Weekly Photo Challenge: In the Background

Several weekends ago in Chicago, we stumbled across this stunning pair of 50-foot glass towers in Millennium Park designed by the Spanish artist Jaume Plensa.  Called the Crown Fountain, the towers are set in a small reflecting pool.  But they are deceptive.  When you get close, you can see LED-generated images of Chicago citizens, smiling on the surface of the walls.  Periodically, the faces change, their eyes blinking, their mouths opening to release a jet of water, which fills a shallow pool.

As we watched people interact with the sculpture and the water,  I took a number of shots at a fairly close range, but the framing was wrong.  Just a portion of the wall was  in the background and it didn’t provide enough context for the viewer.

Close up--Crown Fountain, Chicago

Close up–Crown Fountain, Chicago

The trick for this photo was to step way back in order to capture both the smaller figures in the foreground, as well as the fountain and city skyline in the background.    As with all photography (and in life too)–sometimes we are so focused on one small part of the picture, when we really need to take a few steps back and take in the bigger, wider meaning.

Spanish artist Jaume Plenza's sculpture in Millennium Park, Chicago

Spanish artist Jaume Plenza’s sculpture in Millennium Park, Chicago

This has also been true on a personal level at various times of my life, when I am too focused on myself and my little life–instead of stepping back and looking at the broader picture, the wider world.   Do you agree that the photo needed to be taken from a far distance to get the full effect or do you prefer the close up?

See other posts on this week’s theme at:


24 replies »

  1. It’s interesting how the mind works. The first photo, though only a partial view, brought back memories of when I first saw those fountains. The delight of that first experience was wonderful even before this Part II photo. As the saying goes, thanks for the memories, Patti.



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