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Places in Time: Chicago

UPDATE: Thank you to everyone who has viewed and shared the video, and for so many nice messages and comments. I’ve made a new post with some of my thoughts about the video and its success – Check it out here. Thanks for all of the support!


Today, I’m launching my new timelapse video series, Places in Time, with a video about one of my favorite cities – Chicago. Chicago was my home for over seven years, six of which were spent living downtown, which is the focus of this piece. Some of this footage was shot when I still lived there in 2010, but most is from more recent trips. I have a lot of love for the city and it will always have a special place in my heart. I hope that comes through in this piece.


I’ve always wondered why there is not more footage of Chicago, in pieces like this, in TV and film, etc. It’s not as if Chicago is completely untouched and forgotten, but it doesn’t enjoy the level of notoriety that its coastal cousins do, despite being every bit as impressive of an urban environment. My hope for this piece, and for everyone producing content in Chicago, and everyone promoting tourism in Chicago, is for success in shining a brighter eye on the city and what a scenic, interesting, and exciting destination it is.


This video really just scratches the surface. Despite having shot well over 100 timelapses in Chicago, I have a never ending shot list that will keep me busy for many return trips, which is fine by me. And plenty more locations and experiences that I have yet to find.


I hope that you enjoy the video and please share it if you like it!



Watch in HD with sound on!


Chicago is the first destination for my new series, Places in Time. This piece focuses specifically on downtown Chicago, which was my home for over 6 years until late 2010.


Downtown Chicago has long been an active area – a financial and transportation hub flanked by the lakefront, Grant Park, residential districts and shopping, but the area has evolved rapidly during the last decade and is now more than ever a major residential and tourism center. Between the world class skyline, lakefront, and park space, downtown Chicago offers scenery and an environment not found anywhere else in the non-coastal USA. The central city on an average day contains a blend of office workers, residents, commuters, and a mesh of locals, suburbanites, and tourists who venture in to enjoy the great restaurants, shopping, and entertainment.


When I first moved to downtown Chicago in 2003, I lived in one of the only residential buildings in the Chicago Loop. Most businesses shut down after the workday and the area was very quiet at night. Since that time, the number of residents, and all the restaurants, shopping, and entertainment that support them, has grown rapidly in the Loop, South Loop, and West Loop neighborhoods. Living in a rapidly gentrifying area can be frustrating at times, but the transformation of the area in such a short period was nothing short of amazing to witness.


Chicago as a whole has a great energy – one of America’s few dense urban environments where people are forced to step out of their isolating cars and experience life alongside one another. The people are mostly genuine, hard working, and friendly. There are countless vibrant neighborhoods with a dramatic range of uniqueness and character. The city changes and transforms during each of the four seasons, but never ceases to be active and full of life.


All footage for this piece was shot between 2010 and now. My goal was to provide a glimpse into the energy and fast paced life of an average day in downtown Chicago, enhanced through fast motion timelapse. Some of the viewpoints and locations may seem familiar, but I’ve also tried to showcase the city from a number of different and less common vantage points.


Music: The Cinematic Orchestra – Ent’racte.
An amazing 20+ minute piece. Please buy it at one of these links (with video!):


The Places in Time series will be an ongoing series exploring different locations that I visit. I travel America and the world to create stock photography, timelapses, and other video. Most of my trips have very tight schedules that don’t allow me the time to thoroughly explore, but I will be using this series as a reason to delve deeper into destinations and try to capture the real energy and atmosphere of the cities, areas, and countries that I visit.


All images and footage © 2010-2012 Chris Pritchard, all rights reserved.




  • John F

    11.04.2012 at 11:57 Reply

    Stunningly gorgeous. Teared up a bit watching it. No matter where I live, Chicago will always be home.

    • chrisp

      11.04.2012 at 12:17 Reply

      Thanks John. Really appreciate that. I feel the same way!

  • Katie C

    11.04.2012 at 16:26 Reply

    Beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

  • Archana S.

    12.04.2012 at 04:19 Reply

    This video has been blowing up my Facebook feed the last couple days! Having been away from Chi for a spell now, this made me really proud of what a great city I come from. Fantastic job!

    • chrisp

      12.04.2012 at 23:58 Reply

      Thank you! It is the ultimate compliment that the video resonates with real Chicagoans =)

  • Jonathan

    12.04.2012 at 10:07 Reply

    Well done, Chris. Like some of the others who’ve posted, I moved from Chicago about 2 yrs ago. Your film generates that sense of longing for Chicago I didn’t think would come back. Such a beautiful city. Thanks.

    • chrisp

      12.04.2012 at 23:59 Reply

      Thanks Jonathan! After spending so much time with this footage lately, I’m feeling the same way. It really is a beautiful place.

  • Tanya

    12.04.2012 at 12:54 Reply

    Wonderful to watch! Living in Boulder now but I am and always will be a Chicagoan. My favorite city anywhere! Thanks much for this, Chris.

    • chrisp

      13.04.2012 at 00:00 Reply

      Thanks Tanya! I’m really happy that real Chicagoans like the video!

  • Kerry Robertson

    12.04.2012 at 17:17 Reply

    LOVED the video, I’m from Chicago and I LOVE my hometown, there’s no place like home. Thank you for your hard work on this video !!

    • chrisp

      13.04.2012 at 00:01 Reply

      Thanks Kerry! I hope I’ve done Chicago proud. Can’t wait for my next project there.

  • Jo G

    15.04.2012 at 01:09 Reply

    I’m so glad this was forwarded to me! I lived in Chicago during several periods in my life and love the city. The last shot featured in the film showed my building, down near the north end of Lincoln Park. It always tugs my heart when I fly over that location, coming in and out of the City, and it was especially nice to see it in that final shot. Thank you! I’m passing it on to old friends…

  • Tom

    15.04.2012 at 03:41 Reply

    Wow. Art at a time when artists are truly in short supply. Look forward to seeing more, but Chicago will always be #1.

  • JCat McGack

    19.04.2012 at 07:26 Reply

    Stunning. Living in south suburbs of Chicago my whole life, I’ve always been a big fan of the city of Chicago. Thank you for this beautiful video. Amazing job.

  • Dawn Grace

    23.04.2012 at 19:44 Reply

    Thank you Chris, for a beautiful love letter to our gorgeous and vibrant city! So excellent, and this is coming from a born and bred Chicagoan.

  • Viktoriya Synytsya

    16.08.2012 at 08:46 Reply

    I’m not from Chicago, but this video is so impressive. Thank you so much for sharing it with other people.

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