The last time I visited Chicago was in December 2012, when the entire city looked like a movie filmed before Technicolor and the weather was a relentless spray of chilled mist.
May, however, is a very different story. There are bright pink flowers along sidewalks, warm golden sunbeams bouncing off beautiful architecture, and emerald waters speckled with sailboats.
It wasn't long before I was smitten, firing off photos and having trouble picking a favorite. In the editing room (a.k.a., Photo Mechanic + Photoshop), I started playing around with a style I've long adored as a chronic sufferer of wanderlust: travel posters.
Before Instagram triggered travel envy with filtered square frames, there were travel posters. They featured locales near and far, rendered into fine art and beautiful in their own right, but ultimately designed to entice travelers to board a certain airline headed for a certain destination.
While I don't come close to the handiwork of the poster artists of yore, I do enjoy carrying the creative endeavor a bit further than what I import straight off the memory card.
For these, I gladly stowed my journalistic editor rulebook, taking levels up to 11 and, in a couple, employing some art effects to harken back to the images that inspired me.
Check out the results below, and if they inspire you to visit Chicago, head over to http://www.choosechicago.com/.