Sunday, September 20, 2009

Page Museum (La Brea Tar Pits)

On, 16 September 2009, I visited the Page Museum located at the Rancho La Brea Tar Pits in the heart of Los Angeles. The Museum is one of the world’s most famous fossil localities, recognized for having the largest and most diverse assemblage of extinct Ice Age plants and animals in the world. Visitors can learn about Los Angeles as it was between 10,000 and 40,000 years ago, during the last Ice Age, when animals such as saber-toothed cats and mammoths roamed the Los Angeles Basin. Through windows at the Page Museum Laboratory, visitors can watch bones being cleaned and repaired. Outside the Museum, in Hancock Park, life-size replicas of several extinct mammals are featured.

I made the mistake of shooting most of the pictures at ISO 3200 when it was not needed. I never used an ISO setting this high (1600 was my previous high) and I wanted to try it out. I have Good news and bad news. The D700 performed flawlessly and very clean. However, ISO 3200 is so sensitive that many of highlights were blown because of the spot lighting reflecting on the subjects. The reflections were not that obvious. Now, I know.

Photos of the Page Museum (La Brea Tar Pits)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Norton Simon Museum

This past Sunday, 6 September 2009, I took my D700 and the Nikon 14-24 to the Norton Simon Museum. The Museum is very well known as one of the most remarkable private art collections. Over a thirty-year period industrialist Norton Simon (1907–1993) amassed a collection of European art from the Renaissance to the 20th. century and a stellar collection of South and Southeast Asian art spanning 2,000 years.

Among the most celebrated works he collected are Branchini Madonna, 1427, by Giovanni dide Zurbarán; Portrait of a Boy, c. 1655-60, by Rembrandt van Rijn; Mulberry Tre, 1889, by Vincent van Gogh; Little Dancer Aged Fourteen, 1878-81, by Edgar Degas; and Woman with a Book, 1932, by Pablo Picasso. Highlights from the Asian collection include the bronze sculptures Buddha Shakyamuni, c. 550, India: Bihar, Gupta period, and Shiva as King of Dance, c. 1000, India: Tamil Nadu; and the gilt bronze Indra 13th century, Nepal.

I always take my lens cleaning kit with me, but not this time; I never use it. It never fails; I needed it. The 14-24 front element was very dirty with some substance. I guess that when I visited the Lomita Railroad Museum, the locomotive might have dispersed something in the air, when they were simulating it running. There is no way I could have dirty the lens the way I take care of them. If some of the photos seem to have like a film, they did - the lens did. I should have checked the lens before I left. ( Norton Simon Museum Photos. )

Update: I visited the Norton Simon Museum, the following Sunday, 13 September 2009, with the D700 + the Nikon Micro 105mm VR f/2.8G N. I have merged the two sets of photographs in the "Norton Simon Museum" gallery; the link to the gallery is above.