Chicago is unusual, and possibly unique, in that much of the downtown core is built in tiers of ironwork and pavement. "Street level" in this photo is one above, and there's another roadway layered below. Exploring this network, which isn't all that inviting or pedestrian-friendly, was one of the major goals for my trip.

It doesn't make a tremendous amount of sense that I would leave my Nikon D800 at home when I knew I wanted to go somewhere dark. But fortunately the little Sigma DP3M and Ricoh GR worked well even under these somewhat adverse conditions. The DP3M does have problems with noise when it runs as high as iso 640 – no, I didn't forget a zero – but I only lost one photo to that cause. Perhaps next time a monopod or gorillapod will be on my packing list, but these days it's hard to overstate just how much I prefer to travel light.

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I have broken the links to hundreds and hundreds of photos, which will take a long time to repair. The workaround is to replace "photo.matthewpiers" in the link URL with "matthewpiers.smugmug". Awkward, but only temporary.

This is happening because I have revamped matthewpiers dot com. More of what I write and photograph will be going there, so check it out as well.

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