Buckingham Fountain, Chicago

Grant Park has seen many historical events, the latest being President Obama’s victory speech on election night in November 2008. But even without a grand celebration scheduled, Grant Park has much to offer. One example is Millennium Park, another is Buckingham Fountain.

The design of the fountain is based on one of the fountains in Versailles, but Buckingham Fountain far surpasses it in size. When the water is turned on in April, the fountain comes to life. Every hour, a water display is put on with water shooting high up in the air. When the conditions are right, you can even capture a rainbow over the fountain. (continued below…)

For many, the real show happens at night, when the water display is paired up with a spectacular light and music show. It usually starts around dusk, on the hour, and the last show begins at 10pm. If you want to capture this event, make sure to be there in advance so you can find a nice spot to set up your tripod. Especially during the summer and on weekends, locals and tourists tend to gather to enjoy the show. You either need to set up right in front of the fountain to avoid moving people in your long-exposure images or you can move farther away and include spectators, hoping that they don’t move around too much. I’ve tried both approaches and each yields nice results.

You will also have downtown Chicago as an impressive background. It is always a good idea to move around and try out different angles. For example, you can align different elements of the fountain with similar looking buildings in the background. The show lasts long enough to experiment and you can always stay for another one. Coincidentally, Grant Park is quite nice to just sit on a bench and relax for a change.

Definitely related posts: (handpicked)


~ by tripgalleries on May 19, 2009.

2 Responses to “Buckingham Fountain, Chicago”

  1. Wonderful photography. I feel strangely reminded of Las Vegas while looking at the second photograph. The colors are amazing.

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