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Friday Slide Show: From the Living Wall Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

30 March 2018

Enormous as it is, the extension to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is hard to see. It rises behind the original building along an alley and just one city street with plenty of tall neighbors hiding it from view.

But the architects knew that going in and built an addition that, while intriguing to glimpse, provides unusual views of the city around it. The building, that is, looks out rather than preens.

We mentioned all that in our tour of the new facility. But when we went back recently to cover The Train, we took a moment to look over the tall walls of the Living Wall's balcony. And we really enjoyed the view.

We had a Micro Four Thirds camera with us, the 14-42mm kit lens on it. That zoom has a 35mm equivalent range of 28-84mm, which is nice for interiors but a bit restricted for outdoors where we like our 18-200mm Nikkor.

Snowman. An iPhone shot exhibiting polarization from the glass front.

So when we processed our Raw captures in Lightroom, we decided to do a little zooming with the crop tool.

We made virtual copies of our original images, which we had tweaked but not cropped. And then we made some radical crops.

It was, you know, fun. So much so that we did doubles of a few of them.

Of course we didn't have to worry about resolution because they're inevitably reductions for our 800 pixel presentation here. We just had to get over our inhibition to crop that radically.

That wasn't hard.

The Living Wall is a big hit, we've discovered. You can't get out there when it's raining (wet visitors are not assets in a museum).

But when you can get out (which is most days), there are some pretty amusing sculptures to enjoy, including (at the moment) a snowman.

What people really seem to enjoy, though, is that wall made of greenery. It's lush, it's healthy, it seems to invite you to breathe it in.

But step to one end or the other of the balcony and you'll get glimpses of the city you can't otherwise see. The abstract architecture of the skyscrapers play off each other like the graphics of some weird board game.

And the longer you look, the more you see.

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