The Met’s Foremost Showpiece

Often times a museum’s foremost showpiece is the building that houses the collections – the delivery device itself. It must be a reflection of the pride of the trustees and curators to fabricate a vessel that can do justice to their prized collections. Imagine Paris alone. The Louvre Museum, once home to King Louis XIV. The Musée d’Orsay, the former stunning Beaux-Arts rail terminal. And the turned inside-out Pompidou Centre. The Museum Mile in New York too is a fine example of grand palaces and architectural gems housing vast exhibits. In at least one rare case Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim surpasses even the mastery of its works within.

Unlike the Guggenheim The Met doesn’t quite reach the level of exceptionalism of its dauntingly vast collections but it still manages to make a marvelous first impression. And they’ve tried very hard to accomplish this. Not quite satisfied with the original structure The Met was completely encased by additions and improvement over a century-plus, including the addition of the Beaux-Arts facade and Great Hall in 1902 seen here.

This photo was inspired by one of Trey Ratcliff’s HDRs of a similar angle. My secret answer to those pesky “no tripods” policies is my trusty $20 table tripod. So baffling to museum staff that I even leave it attached. Here it fit perfectly secure on the broad stone railing. I also have noticed my HDR technique slowly maturing with branching steps and experimentation over the last year or two. For example this photo was compiled using a 3 exposure HDR (-2, 0, +2), the original 0 exposure as well as an HDR produced from the single RAW 0 exposure.

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