Posts Tagged ‘Chicago’

Cities have lots of edges.  But sometimes the edges frame things not so angular, whether naturally  or through distortion, offering an intriguing study in contrasts.

© janet m. webb

August is flying by with indecent haste, bringing thoughts of the colors of fall, even though green is still rich and abundant.  However, it’s the third Monday of the month, meaning we eschew color for a trip back into the time of black and white photography.  So simple now to play not only with color/monotone, but to edit, undo, redo, do more and different things.  I’m hearkening back to earlier this year when I took the train into “the city”, Chicago proper, and while waiting for the Art Institute to open, enjoyed a distorted view of the city and my fellow humans courtesy of The Bean.

In photos of the outside of The Bean, the city appears to bend and curve, but when shot from underneath, The Bean hints strongly at Escher and his contemporaries.  It also translates easily into monotone showcasing that distorted, other-worldly, impossible world.

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A day spent walking around downtown Chicago is bound to turn up a few oddball photos.  Oddballs may defy categorization, may be shots of odd things, or just don’t fit any other challenge.

© janet m. webb 2016

© janet m. webb 2016

© janet m. webb 2016

Although the day I visited, the city was full of light and color, the Windy City struts its stuff in black and white as well.  Come, get your kicks.

© janet m. webb 2016

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I’ve taken you on the train from Naperville into “the city”, AKA Chicago. We’ve seen the urban canyonlands and a few items from the Art Institute of Chicago.  Last week, I shared photos of the Bean from around the outside.  The reflections of the sky, buildings, and people are amazing.  But get under the Bean and everything looks different.  From a quirky distortion of its surroundings you’re taken into the land of M.C. Escher (or into section of the circus fun house with the funky mirrors.)

© janet m. webb 2016

© janet m. webb 2016

From our Chicago suburb, the preferred method of visiting the city, at least for me, is to take the Metra train into Union Station, then walk to my destination.  That’s the easy part.  Parking is the difficult part.  People who commute regularly compete for passes to park at the station.  Outside of that, parking anywhere nearby is limited to between 2-4 hours, not nearly enough to get into the city, do something, and get back.  If you arrive at the right time (after the morning rush), there are a number of $2-for-the-day spots.  I prefer having my husband drop me off and, as this sign shows, during these hours, that’s what works.  I enjoy the humor of the sign.  The shot was taken out the window as we went by, hence the fuzziness.  But it IS an oddball photo, so…

© janet m. webb 2016

Taking a photo of another train passing our train resulted in a rather cool oddball as well.

© janet m. webb 2016

In 2004, sculptor Anish Kapoor’s “Cloud Gate” was unveiled in Millennium Park in downtown Chicago..  The initial mocking sobriquet of “The Electric Kidney Bean” was eventually lovingly shortened to “The Bean” and Chicago and its visitors embraced this marvel. 80% of it reflects the sky and twice a year it gets washed with 40 gallons of liquid Tide, the better to reflect both the city and its enthralled visitors.

When first spotted, the resemblance to a space ship is strong.  On this warm, sunny spring day, it’s a stunning sight and up close, it’s even more intriguing.

© janet m. web 2016

The edge seems to flow seamlessly into the sky and the city takes on a whole new beautiful look as it bends and reflects.

© janet m. webb 2016

With a little vintage riff, you get an old picture postcard look.

© janet m. webb 2016

I had a good time taking photos of people taking family or group photos so they could all get in the shot.  In return, someone offered to take one of me, doing my part to keep the Bean in place.

© janet m. webb 2016

Under the Bean, though, things change from a distorted yet charming reflection of the city to a definite Escher-like look. But that’s a picture story for another time.