Lois Reynolds Mead

Art and a pink monkeyflower in a native plant garden…


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Garden and Glass, two…

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As you leave the dark gallery area of the Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle you step into areas where the glass objects interact with natural light. The glass glows in both environments. Talk about blowing your mind on color. In the transition area is a wall filled with blown-up images of old postcards depicting a collection of landmark glasshouses in gardens around the world. Right before walking into Chihuly’s glasshouse you get a sense of this unique type of architecture. I was reminded of walking into the Sainte-Chapelle Chapel in Paris. Maybe I was experiencing “art as a protective covering”. Chihuly’s glasshouse is asymmetrical and contains a 100 foot suspended sculpture.

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Exiting the glasshouse you enter the gardens where the glass interacts with nature.

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I loved the way plants were used as a backdrop for the glass. In an area confined to black and white coloring, covering the ground was black mondo grass. (It is not often you can find a plant that can give you such a background color and texture. Works wonderfully here. I mentioned this plant before and how I combined it with chartreuse plants, although, in our garden I can only use it in containers since it is not a California Native. TM sets the rules on that!)

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Black mondo grass covering a hill, this time…

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It was time for lunch before going up in the Space Needle, so we went back inside to the cafe connected to the garden. It seems Chihuly is also an inveterate collector (the cafe is called Collections and his personal collections are everywhere.)

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The ceiling contains his collection of accordions…

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Walls have a collection of his paintings and figurines…

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and the tables to eat at were the coolest…a box covered with glass was in the center of each table and inside was one of his collections.

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The food was good, too…later, coming down from the Space Needle I got this bird’s-eye view of the layout of the garden…

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There are some nice videos on Chihuly’s website. Worth the time to watch…


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I am going to visit…

Terry and I will be off to Paris in a few weeks and in the process of researching what to see and what to do (and what to eat?) I came across the work of photographer Eugene Atget (1857-1927). This put me in mind that while I am there I really should take some black and white photos in homage to the time, the place, the artist. I have never taken many black and whites because my soul enjoys color so much, but I think it will be a challenge to try. I have been experimenting lately so I will have decided what apps to use before I get there. I do not want to fumble around once I am there. I am wondering if to take black and white your brain has to think in black and white? Or is your brain needing to be more conscious of light and how it falls? Decisions to be made…take photos in color and then process them after the fact into black and white? (Snapseed app)…take with an app that is strictly b and w (Monochromia app) which allows some adjustment after the fact…or just be spontaneous and use Hipstamatic app, because, after all, how much time is there to process pictures when there is so much chocolate to eat?
Samples so far…
Hipstamatic app with Helga Viking lens and Black Keys super grain film…

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These I took from the passenger seat of the car as it was driving. With the same combination of lens and film, but I felt they needed some brightening so they went into Snapseed for slight fiddling…

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This was Hipstamatic with James M lens and Rock BW-11 film…

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This processing is by Noir app

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These photos started as color photos but with Snapseed app they have become b and w many months later…

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I don’t want to duplicate Eugene Atget, I just want to enjoy the taking of some black and white photos with some confidence while I experience Paris for the first time. If you have suggestions, I would love to hear them.
As Eugene Atget said, ” A good photograph is like a good hound dog, dumb, but eloquent.”

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(My sweet dog is not really dumb, but she is eloquent!)