September 14, 2008

In Which I Learn a Lesson I Should Have Already Known

Yesterday I was thrilled to go see the Dale Chihuly exhibit at the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco. I've been a Chihuly fan for years and years, but I've never had an opportunity to see a full installation, apart from the display at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. While the Bellagio installation is great, and has given him so much exposure and name recognition, I can only wander around looking up for so long before I start to feel like an idiot and get dizzy.

I've been looking forward to it ever since I learned the exhibit was coming, but I wanted to wait until I had some experience using my new camera and found a good time to go. Time flies, as it always does, and since the exhibit ends this month, I knew I'd better get my behind in gear.

Taking the pictures was more of a challenge than I expected, for two reasons: 1. The size and scope of the pieces; and 2. The pieces are set mostly in dark or even black environments, and you can't use a flash. Ideally, I should have brought a tripod but it was way too crowded on a weekend to make that feasible. One more odd thing was how the light sometimes reacted with the glass in unexpected ways, so what I saw and what the camera saw was at times different.

Once I realized that I just wasn't going to be able to get the pictures I really would have liked, I tried to focus on some unique angles and capturing colors and certain elements. I also had to remember to stop and enjoy the art and not just take pictures. But I did take a lot of many that, even without using the flash, the battery in my camera died after only four rooms (out of eleven) in the exhibit! Therein lies the lesson: MAKE SURE YOUR BATTERY IS FULLY CHARGED BEFORE GOING ON A PICTURE-TAKING ADVENTURE. Duh, right? At this point I might have thrown myself to the ground and pitched a fit worthy of a two-year-old if I hadn't made a last-minute decision to throw my little camera in my purse. Day saved!

There are far too many pictures to include even a decent sampling in one post (and that's just the non-blurry ones!), so I'll put up some of my favorites from each room over a series of posts, in the order they were displayed in the exhibit.

Glass Forest #3

If you're at all intrigued by any of the photos, I suggest clicking on the first link up there and looking at the professional photos of the exhibit to get a better sense of the size and layout of them.