Lake Point Tower

Nice Curves

I am not sure why I like this building so much, but Lake Point Tower, in Chicago just off of Nave Pier really caught my attention. It was early morning just after taking this shot of Navy Pier and walking to get some coffee that I saw the early morning light reflected off of this curvacious building. While most photos of the structure you will see look black, the reflective nature of all these windows made the building look truly golden. I actually took this zoomed further out, but ended up liking a tighter and more abstract crop.

Welcome to Palmer House

Grand Hotels

I love a grand old hotel. There is a detail to the construction that is often missing in today’s glossy lodging. When I think of luxury, esteem, indulgence, I think of some of the nicest old hotels I have visited. Sometimes when you get all the small details right – the right location, outfit, company etc – you feel elevated (I always thing of James Bond). This always leads me to these grand old temporary residences when I travel. The problem is, as with people, often they aren’t too thrilled for someone to be taking their picture.

Architectural Paparazzo

I have found that if you ask, and people are unsure, often the answer is, “No Pictures!” I tend to not ask and if challenged, apologize profusely while making a quick exit. On my visit to the exquisite lobby of the world famous Palmer House in Chicago, Illinois, no one seemed to care that I was there. I of course try to be an unobtrusive as possible on my visits. Palmer House is a wonderfully located hotel, if you are in the area, absolutely check it out!

The Tiffany Skylight of Chicago

Missed Opportunities

I have been to Chicago a good number of times. I have even been by the Chicago Cultural Center and never gone in. I like culture, probably more than the next guy, but I always assumed the Chicago Cultural Center was a boring meeting space and not worth my time. Pamela and my mother-in-law happened to stop on a trip and she was emphatic that I visit on my next photography trip to the windy city. She had my attention at Tiffany Skylight.

Massive Light

The Preston Bradley Hall contains what is reported to be the largest Tiffany Dome in the world. The entire building is built from carved marble and hand laid mosaic tile work. If you are in the general area of Millennium Park, stop by the Chicago Cultural Center. I plan on going back next time I am there!

The Civic Opera House


I am no stranger to performance. I was never an actor, but I did grow up performing music. Whether piano or voice, I spend a good deal of time onstage as a youngster.

Walking Downtown

I was headed from the Blue line stop toward Millennium Park in Chicago when I saw this lovely building. I stopped to take a few pictures, it serves as the Civic Theater and Opera house, one of the largest in the country. As I moved on I crossed the river. Then I started wondering, Why did I just cross the river? I had been walking the wrong way! I turned around and walked back the way I came, “losing” nearly an hour. Serendipity lead me to this place, and somehow I am most always rewarded for taking the road less traveled. Even when that road seems like a mistake at the time. Besides when you blunder on stage, you just keep going like nothing was ever wrong, and perhaps it never actually was.

Sunrise at Navy Pier

Good Morning

Some of the best light imaginable is at sunrise. There is another great thing about sunrise special to us photographers…you can get a shot without people. Almost everywhere I go, this is the secret to shots without throngs of tourists. Just get up at 4am, get to your location, wait for the sun to come up…BAM great photo. The only problem with this is much like everyone else in the world, I have a horrible time getting up early enough to be present for the sunrise. On the day I took this photo, I was up at 4am, rode the train into the city for an hour and braved a pretty blustery Chicago AM all without coffee for the first two hours. Of course I was rewarded with this view. Maybe I need to work on becoming more of a morning person.

Palmer House

Walking the Streets of Chicago

On my last trip to Chicago, I got a bit of time just to roam the streets downtown. It was a great day for a photowalk and I had a great time just meandering. Often carrying a camera makes you a target for all sorts of harassment. The police these days seem to be overly suspicious of why anyone would want to take a picture of anything. People get mad if you get in their way or stop on the sidewalk for a look around (stupid tourists). On this trip I was yelled at by a guy asking for a bus fare. He repeatedly told me, “I’m not a bum!”. To which I said I was sorry I didn’t have any cash. He cursed at me and stormed off muttering something about my wallet full of cash. Obviously he doesn’t know about the airline mile earning credit cards I used to get to Chicago in the first place. Really sir…I don’t carry any cash.


I took this shot of the Historic Palmer House Marquee. Little did I realize at the time I missed an awesome photo opportunity inside as the lobby is apparently gorgeous.

The Windy Skyline from Millennium Park


I was in Chicago, IL recently for a frequent flyer conference (I know…I know) and had a great time at the event. The first day I had a few hours so I took the Blue Line from O’Hare to downtown Chicago and spent a few hours roaming around Millennium Park. I took this from the foot bridge pointed back to the city with my back to the lake. It was a cool October day and I am not sure I was really prepared. After a few hours I was back on the train to O’Hare, only to come back into the city later that night (see Holy Cow!). For some reason this photo really reminds me of SimCity.

Site Updates

I have been working on the site at a furious pace. The major design elements are in place and I feel better about this site and its design that any of my previous works. I really want to make BatteredLuggage a great place for people to come for HDR travel photography. Plus, it’s just a really fun place to show some of the work I have been doing. Thanks for coming and I hope you will follow us in the future!

Holy Cow!

Brotherhood of the Traveling Pants

I have been traveling a bit lately; Paris, Chicago, Kansas City, Berne, Indiana. I love being on the move when the move takes me interesting places to photograph. Paris is a smorgasbord of picture taking opportunity. Everywhere you look there is something great to capture. I have been working very slowly on processing the Parisian photos…I know lots of people have been asking for a look. Not to worry, in the 2000 or so photos I took I think there are a few that I will be posting in the future.

Holy Cow!

On a recent trip to Chicago I met up with photographers Aaron Nace and Christopher Allen and had a really interesting night. Both guys are incredibly talented and a frankly quite a bit of fun to spend an evening with. We ended up at a very odd bar and in the middle of eating I turned around and noticed this guy over the door. I have to say…I think he may have summed up the whole night.