The Bean – Two Worlds

Two Worlds

This is another look at The Bean in Millenium Park in Chicago. This shot was taken from Michigan Avenue using a Nikon D7000 equipped with 70-200mm f2.8 lens. Using a telephoto tends to compress distances and with this shot brought all of the wonderful distortion right into the back ground behind the non-distorted people watching the skaters down below. The skating rink, which was packed on New Year’s Eve can be seen as the white band stretching through the middle of the frame, Chicago downtown (West side of Michigan Avenue) is in the background. This was shot faciing East. What is fascinating about this shot is the contrasting worlds of the distorted and non-distorted. We wish we had a Bean in San Diego – this would provide countless hours of study, critical photography in various light conditions and seasons!

A cool Bean fact: Inside Cloud Gate‘s (the Official Name) polished exterior shell are several steel structures that keep the sculpture standing. The first structural pieces, two type 304 stainless steel rings, were put into place in February 2004. As construction continued, crisscrossing pipe trusses were assembled between the two rings. The trusses and supporting structures were only present for the construction phases. The finished sculpture has no inner bracing. The supporting structural components were designed and constructed to ensure that no specific point was overloaded, and to avoid producing unwanted indentations on the exterior shell. The frame was also designed to expand and contract with the sculpture as temperatures fluctuate. As a result, the two large rings supporting the sculpture move independently of each other, allowing the shell to move independently of the rings.

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10 responses

  1. Great shot and I agree with you regarding the contrasting distorted and not-distorted worlds. But, are you sure you were facing west and not east? I think east…but that’s just being picky. Again, great composition.

    January 24, 2012 at 8:25 pm

  2. Just be aware of the ridiculous copyright issues with that thing:
    (start reading at the middle section of ‘Reception’ > “When the park first opened in 2004…”)


    January 24, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    • Thanks for the visit – I know in Europe they have strict regulations regarding “Art Photography”, usually meaning that the Photographer is using a tripod. We were accosted numnerous times in Rome by the Non-Tripod Police and warned to get a permit.

      January 24, 2012 at 10:01 pm

      • Non-tripod police? OMG.

        January 27, 2012 at 7:42 am

      • Yup – Those who shoot with a Tripod in certain parts of Europe are to be Taxed

        January 27, 2012 at 8:31 am

  3. OK, now you’ve got me spooked. Not only have I photographed Cloud Gate with a tripod but am heading to Rome this summer and was intending to pack a tripod for early morning and evening photography. Do I need to get a permit?

    January 25, 2012 at 10:12 am

    • Hi
      Take your tripod, but be wary of the No-Tripod Police. You might consider buying a Gorilla Pod from Joby – they are discrete and I believe legal. A permit will cost you several hundred Euros – not sure how to get one, but likely through the Italian Bureau of Tourism.

      January 25, 2012 at 11:34 am

  4. C’est très beau, j’aurais souhaité un meilleur temps ici à Paris, mais j’ai comme même photographié La Défense, sous la pluie, apparemment, éternelle… Mais je n’en suis pas satisfaite, même si c’est beau à voir la grisaille… Mais c’est sur mon site Que de mes photos…

    Quel temps fait-il chez vous ?


    January 25, 2012 at 11:55 am

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