Ran down to Los Angeles and then UCLA for a crazy fast, 2 day trip to meet with friends/colleagues and take care of a little business on the side before the annual ARVO meetings. It was like most trips these days, fast. Though I ate well, walked a lot, and saw some art.
I’ve been experimenting with some time lapse shots on some of these trips with the iPhone lately. The standard capture is nice, simple and elegant, but missing some features. I talked about it some here, but above is the last flight from SLC to LAX. But it also shows up a new problem of the autofocus. It would be nice to fix the focal plane during a capture.
The campus itself is lovely and I get why people want to live in Los Angeles, just walking around. The weather is perfect and if it were not for the persistent drought, it would be a weather paradise. UCLA is also an interesting place to try and do architectural photography. Had there been more time, I would have loved to bring a tilt-shift lens and spent some effort getting more of the buildings.
Jules Stein Eye Institute is a legendary place. My mentor trained there as did many of my colleagues and friends.
Nick Brecha is Professor of Neurobiology and Medicine and Vice Chairman, Department of Neurobiology at UCLA. We’re hoping that a collaboration we have will push the last grant I submitted through to “funded” status.
Steven Barnes has worked for Nick for many years and is an electrophysiologist extraordinaire.
Lab bench still life…
Kris Sheets is a post-doc with Nick Brecha and has been working on visualizing synaptic terminals in retinas. Very cool work.
It was also nice to get out with Arlene and Chris for a nighttime walk through the UCLA campus after the meetings.
I also briefly got a chance to run up to The Getty Museum for a couple of hours before leaving town. There is a larger, full size mosaic of this shot of L.A. here. The Getty is an inspiring architectural space that cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $1-$1.4 billion to construct and also houses the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Conservation Institute, is the home of The Getty Foundation and the J. Paul Getty Trust.
The Getty did not disappoint either with amazing architecture, a rooftop garden and art that I’d previously only seen in textbooks.
Edgar Degas painting Dancer Taking a Bow was always one of my favorites of his. Its always amazing to run into a work of art in a museum that you’d seen in textbooks, but never really knew where the work was. Even though this work is clearly a dreamy pastel image, the lighting in it renders an amazingly atmospheric scene.
Bernardo Bellotto‘s View of the Grant Canal is one of those large works that you can kind of get lost in. One of the exercises I like doing is taking the time to explore the details of paintings like this. Sometimes, you can find hidden Easter Eggs of sorts. The other thing that The Getty is doing is making very high resolution images of their art available. I rather liked the resolution of my image, so you can see the texture of the canvas, but, click here for a 304MB download of View of the Grand Canal from The Getty.
The Vexed Man is a bust made from alabaster in the 18th century by Franz Xaver Messerschmidt. Messerschmidt made a series of grotesques or character heads typified by extreme expressions. I am wondering if they are self portraits of a sort, but I’ve not been able to confirm this. I’d never seen anything like this, but it is amazing and grabbed my attention immediately.
The final night, I had a rather decent dinner at Hutchinson using Reserve which is an excellent experience. I elected to walk back to the UCLA guest house on Melrose, up through Bel Aire to walk off dinner and see the night sights. The contrasts are amazing. Homeless people sleeping on the steps of churches while Bentley and Lamborghini automobiles drive by. The other thing that amazed me was that while California is in the worst drought in recorded history, at night, the streets of Bel Aire run with water from the verdant lawns and foliage of all the high end houses. I don’t know how to solve these problems other than a flatter economic pyramid, but at the very least, community services providing a roof over people’s heads and more expensive water come to mind…