Many times when I am out taking pictures I have no clue what I am capturing through the lens of my camera. It is only later at home when I search online that I discover some very interesting things! Like the image today of a giant head. It was sitting out front of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and had this strange board with a bunch of square colors propped up against it. It was interesting and had a certain ascetic feel to it that drew me in and made me want to photograph it, even though I had no clue what it was.
As I shot from different angles nothing felt quite right. I switched lenses and continued moving around the sculpture until one angle with the John Hancock Tower in the background produced the shot I was looking for. It was simple, clean, surreal. The tower and the head were on par with each other. And while I really liked it as shot, it was only after I desatured all colors except the blue sky that it felt done.
And then I got home and began my search for the mysterious head! Turns out it was the brilliant creation of Amanda Ross-Ho and called The Character and Shape of Illuminated Things. It was an art project meant to explore how photography is like seeing!
The woman’s head was a giant replication of an illustration in a photography handbook on lighting that used a mannequin’s head to discuss how lighting dramatically changes the look and detail of an image. The board of square colors was the artists rendition of a giant color calibration card used in printing. And the plaza surrounding the sculpture was meant to be like a public photo studio, encouraging people like me to take pictures. Without even knowing what it was all about it totally drew me in.
Well done Amanda and #IlluminatedThings!