Detail in the Great Hall
29 Nov 2012
In Chicago's Union Station I had a layover of almost 8 hours between trains - and absolutely nothing to do.
After sitting in the lounge for about an hour, I suddenly remembered that I was photographer and was lugging around my camera for a reason. I decided to go on a photo safari of Union Station and one of the first things I encountered was The Great Hall.
It really is "Great"; marble floors, marble pillars, ornate lamps, old world architecture - absolutely beautiful. I walked around snapping "tourist" photos like I've seen a million times before. Yawn! I wasn't happy with anything I was shooting - actually I was quite bored and disappointed with my work.
The hall was virtually empty with only a few travelers sleeping against the wall or passing through on their journeys to somewhere. I found a quiet spot next to an old lamp, sat with my back against the wall, and contemplated; my journey, my art, the Great Hall and its vast space that everybody barely glances at as they migrate through, the vast space, the vast space that everyone takes the same mundane photos of, the vast space...
I took a deep breath, leaned my head against the wall, closed my eyes, and thought... How can I show the real beauty of this magnificent space? A short time later I opened my eyes and the first thing I saw was the detailed carving at the base of the antique lamp I was sitting next to.
Detail. This vast space is made up of beautiful, tiny, detail... I looked around and for the first time I really saw the Great Hall. My view had changed and I found my answer. The way to capture and present the elegance of this beautiful place is through its detail.