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Friday Slide Show: Bouquets To Art Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

17 April 2015

We had something else planned for this week's slide show, we really did. And, in fact, we didn't even drop by the de Young museum yesterday to shoot Bouquets to Art. We went there to see if we could photograph the Botticelli.

Dark Humor. This painting always gets a bouquet.

But how could we resist?

The whole museum is decorated here and there with pedestals of flower diplays in front of one or another work of art from the permanent collection. And those works of art are like old friends to us. Whenever we see them, we smile.

So it's great fun to see some floral arrangement intended to play on the painting's colors or the sculpture's form. There's homage, there's wit, there's outright flattery.

As we confessed yesterday, we used a Nikon D300 with a manual focus 50mm f1.4 Nikkor because we were thinking about the best thing to use on the Botticelli (which came out nicely, BTW). So we didn't have the benefit of autofocus like we did last year.

Worse, though, museums are dark so you have to shoot wide open (we were around f2 most of the time, rarely up to f4). That makes it very hard to focus manually because the microlenses of your camera's focusing screen show more depth of field at wide apertures than what the lens actually captures, as we explained in Period Rooms.

Live View is the solution to that, but the crowded environment wasn't particularly congenial to working with Live View. So we did our best with the optical viewfinder. We didn't get a perfect score but we only had a few misses.

We processed the images in Lightroom 5, narrowing down the selection to these 17.

They are not flowers, so they will outlast the exhibit. But that's our homage to the designers, who once again managed to knock our socks off. Even with a Botticelli downstairs.


This is an amazing slide show! The only thing as impressive is seeing the show in person. Thanks again, Mike!

-- Joyce Abbott

My pleasure! -- Mike

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