Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Joe Lekas: Gorgeous Composite HD Photos

Holy Name Cathedral Organ - Chicago

I recently discovered photographic artist Joe Lekas, who produces high definition fine art photos with a special focus on the city of Chicago.  His website is excellent, showcasing all his work in very high resolution, easy-to-navigate galleries.  The image above is a breathtaking view of Holy Name Cathedral in downtown Chicago. Below are a few city shots.  His work has an intensity that brings the images to life in a way unmatched by most other photographers I've seen.

Chicago's Lake Shore Drive 3 - Panorama


Chicago Aerial View from the Hancock Observatory - 12 Long Exposures


One great feature of the site is that Lekas describes his method of obtaining virtually every shot.  Even for the photographic layperson, this can be quite interesting.  For example, with the shot above, taken from the Hancock Building, he explains:

"This was a pain to take...got up to the Hancock observatory and was told...no tripods. So, I had to MacGuyver it and rest the camera on a tiny little ledge around the tower, prop it up in a shoe, on my bag, whatever I could - and used my remote cord to take the 12 long exposures used to make 4 vertical shots. Those 4 sets of 3 were then each fused together to make 4 hdr photos, which I then stitched together to make a monster. Whew!"

Lekas's portfolio boasts both macro shots of expansive city views as well as details of historic landmarks. 

Here is his captivating take on the Rookery, built in 1888.  This is a view looking up the stairway.  Below that is a beautiful shot of the Chicago Cultural Center's Tiffany glass domed ceiling.

Looking Up the Rookery Building Spiraling Staircase - Chicago
Chicago Cultural Center - World's Largest Tiffany's Domed Ceiling
 But Lekas' work is not limited to Chicago - here are a few of my favorites from the rest of his portfolio.

Red Rocks Park 02 - Morrison, Colorado (Near Denver)
Old Gas Station Along Route 66 - Illinois
Empire State Skies 01 - Manhattan



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