September Photography Calendar

With the changing of seasons, September is probably one of my favorite months to photograph around Chicago.  I thought I would give you some of the highlights of the month that I plan to photograph.  Hope you can join me at some of the locations, if not, I’ll include my settings from of the shots so that you can apply them to future situations.

NOTE: All of the below photos have been processed in Lightroom and Luminar.  To learn to process photos with either of the programs, please review the following links to our classes:

September 7th – 13th (Approx.)

Location: Buckingham Fountain

Time of Day: Sunrise (6:30 am – 7:30 am)

Focal Length: 100mm – 200mm

Positioning yourself directly west of the fountain, framing your photograph looking directly east.  As the sun rises, it will position itself right on top of the fountain.

September 13th & 14th

Location: Navy Pier

Time of Day: Sunset (7:00 pm – 9:00 pm)

Focal Length: 100mm – 300mm

Event: Full Moon Rising

Positioning yourself out on Navy Pier, the full moon will rise on Friday, Sept. 13th at 7:18 pm directly behind the Chicago Harbor Lighthouse.  Longer focal lengths are preferred since the optics will give the illusion that the moon is larger and immediately behind the Lighthouse.  You’ll have a chance to capture it on Saturday, Sept. 14th at 7:42 pm as well.  The below photo was taken earlier this year: Settings: 500mm, f/6.3, 1/13, ISO 5000.

September 12th – 16th

Location: The Bean (Cloudgate)

Time of Day: Sunrise (6:30 am – 7:30 am)

Focal Length: 18mm – 30mm

Event: “Beanhenge”

Position yourself immediately west of the Bean, just after the sun rises, it will appear underneath the Bean.  Get there early, there will be plenty of others trying to get this shot as well.  As an alternative, position yourself immediately east of the Bean and photograph the reflection of the sun coming up!  To achieve a “sunburst” effect, make sure to set your lens to a small aperture (ex. f/22).  Settings: 26mm, f/22, 1/60, ISO 400

September 20th – 25th

Chicago Photo Classes Event: Special Nights in the City (9/22) Register Here

Location: Anywhere in Chicago! (East-West Streets)

Time of Day: Sunset (6:00 pm – 7:00 pm)

Focal Length: 24-300mm

Event: Chicagohenge


Chicagohenge is a phenomenon when the Sun is rising and setting between the skyscrapers of downtown Chicago.  Since the streets in the Loop are plotted directly East-West, this phenomenon occurs twice a year, the Spring Equinox and the Autumnal Equinox (September 23, 2019).  If you can’t capture on those dates, no worries, you’ll have about +/- 3 days surrounding the equinox to witness and photograph the event.  There are many great spots around the city to capture this event.  Join us on Sunday evening for a special Nights in the City event, photographing Chicagohenge plus much more.  Also check out my blog “5-Minutes” to get all of my favorite spots and be prepaired.  Settings: 270mm, f/32, 1/100, ISO 64

September 20th – 21st

Location: The Bean

Time of Day: Sunset and after

Focal Length: 24mm – 200mm

Event: Special Full Moon Jam Fire Performance at the Bean

Not to miss event, the popular organization “Full Moon Jam” will be performing in Millennium Park …lots of Fire!!!  Settings: 14mm, f/6.3, 1/400, ISO 200

September 21st

Location: Lincoln Park

Time of Day: 9am – 5pm

Event: Infrared Photography Workshop (Click to Register)

Before the leaves change and begin to fall join Nenad Spasojevic for this One-Day Workshop to begin learning about digital infrared photography, a brand of artistic photography that focuses on creating unique images derived from the near infrared spectrum of radiation that is not visible to humans.

September 28th & 29th

Location: Near Navy Pier

Time of Day: Prior to Sunrise

Focal Length: 100mm – 600mm

Event: Sun Rise behind Chicago Harbor Lighthouse

Position yourself in the park just south of Navy Pier, you’ll get a direct line to photograph the sun rising behind the Lighthouse.  Settings: 500mm, f/8, 1/100, ISO 250

No matter if you are able to get to any of these events or not, please take an opportunity to get out and photograph, you won’t learn without “click’n”!  Please take some time and look through all of the classes that Chicago Photography Classes has to offer.  I wouldn’t have been able to capture any of the photos above without learning at this school.  Please make sure to tag the school on Instagram #chicagophotoclasses and @nick.sinnott


Have a great September and I’ll start creating an October event calendar!  If you have any suggestions, make sure to send them to me!


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