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© Ute Reckhorn

© Ute Reckhorn

Jim Nix | Trio 28 Chicago Travel photography

  • 3 min read

If you read my last write-up about using the Lensbaby Trio 28 on my travels (which was used on a trip to London in that article), then you will know that I absolutely adore this tiny little thing. Its perfect for my shooting style and usual subject matter. To clarify, I love to shoot in cities after sunset (either at blue hour or after dark), using the ambient city light to illuminate my photos (though of course I take daytime photos, too). And I LOVE shooting street scenes and cityscapes - in fact, those are my favorite subjects.

So when we decided to take a family trip to Chicago, I knew this lens was going to get another workout. And boy did it - I never took it off my camera! As a family trip, I did not bring all my usual trappings - wide angle lens, zoom lens, tripod and all that stuff that usually fills up my bag.

Instead I just brought a small shoulder bag with my camera, the Lensbaby and my other small prime lens, the Sony 28mm f/2. And while I adore that Sony lens, I never even used it. It sat in the hotel room the entire trip. I just walked around all week with the Lensbaby and fired away blissfully. It was wonderful.

Even though I have never actually photographed Chicago (though I have been many times), I didn't feel like I missed out on anything because of my exclusive use of the Lensbaby (as you may know, there is a specific look this lens creates, where there is a lot of bokeh on the image edges, so everything is not in focus). Instead, I feel like I captured images that I would otherwise miss.

I also like that the images are much different than my usual fare, and (hopefully, at least) much different than anything else that thousands of other people have captured there. Because lets face it - like any large city, Chicago has been photographed and photographed and photographed. Without a significant investment of time (which I didn't have), as well as a healthy dose of luck in terms of the sunsets/weather (which is always questionable in Chicago - it snowed on us one day...see what I mean?), how could I expect to really capture some amazing shots there? I had to try something different in order to get some shots that would really make me happy.

And thats exactly what happened. I find that what I captured with my Lensbaby Trio on that trip really does make me happy. Obviously I love the look this lens creates, but I also find that I am looking at things a bit differently, with a more creative eye, and that helps quite a bit, too.

In short, the Lensbaby is giving me a creative outlet that I can tap into without having to wait until I get home and start editing the photos. They feel and look fresh and creative right out of the camera, and I love that about the Lensbaby. In fact my usual processing for them is much simpler and the quicker than what I would normally do for my traditional shots. I just do some minor adjustments in Lightroom and Im done.