Capture Chicago Photography Cruise

Posted on July 19, 2018

By: @cuadlens

When mentioning Chicago to people that don’t live here, their first thoughts are usually about deep dish pizza, hot dogs and Michael Jordan. Not everyone realizes Chicago is photographer’s dream. From catching sunsets at Milton Lee Olive Park to shooting street photography along LaSalle Street to flying your drone and catching great aerial shots of the city’s iconic architecture. Chicago's photography community is as strong as any other city

The best way to truly capture Chicago is by taking the 9am Capture Chicago Photography Cruise. The cruise was designed with the photographer in mind and is a twist on the popular Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise. With an earlier morning departure, the cruise gives you perfect light to play with, making your photos really stand out. Fascinating commentary from CAF-certified docents tells you the stories behind the buildings and sights you are capturing.

I hopped aboard one of the cruises recently to experience Chicago from a new perspective. Here I break down some of the different views you can capture including my favorite spot and the most Instagram worthy.

Capture Chicago Photography Cruise: Saturdays and Sundays, May 19 - October 7, 2018

​ My Favorite spot

When the boat reaches the Wolf Point area, there are so many different directions you can look. My absolute favorite spot is when the boat is heading from the north branch to the south branch and it times up perfectly with the train passing by the Lake Street bridge. To me it shows a few things that Chicago is known for - its magnificent blend of architecture, the “L” and of course, the river cruise.

Most iconic

Is there anything more Chicago than the Sears...err Willis Tower? Chicago’s tallest and most well-known building is truly a sight to see. One of the best parts about the river cruise is when the boat turns around at River City and then you get to lay your eyes on this beautiful structure. It’s truly a sight that will make you reach for your camera - whether that’s a DSLR or your phone.

The one people miss

When coming up on this part of the tour, people will most often start taking pictures of the lifted bridge - the Kinzie Street railroad bridge. And for good reason. The history of it and the way it looks calls for you to start snapping pictures. What most people miss is the background that accompanies this bridge. It’s a great representation of Chicago’s evolution and the modern architecture that has sprouted in recent years. Catch it on a good day with some cool clouds and this makes for an incredible photo opportunity worthy of hanging up in your living room.

Best Skyline view

When the boat heads east towards Lake Michigan it will turn around right before getting to the locks. This is the best opportunity to capture Chicago’s skyline during the tour. It gives great depth with Lake Shore Drive bridge at the front and all the buildings right behind it. One thing that I find very interesting is with all the construction going on, you can take a picture from this spot, come back a year later and it will look completely different.

​Most Instagram Worthy

If you don’t upload pictures of the cruise on Instagram, did you really go on it? To give your followers the proof they need, this is the picture that will make the biggest impression. It’s Chicago at its finest. The bridges, the buildings, the Riverwalk and if you’re lucky enough, you may catch a train going by the Wells Street bridge. I’m not saying you will go viral when you share this picture, but your followers will appreciate it and give you some hearts.