Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
from In Memorium
by Lord Alfred Tennyson
It seems to be becoming a ritual for me to go out just before the New Year and make a few images and this year, just like last, I found myself in Chicago doing just that.
What I was trying to capture with this image was the sense of duality on Wacker Drive. Lower Wacker Drive has always fascinated me and has shown up in several of my other images in various forms, but as I was crossing this bridge I noticed the opening that allowed me to see both lower and upper Wacker Drive, so I composed this image which shows a night scene above ground with colorful incandescent lighting and the city lights reflecting off the fast moving clouds above, and the even warmer sodium vapor light spilling out the opening below.
There is an obvious juxtaposition at that opening also, where the trees and grass are fenced off from the concrete cavern.
From Wacker Drive I drove up north to have drinks and toast the new year with some friends, and on my way home I decided to make my first image of 2011 at the Water Tower on Michigan Ave. for no other reason than I thought it somehow a fitting beginning to a year that holds a lot of hope for so many.