Capturing the Leaders of the Pack at the Chicago Marathon 2018


Britain’s Mo Farah, the eventual winner of Chicago Marathon 2018 leading the pack of runners at Mile 1


Eventual winner Brigid Koskei of Kenya (the one with the extended leg at the lead) trying to get away from the elite women runners at Mile 1

Photographing the elite runners at Mile 1 of today’s Chicago Marathon, October 7, 2018. Mile 1 is at about Michigan Ave. and Grand at the Magnificent Mile.

In search for the perfect Chicagohenge

E. Wacker Drive and N. Michigan Ave., 2018
Washington from MIllennium Park, 2015

Chicagohenge is the Chicago version of “Manhattanhenge,” according to Bleader which first mentioned the phenomena in 2009. In that blog post, the author, Whet Moser said, “Manhattanhenge is a biannual occurrence in which the setting sun aligns with the east-west streets of Manhattan’s main street grid. Naturally, it works here in Chicago as well…”

Since then, photographers of every kind gather in the most popular places where the Chicagohenge could be seen. Back in 2010 to about 2013, I practically was the only one standing on the “ledge” in Millennium Park overlooking Washington St. photographing the henge – during the March and September equinoxes. (I remember explaining to passers by what was going on and they would stop and photograph as well.) But starting 2014, when TV and the Chicago Tribune started to cover the phenomenon, tens if not hundreds of photographers started to gather in the location (as well as a similar one facing Madison), that it sometimes becomes impossible to find a good viewpoint unless you go there early.

But there are other locations from which you can photograph Chicago henge. I’ve been photographing it since 2010.

Here a sampling of Chicagohenge throughout the years.

Throwback – Entries from Feb 1, 2009


Uncommon Photographers started back sometime in 2004 (I think, probably even earlier) and had undergone several iterations because of server issues. In many cases, I had to move servers because the site, at one point, became so popular due to a mention, I think, in kottke.org, I don’t remember now, it might have been another site, but it was an early form of being viral when viral was still not in the vocabulary. The hosting companies said that I hogged their resources and I was asked to move or upgrade, several times. When I finally got exasperated moving sites lock stock and barrel, I finally rented/bought my own server. But that also presented many problems – servers are hacked or are attempted to be hacked constantly, and I surely had my share of attacks, a majority of which were unsuccessful but there were a few hacks that went through due to vulnerabilities of software. There were two particular attacks in the past that were so severe and intractable that we had to reformat the drives and start all over again. Even with backups, I would just decide to re-do my sites and start from scratch.

At anyrate, I have two more weeks of vacation so I decided to clean/purge several old external hard drives and am finding many photos that I had in the site in its earlier form. (When I should be cleaning the apartment, right, but no, I am plastered in front of my computer doing what I enjoy doing. Hah!) This batch were in a folder dated February 1, 2009. It looked like I was out in the middle of winter from morning till night that day – but really, half of the pictures were taken from my office window and while the other half were during my walk from my building to the bus stop.