In my last post from the 2018 OOC Conference I mentioned I’d be sharing a separate post with some images from Aqua. I’ve photographed this building dozens of times, it’s certainly a Chicago favorite, especially for abstracts.
Most often I prefer to photograph this building with a telephoto lens, it is a skyscraper after-all (the tallest in the world designed by a woman – Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects. However, her new Vista Tower just next door will top this one very soon). The reason for the telephoto lens is because this building is very tall and I prefer isolating the undulating curves/waves of building’s balconies.
Sometimes I like to include a portion of the windows, this gives a feeling of pools of water with ripples of sand. However, this time I mostly wanted to eliminate the windows and focus solely on the waves of the balconies. My favorite side of the building to do this is the west side, just outside the entrance. The first three images below are a more typical way I’ve approached the editing. Higher-key, which helps hide the wear and tear on the building, but also feels very light and refreshing.
The next little mini-series of shots was kind-of an accident. The way I had the metering setup turned Aqua to the dramatic black. Initially it wasn’t intentional, but I liked how it made the ridges of the balconies standout from the interior of the balconies. This drastic underexposure also works well to hide the cracks and dirt that show on the undersides of the balconies, making post-processing far simpler. However, on the flip-side of the high-key, white images, these feel more dramatic and ominous.
I like both versions, they convey different things. Do you have a preference?
If you’d like to see more from Aqua, there’s a larger set here. And everything from the OOC Conference here.