Goodness, it’s been more than a year since I witnessed this gloomy Chicago day where the entire city was shrouded in a cloak of thick fog, seeing maskless people freely congregating in public and without fear. The year was 2019, before Christmas I reckon. The last normal Christmas.
This photo sat in my library all this time, forgotten, mostly because of how boring, poorly framed and average it felt to me back then, but something else popped up after me spending a year not looking at it. Something’s changed in my perspective of it. When I glanced at it the other day what immediately occurred to me was how oddly the photo looked. The tones I mean!
Bottom of the picture gives off ample contrast, crisp outlines and nearly full dynamic range. Yet, once you move up to the far edge of the rink the fog starts setting in and once in the tree line it feels as though you are looking at a completely different photograph. The difference is so stark that a thumbnail of this photo almost looks photoshopped and that’s what caught my eye.
It is a juxtaposition of a vivid daily life full of joy against a lifeless, gloomy, washed out palette of grey. This sentence and the photo both perfectly capture what I have seen and experienced as a difference between last year and this year. A battle of duality. Life is coming back in full force and despite many parts of the world still being deep in fight and in the depths of this pandemic, we are about to overcome it.