Storyboard – Eiteljorg Museum – April 22, 2011

On this day Laura was kind enough to grace me with her presence in Indy so we made our way to the Eiteljorg Museum downtown. Expecting a low-light situation, I went with the macro lens since it’s the fastest one I’ve got but does have the disadvantage that at 60mm it’s a bit close for anything but a detailed shot. The museum just isn’t big enough to back up much… Anyway, technical gook aside, on to the photos.

Outside one of the RedBlack exhibit they have a large sheet of paper on which they encourage people to write. These things have always fascinated me as works of anthropological study. When people can write anything they want anonymously, what will they write? Most of it was random banter but this example was rather touching, I thought. I’d like to see a collection of such wall-writings from across the world and through history.

From 2011_04_22

In the area of the museum devoted to western painting some of the studio equipment of… well, an artist whose name I didn’t note, was on display. Anyway, I thought the whole situation was fairly photogenic. Seeing this stirs in me strongly the desire to get back to my previous tinkering with the visual arts. Time to go buy that easel, I suppose.

From 2011_04_22

The focus in this shot is just insanely soft. My meticulous nature makes shooting at f2.0 more than a bit painful to my desire to always be in almost painfully sharp focus.

From 2011_04_22

One area of the museum is devoted to the Native Americans of more northern climes. This large wooden bird mask is upwards of three feet in length. He appears to grimly stare down the observer. Again the very soft focus here bugs me. It could be used to good artistic effect but I’ve yet to grasp the proper use of it.

From 2011_04_22

My choice of lens served me well on the feathers from this headdress.

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This old cigarette vending machine has been converted to sell artworks rather than cancer sticks and coffin nails. It’s a great subject but again the depth of field plays with my mind.

From 2011_04_22

From the top of the stairs Laura and I played with long exposures a bit. At 6 seconds this museum patron looks like a ghost. At some point I need to drag a tripod into a public place and take some proper examples. I couldn’t hold the camera still enough to get the crisp background that would make this more interesting.

From 2011_04_22

Somewhere on Laura’s camera there’s a picture of me in a very similar pose. I’m just glad our cameras didn’t explode from the recursion that results when two people take photos of each other simultaneously.

From 2011_04_22

I like to get candid people photos when I can and these four were too good to resist. They’re all looking at a huge totem pole that spans two floors of the museum. The women seem awestruck as they stare at what is essentially a 20-foot wooden phallus. The guys’ expressions seem to say sheepishly, “eh, ain’t so big”

From 2011_04_22

And lastly, this represents how you feel after running a marathon without proper nipple protection. Band-aids and body-glide are a boy’s best friend sometimes.

From 2011_04_22

And that’s the day that was.


  1. Photography is a subjective art, and what the photographer doesn’t like, the viewer may think of as wonderful. To me, a “painfully sharp” photo may not always convey the message or idea as strongly as a photo with – say – a shallow DOF or some other quirk (intended or not). I personally like the softness in the photos with the bird mask and the paint/easel.

    • Yeah, and I’m slowly coming to terms with that. Much of the time when I look at the stats at the photos that people like best I scratch my head. What I think is crap others find good and, somewhat embarrassingly, sometimes the masses vastly dislike my favorite shots. 🙂

  2. This is a great post! I manage a small gallery and it’s so interesting to see how museum/gallery-goers view and connect with what’s on display. [And thanks for the “Like” on my post ;)]

  3. your shots (and commentary) of the totem pole and the bleeding nipples made me actually laugh out loud – great work!

  4. What a wonderful day–such vicarious joy! Thank you for this inspiring post– I’m struggling with depth of field, and you show me what it’s all about. Blessed Be.

  5. Great post!
    It covers all aspects of photography including (my personal favourite) quite a lot of fun!
    Look forward to more posts.
    I am going to go find a Museum and try some stuff out!!

  6. If these were my photos, I’d have somehow put the ones of the museum patron and the cigarette machine together so that it’d look like the ghost-patron was going up in smoke!

    Interesting photos. I’ve subscribed to your other two blogs and it looks like I’m going to subscribe to this one too! (I don’t know how long you’ve been using WordPress: if not very long, then what is now called ‘Follow’ used to be called ‘Subscribe’! 🙂

  7. Rob, I’ve had a blast sliding through your posts today. I haven’t visited this museum, probably because I haven’t lived in Indiana for many years and it might not have been there during my residency.

    But your photos said quite a bit, even though you critiqued them. The one with the cigarette machine put me in a philosophical frame of mind. The center knobs are crystal clear, the ends blurred. Isn’t that really how life is. The past and future are nebulous to us as we stand in the now? That was my thought, along with a few others.

    Good work. I’ll be back often for a looksee.


    • I’m glad you enjoyed them! And yes, I critique everything; it’s my nature. 🙂

      I like your philosophy. ’tis very true. Reminds me of some random tidbit from ages ago in which I read that remembering isn’t the rote act of recalling the exact experience but that each time we remember we have to rebuild in our mind from scratch. So each remembering of an event is a little bit different. So yes, fuzzy past and future and fuzzier each time you reconstruct it in memory…

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