Mike Millar

About Light's Destiny

I love photography and I love talking about it and learning about it even more. My pictures have been sitting in a virtual box forever. It is time to get them out and talk about them. I hope you like what you see and please comment if you have something to add.

Tag: ‘Chihuly’

Chihuly Tower, Desert Botanical Gardens

Saturday, June 11th, 2011

This was another of the Chihuly glass sculptures on display at the Chihuly: The Nature of Glass. The exhibit was on display at the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix, AZ from Nov. 22nd 2008 to May 31st 2009.

This shot is a composite of a 3-shot bracketed exposure. I had a fourth shot in which I played with light painting on the plants in the foreground but it really didn’t work out. Also there were many other people shooting this sculpture from all sides and I wasn’t comfortable making all of them wait while I shined a flashlight almost into their lens. I ended up darkening the foreground and eventually cropping it out almost entirely. This particular sculpture was so bright that I used bracketing so I could mix in areas that weren’t totally blown out in the highlights. Photomatix did not work well with these images and I ended up manually layering them so that the darkest areas were well lit and  then I masked out many little spots to restore some of the brightness in areas. I also painted in a lot of black to hide the noise in the foreground and background. This sculpture was very difficult to faithfully reproduce what I saw with my eyes.

I was at the garden this night with Arizona Highways Photography Editors, Peter Ensenberger and Jeff Kida. We had all spent a little too long on sculptures closer to the entrance and we got split up by the time I had made it this deep into the gardens. I wish I had gotten some advice from them on shooting this sculpture.

Chihuly Sculpture, Desert Botanical Gardens

Monday, May 30th, 2011
Chihuly Sculpture

Chihuly sculpture scene, Desert Botanical Gardens 2009


This shot is of one of many of the scenes of the exhibit Chihuly: The Nature of Glass. The exhibit was on display at the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix, AZ from Nov. 22nd 2008 to May 31st 2009.

In this shot I did a lot of dodging and burning within the plants and also on the glass itself. This HDR result was from 3 bracketed exposures. I was trying to just ever-so-slightly add a painted look to the shot. I pushed the HDR effect a bit to bring out the clouds in the sky which appeared very bland in the source exposures.
Out of the camera the glass just didn’t have the shine and luster that it did in person. It was mid-afternoon and I wish i could have been there earlier in the morning for better light. I don’t recall what cast that shadow on the saguaro in the foreground.


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