Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Design in the Park

I was at a two day workshop on Design: Shape & Structure in Leeds this week.  Part of the event involved technical conversations in small groups as we walked around the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

Some of the sculpture I liked very much:

Ursula von Rydingsvard
Some was fun:

Marialuisa Tadei, Octopus, 2011

Some I thought was a bit pretentious:

Richard Long, Red Slate Line, 1986 (part of “walking as art”)

And a lot more I didn’t photograph.

At one point I was reminded of the amazing abilities of the human eye.  The two photographs below are of the exact same scene (as you can see from the shape of the treetops), one focused on the ground, one on the sky:

14:30 GMT, and the sun is already that low…
The shot on the left has a greatly over-exposed sky; the one on the right has a very underexposed foreground.  Yet to my eye at the time, the foreground appeared as in the shot on the left, whilst the sky looked like the one on the right (in fact, it was the glorious sunbeams that made me take the shot).  I am sure I could have got a better photo with something a bit more sophisticated than my phone-camera, of course.

As we were leaving, I spotted this very square tree, looking almost like a sculpture itself:

what growth rules result in this shape?
As a way of getting to know the research interests of the other members of the workshop, of getting fresh air, and of getting muddy shoes, I can highly recommend this walk-and-talk approach.


  1. Regarding the dynamic range of the eye. Does your phone have HDR option? Most phones nowadays bring an HDR option on their cameras. The old way of doing it, was taking several (same) pictures of the scene at different levels of exposure (usually 2, but 3 4 can also be used) and then merging them in one picture. Here some examples:

    Luminance (aka Qtpfsgui) is a libre software that can do it if you give the pictures:

    1. I've got a Galaxy SII, which is a bit prehistoric; no HDR. I had a quick go with Luminance, but unfortunately the photos are not overlayable: I suspect I moved a pace or two between shots. But I might try it in future -- thanks for the tip.