Really early. Central library. It was snowing hard overnight. We had to be there for the staff to let us in at 6am.
It was so worth it. Holy Doodle! I'd been in on a brief visit a few weeks ago, along with a zillion other people. Today was some staff and about 20 other people. We had free run of the place. The best part is that the other people are photographers who are aware of what other people are trying to shoot, and everybody was really good about coordinating walking and shooting, and sharing the space. Even the staff were really good, pausing before walking where a camera was pointing.
This is not your parent's library, with Miss Grundy shushing you if you breathe loudly. It's meant to be a living space, with a section for kids (books and play), lots of meeting and work rooms, a reading room that is so gorgeous it nearly brings a tear to my eyes, and quieter spaces for people to read or work on their laptops, or just hang out and relax.
The heart of the library is a wood enclosed central space that is nothing but curves. Lovely beautiful curves leading your eyes along, with more to see everywhere. I suspect that every piece of wood is individually measured and cut, with no two alike.
Rather than hitting you with more than 2 dozen shots at once, I'll space them out so you can appreciate them.
When you walk in, you will look up. You will be amazed. You have never seen anything quite like it. The entry is below me in this shot, but this is the space you are looking into.
OK, it's taken me a while to get to this next photo. I keep finding more things to look at in that first one. Do you see the person? The scaffolding was being assembled to replace a pane of glass.
Here's the reading room I mentioned. Several people had fun playing with the composition by putting some books on the table in the foreground. I moved them. I deliberately wanted to contrast the curves and the warmth of the wood, with the angular tables, with just one book to break the curves and symmetry.
Yes, I'm lying on my tummy stretched out on the floor, playing with the composition of those curves. When you're shooting a wide angle lens even an inch or two here or there, or pointing it in a slightly different direction can make a huge impact on the photo. Naturally, I was concentrating on the prow of the ship, and the shape of the ceiling.
Here's the group I was with, with the famous Neil Z off to the left, helping us understand how to get the best shots. I'm fairly pleased with my pre-Neil advice shots, but the ones after were better.