9 Variations of the Bean

9 Variations of the Bean

The Bean – 1 of 9

When I asked for suggestions from you about my Series of 9 images that I’ve been doing for the last few months over on Instagram, Bjorn Kleemann contributed this one. Let’s see 9 variations of The Bean (aka Cloudgate).

I loved this suggestion, thank you Bjorn (and if you don’t follow him, go check out his work, he’s been posting a lot of incredible minimalistic images lately).

The reason I love this series is that it is in line with something I try to convey in all my images and what I think about quite a bit when I’m out shooting. I also love to teach others to SEE and think in this way. (Stay tuned for more on that.)

The Bean is one of the most photographed places/objects in Chicago. It’s a must-see spot when visiting Chicago, but, how do you create an image that is different than what you’ve already seen? It’s not easy. Sure, go ahead and get your ‘tourist shots’, the whole Bean, your reflection in the Bean, the underneath alienesque reflections and the other usual suspects. Then what?

Then, I suggest putting your camera down. Walk around, take in the sights, sounds and feel the energy that is usually buzzing around the Bean. What else can you SEE? What is something only you would notice, what is your own, unique perspective on the Bean? It’s a challenge to find something different, but its fun to see if you can.

This is one of my favorite shots that I’ve taken of the Bean. I titled it “Meet Me at the Bean”. It was one of those right place, right time shots, but the thing about right place/right time shots is that you still have to be looking and seeing what is going on, being completely aware of the compositions as the people and yourself move around. You have to be completely aware of the light. In this shot, it was the light that grabbed me. The sun lighting up the woman in the shot and creating that wonderful long shadow, and also creating contradicting shadows by bouncing off the buildings in the background.

Every time I am at this location, my main goal is to SEE it and shoot it differently.

Come along for the next 9 days to SEE how I’ve attempted to do that.


If you have suggestions for more series feel free to let me know what they are in the comments.


With Appreciation,

This Post Has 3 Comments

    1. It’s kind of fun to go back through the archives for this sort of project. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment Ricardo.

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