This week, Tina has chosen Serenity as the topic for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. Whenever I hear the word serenity I always think of the peace and tranquility of the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Bartlett. Both inside and out, the atmosphere here is quite serene. I especially like to hear the gentle chanting inside the Mandir during prayer ceremonies and the tinkling of the little bells at the top of the towers. These pictures were taken on a cold, sunny day in March of last year.
This week, Patti has chosen Street Art as the subject for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge so I decided to revisit my trip to downtown Chicago for the Air & Water Show last summer. There is always so much to see in the city and you can bet you will come across some street art in one form or another. Thirty-three of these brightly-painted police dogs, placed mostly along the Magnificent Mile, helped to raise money for the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation.
This week, Amy has chosen Architecture as the topic for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. I like to visit historic houses when we go traveling so there are lots of building images in the photo files but for this challenge I decided to go with just a few examples of architecture close to home that, for me, stand out in the crowd. The first building is the Ward W. Willits House in Highland Park, Illinois, designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright in 1901.
Next up is the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Bartlett, Illinois. This place always takes my breath away, it’s so beautiful! And the facts and figures involved in the building of this architectural marvel are mind-boggling. The limestone and marble stones were quarried in Turkey and Italy and shipped to India where 70,000 cubic feet of stone was carved by 2,000 craftsmen. 40,000 pieces were then shipped to Bartlett where they were fitted together over a period of 16 months.
I love the architecture in Evanston and especially on the Campus of Northwestern University. Perhaps it’s because it reminds me a little bit of the college towns back home.
Another impressive piece of architecture that incorporates all kinds of symbolism is the Baha’i House of Worship in Wilmette, Illinois.
One of the wonderful things about downtown Chicago is the diversity of its architecture, an interesting blend of the ornate past with the bold lines of present-day designs.
From mighty projects to children’s playthings, construction is in full swing for Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge this week. You don’t have to go too far to come across construction of one kind or another in downtown Chicago. Onward and upward!
It was an extremely gloomy day when we visited Heartland of America Park in Omaha and I was finding it difficult to get enthusiastic about taking pictures. I was desperate for some color but it wasn’t until we were about to leave when the familiar bright yellow of a construction crane, down by the railroad tracks, caught my eye (which is rather ironic considering I’m using this picture in a black & white photo challenge.)
Why is it that so often when we visit places of interest they’re undergoing renovation or repair! Imagine traveling hundreds if not thousands of miles to take a picture of something only to find that it’s swathed in scaffolding! Of course, these days with modern technology at our fingertips, we can visit websites ahead of time to make sure everything is as it should be, but years ago photographers didn’t have the benefit of Google.
One can imagine Felix Bonfils arriving at the Sphinx at Giza after a long and exhausting journey only to be told that they’d ‘got the builders in.’
“Sorry about this, mate, but someone knocked a bit more off his conk last week and we’ve had to bring the scaffolders over from one of the pyramids, although frankly I don’t know what they expect us to do about it.” Bonfils would throw his tripod down in the sand in a fit of Gallic fury and mutter, “Sacre bleu!”
Fortunately, the Old Courthouse wasn’t our only reason for visiting St. Louis, although we did get a good view of the work in progress from the top of the Arch.
Sometimes construction can involve a bit of destruction too. Is it the child in us that enjoys watching things being knocked down? I made sure to take some pictures when they demolished the old village hall in Arlington Heights to make room for the new, much larger one.
Maybe some of the operators of these giant cranes, bulldozers and mechanical claws got their start at the Kohl Children’s Museum in Glenview. I imagine many a tot’s hand that eagerly grasped the controls in this construction exhibit has gone on to bigger things, perhaps even the next giant skyscraper in downtown Chicago.
For more on Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge go to Anything Construction Related.
This week, Cee has chosen Black & White as the colors for her Fun Foto Challenge. These days it’s relatively easy to convert images to black & white provided you have the right picture. Finding pictures of things that are primarily black & white without doing any kind of manipulation was rather more difficult but here are some random shots that seemed to fit the bill. I took several pictures of the young man playing the xylophone but although this one wasn’t necessarily the best, I chose it because I noticed that the woman crossing the street behind him was also wearing a black & white shirt.
For more on Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge go to Black and White
I’m a city girl at heart and although I’ve lived in the suburbs for many years now, there’s nothing I love better than a trip downtown, which is why I was so pleased to see the subject for this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Cityscapes. Many thanks to Patti for providing us with this challenge. Although I was born in London, I now live near another great city, Chicago, which is where these images were captured.
For more on the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge go to Cityscapes.
This week, Nancy Merrill’s topic for the Photo A Week Challenge is bridges. My daughter always had a horror of crossing bridges, especially in a car, and would close her eyes tightly if we were going over an especially long one. I don’t know how she manages, now that she’s a mom who has to do all the driving. I imagine it’s still a white-knuckle experience but hopefully she keeps her eyes open. It isn’t always easy to plan a trip without crossing some kind of bridge or other. Rather like life, you cross that bridge when you come to it.
The Serpentine and Zigzag bridges at the Chicago Botanic Garden.
Crossing the Mississippi River in Cairo, Illinois.
A bridge across the train tracks in Milwaukee, part of the Hank Aaron State Trail in Wisconsin.
Crossing the mighty Mackinac Bridge in Michigan.
For more on Nancy’s Photo A Week Challenge go to Bridges.