Tower up!

The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and SkyRise Chicago 2009.  When RIC contacted me to photograph the annual run up the Willis Tower I instantly knew that I could check off one more thing on my list of ‘interesting Chicago experiences’.  Although it did take me a moment or two when I thought, “Willis Tower?  Where the heck is that?” before I remembered that the Sears Tower changed it’s name.

This really was quite a spectacle of physical endurance.  About 1000 people run all the way up the 103 floors of the tower.  Well, to be honest, many of them walked.  But that’s still a whole lot of climbing.  One of the most challenging things for me was the location.  I mean, stairwells aren’t pretty, spacious, or interesting.  How was I going to creatively capture the runners in such a cramped space?  I stuck with a wide angle lens for most of it, and allowed some blur to convey motion.

There were some pretty inspiring stories throughout the day.  Seven firefighters walked all the way up wearing their uniforms to honor the firefighters that did the say thing in the towers during 9/11.   Those helmets alone way 5 1/2 pounds.  Imagine that for a minute.  I did a bunch of running up and down in small sections carrying my camera gear and I was hurting.  But I couldn’t complain after watching those guys.

At the top some of the patients of RIC were there to hand out the medals.

Once the hoopla started to subside I couldn’t resist taking one shot of myself standing in the new plexiglass ledge that they built off the edge of the observation deck.  That’s 103 stories- straight down :) 

A fellow photographer and friend, Joanne, helped me cover this event.  While I was shooting things up top, she was at the bottom.  RIC has created a page with many other photos that we took this day.  You can see them here:
RIC SkyRise images

Lellbach Builders

Congratulations to Doug & Debra Lellbach at Lellbach Builders.  I’ve known them for years, but this is the first time we’ve worked together on a project.  I took some architectural photographs for them of one of their remodeling projects.  They needed the photos to enter in the 2009 Qualified Remodeler Master Design Awards contest.  I’m happy to say that they received 2 Master Design awards- the Gold Award and the Best Of Show for projects under $250,000!

Since I’m sure some of you didn’t renew your subscription to Qualified Remodeler Magazine you might have missed the spread on them in the October issue.  But I’ll provide the link to an online version here:
Remodeler Magazine

Plus you can see a few different variations of these images in the ‘Architectural’ section on my website.

Naperville Gift Cards

Downtown Naperville has a very popular gift certificate program in place.  And the certificates are good in almost all the stores and restaurants in the downtown area.  I know I’ve used them before for people when I didn’t know what else to get.  Well now they’re moving away from the old system, and instead they’ll be using a new gift card which will be similar to the common credit card systems you see in many stores.

I took the photos that they’ll be using to promote the new program.  You should be seeing the images soon in newspapers, local magazines, and on the big placard near the front of Hugos Frog Bar.  I don’t often get a chance to do much macro work.  But it’s something that I enjoy, and I had a good time with these.