Cloud Gate or "The Bean" in Chicago

Discussion in 'Travel' started by christal|1, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. Does anyone know the best time of day to see reflections in 'The Bean' sculpture in downtown Chicago? I've seen some spectacular pictures of the Chicago skyline reflected in it. We'd like to plan our 3-day itinerary for the city, and it would be helpful to know if there is a better time of day for capturing reflections. I would presume anyone who lives close to or in Chicago would perhaps have a better feel for this. Thank you!
     
  2. SCL

    SCL

    I usually took my shots in the morning, before noon, as I liked that particular lighting. Remember that the bean sits east of the skyline, so in the summer evening, as the sun begins to set, you will have the sun shining either into your lens causing flare, until it get low enough behind the buildings....but then you might need a tripod or additional lighting to illuminate the Bean and not blow out the sky behind the skyline. It boils down to whatever your artistic vision is.
     
  3. It is different in different light, so it's hard to say there's one "best time".
    A bright sunny day opens lots of opportunity for shots of people mugging.
    00aG86-457217584.jpg
     
  4. Stephen and JDM.....this is helpful. I suppose the 'Bean' is situated such that you can shoot all the way around it, from any direction. Is that so? If so, perhaps any time of day could work, I suppose.

    It sounds like you both are rather familiar with Chicago, so if you have any other suggestions for places to visit and/or photograph (other than the obvious places in the tourist info), please share. :)
    Sorry for my double post. I didn't think it had posted, so I entered it again, and now it won't let me delete one of them.
    JDM....I think it would be amusing to people-watch here, as your image so wonderfully illustrates. Thanks!
     
  5. There is no best time. It depends on what you see. Make it your own, this is one of the most photographed light-friendly objects around. What kind of things do you like to photograph?
     
  6. rnt

    rnt

    Take a look at the Google satellite view of Millenium Park. That'll show you where everything is... You can go to Google Maps and select satellite view. Then search for 'Millenium Park Chicago' or 'Jay Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park'
     
  7. SCL

    SCL

    It sits in the middle of a plaza, so 360 degrees is quite easy. As a long-time Chicagoan, almost anywhere in the city works for me, although I'm always especially fascinated by the views along the Chicago river, and railway lines. The Chagall mural in the plaza outside the Chase Bank bldg and a block away the Picasso sculpture at the Daley Plaza, as well as the sculpture at the Thompson Center across from the Daley Plaza are sort of de rigeur. Lincoln Park Zoo usually has some interesting opportunities, as well as the rowing club which stores their boats about a block away....early in the morning as you cross the bridges across the river you can often see the rowing crews practising their skills. If you like the gangster era, there are spots throughout the city (not marked, but you could find some of them online); some of the architecture is really outstanding...if you get a chance take the walking tour or the boat tour. If it is a while off before your visit, you can get one of the PBS videos by Jeff Baer which will open your eyes and give you lots of ideas for what to photograph in the Chicago areas. Even longtimers like me learn from these videos. Most of all, have a great time.
     
  8. david_henderson

    david_henderson www.photography001.com

    I spent an hour there one afternoon late last September. I must confess that I'm not overly impressed by what I managed there but I can tell you that it was 3.20 pm when the attached was taken.
     
  9. david_henderson

    david_henderson www.photography001.com

    I spent an hour there one afternoon late last September. I must confess that I'm not overly impressed by what I managed there but I can tell you that it was 3.20 pm when the attached was taken.
     
  10. david_henderson

    david_henderson www.photography001.com

    Yet another dupe. Sorry
     
  11. david_henderson

    david_henderson www.photography001.com

    Had some problems finding out where LR had put my reduced -size example. Try again
    00aGBs-457315684.jpg
     
  12. david_henderson

    david_henderson www.photography001.com

    In general I think you'll get more joy out of Chicago's architecture by following the river, both on foot and by taking one of the many boat tours. By comparison the walking tour we tried run by the Architecture people was not at all good.
    00aGC0-457317784.jpg
     
  13. [​IMG]
    When we arrived it was around sunset but hundreds of people at the site. I then ended up talking with the security guard and asked is there any time when no one is around. The guard told me that there was only two times when the crowds are not at the site. when they close for the night and when they open in the morning.
     
  14. Just quickly to acknowledge that I've read your responses......I didn't know anyone else had responded because I had checked the 'notify me of responses' button, yet I wasn't notified. Oh well. I'm off to work at the moment, but I'll respond when I can. There are some great suggestions here. Thanks!
     
  15. I made some interesting pics during a very cloudy evening:
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ramonduran/3497905432/" title="the reflected skyline por R.Duran, en Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3302/3497905432_caf5dc547b_n.jpg" width="320" height="152" alt="the reflected skyline"></a>
     
  16. I made this pic during an overcast evening:
     
  17. Luis, I like to shoot everything, but while in Chicago I'm most interested in adding some architecture shots to my portfolio. It appears that most any time of day would be good. Thanks!
    Bob....I'll do it! Thanks for the suggestion!
    Stephen....lucky you! I've traveled widely, yet I still find Chicago to be my favorite big city! We live in Indianapolis, so we've been there frequently over the years. But we usually go for some event, and this time it's just for pleasure. Thanks for the suggestions, as well as for the video idea. I'll check it out.
    Graham.....cool shot! Hopefully we'll be able to shoot in daylight and evening light. Thanks!
    David.....thanks for persevering and posting the pictures. I like how the skyline gets distorted in the reflection. And the other image (I know right where that was taken) makes a cool abstract. We've taken the boat tour before, and we liked it! I love Chicago for architecture! This time.....I've found a tour of the heated pedway, and some of the pictures people have posted are impressive, so we may try that. I'm also interested in the food tours that take you into various neighborhoods. But mostly we love to snoop around on our own. If the weather is bad, we'll go to Shedd Aquarium, which we haven't visited in years. Thanks so much!
    Rick.....I like your shot! It's amazing how many variations there are.....you never see 2 shots alike! What do you mean....'when they close'? Can it close? I thought it was just in an open plaza. Hopefully we'll get there at night (or at least dusk) as well as during the day. Thanks for posting!
    Ramon.....I couldn't open the first link you included. Sorry! But I could open the image in your 2nd post! Impressive! Thanks for taking time to send it! And BTW, we LOVE Madrid. We've been there twice and our son studied there for a year at Complutense University.
     
  18. [['when they close'? Can it close? I thought it was just in an open plaza]]
    No, it has hours: 6am to 11pm.
    So, if you're planning a morning shoot, be standing on the edge before 6 so you can head in and set up right away.
     
  19. I'm partial to a beautiful afternoon with a bright blue sky.
    [​IMG]
     
  20. "Luis, I like to shoot everything, but while in Chicago I'm most interested in adding some architecture shots to my portfolio. It appears that most any time of day would be good. Thanks!"
    I don't know how long you have, but if there is time, go beyond the drive-by or float-by and enter the lobbies of these buildings. The walking architectural tours are good.
    Again, if you have time, take the Green Line train to Oak Park, and see extraordinary early Modernist Frank Lloyd Wright (and Louis Sullivan) houses and studio there. Do not stay after rush hour and take the train back. It can be scary.
    http://www.gowright.org/
     
  21. Almost across the street from the Bean on Michigan Ave there is the Chicago Architecture Foundation. They run a large variety of tours, from walking to boats ( http://www.architecture.org/ ). Chicago is the world's largest and best outdoor museum for late 19th c architecture on to the present day. Nearly every major architect has done something in Chicago and it is the birthplace of the skyscraper. Take the skyscraper downtown walking tour (normally excellent, but they are volunteers) and the Chicago River tour by boat for the short of it.
    In the same area, don't miss the Chicago Art Institute for fantastic Impressionist to modern art collections.
    There are also the blues clubs like Buddy Guy's Legends (buddyguy.com)- the world's best (Chicago style, that is) hot dogs (several places downtown in the Loop claim the honor).
    Not to mention neighborhoods with nearly every ethnic cooking style. You want Ethiopian stew and bread (wat and injera)? It's there, not to mention the competition with Eritrean cooking... and so on.
    Chicago is truly one of the world's great cities.
     
  22. Location of the Cloud Gate
    00aGRO-457585784.jpg
     
  23. Rob....we'll be a a few day get-away vacation, so it's HIGHLY unlikely that I'll be able to get my husband up earlier enough to be there at 6:00. :) Thanks for the info!
    Eric.....It's nice to know that it's possible to get a good image, even in the middle of the day. Thanks for including your image!
    Luis....you wouldn't believe how long I've wanted to visit Oak Park, but somehow we never get there. I'm kind of a Frank Lloyd Wright fan. We've been to several of his buildings, including Fallingwater, Taliesin West, and Spring Green. Thanks for the advice about the bus line. Chicago is such a walker's city that we usually park our car and take public transit while we're there.
    JDM.....sounds like you really know the city! We've been to Chicago many times and have taken several tours, including the architectural boat tour. There is no shortage of tours in Chicago....that's for sure! We rather prefer to be on our own, but sometimes the tours are helpful and provide more info than we'd glean on our own. Ever since I read the book "Devil in the White City", I've acquired a whole new appreciation for the architecture of Chicago! We've been to the Art Institute many times, but even though they have rotating exhibits, I think we'll skip it this time. We're going to go to the Shedd Aquarium instead. And we're signed up to take a 'Pedway' walking tour, which allows you to see the buildings kind of from the inside out. You walk in the Pedways (which many native Chicagoans apparently don't even know exist), and come up into the buildings from Underground. On Trip Advisor they were very highly rated, so we're gonna give it a try.
    I'm somewhat of a 'foodie', and Chicago has to be one of the best places for food lovers! We always try a new (to us) ethnic restaurant whenever we go. We may take a neighborhood tour with an emphasis on food!
    I ABSOLUTELY agree with your last sentence. Chicago is the BEST!!! Thanks for including the map.....very helpful. And I have just one more question for you. Are you familiar with Northerly Island? I read about it and thought it might be a good place to set up for taking pictures of the skyline at night. Is it a safe area....would you recommend that plan? Thanks so much for your generous help!
     
  24. One of the advantage of some of the Foundation walking tours is that they get you into places (with your camera) that are barred to the casual tourist wandering in off the street.
    Northerly Island Park is the old downtown airport, dangerous to land, but much loved by those of us who flew in from other parts of Illinois. I have no idea about its current safety for pedestrians, but the skyline views from the Aquarium and Planetarium areas (not to mention the pier) are really quite good and more easily accessible anyhow.
    I had some views to post, but server errors have blocked all my graphics attempts in the last hour or so.
     
  25. Here's the skyline looking N from the Shedd & Adler areas that I wanted to post earlier.
    The top one is 1963 on my first visit to Chicago and the bottom one is from 1977.
    Although my wife was from Chicago, I've never actually lived there, so I've always been a sort of tourist with a native guide.
    00aGu3-458139584.jpg
     
  26. JDM.....thanks for the additional info. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. :) It helps to see your images. I was thinking Navy Pier would be a good option, so thanks for confirming that. We've never walked all the way out the Pier, and there is supposed to be a stained glass museum in there somewhere. That may be worth a look-see. It's great that your wife is a 'native'. I know how nice it was when our daughter was in college up there. She got to know the city, and we visited frequently, taking public transit, going to Cubs game, etc......living like the locals. It was great. As a tourist it's an expensive city, but SO worth it!
     
  27. While in Millenium Park, make sure you photograph the Jay Pritzer Pavillion. Also walk the pedestrian bridge from Mellinium Park to the Chicago Art Institute, From this bridge, you can get some fantastic shots of parts of downtown Chicago. You leave the bridge on the top floor of the art museum at an open area courtyard with wonderful painted walls. Take pictures of them. You can also photograph Chicago from openings in the courtyard walls.
    Back in the park, go to the water towers and watch the kids playing in the pool in about 1/2 inch of water. Great location for people shots.
    Make sure you leave time for the boat tour on the river run by the Chicago Architectural Society. Get a seat on top (open) deck at the rail for best photo taking. First come first served so get their early for best seats for your assigned time. Buy online in advance as it is very popular. Have a wide angle zoom lens and be prepared for creative shots too like the undersides of steel bridges.
    If the Marilyn Monroe statue is still there, see it next. It is only a block or two away.
    Joe Smith
     
  28. I found that the evening was especially nice - if you can get set up on a tripod and use long exposures, you can make the crowds "disappear" easily!
    See attached photo for an example:
    Thanks,
    Brad
    00aH5I-458301684.jpg
     
  29. Here's a second one, with skyline in reflection and the moon as a backdrop:
    00aH5Q-458303584.jpg
     
  30. Joseph.....I'm just now getting your response. We've already been to Chicago.....just got back last night. But we did walk the bridge (both bridges), and the Pavilion designed by Frank Gehry is quite something! It was too cool for kids to be playing in the fountains, but the adults were standing out in the middle taking pictures. We stayed there for quite awhile just taking it all in. What a place! I appreciate your suggestions though! Oh....and we've done the architectural tours before, so we opted not to do it this time. There are so many choices in Chicago!
    Brad.....very impressive photography! Thanks! The golden tones are wonderful! We actually wanted to go back at night, but honestly we were just too pooped! We left our car at the hotel the entire time. But we didn't take public transit....we like to walk. We walked continuously for 3 days! Next time for sure! Thanks for showing us the possibilities!
     

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