Photography is the closest thing to time travel I've ever known. In the blink of an eye, moments pass us by and we can never go back. But with a photograph, it becomes possible to store that moment away, exactly as it affected you, and you can call upon that moment years later and relive it as if it were happening right now. Life is just a collection of moments, what we choose to do with them, and how we choose to remember them. Without memories, we have nothing. By the time your mind processes a thought, it's already in the past, but with a photo, you can see it again with your own 2 eyes, whenever and however you want.
During my last trip to Chicago, a dear friend and I ventured to one of the most recognizable attractions the city has to offer, Millennium Park's Cloud Gate. As one of the most photographed sights in Chicago if not the entire United States, I found myself eager to experience it for myself and see what others may have missed. Upon arrival, there were so many tourists, each snapping their own photos, making their own memories, charging the flux capacitors of their own time machines. At first, I thought with so many tourists around I would never get the shot I wanted, never capture anything unique and personal.
But then I realized, the people aren't interfering with my experience, they ARE my experience. Cloud Gate Introspective © Bill RushTime stands still for a self portrait amidst the droves of tourists flocking to one of Chicago's most recognizable icons, Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate in the heart of Millennium Park.
The people experiencing this sculpture ARE the moment, they're what reached out to me, captured my emotions and truly moved me. While standing underneath The Bean amidst that huge crowd of people, the sounds echoing off the curved sculpture overhead, and the 360º reflections of reflections of reflections - of everything and everyone around me...it was almost too much, it was all-consuming. My senses switched to survival mode and time slowed to a crawl. I felt my pulse thumping the back of my neck, swallowed hard and let my vision tunnel in, just getting lost in the moment. The crowds scurried around me, they became a fluid blur of motion, and I was able to see right past them, through them, suddenly focusing in on this glint of sunshine kissing that perfectly smooth steel. I don't often shoot self portraits, as a photographer I usually prefer to only exist within my viewfinder, invisible to the scene I capture. But on this day, just like every translucent ghost blurring past, I was present, I was a part of the moment.