Chicago Metra at Roosevelt Road with a Summer Sky.

I used my Nikon F3 loaded Fuji Velvia 100F and a 24mm Nikkor Lens to expose this view of an outbound Metra train headed toward Aurora.

I’ve found that a wide-angle lens is a good tool for making use of an impressive sky.

An outbound Metra MP36-3C departs Chicago Union Station on June 22, 2004.
An outbound Metra MP36-3C departs Chicago Union Station on June 22, 2004.

Here, I’ve offset the Chicago skyline with the old power plant at right. The skyscrapers help put the clouds above in relative perspective. By placing the theoretical horizon near the center of the frame, and thus keeping the camera body near level, has allowed for these buildings to remain on more or less on a perpendicular line with horizon.

If I’d aimed slightly more skyward, the nature of this 24mm lens design would skew the visual perspective and the buildings would seem to fall away from the film plane.

The bright blue and white paint on Metra’s MP36-3C nicely mimics the sky above, while the black band on the body of the locomotive emulates the width and tone of the Sears Tower (now called the Willis Tower) both of which help make for a more unified composition.

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