Cloud Gate, 13 November 2011

2011/11/13

Fair sure I’ve posted photos of the underside of the Cloud Gate in Millennium Park before, but I’m too lazy to find the post and link to it…it would’ve been a while ago, anyways, so here are some new shots!

FM2 CHI TMax100 CloudGateUnder01B

FM2 CHI TMax100 CloudGateUnder02B

FM2 CHI TMax100 CloudGateUnder03B

Photo Information:

Location: Chicago, Illinois; Chicago Loop
Camera: Nikon FM-2
Lens: Nikon Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 (Photos 1 & 3); 28mm f/2.8 (Photo 2)
Film: Kodak TMax 100 (135)

I shot these photos the day after the Great Blizzard back in February, so that’s why you can see a bit of snow on the ground reflected in the shiny metal underside of the Blob. Also of note: you can see me in these reflections…I know, such a rare occurrence! You can’t easily see me in the first photo, but in photos 2 & 3, I’m the guy in the lower left corner…yup, the guy who looks like he’s steadying himself while taking a photo – makes sense, right? Of course, even if you could see any details, you wouldn’t have much of an idea of what I look like, anyways – the “high” that day topped out around NINE DEGREES, so I was pretty well bundled up for the six hour walk I took around the Loop (for the record, I was wearing two shirts, a sweater, a heavy wool coat, ski mask, hat, jeans, two pairs of gloves, and two pairs of socks inside my insulated boots – and I was still freezing). OTOH, I was one of the few people in Millennium Park that day (or anywhere outside, for that matter), so it wasn’t nearly as crowded as it usually gets. That, and I got photographed by a Chicago Tribune photographer and made it into the Tribune slideshow for the blizzard (skip to image 30…that’s me).

Regarding the photos, I had considered taking out my Dad’s Canon AE-1 Program, as I always enjoy shooting with that camera, but I was concerned that the cold might adversely affect its batteries – the AE-1 Program has an electronically-timed shutter, so if the batteries fail, the camera is rendered inoperable. By contrast, my FM-2 is completely mechanical (the batteries only power the built-in light meter), so the worst that would happen is that I would have to estimate the exposure values; Nikon also engineered their older mechanical cameras to very exacting specifications, and the camera is supposedly able to reliably operate in temperatures from -40°C to +50°C – well outside the range of temperatures I would ever encounter! You’ll also note that  was shooting with prime lenses for all three photos – I’ve mentioned my preference for them before, and this is a good example of why they were helpful. The underside of the Cloud Gate is always relatively dark, even on sunny days, so shooting photos of the underside (without a flash) can be problematic – and was, with some of my older digital cameras that had variable maximum apertures. The f/2.8 wideangle lens isn’t much better than the f/3.5 or f/4 I usually got with my digital cameras, but that f/1.2 lens really does give me a much wider range of shutter speeds in tough lighting conditions.

Enjoy.

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2 Responses to “Cloud Gate, 13 November 2011”


  1. Awesome! I love images that make me look for ages before I can actually work out what it is


  2. I love these images. Black and white is perfect for them and just like abstracts, making me keep looking and following every line. Wonderful!


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