No snow today. The temperature was well above 32F until sunset. Yet, for me, today marked the start of winter. I was still after that elusive photograph of the new Apple store that overlooks the Chicago River. For details about the store and its architecture, see my prior post (Apple of Concord). In making another attempt, I stood outside for close to two hours. Three layers of clothing for my upper body. After an hour, my hands were cold, my teeth were chattering, and my toes felt the cold pavement. Chicago is not in frostbite territory, but I can feel it coming.
I would say the outing was a success. At first, my heart sank. One of the Architectural Foundation's boats was docked so as to block a shot straight on and centered on the building's midpoint. But I have my shift camera with me, so no problem. I set the controls for the heart of the sun: F16, ISO 100, with a 72mm lens. I took regular exposures throughout the time I was standing in position. I found that using a 5-second shutter speed meant that the store's interior lights did not blow out, but once I went above 6 seconds, blow out began, with a 12-second exposure producing unacceptable results. I waited for the the setting sun to balance the interior and exterior lights. There was that magic moment when nature got it right.
Interestingly, tonight's photograph's has much more of a yellow cast than the ones I took Friday night. Different cameras. Monochrome was much more pleasing to my eye tonight, so there you have it.
From an architectural viewpoint, the new structure is receiving positive reviews and kudos, as well it should. Yet, there is a serious flaw or mistake. From Pioneer Court looking down, nobody notices it because the video monitor at the base of the interior projects stunning images and animations at an amazingly high resolution. The flaw becomes readily apparent when the structure is viewed from across the river or the Michigan Avenue Bridge. The monitor's mirrored back turns black when the sun sets. Its presence undercuts the simple geometric flow of the stairs into what otherwise would be a lit space populated by well-lit people by pulling the eye away from the stairs. Apple should consider adding some sort of lighting to illuminate the mirrored back.