Saturday, August 4, 2012


Admission to the Milwaukee Art Museum is free on the first Thursday of the month, so I found myself back at the museum on Thursday evening, August 2nd.  There were a couple of special exhibits, but of course no photography of those exhibits was allowed.  So I was looking for fresh images.  There were a few.

One thing I had forgotten about museum shoots is that the light in the museum is generally a lot lower, something our eyes don't necessarily see.  So within a few shots I was adjusting my ISO setting from 100 up to 1000.  Also, the color of the light is different and varies from room to room, exhibit to exhibit, so I also found myself changing the white balance setting.  Usually I had it set to Auto, but occasionally the Auto setting didn't do a good job of capturing the color I was seeing, so I made adjustments.  Because I shoot in raw, theoretically I can always correct things in post-processing, but that assumes I could remember the proper white balance.  So I generally tried to get the color right at the time of shooting.  Here are a couple of the shots.

OK, so these are not really new pieces; they are either just new to me or I simply hadn't tried to shoot them before.  And here are a few sculptures.  In the first two, I intentionally reduced the depth of field to create perceived depth in the shot.

And here are a couple more sculptures where the play of light and shadow provided the depth and I was just trying to capture that depth.

The following was bronze statue that posed some difficulties.

The Puritan's wide-brimmed hat put his face into dark shadow.  Moreover, I really didn't like the bronze color.  I worked hard in post processing to create some light on the face but was only partially successful, without doing something heroic in Photoshop.  To eliminate the bronze color, I simply turned the piece into a B&W.  This is quite an impressive statue, as the Puritan is really a very intimidating character.  To keep an emphasis on the central part of the sculpture, including the buttoned tunic and the upturned collar of the cape, I sacrificed the extension of the figure's arms.

The following photos shows just a portion of the sculptures, as I wanted to focus on their textures as abstracts.

As usual, I found myself photographing only portions of the wall art, selecting what I thought were the key or at least most interesting components, as in the following shots.

But in a few cases I decided to shoot the entire piece.  In the following, I wanted to capture the faint reflection of the colors in the floor in front of the painting.

Shot with my Nikon D7000 with 24-120 mm Nikkor lens.

1 comment:

  1. As usual the pictures are great. I now look at pictures so different before my visit.