Archive for December 23rd, 2009



Chihuly: The Nature of Glass

Last winter the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix hosted a spectacular, by reservation only, exhibit of glass works designed to mimic nature: From flowering cactus to these huge yucca sculptures (pictured) , it must have been hard to tell what was real wand what was glass. Certainly these sculptures, which found a permanent home just outside the entrance as a memorial to the massive show, had me wondering when I first saw them. I thought at first that I was seeing water frozen over living leaves, though it had not been cold enough the night before. As I walked closer I still could not tell what I was seeing, until I rounded the corner and saw the little sign explaining. I have since looked up the exhibit on the web site. It must have been spectacular. These sculptures, standing 8 or 9 feet tall in the early morning sun, certainly were.

Sony DSC H50 at 60mm equivalent for framing. F5.6 @ 1/320th @ ISO 100. Programmed auto.

In Lightroom, I was experimenting with the presets for ultra-rapid editing: I used Punch (which adjusts exposure and blackpoint automatically to increase overall intensity) and Landscape Sharpen. I then added level two of Clarity (there are > and >> levels) and level one of Vibrance. And that was it. Four mouse clicks, start to finish, without opening the develop module at all.

In this alternative view, which includes all three sculptures, I did open develop as I wanted to crop the image slightly from the left, but it received the same preset treatment, plus some Fill Light when I had it open in develop.

Both are from Desert Botanical Garden 09.