Photographers unite! It’s almost that time of the year again where the bi-annual Chicago Henge takes place.
If you haven’t heard of the Chicago Henge before you may utterly confused on what I’m talking about. No worries, let me help. The Henge is when both the sunrise and sunset happen perfectly between the Chicago Skyscrapers. There are multiple spots to catch this and you will see photographers lined up at these intersections trying to capture that perfect moment. It is something that happens during both of the Solstices, March and September. Which means there is one happening right around the corner.
When is it?
There is a solid two to three day window when viewing for the Henge is ideal. The Solstice itself is on March 21st, meaning around March 20th-23rd is perfect for it. Now, the time is also important. If you’re an early riser the sunrise is a less crowded option (just note you will have to face east toward the lake). The best time in the evening is usually around 20-30 minutes before sunset. So, a couple of days before check when the sun is supposed to set and then plan accordingly before that.
Here is a list of classic spots/tips for capturing that perfect pic, or just seeing it with your own eyes.
Michigan and Washington
This is the typical spot where you will see photographers lining the street with tripods and cameras. The CTA trains will occasionally appear and be timed perfectly with the setting sun. I say that if it’s your first time going this is a great spot to watch and meet people that are there to capture the moment. It’s iconic but can be a tad overdone. However, sometimes sticking with tradition is a good way to start something out.
Washington/Wabash CTA Station
A little bit of a more difficult spot to get up to, but if you are able to get to it, you will likely have an elevated, unobstructed view. The platform will be lined with photographers but being above the street gives you the advantage to capture the sunset clearly. Additional note, you’ll need to pay the standard CTA fare in order to get through to the platform.
This is more tied to fellow photographers. This is a hidden gem that I have found on my own personal adventures as a photographer. At the corner of Lake and Franklin there is a parking garage which perfectly overlooks the east/west facing Lake Street. This is also directly over the CTA tracks to add an aspect to the photo.
If you happen to find yourself around the city during sunset on one of these days and can’t get to one of these spots, just be sure to find any street that is going east/west and you will be sure to catch it. And if you are directionally uncoordinated, just follow the large groups of photographers.
Image Credit: Photo by Karl Solano on Unsplash
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