June 25, 2009

From Gerald R. Lucas

London Day 7: The British Museum

I took my World Literature Students to the British Museum on Thursday, July 25. They were there for several hours, but I spent the entire day in this great museum.

For the first half of the day, I re-familiarized myself with their collections, particularly the ones I asked my students to concentrate on: the ancient world (Greek, Roman, Assyrian, and Egyptian) and the Enlightenment display. The latter was new to me; it took up a long room on the right side of the museum where the British Library used to be. Typically, the museum was crowded, but I enjoyed wandering through the halls I saw many years ago.

After lunch, the students went elsewhere, so I retrieved my camera and a bite to eat before getting back to it. I retraced my morning steps, this time armed with the 5D. I mentally planned which rooms needed which lens during my morning walk, so I was pretty much ready for an afternoon shoot.

When I was there in 2000, I had my first digital camera: a Sony Mavica. It was one of those Sonys that stored the captured images on floppy disk! The quality was terrible; it would be like coming to England armed with only my iPhone for photos. Not a good solution. So many of the photos I took in 2000 needed updating, and this time I had the right equipment. I especially wanted to revisit the bust of Homer. (For comparison, I also included the shot I took in 2000 below. See the difference? I made the size smaller so the resolution and noise weren’t so terrible.)

I also liked the statue of Venus being startled in her bath. This is a popular one, so getting a clear shot was a challenge. The Assyrian collections are also vast; I’ll pretend this one is Gilgamesh. I also included the most awkward pose ever.

Canon Camera Information
Camera: Canon Digital Rebel XT1, Canon EOS 30D, Canon EOS 5D, or Canon EOS 6D • Prime Lenses: Sigma 10mm f/2.8 EX DC Fisheye HSM, Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM, Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM, or Canon EF f/1.2 85mm L USM • Zoom Lenses: Canon EF f/2.8 16–35mm L, Canon EF 24–70mm L, or Canon EF 70–200mm L IS USM • Processed with Apple Aperture.