Photographing abandoned buildings is one of my great loves; the other is photographing winter. Unlike so many of my camera-loving peers, I don't get depressed when winter hits, I get giddy. When it snows, I resent having to be at work instead of Out There where the beauty is. So, when the first polar vortex of 2014 hit Chicago and I had to work, and then I saw the beautiful photographs that others were able to capture trickle in on my newsfeed, I was frustrated and despondent. "If there's another vortex," I swore, "I will take a day off work to photograph it!"
So, when the weather reports suggested a possible low of -22 on Tuesday, January 28th, 2014 I could not resist. I scheduled the day off and rose at 5 a.m. to rush down to North Avenue Beach. It wasn't as cold as they'd predicted (only -11), but the wind chills were probably in the -35 range. I was fully decked out with multiple layers, a newly-purchased balaclava over my face, and warm gloves. My camera was fully charged and I was ready for the show. When it gets this cold, Lake Michigan "steams" - which adds an otherworldly beauty to an already gorgeous lakefront. I was in awe as I watched the colors unfurl and was reminded, again, why I love this city (and winter).
After the sun rose, I drove down to 39th Street Beach and capped off my morning at Promontory Point. In every location something stunning greeted me.
Then I went home and slept the rest of day after "catching a chill," as they used to say. But it was worth it! I hope you agree.