Nikon D3100 with a Nikkor 18-200mm lens at 130mm, f5.6, 1/1250 sec., ISO 800. Photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography
FALLEN, CHICAGO, U.S.A.: Chicago is among my most favourite American cities. Architecturally, it is one of the most interesting and diverse anywhere. The restaurant scene is fantastic. Public spaces and parks abound. And, like any major metropolitan city, there is also a significant homeless population. Click here for more information about Chicago’s Homeless statistics.
Shot handheld with a Nikon D3100, Nikkor 18-200mm lens at 65mm, f5, 1/160 sec., ISO 500. Photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography
CANOE ART IN CHICAGO: The Navy Pier in Chicago is one of the most popular destinations for tourists and visitors to the Windy City. It has lots of fun things for families— amusement park rides, boat tours, music and food. It also hosts excellent art, including the Smith Museum of Stained Glass (really worth a visit and home to some of the most spectacular stained glass art in America) and beautiful outside art. In the summer of 2012, I was captivated by Nancy Rubins’ installation called “Monochrome II Chicago.” I photographed the work at various times during a recent visit to Chicago. My favourite time was late in the day when the evening sun added some golden touches to the aluminum canoes. I shot from many angles and particularly liked this one. The odd angles of the canoes against the geometric patterns in the Lake Point Tower provided a contrast in shapes that I found very powerful.
Shot handheld with a Nikon D3100 with a Nikkor 18-200mm at 112mm f8, 1/60 sec, 800 ISO. Photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography
CAPITOL DOME AND FRESCO, WASHINGTON, D.C.: True story… Several years ago, while in Rome, Italy, I was standing near St. Peter’s Square late in the evening. An American couple and their two children pulled up in a taxi and got out. They approached me, nodding to the dome, asking me if “that” (St. Peter’s Basilica) was the American embassy. First time outside of America, I’d guess.
The Capitol building dome in Washington does, of course, resemble the great Roman basilica. It has inspired countless other domes across the world. Washington D.C.’s Capitol dome is made of cast iron and weighs 8,909,200 lbs. The interior of the dome, as seen from the floor in these two photos, features a fresco painted by an Italian called Constantino Brumidi in 1865. The painting is called The Apotheosis of Washington. The painting depicts George Washington becoming a god (apotheosis) during America’s revolutionary war. Washington is draped in the royal colour purple. Forming a circle are 13 maidens, each with a star above her head, to represent the 13 original American colonies. And, above Washington’s head, is the banner E Pluribus Unum which means “out of many, one.”
Photos by John Ecker | pantheon photography
Top photo: Shot handheld with a Nikon D300, Nikon AFS 10-24mm lens at 10mm,1/60 sec., f5, ISO 640
Botton photo: Shot handheld with a Nikon D40X, Nikon AFS 18-200 lens at 170mm, 1/40 sec, f7.1, ISO 800
Each year, at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, we pause to remember those Canadians who died in service to their country. We’ll wear poppies or forget-me-nots. We’ll think about loved ones lost or maybe relatives we never met because they made the supreme sacrifice.
Over these past almost 100 years since wearing a poppy started as a Canadian tradition, approximately 115,000 Canadians have died in war and military service: First World War, 66,665; Second World War, 46,998; Korea, 516; Peacekeeping, 121; Afghanistan, 154. As a percentage of population, in the First World War, almost 1% (.92%) of Canada’s population was lost to war. In the United States it was .13% and the United Kingdom 2.19%. In the Second World War, .40% of Canada’s population was lost to war. In the United States, .32% and the United Kingdom .94%.
Shot handheld with a Nikon D40x, Nikon AFS 70-300 lens at 300mm, f10, 1/250 sec. ISO 1600. Photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography
Palm Frond, Conservatory of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography
CONSERVATORY OF FLOWERS, GOLDEN GATE PARK, SAN FRANCISCO: I like to find and photograph interesting patterns. This palm frond (I think it’s a palm frond) was in the conservatory when I visited there. I thought the natural light made for a stunning shot. The conservatory is one of the top features in Golden Gate Park. It’s been classified as a national and state historic landmark. Little wonder. It was opened in 1879 and is made of wood and glass— the oldest of its kind in the Western Hemisphere. It’s a living museum, home to about 1700 species from more than 50 countries. The Conservatory is definitely worth a visit when you are in San Francisco.
Shot handheld with a Nikon D300, Nikkor 16-85 AF-S lens at 65mm, f 7.1, 1/80 second, ISO 1250. Photo by John Ecker, Pantheon Photography