The Bean (Cloud Gate) in Chicago by KB Digital

Chicago during the holidays

It’s always a fun trip to Chicago when everything is nice and decorated. The trees are lit up, the ice rink is full of skaters and The Bean (aka Cloud Gate) looks more shiny than ever. We’ve been to Chicago several times this past 2019 holiday season and our only complaint was the frigid breeze from the lake, however, that didn’t stop us from taking a few pictures while there.

Willis Tower overlooks the Christmas tree in Chicago.

One of the busiest attractions is definitely the huge Christmas tree that’s set up in Millennium Park. For the picture above, it was a very frigid night but that didn’t seem to slow down the crowd as we had a hard time even getting a shot because of so many people being there. Nonetheless, the tree looked amazing and the red and green antennas on top of Willis Tower (still Sears Tower to us) looked picture-perfect. Now this is for all the photographers out there, imagine trying to capture a 1-second long exposure shot with shivering hands and no tripod. It was a challenge!

Cloud Gate (the bean) in Chicago during a frigid winter night.

Next stop on our list was just a couple hundred feet from the Christmas tree and it was the ever so famous bean, or as the official name state, Cloud Gate. Again, with no tripod and very low light, we had to try to capture a hand-held long exposure shot. What made this shot even harder is that there was no barrier between us and other bystanders. So sometimes we would have a rush of people walk within a couple feet in front of our camera and then get very dark pictures. Out of the several that we took, we managed to get one that we decided was good enough. To our surprise, we even captured the American flag in there and the red and white stripes show up just perfect as the people walked by. Talk about perfect timing.

Ice rink at Millennium Park in Chicago, Illinois.

Adjacent to The Bean is the ice rink right there on Michigan Avenue. We captured this shot more for fun than anything else. You have some people skating and doing double and triple spins while others are barely standing on their feet. Now if you’re not familiar with Chicago, all three of our pictures were taken within a couple hundred feet of each other. It is one of the many reason we love visiting the Windy City, besides the wind of course. Even though it’s only January, we’re already looking forward to beautiful, and much warmer, Spring weather!

Stroll On State 2019

‘Tis the season to be jolly… falalalala-lala-la-la

Santa on State Street in downtown Rockford, Illinois.
Santa on State Street in downtown Rockford, Illinois.

It’s that time of the year again when everything becomes so festive. For the city of Rockford, Illinois, an annual event called Stroll on State officially kicks off the winter holiday season. The event started several years ago as a way to bring the community together and help out small businesses in the downtown district. It is held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and well sometimes the weather can be a bit too much here in northern Illinois during that time.

Rockford Fire Department participated in the parade.
Rockford Fire Department participated in the parade.

While last year’s attendance set a new record, at almost 80,000 attendees, this year was not that even close to that. The rain had to have been a huge factor and the low temperatures didn’t help either. Nonetheless, KB Digital was there to capture some amazing shots of the parade. We had a blast seeing all the different floats and just enjoying all the holiday spirit from the community.

Frosty and Rudolph wave at the crowd.
Frosty and Rudolph wave at the crowd.

We love the Stroll On State tradition and try to attend every year, and this year was no exception. Due to prior scheduled plans, we couldn’t stay too long and didn’t get to enjoy the tree lighting later that afternoon. However, we did hurry back to the studio to process all the pictures and start uploading them. Out of about 150 pictures, we selected 46 to upload on our website so we hope you enjoy them. They are also uploaded onto our Facebook page so feel free to tag family and friends if you spot them in the gallery.

PS. Only thing we regret not doing is picking up some of the candy because we sure do have a sweet tooth.