Island in the Net

A personal blog by Khürt Williams, full of inchoate writing on photography, coffee, and geekery.

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Dance in The Blue Hour, Hamilton, New Jersey

This is one of many pieces of sculpture to be found at the Grounds For Sculpture in Hamilton, New Jersey. My night and low light course instructor, Rick Wright, took the class on a field trip. The Grounds are a favorite spot for New Jersey photographers. I’m not fan of sculpture and the sky was overcast and I was doubtful I would find anything to photograph. I walked around looking for something to strike my eye. I was convinced the field trip would yield nothing.

All the artwork is sculpture based on famous paintings. The sculptures are placed and organized among a scenic and nicely landscaped property. Shrubbery, flora, and several other nature based aspects help to highlight the sculptures that are placed all around the grounds.

It’s easy sometimes to forget the simple things that give us pleasure. If we open our eyes, life is marvelous. The human spirit triumphs, if only for moments in a day. I try to have my work call attention to those moments.Seward Johnson

Henri Matisse painted a piece known as “Dance,” which depicts a boy laying under a circle of dancing women, holding hands and surrounding the boy as he lays in both relaxation. Seward Johnson interpretation of the original painting of “Dance” is a larger than life-size sculpture that is selectively lit for viewing at night.

I focused my efforts on this re-imagining of Henri Matisse’s “The Dance”. I walked around looking for a composition that worked for me. Once I found my spot I sat on the nearby park bench and waited. “The Dance” was going to be my project for the night. I took a few shots during the Golden Hour and then waited for blue hour. I took a set of images at various exposures and messed around with the white balance setting. Of the set of images, this one is my favorite.

I like how the sculpture is reflected in the pond and how the pond water darkened the purple-blue-red of the sky.