Chihuly glass sculptures, installed in many prominent American botanical gardens, ostensibly aim to imitate nature. How do you compare these sublime towers of glass at the New York Botanical Gardens to a nearby stalk of blooms?
Inside the neoclassical pavilion, I found this simple and elegant stalk of blossoms. It is rather understated, you might say, but similar to the sculpture in its overall shape and repetition of blossoms up the stalk. Here the colors are more muted, not bold, primary colors the sculpture has.
Inside the pavilion shown in the first photo is a more fanciful Chihuly tower sculpture that reminds me of a Dr. Seuss illustration. It is white with pink polka dots, and its spokes curl like snakes. Symmetry is no longer the operative word. We might say this piece shows more personality.
Fog is hard to predict, but it can help you make some unique photographs. On Sunday, fog was literally rolling in off the ocean like smoke pluming from a major wildfire. You could see fog billowing past buildings, but you could not see the ocean. God giveth and He taketh away.
In this photo of the entrance to the Breakers, the Cornelius Vanderbilt mansion in Newport, Rhode Island, fog worked hand-in-hand with depth of field to enshroud the background — the monumental building and allow me to feature the color and detail of the foreground lamp, to illustrate the artisanship of the late 19 century.
There is so much detail to take note of as soon as you enter the Breakers: colored and carved marble, ruby red drapes and a three-story great hall, enormous and elaborate chandeliers, and more. Perhaps that is why I enjoy this very simple image just before entering.
Pittsburghers are crazy in love with their sports teams, but we are pumped about the vitality of our city as a whole too. On a sunny summer day, you will find boats in the three rivers, families enjoying Point State Park near the fountain, and restaurants buzzing with activity. You can take in an aerial view without a drone from the lookout on Mount Washington, where I shot this photo.
If you would like a print of this image, leave me a message in the comment section, and be sure to include your email address. The Sheraton Station Square might like to see themselves at the center of the universe!
Be sure to tune in tonight to watch the Pittsburgh Penguins battle for Stanley Cup: Game 6!
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The New York Botanical Garden is currently running a stunning Chihuly glass exhibit, and now is great time to visit. You will find about a dozen installations while you also admire all the spring flowers in bloom and stroll in the beautiful grounds.
It’s no accident that the gifted glass artist Chihuly chooses botanical gardens like Pittsburgh’s Phipps Conservatory or Fort Lauderdale’s botanical garden to display his work. Chihuly glass pieces often take their inspiration from nature, and mimic plant forms with great success.
My daughter and I agreed that this was our favorite piece at the New York Botanical Garden installation.
Chicago’s public sculpture “Cloud Gate” — nicknamed “the bean” — is always swarmed with visitors admiring its distorted reflections. The Chicago skyline and one’s own reflection inevitably compete for your attention.
My friend Sylvia is enjoying a quiet life in Pittsburgh, where she raised two children and spends time with her husband Peter, a talented writer and writing coach, now retired. Sylvia’s creative mind is extraordinary, and she creates beautiful original quilts. I think her talent should be sung from the mountaintop.
I have photographed about a dozen of these imaginative works for Sylvia when she entered several of them in an international competition and exhibit. We took the next step and made her a variety of notecards that featured the quilt photos, and I couldn’t help taking her portrait too. We have been friends for about 36 years.
The photographs of her work give Sylvia comfort, because it is hard for her to think about letting go. She has poured so much of herself into them, it is hard for her to think of selling them. But the time may come for her works to be bought and displayed to a wider audience. Should Sylvia and her quilts part company, she will always have these images.