Category Archives: Weather

Scenes from Foster Beach

A colony of seagulls floating in the wind, as waves crash against the shore of Foster Beach in Edgewater, Chicago - Photography by Michael Courier

A colony of seagulls floating in the wind, as waves crash against the shore.

The above photo was taken on the south shore of Foster beach in Edgewater. It was a blustery day and a group of kids were feeding the birds (which, honestly, you’re not supposed to do). After being fed, they decided to hang out in the gusts of wind for a few moments and I was able to capture this scene. In total, I counted 53 seagulls in this image.

A minimalist horizon, moments before sunset - Photography by Michael Courier

A peaceful moment, right before sunset.

Light reflects on the shallow surface near the shore of Foster Beach. Patterns created by the waves can be seen below - Photography by Michael Courier

Patterns in the sand created by the waves.

I wandered into the water with my camera—and by doing so—created minor panic attacks for myself. The water was rather shallow and the waves were minimal, so I stopped freaking out when I found these cool textures below the surface. I love how there are two textures at play: the ones in the sand and the ones created by the light.

Wispy, near-psychedelic clouds shortly after sunset - Photography by Michael Courier

Wispy, colorful clouds at dusk—with a tiny crescent moon trying to hide.

A two-shot panorama created at dawn, at Foster Beach in Edgewater, Chicago - Photography by Michael Courier

A two-shot panorama taken at dawn from the shore of Foster Beach.

With my phone, I make panoramas often. With my professional camera? Not so much. I’ve been wanting to make a sunrise photo like this for awhile. When I lived in Lincoln Park, I would wake up often to photograph the sunrise. Lately, I’ve been wanting to make more personal images for myself, rather than a client. It’s been a busy summer and I’ve been bad at making time to explore nature photography.

After watching the weather for a few days, I found a day that worked with my schedule. And it paid off! I’m really happy with how this turned out and it was even better to witness in person. I’m thankful the clouds cooperated for me.

A two-shot panorama created shortly after sunrise, at Foster Beach in Edgewater, Chicago - Photography by Michael Courier

A two-shot panorama taken shortly after sunrise, from the shore of Foster Beach.

This was taken the same morning as the previous panorama, but nearly 30 minutes later when the sun finally broke the horizon. What I love most about dusk/dawn and sunrises/sunsets is that the light and color change so rapidly.

It may sound cheesy, but I find comfort witnessing those moments. Especially sunrises in Chicago. There are fewer people out at that time, and everything seems more peaceful.

View from Londonhouse Chicago

The view from Londonhouse Chicago - The roof on the 22nd floor of Londonhouse Chicago offers a great view of the river and Marina City

I don’t normally post vertical images this big on my site, but the view is way more dynamic when it’s viewed in a larger size. This was taken right at twilight on June 8th, 2016 from the rooftop bar at Londonhouse Chicago.

The view from Londonhouse Chicago - The roof on the 22nd floor of Londonhouse Chicago offers a great view of the river and Marina City

In reverse chronological order, this was taken a little bit before sunset.

The view from Londonhouse Chicago - The roof on the 22nd floor of Londonhouse Chicago offers a great view of the river and Marina City

A detail image of Marina City before sunset. The way the light bounced off the buildings and highlighted the pattern is what caught my eye.

The view from Londonhouse Chicago is awesome, especially at sunset. I took these images two nights ago while I photographed a private event at the rooftop bar.

A Bunch of Cellphone Photos

Cellphone photographs taken with an iPhone 6s by Michael Courier - Waves at Foster Beach in Chicago

Waves at Foster Beach in Chicago near Sunset.

Cellphone photographs taken with an iPhone 6s by Michael Courier - Reflections taken in Chicago

Reflections on glass: Taken at the Art Institute of Chicago’s member section (left) and taken at the Marriott Hotel on Michigan Avenue in Chicago (right).

Cellphone photographs taken with an iPhone 6s by Michael Courier - Lines

Reflection in a puddle taken in downtown Chicago (left) and a photograph of light lines and clouds taken in my hometown before taking the train back to Chicago (right).

Cellphone photographs taken with an iPhone 6s by Michael Courier - Patterns in Architecture

Patterns in Architecture: The glass dome at the Chicago Cultural Center (left) and the pattern of a building near the Art Institute of Chicago (right).

Cellphone photographs taken with an iPhone 6s by Michael Courier - Architecture in Chicago

Taken with the same view, but from outside of the Art Institute of Chicago (left) and from inside the museum (right). You can make out the Willis Tower through the curtains.

Cellphone photographs taken with an iPhone 6s by Michael Courier - Waves and Fog at Foster Beach in Chicago

Fog and waves at Foster Beach.

Cellphone photographs taken with an iPhone 6s by Michael Courier - Listen to the cat roar

Pretty flowers and The Intern letting out a giant roar.

Cellphone photographs taken with an iPhone 6s by Michael Courier - Family fun on Mother's Day

My mom and my niece on Mother’s Day.

Cellphone photographs taken with an iPhone 6s by Michael Courier - Waves at Foster Beach in Chicago

Waves at Foster Beach in Chicago.

I recently bought a new cellphone. Not because I needed it—though I did need a new one—but because my old one died. How, you ask? Well, mainly because it wasn’t waterproof. More specifically, it wasn’t giant freaking wave proof.

Since moving from Lincoln Park to Edgewater, I’ve recalibrated my nature obsession. My old passion used to be the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool or the North Pond, but those are a bit farther away now. Now I’m obsessed with Foster Beach and Lake Michigan.

So while obsessing over the perfect wave photo on a blustery evening, I got a little too close to the lakefront edge when a wave crashed over me, soaking my body and my phone. Though it was a financial bummer that my phone died, it meant that I would get a new model with an awesomely better camera.

I bought one of the latest iPhone models, the 6s. This isn’t an Apple fanboy post, though I am fond of Apple products. This is more about the amazement of cameraphone technology from a photographer’s perspective. Though I worked with film as a kid, I sorta grew up with digital cameras. My mom bought me a Fujifilm FinePix 2mp camera as a gift in high school—and I loved that thing—though it’s a crappy camera by today’s standard.

It’s amazing that, in my pocket, I have a 12mp camera with decent quality that I can manually control. I can set the ISO, the shutter, and the aperture, while also adjusting the white balance. With another app, I can add color and contrast adjustments, while also cropping the image to make it stronger. It’s great, and it also makes telephone calls.

Is it better than my dSLR? Heck no. But it’s pretty good though, for a cameraphone.