Friday, March 27, 2009

Stone Bones


Click image to view at 800 pixels wide



Big things can be difficult to frame, hard to hold focus on, and lighting can change across their area. This is the famous Diplodocus longus skeleton at the British Museum (Natural History), one of those distributed by the philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, based on a specimen from Sheep Creek, Wyoming, unearthed by the collector Barnum Brown (?) in 1901 (if I remember my palaeontology trivia correctly!) I visited the museum in December 2006 and was amazed to find that photography for personal use was as welcome among the great collections as in any other English museum (it's not in Australia!) I took dozens of frames around this 80+ foot animal, from every perspective, and it was far from easy to get an overall image of the critter. Closeups on various bits and from unusual perspectives, but a single view of the whole beast? I walked around it for fifteen minutes, framing and adjusting and snapping. The light was also a little soft, necessitating a long exposure, thus the sharpness of this shot is important too: note the burning-out of the tall windows at the back and the blur of the man walking in the frame. Fuji FinePix S5600, automatic. Image by Mike.

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