U.S. Route 66 – The Mother Road

Yesterday was the first day of my latest trip to the US. This trip in which we’ll be following, as best as possible, US Route 66. It will take me from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica beach in California.

US Route 66, also known as the Will Rogers Highway and colloquially known as the Main Street of America or the Mother Road, was one of the original highways within the U.S. Highway System. Route 66 was established on November 11, 1926—with road signs erected the following year. The highway, which became one of the most famous roads in America, originally ran from Chicago, Illinois, through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona before ending at Los Angeles, California, covering a total of 2,448 miles (3,940 km). It was recognized in popular culture by both a hit song and the Route 66 television show in the 1960s. Sadly, the route was removed from the US Highway System on 27 June 1985.

Day one began with our arrival in Chicago. So, not wishing to miss the opportunity we immediately made our way to downtown Chicago. There we photographed in and around the Millennium Park. This area was originally opened in 2004 and contains some very interesting pieces of public art. It’s also the place to photograph some of the tallest skyscrapers in the USA.

Cloud Gate (the Bean), Millennium Park, Chicago

This location also provide the perfect opportunity to experiment with the Canon 8-15mm fisheye zoom lens.

Cloud Gate @ 15mm, Millennium Park, Chicago

Another interesting feature of the park is the Crown Fountain. The fountain is composed of a black granite reflecting pool placed between a pair of transparent glass brick towers. The towers are 50 feet (15 m) tall,  and use light-emitting diodes behind the bricks to display digital videos on their inward faces.

Crown Fountain, Millennium Park, Chicago

For day 2 we had intended to revisit the Millennium Park area, but the weather wasn’t on our side. So, we spent a few hours photographing in around around the nearby Museum Campus. From hear it is possible to capture the city skyline with its many skyscrapers, the tallest of which is the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower).

Chicago Skyline from Museum Campus

Images edited in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 (Public Beta)

** Disclaimer** Above images are quick previews specifically for this blog so that friends and family can see how I’m getting on.