Monday, April 30, 2012


I've got a train to catch at 8:00pm...

My last day in Chicago was rainy, but still charming in that special Chicago way.  I visited the Magnificent Mile, took a nice drive down Lake Shore, and devoured a delicious lunch at Dolce Casa Cafe up in Ravenswood.

Now, after three lovely days in Chicago I'm heading out to Memphis, where I'll visit Beale Street -- home of the blues -- and the Orpheum Theater.

As my final act before packing up my gear to head to Union Station, I present to you... the last 24 hours in Chicago...

See you tomorrow in Memphis!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Chicago -- winning at everything

A friend once told me that "many cities are built to fit the most people, but Chicago was built to be lived-in".  Having spent so much time in cities of all sizes, regions, and energies, I couldn't agree more -- Chicago is in a class of it's own.  The architecture in Chicago is a photographer's dream.  The variety of styles and delicate relationship between man-made and natural features in the city are unparalleled.  

If yesterday's photowalk helped me hit the ground running, today's casual exploration of the city got me excited to learn the personalities of all the locations coming up on this trip.  I can't wait to sample the local foods, learn about the regional histories, and get a sense of the culture and energy for all of the amazing stops along the journey.  Tomorrow I head out for two nights in Memphis, TN, so I have right around 24 hours to celebrate my favorite things about Chicago.  For tonight I predict deep-dish pizza and a leisurely cruise along Lake Shore Drive heading south.  For tomorrow, I'll go wherever the windy city takes me!  

Come back and check in with me tomorrow for more photos of Chicago!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

America By Rail: Photowalk Chicago

Today was our first America By Rail photowalk!  Our Chicago crew for the day was a fantastic bunch -- some were frequent photowalkers and some were participating on their first photowalk.  

New photo friends at the Wrigley Building in Chicago, IL.

Photographer Steve Gubin led us on an excellent itinerary featuring iconic Chicago architecture.   We talked to him about his views on the expansive community of photographers on Google+ and the many reasons he loves to photograph Chicago.  I had a great time talking to everyone about photography and hearing their perspectives on gear, Google+, and the city.  Some of today's group is already posting photos on G+!

If you are a photographer or a photography lover and are local to one of our America By Rail Photowalks, you can't miss these events.  We've got 8 more -- and lots of prizes to give away!

Today's events left me completely jazzed about the whole project -- the next 42 days are going to be AMAZING.

Here are a few of my quick edits from today's walk...

Thanks again to Steve Gubin, and to everyone we met today, for coming out.  I still have 2 more days in Chicago, so check back tomorrow for more shots from the windy city!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

1 Week To Go!

We're 1 week out from the first photowalk -- Photowalk Chicago -- of America By Rail!  At this stage in the project, every day is important.  We've been prepping, packing, solidifying plans, and organizing details.  Now for some updates and announcements...

Today we're happy to announce that by popular demand, we've decided to add an extra photowalk: Photowalk Klamath Falls, OR on Sunday, May 27th, led by Brian Gailey.  Visit the Klamath Falls photowalk info page on our website to get more information, RSVP, and learn about our photowalk leader.

We just updated the photowalk pages for: Chicago, San Antonio, and Los Angeles with some additional information, so be sure and check them out!

We'll be hosting a Google+ hangout on at 7:30pm Central time on this Friday the 27th.  To join, just visit my Google+ profile on Friday night before the hangout and click "Join Hangout".  Cash (Cassius Wright) and I will be talking about the project on the eve of its launch!

One more important announcement for today -- we'd like to extend a big 'Thank You' to our friend and fellow photographer King Lau for the donation of hotel accommodations for us in Memphis, San Antonio, and Minneapolis.  He's been a huge help!
And now for some photos :-)
We spent some time by the train tracks to get in the spirit this week.

A beautiful sunset outside Paris, IL

A glimpse of Chicago at night

Our meeting location for the Chicago Photowalk -- the illustrious bean

Friday, April 13, 2012

Many things to celebrate on Friday the 13th

Happy Friday -- even if it is Friday the 13th.  While you're busy killing time till the end of the work day, check out these exciting updates for America By Rail...

Almost 2 weeks out!

The details for the Chicago Photowalk with Steve Gubin are in!  For the Photowalk start time, meeting location and other important information, visit:

We are already expecting over 20 people for Steve's walk... people who will not only have an amazing time exploring, shooting, and meeting new friends, but people who will WIN PRIZES!
Steve Gubin, looking much how he will look on April 28th.

What sort of prizes you may ask?  Well, all kinds of stuff!  A big box of amazing arrived from Google headquarters today containing goodies for our Photowalk participants...  Super exciting because it's not just swag... ITS PHOTO SWAG!


Proving once again that they are the coolest ever, Google+ donated swag to our project that is related to our project!  Take that, twitter and facebook.

So what else is exciting right now?  We just opened up an Instagram account so that everyone at home can follow along with multiple updates per day while we're out on America By Rail.  Our user name is: jordanawright.  Follow us on Instagram and see snapshots like this one:  

In other spectacular news, the Best Western Plus Olympic Inn has donated our accommodations in Klamath Falls, Oregon.  Many thanks to them for their fantastic hospitality, and to Brian Gailey Photography and Design for setting it up! 
Our new best friends at Olympic Inn!  They are super supportive of our project!

That's about it for now, friends, followers, and cohorts!  More updates coming next week!!!  You can still RSVP for any of our Photowalks or contact us to get involved!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Prepping for America By Rail

We're just under 3 weeks away from the first Photowalk -- April 28th in Chicago -- of our America By Rail journey.  With such a fast paced intensive schedule (8 photowalks, 13 cities, and over 6,000 miles traversed in 45 days) efficiency in packing is super important!  Over the past few days I've been working on my gear list.  Yesterday I dusted off the old standby Gregory pack, assembled all the gear I could potentially need and am willing to carry even if I don't need it (an important balance), and did a practice pack.  Here's what we're looking at: 


  • (2) Canon DSLR bodies (only one pictured here b/c I took the photo with the other...)
  • Canon 580exII flash with diffuser and gels 
  • (4) Canon lenses: 50mm, 10-22mm, 17-85mm, 70-300mm
  • Lens hoods
  • Filters, screw mount magnifier
  • Batteries and chargers
  • Lens cloths
  • Memory Cards in waterproof cases
  • Gorillapod Focus with Ballhead X -- Donated to us by JOBY
  • Tripod Mounts
  • Full size SLIK tripod (not pictured)
  • ACER EEE PC with old-school google buzz sticker :-)
  • LaCie Rugged XL 2 terabyte storage (here's hoping its enough)
  • (2) KATA camera inserts
  • 1 Delsey camera insert
Husband Cash, said I wasn't going to get all my gear to fit... well here it is!  Suuuuper doable when you're a packing prodigy.  

Packed gear in all it's glory!
The best part is, when I bought my amazing Gregory pack 10 years ago, I got an excellent model with a detachable section on top that can be used as a sling bag... Even better, I can fit one Kata camera insert for shooting on the go with room left over for any other day trip necessities!

Ready for a day on the move :-)
I decided to go on a test run with my new sling bag set up... very comfortable for a mile or so on a bike.  Here's a shot Husband Cash got of me zooming by at the end of my ride.        

My, what a prepared and efficient traveler

While I was packing, organizing, and exercising... Husband Cash tested the dog's agility with a tennis ball.  

Boys being boys.
I'm ready to take over the world with this kind of efficiency and packing-awesomeness.  Now I just need to  take care of the clothing and toiletries situation.  More updates on the winning packing techniques soon! 

Want to be a part of this super exciting project?  RSVP for a photowalk or donate on Kickstarter!