Sculpture Interior Detail - © jj raia

Sculpture Interior Detail – Nasher Museum © jj raia

The quest for the ultimate sunrise photo at Jordan Lake continued a few Sundays ago to no avail, even though there was supposed to be fog around and some high clouds. There was nothing but a bald sky when I arrived, so after passing by and seeing nothing promising, I decided to head up to Durham and wander around the Nasher Museum and see what I could find there to photograph. I was hoping for some interesting architecture, and it was an interesting building, but nothing jumped in front of the camera, so I continued to wander the grounds in search of smaller details.

It was a morning of flailing, not excited about much of what I saw (unlike a few weeks ago when I circled the NC Museum of Art), yet still clicking away at those unexciting things, knowing full well they were unexciting!! I photographed lawnmower tire marks on the slate courtyard, sewer grates, tables and chairs, even light fixtures. If I were using film, I probably wouldn’t have tripped the shutter at all. The only minimally saving grace from that morning was a tubular metal sculpture (if it actually was a sculpture) that I had passed earlier. It certainly didn’t instill in me any desire to walk the ten yards to look at it more closely during that first pass. But having spent the best part of the morning at two locations, and having nothing to show for it, I decided to wander over to it as I was leaving after realizing it had an opening large enough to walk into the “sculpture”.

Remembering what I had found after squeezing inside of a giant redwood tree in California (Click Here to read about that adventure), I decided to check out the inside and initially spotted the rusted figure below shaped like either a flamingo or a fish (depending on your medication). By adjusting the polarizer that’s almost always on the lens, the amount of sky reflected on the un-rusted areas could be eliminated or allowed to show, which ultimately changed the color.

There was also a seemingly intentional and orderly group of rusted spots (top image) near the “floor” that seemed interesting on that morning of near desperation. Because of the darkness inside this tube, these were all longer exposures around 4-seconds using smaller apertures between f/11-f/16 to assure all was in sharp focus on the rounded surfaces.

Rust No.5 - Nasher Museum © jj raia

Rust No.5 – Nasher Museum © jj raia

Looking with a more critical eye on the outside of this tube, now being closer than before, there were only a few areas that had any kind of interesting design, but the difficulty was that they were well above my head, so it was necessary to use the non-tilting live view screen for framing, something that still seems uncomfortable since so many years have been spent peering through a viewfinder. It also drains your battery power much more quickly than is necessary, and for that reason, I only use it for situations it’s impossible to use the viewfinder, or there is a need to place the point of focus outside the area used through the viewfinder.

Rust and Weld No.3 - Nasher Museum © jj raia

Rust and Weld No.3 – Nasher Museum © jj raia

These abstracts were the only things from that entire morning at the museum that seemed to be engaging enough to lose track of time, yet are hardly anything inspirational. Each time anyone goes out with a camera with the intention to photograph something noteworthy, odds are that it will not happen. Unfortunately, there are many things that may get in the way of success; we may not be receptive to the subjects that do meet that inspirational standard, or we are receptive, and we just may not come across a subject that does. But we do have to keep plugging along with the sincere hope that each time we go out, we will be successful, and also accept the fact that we may not.

Rusted Weld No.4  © jj raia

Rusted Weld No.4 – Nasher Museum © jj raia


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