Federal Plaza

Comments made by the photographer

Submitter's name: Bob Gries
Title: Federal Plaza
Gear used: OM-4Ti + 16/3.5 + tripod & mini gear head + cable release
Diaphragm: f11
Shutter speed: Auto, spot meter on statue
Film used: Fuji NPC 160 (rated at 100)
Technical information: This was part of a series comparing the 16mm, 18mm, and 24mm shift lenses. Some more shots can be seen here
Subject information: Federal Plaza with "Flamingo", Chicago, Illinois. Federal Plaza is one of my favorite subjects to photograph in Chicago. It was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe to replace an existing federal building on the site. The sculpture "Flamingo" by Alexander Calder is a nice contrast to the black-painted fenestration of the two towers. The transparency of the post office building is best appreciated at dusk when the lights come up and the sculpture is illuminated from below. Image was slightly cropped from the bottom.

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Comments made by others

Comment left by: Olaf Greve (no e-mail specified) I like this shot, somehow I see a lot of humour in the way the buildings seem to fold along the orange statue. :)

Comment left by: benson (benson@research.haifa.ac.il) I immediately recognized this as a Calder. Two things I really like about this: 1) the contrast on the color and 2) the wrap-around buildings that the super-wide mimicks the sculpture.

Comment left by: Eric (no e-mail specified) love the shot

Comment left by: Alasdair Mackintosh (Alasdair.Mackintosh@ntlworld.com) Really great shot. The lighting is amazing, and the curves produced by the fisheye match the shape of the sculpture.

Comment left by: Chuck Norcutt (chucknorcutt@attbi.com) I love it. The buildings appear to be wrapping the sculpture in their embrace.

Comment left by: Wayne Harridge (no e-mail specified) Brilliantly composed with a 16.

Comment left by: Doro (no e-mail specified) great shot. Especially the two buildings winding - very good composition!

Comment left by: iwert (no e-mail specified) Very good shot. I always doubted if I really liked the fish-eye effect. You have proven so. When compared with the other shots this one is the clear best. One remark howeverů In the composition the Calder is the turning point, maybe putting the base of the sculpture really in center could improve the contrast in the image. Giving peace in composition and dynamics as appearance. However, I think Calder would really like this!

Comment left by: Brian Swale (bj@caverock.net.nz) Brilliant conception and execution.

What (to me) unexpected results from this lens. I really like the way the tall buildings wind around (surprise) and the curves of the sculpture echo this but there's a contrast and liveliness coming from the colour.

Comment left by: Jon Mitchell (jon@jonmitch.co.uk) You are a true enabler. Showing this shot to the CDFO has persuaded her that perhaps I do need to get that Zuiko 16/3.5 after all !!

Anyway, great shot. Like everyone else has said, the composition and the way the buildings wrap around the statue is simply awesome. Inspirational !!

Comment left by: Damon Wood (deewhy_au@yahoo.co.uk) The result of an 'eye' behind some serious gear!
Exposure and composition is spot on with a lens that is tack sharp!

Comment left by: Chris Barker (no e-mail specified) Beautifully done. Nice use of "fenestration" as well :>).

Comment left by: Jim Brokaw (jbrokaw@pacbell.net) Interesting noting the 'telephoto compression' in the different shots linked, the background buildings are definitely much larger and more prominent in the 'telephoto compressed' 24-Shift view than in the 'normal perspective' 18/3.5 view. The other interesting thing to me is how the sculpture appears very similar in all three images... apparently Mr. Calder was able to compensate for the curved view of the 16/3.5 lens!

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