Zeca Bettax, 06 June 2011


Hey, this is my 400th post here! To mark the occasion, I’m writing…the same sort of post I normally write. Yeah, I know…how very creative of me. Ah well…I’m more interested in the photos anyways…aren’t you?

ZecaBettax CHI Acros100 DelawareBldg01B

ZecaBettax CHI Acros100 OakdaleHouse01B

ZecaBettax CHI Acros100 HenryRohkamHouse01B

ZecaBettax CHI Acros100 TerracottaRowFence01B

ZecaBettax CHI Acros100 WestLoop01B

Photo Information:

Camera: Zeca Bettax
Lens: Schneider-Kreuznach 105mm f/4.5 Radionar
Film: Fuji Neopan Acros 100

Photo 1:
Location: Chicago, Illinois; Chicago Loop

This is the Delaware Building (completed in 1874 and designed by Wheelock & Thomas) at the northesast corner of Dearborn and Randolph. I’ve written about this building before, though the camera I used for that photo was a squre-format TLR, so it showed a bit more context to either side of the building.

Photo 2:
Location: Chicago, Illinois; Lakeview Neighborhood

This is a random house on Oakdale, in the Lakeview Neighborhood; it’s hard to tell when the house was built, though the wood detailing suggests that it was early in the 20C, very likely pre-war. I liked the combination of the wide arch and symmetrical layout at the top of the house, and the asymmetrical bay and front door below. There’s also some nice detailing in the woodwork, something you don’t often see today, owing to the expense involved in carving such pieces.

Photo 3:
Location: Chicago, Illinois; Lakeview Neighborhood

The Henry Rohkam House (completed in 1887, and designed by Theodore Karls), just east of Seminary and Oakdale; this house is part of Terra Cotta Row, a historic district encompassing a handful of houses and flats built for the founders and executives of the Northwestern Terra Cotta company – which explains, in this case, the exuberance of the detailing on the façade. The proliferation of molded terra cotta pieces used in the construction is both an indication of the relative wealth of the owner, and as what amounts to real-life catalog of what the company was able to produce – late 19C product placement, in a very literal sense.

Photo 4:
Location: Chicago, Illinois; Lakeview Neighborhood

Like the Henry Rohkam House, this rather elaborate terra cotta fence is part of the Terra Cotta Row district, and extends for several lots east from Seminary; presumably, the buildings on the lots beyond the Rohkam House were demolished to make way for the (much newer) buildings that stand behind this fence now. Like some of the photos I’ve recently posted, I wanted this one to have a very shallow depth of field, and I knew that I wanted the point of focus to be roughly five feet or so in front of the camera. Knowing this, I set the focus on the lens for two meters, and composed the shot; obviously, there’s an aspect of uncertainty involved in operating like this, but it seems to have worked out well enough. Also, the fact that I had the aperture set to f/11 (it was bright out, and the camera’s maximum speed is 1/150) helped out in that regard.

Photo 5:
Location: Chicago, Illinois; West Loop

This is the view of the Loop as seen from the Blue Line UIC-Halsted stop. Way back when I was attending UIC, I used to see this view (or its nighttime counterpart) every day when I left the school to head home after class. Obviously, the view is dominated by the Sears Tower…



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