Chicago Skyline: Sunset and Beyond

There are several vantage points for a shot of the Chicago Skyline, but the Adler Planetarium is the widest and the best.  You can make your images at sunset, during the blue hour, or in complete darkness.  There may also be some sightseeing boats coming in at sunset,  and they are an interesting challenge to photograph.

Sunset: 8:27 PM (Sun below the horizon, orange and pink sky possible)

Twilight: 9:02 ("Blue hour", some light from the sun)

Nautical Twilight 9:46  (Completely dark, no moon)

Tripods are recommended for most shots, as well as a cable release. (If you don't have a cable release, the self timer will also work). You can create a single shot image using a wide angle lens, or capture details of the skyline with a telephoto lens.

If you want to shoot a panorama, this is probably the best place to create that kind of image.  With a short telephoto lens, I use about 8-10 shots to create the final product.  Tripod required.

HDR will give you wonderful results for your skyline shots, but plan on long exposures under low light conditions.  Tripods required.  If you want to get really fancy, you can make an HDR panorama.

Let's hope for clear or partly cloudy skies for a great sunset!

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  • Jeff C.

    Clouds and rain. Better luck next time. Thanx to all for coming.

    June 17

  • Dennis K

    It was a good experience. I neglected to bring a few little equipment items. Next time I will be better prepared.Thanks Jeff for the evening

    June 17

  • Paulie ".

    Too bad the lightning put a damper on things.

    June 16

  • Mark H.

    Anybody around?

    June 16

  • Julia

    Sorry I can't make it tonight ... Have fun!

    June 16

  • Sheri

    I so wish I could go to this but I will be out of town :/

    June 13

  • Jeff C.

    There are three pretty distinct lighting situations: Sunset and dusk, with color in the sky, lasts about 15 minutes; Blue Hour is not really an hour, but can be really cool; and darkness, which has the highest contrast against the building lights. The whole affair takes about 90 minutes.

    June 8

  • Julia

    I'll come early, leave early ...

    June 8

  • Dennis K

    Many thanks for the information. I will save my quarters.

    June 3

  • Randy B.

    Parking is available, bring quarters 1hr parking 8 quarters. The parking machine only takes Visa, Master Card, or cash.

    June 3

  • Dennis K

    I will be driving into Chicago. Is there convenient Planetarium parking?

    June 2

    • Michelle

      Yes but I think you have to pay. It's been awhile I can't remember

      June 2

  • Simô Abkal I.

    May 29

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