Zeca Bettax, 21 May 2011

2011/05/21

Figures I’d start reposting stuff, then get sick and have to skip out on a few days. Anyways, I’m still sick at the moment, but I’m well enough that I can (probably) make it through a quick post. As with my previous Bettax post, this one will be primarily images, anyways, so I don’t have to write much for that.

ZecaBettax CHI Acros100 CloudGate01B

ZecaBettax CHI Acros100 FisherBldgDtl01B

ZecaBettax CHI Acros100 CrazyTree06B

ZecaBettax CHI Acros100 CurvingStair01B

ZecaBettax CHI Acros100 DryFountain01B

Photo Information:

Photo 1:
Location: Chicago, Illinois; Millennium Park
Camera: Zeca Bettax
Lens: Schneider-Kreuznach 105mm f/4.5 Radionar
Film: Fuji Neopan Acros 100 (120)

The Cloud Gate sculpture in Millennium Park, also affectionately known as The Bean, or as I like to refer to it, the Big, Shiny Metal Blob. In the background are the rather uninspired Mid-Continental Plaza (right, completed in 1972 & designed by Alfred Shaw & Associates) and the CNA Center (left, completed in 1962 & designed by C. F. Murphy Associates); while it isn’t obvious in this photo, the latter is a refreshingly vibrant shade of red, as opposed to most of the other similar Modernist skyscrapers in the city, which tend towards brown and black.

Photo 2:
Location: Chicago, Illinois; South Loop
Camera: Zeca Bettax
Lens: Schneider-Kreuznach 105mm f/4.5 Radionar
Film: Fuji Neopan Acros 100 (120)

Aquatic-themed terra cotta details on the Fisher Building (completed in 1896 & designed by D. H. Burnham & Co.). I wasn’t entirely certain that this photo would turn out, as the composition required very close focus, and the camera has only a fairly rudimentary scale focus “mechanism” – the front element of the lens twists in and out on a threaded ring. I was also pretty well at the limit of the lens’ focusing capability, as I was just about 1 meter away from these two creatures – which is also the lens’ minimum focusing distance. As such, I could be relatively confident that the composition would turn out in focus, but of course, I couldn’t be sure until I processed the film. I’m happy to see that it did turn out. On a related note, I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned before (though I’m sure I have) that I happen to love the unique detailing on the Fisher Building – the developer who commissioned the building was named Lucius Fisher, and the various aquatic-themed details (fish, crustaceans, sea monsters, etc.) were incorporated into the building as a play on this name.

Photo 3:
Location: Chicago, Illinois; Uptown Neighborhood
Camera: Zeca Bettax
Lens: Schneider-Kreuznach 105mm f/4.5 Radionar
Film: Fuji Neopan Acros 100 (120)

Yup, it’s a tree. I found this one at the corner of Marine Drive and Wilson; it took a little effort to crop out some of the background elements (streetlights, other trees, etc.), as this tree isn’t nearly as isolated as some of the others I’ve recently photographed. The tree is sufficiently shapely to have captured my attention, and with the cloudy sky background, the composition was that much more interesting.

Photo 4:
Location: Chicago, Illinois; North Loop
Camera: Zeca Bettax
Lens: Schneider-Kreuznach 105mm f/4.5 Radionar
Film: Fuji Neopan Acros 100 (120)

A curved concrete stair in the North Loop; this stair leads from a park that is at the same level as Lower Wacker and other “underground” streets to the upper street level. For those of you who don’t know, much of what is apparently ground-level in North Loop is actually about 20 ft or so above the actual ground level of most of the city (which is also not particularly uniform, as many streets have been raised from the “original” ground level – Chicago is so heavily stratified and developed that I doubt anyone today knows where the original ground level was, short of performing an archeological excavation), so there is a whole level of “underground” circulation space below the street level, both for vehicular traffic and for pedestrians – in the latter case, this includes a network of passageways between various buildings that can be a boon during the cold winter months. Thus, the need for this stair when this part of the neighborhood was redeveloped; the park is at the lower ground level, so stairs were needed to get from the park to the street level surrounding it – it makes sense when you’re in the space. In the background of the aperture is the Swissotel Chicago building (completed in 1989 & designed by Harry Weese Associates).

Photo 5:
Location: Chicago, Illinois; North Loop
Camera: Zeca Bettax
Lens: Schneider-Kreuznach 105mm f/4.5 Radionar
Film: Fuji Neopan Acros 100 (120)

Part of a fountain in the North Loop; this fountain is in the park mentioned in the description for the previous photo above. As with the Fisher Building details above, I adjusted the scale focus on the lens to focus on the nearby elements, rather than the background. In this case, however, the actual setting wasn’t as critical as the former, as I only cared that some part of the fountain was in focus with the background out of focus, so I just set the lens for a nearby focus point (2 meters, I think), and took the shot. Since it was still winter when I shot this, the fountain was shut off; I’ll have to return when the water is turned back on, and shoot a companion to this one.

Enjoy.

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One Response to “Zeca Bettax, 21 May 2011”


  1. […] months ago, I posted a photo of a dry fountain in the North Loop area, and I thought it would be nice to photograph it […]


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