Photo Outings for 2019

Each month MAPS selects a location around the Chicagoland area to go for a Photo Outing. The major theme for these outings is nature. We select one outing per month and you can see when and where we go in the Calendar.  Please note that you can sign up for each event as listed below by following the specified link, and also note that by signing up for each event you are agreeing to the MAPS Photo Outing Waiver of Liability.


Photo Outing- Saturday, Aug. 10, parking opens @ 9:30am, Illinois Railway Museum
Do you enjoy stepping back in time or riding trains of the past? Or seeing the color schemes and shapes of railway diesels and equipment of railroading? Or possibly the nostalgia of riding by train or hearing about railroad structures and operations? If so, this may be the event for you. Member and Secretary, Bill Miotek, will be leading an outing to the colorful Diesel Days at the museum.

Feel the ground shake beneath your feet as you see, hear, and ride behind some of the most powerful locomotives ever built! Ride and see some of the less frequently run and rare diesel locomotives at IRM. See recently-restored locomotives like Santa Fe FP45 92 and Rock Island GP7R 4506 as well as new arrival Morristown & Erie C424 18. Take a ride on the Chicago Burlington and Quincy Nebraska streamliner. Bring your camera and enjoy the weekend!

The 2019 Diesel Days event will have a set schedule of different trains running each day of the event. The locomotives and power lash-ups used on each train will be changed often. A schedule of the locomotives that will be on each train each day will be published as soon as it is finalized on the IRM website.

IRM has also making progression on their recreation of Main Street in a Midwestern town, including storefront buildings and street cars. Though still under construction… the layout of the street and construction of the buildings was well under way during a 2018 visit. It will be interesting to see the Museum’s progress.

Admission Rates: Adults $15.00, Senior $13.00, Children $11.00
Museum Hours:   10:00AM to 6:00PM (Last admissions 4:00PM)
(All equipment, schedules and prices subject to change without notice.)

Operation of equipment is expected to start within 60 minutes of opening and cease 30 minutes before closing. Parking lot opens 30 minutes before museum and closes 30 minutes after. There are shaded areas and air conditioned buildings on the grounds. The museum also has food concessions offering cold beverages, hot dogs, and burgers. There are also restrooms available on the grounds.

To find out more about Diesel Days, and directions to get there, visit the museums website at:

Sign up for this outing Click Here

Photo Outing- Saturday, July 13 – 8:00-11:00am, Chicago Botanic Garden

Fifteen MAPS members visited the Chicago Botanic Garden. It was a hot day and difficult to find shade but there was beauty all around. The gardens were spectacular.  We met at the Visitor Center by 8:00 AM. The members paired off or went individually to photograph the 385 acres of various gardens.  There was the Daylily Society daylily Show and the Bromeliad Society Show to visit.  In fact, there were gorgeous displays of colorful daylilies in the Landscape and Lakeside gardens.  Some members captured the rainbow from the Esplanade fountain! Some of the flowers displayed were Weigela, Speedwell, Meadow rue, Roses, Clematis, Cone flowers, Lilies and more than you can photograph in a few short hours.

At the end members met for refreshments, lunch, and good conversation in the coolness of the garden’s restaurant. We’re sure each one was able to capture some of the beauty in their lens. We are so blessed to have the Morton Arboretum and the Botanic Garden so readily available to our members.

 See our photos here Click Here


June 27, 2019: Little Red School House with Mark Hanna

A very beautiful morning greeted 9 MAPS members for the wild life photo shoot at the Little Red School House.  Members were able to point their lenses to Ospry, Green Herons, Frogs, Song birds such as Gold Finches, Orioles, Red-winged Blackbirds, and even a couple pairs of Humming birds.

Post or view your images Click Here


June 20th, 2019: Brookfield Zoo with Jim Schulz

The rain ceased early Thursday morning just before Jim Schulz met with 27 members at the South gate employee entrance at 9:30 AM for a fabulous opportunity of photography.  Jim led the group to the Southwest area of the zoo to visit the Great Bear Wilderness, Habitat Africa, the Savannah, as well as Feathers and Scales. Along the way we photographed some Peacocks with new chicks, and pelicans, at the Formal Pool. Passing through the Great Bear Wilderness we photographed Bison, African Painted Dog, Reticulated Giraffe, an Eagle, a Wolf, Polar Bear, and Grizzly Bear. Around 11:30 AM Jim left the group at the Feathers and Scales building where we were shooting tropical bird species, snakes, and lizards.

Everybody had a great time.  Some of the members continued shooting other animals at the zoo.  Next spring we hope to meet Jim with a smaller group to see “behind the scenes” action at the zoo!

See member photo gallery from this outing, Click Here

May 18, McDowell Grove in Naperville

Approximately seventeen MAPS members gathered for a photo outing at McDowell Grove Forest Preserve in Naperville on Saturday May 18, 2019. The weather turned out to be excellent for a photographic outing. Some of the members walked to Mud Lake on the north end of the park. Falwell Dam, a limestone dam constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps on the West Branch of the DuPage River and situated at the south end of the park was visited by several of our photographers. Along the three mile stretch of the West Branch of the DuPage River there were numerous opportunities to obtain river landscape images. A variety of songbirds were noted at several locations within the park.

Post or View your images here


June 1,2019: Wolf Road Prairie, Westchester

A handful of MAPS members drove to Wolf Rd. Prairie to capture images in this unique spot paved with sidewalks during the Great Depression. There were several varieties of wildflowers as well as a few birds that captured our interest, This prairies is a great spot all during the summer months. Something new is always blooming every week. After the outing we went to Butterfields for food and conversation.

See our images here


April 13, Hausermann’s Orchid Nursery, Villa Park

More than 20 MAPS members met at Hausermann’s Orchid Nursery. They were generous to let us come in early before they opened to the public. Many of us found favorite blooms that were photographed for nearly two hours using our elaborate set-ups. Others wanted to take images of every different kind of orchid Hausermanns had to offer. Afterward about half the participants went out to brunch.

See our photos here


March 23 2019 – Black and White Macro Outing @ ProCAM

Twenty five MAPS members enjoyed a morning of experimenting with different lighting scenarios set up in the spacious PROCAM photo studio in Aurora.  A big THANK YOU is extended to Bill for his demonstration on lighting, lighting effects, tripods, and hints on macro photography.  Members were also awarded 10% discounts on purchases and equipment rentals. Two of our members won a raffle and Facebook selfie contest for cash!

Several members of the group brought and shared nature-related props such as shells, flowers and dried leaves to pair with antique watches, cameras and containers. Everyone designed their own setup to photograph and after making their way around the tables. All were all treated to a pizza lunch generously provided by PROCAM. Thank you again, PROCAM, for providing MAPS with the opportunity to work with indoor lighting and a place to shoot nature indoors!

Click Here for images created by our members during this outing.


March 27, 2019 – Rock Run Rookery Outing

Fifteen members chose this beautiful Wednesday morning to photograph the Rock Run Rookery Preserve.  The submerging loon, coots, turkey vultures, herons, and geese entertained the crowd for a couple of hours.   Some members also visited surrounding locations such as McKinley Woods to try their luck for pelicans.

Click Here for images created by our members during this outing.