I just got back from a trip to The Second City to watch my girlfriend graduate from the Naval Recruit Training Command (boot camp) and see her off to the next phase of training. I only had one day with her, so I was left with the city for two days after she flew out.

(all photos were shot and edited with an iPhone 6+)

An alleyway in the Loop.

Chicago is a city I’ve wanted to visit for most of my life. New York City and Los Angeles (where I grew up) are diametric opposites, both in geography and culture, but Chicago is what I picture when I say “city”: storied and dense, alive with the thrumming of the “L” and traffic pulses, watched by the timeless facades and architectural diversity. I stayed in Avondale and ventured out to the Loop, Chinatown, and the north shore, with a little bit of Lakeview for good measure.

The Ohio Street beach.

“The Corncobs”, or the Marina City complex.

Build enough skyscrapers over the years and you’re bound to get some pretty ones, but Chicago takes the cake when it comes to the downtown skyline. There are so many great-looking buildings downtown it’s hard to keep your vision (and your camera) focused on what’s ahead instead of above you. I’d love to go back and shoot them with a proper camera (though I think the 6+ did a fantastic job). As opposed to firing off photos willy-nilly, I tried my hand at proper composition and angle, and I think it paid off. Color was something I adjusted as needed - some needed a little extra contrast from black and white, or a little extra kick of color to wring out every drop from the image. Apple’s native editing tools (the Photos app) let me do that quickly and effectively.

Shoegazing on the Lake Front Trail, Northside.

Enjoying a violin concert in Millenium Park. I didn’t even mind paying $6 for a beer.

Going under the “L” in Lakeview.

One of the most impressive things was the public transit system (the CTA and CBA). I took the train downtown and both the train and bus back, but couldn’t get a decent interior shot of either. I really wanted a picture of the CTA logo, but it also eluded me.

The Red Line at the Lake Station, in the Loop.

I really enjoyed my time in Chicago. Hopefully I’ll return in the near future and explore this amazing city even more.

The Bean!

Touristy selfie.

The downtown skyline, shooting towards the west from Maggie Daley Park.