Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Henry Shaw Would Boggle, Or, Not The Rouen Cathedral

Locals sometimes refer to the Missouri Botanical Garden as Shaw's Garden, after its founder, Henry Shaw. He also donated the land that became Tower Grove Park. The building in these pictures is his home in the middle of what is now the garden.

Shaw could never have conceived of what we saw at his home Saturday night. The Flora Borealis show included spectacular video and laser projections on his house, ever changing and quite unreal. I have no idea how it was done. It made me think of a a 21st Century version of Claude Monet's series of paintings of the Rouen (a word that is very hard for English speakers to pronounce correctly) Cathedral. The same building over and over, with each image at a different time of day or weather. Monet used his eyes and a brush. Today we use algorithms.  

The St. Louis Fringe Festival starts tonight. Be there or be square.    

Flora Borealis

There has been a sound/light/laser show going on at the botanical garden all summer. We finally got around to visiting. The name, Flora Borealis, is a bit of a bad pun. There was voiceover throughout, mostly on the theme of be nice to plants, but hardly anyone was paying attention. Everyone was ooh-ing and ah-ing over the spectacular laser effects. It was going on even inside the Climatron. I have no idea how it's done, more about which tomorrow.       

Monday, August 13, 2018

Street Racing

The bicycle races moved to the streets on Sunday in The Grove neighborhood. Much easier to shoot - wide open spaces, no in-and-out shadows and I could get closer to the riders. I got tons of pictures. This is just a sample. I also have material from a sound and light laser show at the botanical garden over the weekend and the St. Louis Fringe Festival starts Wednesday night. And I still have to work. No risk of boredom.        

Sunday, August 12, 2018


There are some big time (by our standards) bicycle races in Tower Grove this weekend. I've shot this event before when it was run on city streets. Much harder to do in the park with limited areas of open sun and lots of mottling by tree shade. No good for auto exposure and focus.

I took too many photos yesterday, cleanly into four figures. A lot of that was shooting in burst mode as the pack went by. But there was another event yesterday evening that ran up the score. We'll get to all of it.      

Saturday, August 11, 2018


Ellie started kindergarten this week, with a tweak of the rules. She is very ready. Unfortunately, the local school districts strictly require that a child be five by August 1 to enter. Her birthday is August 20. However, some of the charter schools in the city proper  (Americans know what I mean) can do what they want with the age rules. So, the kid has started at one of them and will be eligible for first grade anywhere next year. Not too heavy on experimental technique yet but it's a good start.       

Friday, August 10, 2018


Just some color and texture at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City. Those aren't plants flanking the entrance. They are Dale Chihuly glass sculptures. Note part of the same sign as in yesterday's post.

I'm pretty hard up for material. Had another camera failure in Kansas. But there are others sitting around the house and two big events to shoot on Saturday. Then the Fringe Festival starts a few days later. Bear with me. 

And happy birthday, M. B. Remember, you'll never catch up to me.  

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Along Came A Spider

One of the many iterations of Louise Bourgeois's Spider, this one in front of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City. Louise made a buck or two off this idea. I've seen them at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and London's Tate Modern. No idea how many there are but it is always arresting for the first time viewer. After too many encounters maybe you're ready to reach for a can of Raid.

Note the sign on the wall of the building in the background.