The Bean – 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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