December 13, 2011

Museum visit and new project

Sunday was a cold and dreary day and I was looking for something to do that didn't involve sitting at the computer.  The Taft art museum has free admission on Sundays and I had never visited before, so I thought it would be a nice outing.  They have an historical Christmas exhibit that I thought would be interesting.  So off we went. 

It is a nice little museum, but I was actually more intrigued by the historic house than the art :-)  I didn't take any photos because several of the exhibits say "no photos".  It's an amazing house with stunning archtectural details.  I talked with one of the staff and learned about it's history through 3 families and what each added to the mansion.  Thankfully they all stayed true to it's historical roots and it showed. 

I couldn't resist a peek out the front windows to get a view of the main entrance (no longer used as an entrance), which had to be a grand affair for visitors who then entered the very large foyer which led to the T-intersection main hallway and the "music room".  I couldn't help but wonder how many "talk of the town" events were held in that room, including a wedding of one of the owner's daughters.  Leaving the house, it was kind of a shock to the system since the house is located so close to downtown.  Also had to navigate the traffic and tailgaters for the Bengal's game.

Since the Taft museum visit didn't take long and the Cincinnati Art Museum is close, I decided to drive up there (also free admission thanks to a grant).  This museum is quite large by comparison and the layout is more like a contemporary art piece than something designed by an engineer.  I felt lost in a maze and like I was missing things for almost the entire visit.  But I still managed to see quite a bit of amazing art in all forms.  And I took several photos, where I was allowed.

I thought this would make an interesting photo.

Actually, everyone was really great about not touching him or bothering him for the most part.  Maybe it was from the hands-off and hushed feel of the museum? 

Here is the contemporary art piece that they had to label as art so people would know.  Big brass colored box, who knew this is art? Or that what looked to me like a paint covered drop cloth on the wall (not shown) is also art.  I think I own one of those pieces and MINE was painted by my dogs!  But then contemporary isn't really a style that "speaks" to me. Thankfully there was plenty of other interesting art in many forms to see.

 I tried to use the flash to get this photo, but it was reflecting off the bench.  So I took one without the flash, not sure how it would turn out.  I had to lighten it in a photo editing program, but I like the effect. Click on the photo to enlarge it to read the bench. 

This hand carved bed was amazing! Along with each of the other matching bedroom pieces.

This is some of the detail of the headboard.  The photo just doesn't do it justice.  Some of the birds were only barely touching the headboard.

Another bed in the asian wing.  I think this is Cherry wood, very intricately carved. As you can probably tell, I like and am impressed by intricate carving.

This was the only piece Dazzle showed any interest in, so I had to get his photo with it.  When we walked in, we were looking at the side on the right in this photo and I think he was trying to figure out if it was alive or moving/falling.  After a quick sniff, he had no more interest in it.  I got the impression Dazzle was not impressed with the art visit :-)

One section had several small "rooms" that were showcasing a single piece of art.  Each room was divided by a wall of strings.  I loved running my hand through them and it didn't take much to get Dazzle to go through a "wall".

While I was taking his photo, a patron came up and was talking to Dazzle (& getting his own photo of him).  He knelt down just out of the frame here and had Dazzle's attention.

This was one of the main exhibits.  Again, the photo doesn't do it justice.  The bright overhead lights were not doing good things with my little point and shoot.  And I had to wait quite awhile to get no people in this shot! Ended up having to crop a person out on the right side.

Each glass piece was simply hooked at the top (just barely) and carefully hung from the wire frame.  They had a looping video playing in this room showing how the pieces were made and then hung in place.

This time I used the lighting to create interesting shadows

A simple 3 piece sculpture, in the same room with the hanging globes.

I was attempting here to get a reflection of Dazzle in the mirror without getting myself in the shot.  It wasn't till I got home that I realised it was an "infinite" shot because of the mirror on the other side.

Playing around with the signs again :-)

Here I was playing around with the lines while I was taking a rest break on a comfy couch overlooking the main entrance.  It would have been better if I could have had him sit directly in front of this and have his ears end up in the same place, but it was a railing, so it was too low for that.  Also made it black and white because the box in the bottom right was bright red and distracting. Again, trying not to get people in the shot while also getting his ears lined up was a big challenge! 

Below is my favorite shot of the entire visit.  LOVE the symmetry and even his glowing eyes seem to work because they are the same color and approx. size of the other lights to each side of him.  If I had a better photo editing program, I would have straightened this out the tiny bit it needs, but the program I have can't make adjustments that fine. Click on the photo to enlarge.

Which brings me to my newest project (like I don't have enough already!)  I found a "52 weeks of dogs" photography group on a photo site and put in an application to join it.  There is a long waiting list, so I don't know if I'll get to be an official member or not.  But even if I don't, I plan to participate on my Flickr account page each week. 

Per the group rules, only one dog can be the subject (main focus) for the 52 weeks, only 1 photo gets posted per week and some weeks will have an optional theme.  The date function has to be properly set within my camera so that it's clear the photo was taken during the week being posted and if a week is missed, it can't be "made up" later. Each person is on their honor regarding the date setting on their camera and not cheating.  

My rules for my Flickr account: I'll be posting my single favorite photo from each week in the "52 weeks favs" set.  But I'll also post all the ones I like from my weekly attempts in the "52 weeks potential" set.  And if I miss a week, I'll still post it to my own set, just not the group's page: 

As if that's not enough, I'm also going to be participating in a "52 weeks of working dogs" photography group on Facebook.  As you'll see on the above group page, many of the photos are staged, still shots of beloved pets.  The focus of this facebook group will be on dogs that lead a more active lifestyle.  Some weeks I may use the same photo for both, other weeks, I will likely use different photos.  I'm hoping Santa will bring me a new camera with a faster focus/processor so that when I push the shutter button, the photo gets taken right then, instead of up to a full second later.  What a novel concept! :-)  I might even be able to get some action shots! 

This week, I have decided I really want to get a nice silhouette, but the weather is not cooperating.  I found the perfect location for a sunset photo, just need the sunset to be visible!  Someone chase these clouds away please (without dropping the temp). 

I don't know if this is a reasonable expectation from my point and shoot.  I made some indoor attempts that didn't go so well.  So I'll have to wait and see.  If the weather or camera don't cooperate by Friday, I might have to punt and pick a new plan.  Though I do have an idea for something I can try in the basement if I get a white sheet.

Here's an attempt that is interesting, but I'm not crazy about it

So I'll do my best to remember to post my weekly attempts here and will likely give more info about the shots here than on Facebook or Flickr.